Selling on eBay: case study

You can use eBay to dispose of your unwanted goods and make money at the same time. Let's follow Antonio to see how to do that.

Using eBay to help downsize

Antonio is moving into a smaller home and wants to get rid of some of the items he no longer needs. How should he go about it?

  • He thinks the things have value and he doesn't like waste, so he doesn't want to dump them.
  • Antonio could call a second-hand dealer to buy all his items, but he doubts that he will get a good price for them.
  • Antonio has a computer, a camera in his mobile phone and an internet connection, which is all he needs to sell his items online. He decides to use eBay to help dispose of his unwanted items.
Selling on eBay

Selling household items on eBay

eBay makes it quite easy to sell things:

  1. Antonio visits and logs in with his username and password.
  2. He chooses an item he wants to sell and uses his phone to photograph it accurately from all angles, including any damage. He emails the photos to his computer so he can download them and add them to his eBay listing.
  3. Antonio searches eBay for similar items to that which he wants to sell. He checks their prices to help him work out what he should charge.
  4. He clicks Sell near the top right of the eBay home page and follows the instructions for listing the item for sale.
  5. He decides to sell his item by auction rather than using the Buy It Now option. He looks at each of the choices carefully before making his decision.
  6. He sets a Starting bid price for the auction that is realistic, but that he'd be prepared to accept.
  7. On the listing page, he uses the tool to work out postage charges so buyers can see how much delivery will add to the final price of the item.
  8. Antonio set up his bank's debit card as his preferred payment option when he created his eBay account, and he leaves this as it is. It means funds from the sale will be deposited into his bank account by eBay.
  9. When he's satisfied with everything, Antonio clicks the List it button to publish the item he's selling on eBay.

What happens when a listing ends?

If Antonio's item hasn't sold at the end of the auction period, he can list it again for sale. If he chooses a lower Starting bid, his item might receive more interest than the first time and have a better chance at selling.

If Antonio's item has sold, he has to get ready to send it to the buyer:

  1. If he is successful, Antonio will receive an email from eBay telling him that his item sold and that he should get ready to send it. The email has the buyer's contact details, including the delivery address recorded on their eBay account. He won't send the item, however, until he receives payment. The buyer has four days to pay.
  2. eBay will send Antonio another email when he has been paid.
  3. Antonio checks his bank account to confirm that he has received the money. He notices that the amount is a little less than he charged because eBay has deducted its fee.
  4. Antonio then packs the item up carefully. He can print out a postage label from eBay, and it will charge his bank account within the month for the postage.
  5. He attaches the label onto the parcel and lodges it at the post office, making sure to get a receipt.
  6. Antonio makes sure to leave positive feedback on eBay for the buyer because he paid promptly.