How to sell on eBay

eBay is an American multinational eCommerce platform founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar.  The company is best known for its online auction marketplace where individuals and businesses can buy and sell a diverse range of products and services around the world. 

Account registration

Sellers must first register for an eBay account if they do not already have one. They must also have a verifiable address in any of the countries, regions, or territories eBay operates in.

To process the registration, eBay will need to verify the identity, bank account details, and any applicable business details of the seller.

Listing items for sale

Once verification is complete, the seller can list their first item for sale with an accurate description of the item and accompanying photos. It is important to list the item’s features and be honest about its condition. In other words, is it new, refurbished, used, or somewhere in between? Furthermore, does it come with documentation, tags, or accessory products?

The seller must also choose whether to sell the item as an auction listing with a reserve or a fixed price format. After which, the seller needs to clarify how the item will be posted and how they want to be paid. Return policies, if applicable, should also be detailed.

Sellers should also familiarise themselves with the list of prohibited or restricted items. These include (but are not limited to) adult items, alcohol, animal products, art, drugs and drug paraphernalia, event ticket resale, firearms, vouchers, and healthcare products.

Seller fees

Seller fees vary by country and sales volume. With that in mind, we will detail the seller fees for the United States platform below.

Insertion fees

Casual eBay sellers can list their items for free. But if they list more than 250 items per month, the company collects a $0.35 insertion fee per listing. 

Final value fees

Final values fees are charged only when the item sells and are calculated as a percentage of the total sale amount plus $0.30 per order.

Fees vary according to product category. Vinyl record sales, for example, incur a 12.55% fee while other categories include books and magazines (14.55%), coins, bullion, and paper money (12.35%), NFTs (5%), and musical instruments and related equipment (5.85%).

After the sale

Sellers can choose to send an invoice to the buyer after a sale has been made. However, many buyers will pay before the seller has had a chance to do so.

At this point, it is important to leave feedback on the experience of dealing with the buyer and encourage them to do likewise after they have received the product. Sellers can receive beneficial feedback by ensuring the item was delivered as described and in a timely fashion.

For disputes that cannot be resolved between the two parties, the seller can contact eBay directly for assistance.


Sellers who sell items frequently or in bulk can use eBay’s business tool which offers increased functionality such as postage discounts, subtitles, visitor counters, and buyer requirements.

They can also design their listings without needing to be proficient in HTML and can offer multiple products under one listing to a single buyer.

Key takeaways:

  • eBay sellers need to first register for an account if they do not already have one. They must also reside in an eBay-approved country, territory, or region and be able to verify their identity and bank account details.
  • Once verification is complete, the seller can list items for sale with a product description, photographs, and an accurate assessment of product condition, among other things. The seller must also choose between a fixed price and an auction with a reserve price.
  • Casual eBay sellers are charged an insertion fee if they list more than 250 items per month and a final value fee that depends on the product category. Like any marketplace, the seller needs to conduct themselves in a way that encourages positive feedback from the buyer.

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