How Does eBay Work? – Step by Step Guide for First Time eBay Sellers

eBay is loved by both shoppers and sellers. There are many great and inexpensive things that shoppers can find on eBay and sellers can sell virtually anything on eBay which give them a huge opportunity to make money. In this article, I will explain to aspiring eBay sellers How Does eBay work. I will also explain How to Create Their First eBay Listing

eBay, unlike Amazon, allows its “seller” users to sell almost anything on their platform. In addition, eBay employs an auction-style buying/selling that attracts buyers who are looking for heavily discounted items.

How Does eBay Work?

eBay is originally used to sell unwanted items, collectibles, antiques, and vintage items, etc. As eBay evolved, it started to attract all sorts of buyers and sellers. Today, much online business owner use it for their retail arbitrage, buying low then selling high, business. Professional eBay sellers usually buy from wholesalers, flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales then sell it on eBay.

I will eventually write a guide on how to make your eBay business profitable so I would like to invite you to LIKE our Facebook Page or FOLLOW our Pinterest Board to receive a notification as soon as those articles are up!

As promised, I will show you today how eBay works for sellers.

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How Does eBay Work? – Step-by-Step Guide For First Time eBay Sellers

1. Have an Item to Sell
One way to source merchandise is to find warehouses or factories that sell in bulk at a lower price.

If this is your first time selling on eBay, then I suggest you start selling unwanted items that you can find lying around your home. This a good business practice because it will give you a feel on how eBay works from listing to shipping plus you reduce your risk of losing money.

Once you get used to selling on eBay and you finally ran out of things to sell, then it is time for you to worry where you will source your next item to sell.

Successful eBay sellers would recommend picking up your next item from garage sales, thrift stores, and flea market because you can get things there for the cheap and sell it for a higher price.

Manufacturers, warehouses, liquidators, and online auction site can also be a good source of merchandise because you can buy items in bulk at a lower price.

Be Warned!

You can only make money buying and selling on eBay if you can properly execute arbitrage. Arbitrage simply means taking advantage of the price difference of an item from one marketplace to another. Basically, you need to buy your merchandise at a lower cost than your selling price because the difference will be your profit.

It is important to do your research and understand how to price items on eBay first before going on a shopping spree. Failure to do so can result in unsold goods piling up in your garage, lost of money and frustration.

No item to sell?

Do not worry, you can still make money even if you have nothing to sell. What you can do is apply for eBay’s affiliate marketing program so you can advertise items on eBay through an affiliate link and if someone buys that item through your affiliate link then ka-ching you get a commission.

2. Create a Listing

Now that you have a product to sell, the next thing you need to do is to create a listing on eBay!

Creating one is easy and straight forward! Here is what you need to do.

  • Log-in to your account
  • Find the “SELL” button located on the upper left of your eBay account’s homepage.
  • Click it and you will be redirected to eBay’s product listing page.

Now that you are in the product listing page, all you need to do is fill in as many information required as you can.

3. Fill in The Title With Primary and Secondary Keywords

The first thing that you need to fill in is the Title. This is the most important part because if you messed it up, no one can find your items!

A good practice when filling up the title is to put as many keywords that are related to your item as you can. What I meant by keywords is a word or string of words buyers would use to find the product they are looking for.

For Example:

If are trying to sell a Toronto Raptors Jersey of Kawhi Leonard, the keywords would be Kawhi Leonard, Tronto Raptors, Jersey, etc.

toronto raptors jersey kahwi leonard

When writing a description, you must first include the most important one, then you can put supporting keywords if you still have spaces.

In our example, the first thing you need to write on the description is Kawhi Leonard because there is only one Kawhi Leonard in Toronto Raptors (Not Anymore!! 🙁 )

Next is to include Toronto Raptors because that is his team, then Jersey because that is the specific item that you are trying to sell.

If you still have spaces for your title, then you can type in his jersey number, team position or you can indicate whether the jersey is new, official jersey, etc.

What I want you to take from this is when writing the title of your product, you should start writing the most used word to describe the product (i.e. brand name or product name) first, before writing supporting keywords.


Please do not use vague titles. In our example, if you just put “Jersey”, “Toronto Raptors” or “Kahwi” then you can expect that “interested” people will not find it. Sure others will find your listing but it is like selling orange to a person who is looking for an apple. At the end of the day, you will have a hard time selling.

4. Add Pictures of the Item You Want to Sell

When you are buying online, you probably want to see the item you are buying in every possible angle mainly to check the design and less often to see if there is a defect to the product. This is true for others as well!

This means you have a better chance to sell your item if you will include a lot of images of your product listing!

Buyers prefer listings that have many images showing many angles of the product to give them the confidence to buy your product since buyers cannot physically check the product when buying online.

You can take advantage of this buyer’s behavior by including a lot of pictures of the product you are selling. eBay allows you to upload up to 12 images so use them all!

If your product has a defect, then PLEASE include an image that shows it.

eBay is known for their 2nd hand items being sold in their platform so there are people who go there already expecting the item they will buy might have some sort of defect and that is okay to them as long as they are aware of it prior to purchasing. However, you might get a bad review or other repercussions if you show your product as a brand new or in a perfect condition instead of disclosing its defects because that is false advertising.

5. Fill in the Details Section

Similar to the image section, the details section is very helpful for buyers to decide whether to buy your product or not.

Just remember this. Buyers buy because they trust the company, the product or the people, thus, the more information you give to them, the more they will trust you and your business which can lead to a higher chance of selling an item to them!

6. Write the Benefits of Your Product

A good practice when writing a description of a product is to write the benefits of your product and not just its feature. Buyers don’t care about what a product can do or made out of but they do care what the product can do for them.

Know writing a very convincing product description will not help your product’s searchability/visibility but it will surely help to convince the people who found your listing to buy your item!

7. Set the Pricing of Your Product

eBay sellers have two options to sell their product: “Auction” or “Buy it Now”.

The auction option is usually very effective when the item you are trying to sell is a hot item, meaning, an item that has a lot of demand because it attracts bargain hunters. If you know the item you are trying to sell will sell but there is not enough demand to kick off a bidding frenzy, then it is better for you to choose the buy it now option.

In order for your item to sell, you need to make sure that you price it appropriately.

You do not want to price it way above the competition because buyers will simply ignore your product, but you also do not want to unnecessarily lower your price too much because you want to keep as much profit as you can.

8. Fill in The Shipping Information

Finding products to sell, writing the perfect title to make your product visible to buyers and making sure that the price is right is only half of what you need as an eBay seller. For me, the other half is worrying about shipping your product safe and shipping it on time.

When selling on eBay, you have an option whether to ask your buyers to cover the shipping cost or you will cover it for them. Most professional eBay sellers would argue that covering the shipping cost would help you sell your product.

That being said, make sure to think about your shipping cost when pricing your product.

Pro Tip: As a beginner on eBay business, you might want to stick on selling small items. The items should be small enough that it will fit in USPS’ Flat Rate Envelope or a Small Flat Rate Box for eBay sellers in the US or Canada Post’s Flat Rate Box for Canadian eBay users.

Another pro tip that I can give to you is to ship your items ASAP once it’s been bought. Doing this will make your customer satisfied and hopefully leaves you good feedback.

9. Collect Your Money

This is most likely the best part of being an eBay seller. Collecting your profit! eBay makes it a priority to keep all transaction safe and secure.

Be sure to have your payment account info already set up before selling to get your money on time.


Okay! I hope this article made it clear for you How eBay Works. I also hope this Step by Step Guide for First Time eBay Sellers will help you in setting up your first listing.

Let me quickly review the steps for you.

  1. Have an Item to Sell
  2. Create a Listing
  3. Fill in the Tile with Primary and Secondary Keywords
  4. Add Pictures of the Item You Want to Sell
  5. Fill in the Details Section
  6. Write the Benefits of Your Product in the Description
  7. Set the Pricing of Your Product
  8. Fill in The Shipping Information
  9. Collect Your Money

That’s it for me!

Please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section if you have questions. We would love to hear your suggestion or pro-tips as well so be sure to share it down below!


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