9 Myths About How eBay Selling Works

9 Myths About How eBay Selling WorksIf you’ve ever thought about selling things on eBay, you should know that there are a lot of common myths about how eBay selling works. eBay is a great way to make some extra money, but it’s important to know what sells on eBay and how the selling process actually works.


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Even though Christmas is over, it is still a good time to sell on eBay. Maybe you are trying to pay off Christmas bills or save up for a future vacation. Winter is usually a time when many people stay inside because of the weather. People tend to spend time searching the internet including eBay.

Don’t let the things you’ve heard keep you from trying to sell on eBay.


Myth #1 — Sellers always pay for shipping

Many people tell me that they don’t want to sell on eBay because they don’t want to pay the shipping costs.

Unless you offer free shipping, the buyer always pays the shipping costs. You have the option to offer free shipping, but we have never done that.

You can choose where you will ship items (internationally or not) and what method you will use to ship your items. eBay has a built in shipping calculator, so the buyer can see what shipping will cost before they buy your item.

If the item is very large (like furniture), you can offer local pick-up, but that is totally up to you.


| eBay Shipping & Customer Service Tips


Myth #2 — You can’t sell on eBay because you aren’t an expert on anything

I mostly sell toys and books. I choose not to sell antiques, sports cards, or things that you need to know more about.

If you like books, you can sell books. You will only need to know more if you want to sell antique books or first editions. You can sell those too, but you will have to do more research to know what you have.

If you don’t feel like you know much about items, start with simple things. For example, board games are pretty easy as long as there are parts lists to tell you what comes with the game. Games are also relatively common at thrift stores and garage sales.

Honestly, the easiest thing is to start selling things you know about. Over time, you will learn more and more about things that sell well.


| More Tips on Choosing What to Sell on eBay


Myth #3 — An item has to be old to be worth something

There are a lot of things that aren’t old but are still worth something. You just need to look up different categories to see what people are buying.

Usually items that sell well are not common or just harder to find in good condition or with all their pieces.

Quite a few of the toys and books we sell are really not that old. People just want to buy them.


Myth #4 — All old items are worth something

Records are making a comeback. You can find lots of records at thrift stores, but the majority of them are worthless.

Once again, you really need to look at what is actually selling. Look to see what people are interested in, and as far as records go, condition is everything. A great record with a mint cover isn’t worth a lot if it has a big scratch on it.


Myth #5 — I paid a lot for my collection so it must sell on eBay

I have had people want to sell me their sports collections or some other collection that they have put together over many years. They don’t want to sell on eBay, so they ask me to buy it from them at a lower cost or to sell it and split the money.

They assume since they paid a lot, it is worth a lot. This is so not true. Most of the time, no one is buying any of the items in their collection.

Just because they paid a lot of money for items doesn’t make them worth anything.


Myth #6 — An item used to sell like “hotcakes” so it must be worth something

Many people were into Beanie Babies in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. At one time, certain ones were worth a lot of money. This is no longer true.

Some items come and go. Before you buy previously popular items, check to see if people are still buying them. The market changes a lot.


Myth #7 — Someone was asking “x” number of dollars so that must be what my item is worth

Never look at what people are asking for their item. You can put any price that you want on your item when you list it. That doesn’t mean anyone will pay that much for it.

It is better to do an advanced search and see what people have actually paid for the item you have.


Myth #8 — My item is worth the same as another item that is in better condition

When buying an item, a person will pay more for it if it is in better condition, unused, with a box, never opened, etc.

An example would be: a Harry Potter paperback book is at the bottom of the price range. When you change to a hard cover, add a dust jacket, make it a first edition, add a J.K. Rowling autograph, then the price goes up and up.

Don’t compare what you have with a better version and expect to have the same value.


Myth #9 — Everyone is getting “x” number of dollars for their item so I will too

There are a lot of variables that go into selling:

  • fluctuating prices
  • sometimes there are many bidders
  • sometimes there are no bidders
  • the time of the year matters
  • how many of the same item are listed at the same time as yours
  • is it complete?
  • etc.

I can list the exact same item three times in one month and get three totally different prices. Nothing is ever guaranteed.


Do you still have questions about how eBay selling works?

Comment your questions down below! Also, check out some of our other eBay posts that might be helpful to you:


Get started selling on eBay

If you would like to start selling on eBay, you can sign up and set up your account here.


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9 Myths About How eBay Selling Works

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