How to set up a business on eBay – the basics

Plenty of people choose to sell some of their possessions on eBay, or to deal in items bought especially for resale on the internet auction site.

If you want to join them, there are a few things to consider that will help you to gain a positive reputation quickly, and to sell your goods with fewer hitches.

Creating Your Account

It’s actually quick and easy to create a verified seller account on eBay – simply follow the registration process on the site, and verify your identity using your bank account or credit/debit card details, or by telephone.

You’ll need to choose your own payment method for your item listing fees, and which payment methods you want to accept from buyers.

If you want to use PayPal to make or accept payments, you may also want to verify your identity on PayPal, to remove the withdrawal and deposit restrictions that are applied to new, unverified accounts for security purposes.

Listing Items

You can insert items into eBay’s listings simply by clicking the ‘Sell’ button, which is at the top of your screen on almost any page on eBay, and following the instructions.

However, eBay’s own guidance suggests doing a bit of background reading first, to make sure your item description and choice of category is spot-on.

If you’re not sure, search for similar products and see which categories they’re listed in and how they are described, and then do your best to write a compelling product description of your own.

As you become more experienced – and particularly if you have a large number of similar or related items to list – you might want to create an eBay Shop.

These are best used by sellers who have already got a good grasp on the basics of listing items, and bring together all of your listings into a single place, which gives you a page that you can promote elsewhere online if you wish.

Postage and Packing

Remember that, once you’ve sold your item, you need to find a way to get it to your buyer.

With some very large items, it’s common to see ‘collection only’ conditions applied – this includes the biggest things like cars.

However, for smaller goods, you might want to check postage costs beforehand, or state that the buyer will need to pay the delivery costs to their chosen address.


Feedback is one of the conventions of eBay, and leaving prompt, positive feedback for your buyers will encourage them to do the same for you – just be sure that they have paid in full before you sing their praises on their profile page, as feedback is almost impossible to change later on.

If something goes wrong and you get negative feedback, don’t panic – it’s a chance to learn for the future, and as long as you do your best to be a good seller, the negatives should be few and far between, leaving you with a substantial overall positive rating as time goes on.

Bytestart Limited

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