Never done eBay? Me neither.
I have always been a little wary of eBay. I think I’ve always assumed I’d be the person who buys the dud item or sells something to someone and then get scammed. I’m not sure why I was so pessimistic about it, in most other things I’m an optimist.
Nevertheless I have a house full of items that needed either donating, throwing out, or turning into cash. I have over the past 5 years of being here donated many thing to many charities and others, thrown out some things, and so now it is time to try and third option. In thinking why should I do this I remembered that one man’s junk is another (wo)man’s treasure so thought I’d hopefully have some success.
STEP 1 - Register with eBay
First of I realized I would likely need an account so I proceeded to eBay and clicked on register and got to the link above. It’s pretty straightforward, I think picking the name is the hardest thing. I would not recommend using your real name as your username just because it identifies you a little easier and anonymity is your friend for things like this.
After you have created your account it will send you an email to check you really are a human being and not a bot trying to make a mess of things.
STEP 2 - PayPal Account
When you have registered you’ll also want to create a PayPal account. Again this is something I’ve not wanted to do either. Mainly because I have had no need and also because the fewer places online that have any information about my finances the better.
The advantage to PayPal is that it is well known and established, it is not some recently created, naive starter company that will be hacked within the next month. It knows what it is doing (we hope) so I do feel very safe setting up an account here. Essentially what I can deduce (please someone correct me if I am wrong) is that PayPal does is set up a buffer zone between your finances and your transactions.
- I buy something on eBay and charge it to my PayPal (PP) account.
- If there is not enough money in my account it withdraws it from the financial location I provided it with. You generally only have money in your PP account if you have transferred it in or you have sold something and not taken the money out of your PP account and put it into your bank account.
This makes it safer because when you have dealings with people you never provide them with any of your personal banking details (checking, savings, credit, etc.) just your PayPal. PP also offers other protective things too, as does eBay. Which can be found here (eBay) and here (PP). You do not have to use PayPal but it does seem prudent to do so. You may be saying where’s the catch? And if you did good on you, very little in life is free. I’ll explain costs later.
When you have filled in your information at some point in the proceedings you will be asked to verify your details by receiving a phone call. What will happen is you’ll receive a phonecall, they’ll tell you a code, you put it in the website and then you’re good.
STEP 3 - Create a eBay Seller Account
You’ll have to be logged into your eBay account to start your seller account. Fill in the info, follow instructions and you should be fine.
STEP 4 - Do Things
By now you are ready to buy and sell things on eBay. Follow the links on the pages to get to where you want to. My eBay in the top right will get you to your main page and the search bar in the upper right is similar to any other search bar you’ll find on Amazon, Yahoo or Google but only applies to eBay items. Good luck.
The first things you should be aware of are the costs. For buying there are no fees, for selling eBay fees are 9% of any sale you make (max $50) and there can be a posting cost and other nickel and dime fees, check the link for details. PayPal fees can also take between 1.9% - 2.9% + US$0.30 for money you get pad from a sale but take nothing from a purchase you make.
So when I sold my sofa for $150 on eBay (yes I was successful) I lost 11.9% + US$0.30 of the $150 to fees leaving me with $131.85. So being a little annoyed at this I decided to try Craigslist as I heard that this has no fees… (blog to follow)