If you ask anyone who sells on eBay they can give you a list of their ‘tools of the trade’ or favorite products to enhance their selling experience. Each individuals list will look a little different but there are some core products or tools that most sellers prefer.
Here are a few of the necessary tools required of eBay sellers:
- Computer with internet access. This can be your average home pc, laptop, tablet or even just your smartphone.
- Digital Camera. I think you can actually get away with listing items for sale without an image, but the likelihood of selling that item is certainly low. A fancy DSLR camera is not necessary. Your basic digital camera or even just your smartphone camera will work just fine, especially if you are just starting out.
- Paypal Account. If you want to sell on eBay than you will have to sign up for a Paypal account. You do want to collect the money you have earned, right? Paypal is free to sign up for but they do charge you a fee for most transactions.
- Packing Supplies. Most of the items sold on eBay are physical ones that will require shipping. The USPS offers free boxes of all shapes and size when you ship Priority mail. Priority mailwill be required for packages weighing 14 ounces or more. You may find a few varieties of the free Priority shipping boxes at your local post office, but there are several more available to order free from their website. You have boxes and envelopes where the cost varies depending on the cost and destination, and there are also flat rate boxes and envelopes that will cost the same amount to ship with (no matter the weight) as long as the item fits into it securely.
Small and lightweight items weighing 13 ounces or less can be shipped via First Class mail for a lower cost, usually between $2-$4. You will need to provide your own shipping envelope or box when shipping First class. You can always recycle ones you may already have at home if possible.
If you do want to spend a small investment for mailing supplies I have a few suggestions:
Those of you who already have the basics covered and are looking to invest more into your business, I would suggest investing in these areas:
- Photo Studio. An at-home photo studio or kit can be purchased for a reasonable cost and really improve the quality of your pictures. This will help to improve your sales. You can start with something basic like this Photo and Lighting Kit and eventually upgrade to this Photography Triple Lighting Kit.
- Laser Jet or Thermal Label Printer. If you are printing shipping labels at home (which saves you money with a discount through eBay) I would suggest getting a printer that is made for heavy printing use. A Laser Jet Printer like this Brother Compact Laser Printer is a great start. Upgrading to a Thermal Label printer like this Dymo LabelWriter is also a great option to consider. While both of these options will cost you more than a basic ink jet printer up front, they will save you from having to replace your ink every couple of weeks as well as remove the worry of possible ink-smudging if the labels get wet.
- Mannequin. Clothing makes up a large amount of items sold on eBay and are also some of the least expensive items for you to purchase for the purpose of reselling. If you choose to sell clothing on eBay I highly recommend that you invest in a mannequin of some sort to display your items. You can start out with an inexpensive Hanging Torso like this Male Torso Body and then upgrade to a full standing mannequin like this Dress Form one.
What other tools do you use with this eBay business? Have they helped you become more successful in your sales?