Don’t be scared of eBay selling!

At this time of year you can literally hear Mums and Dads all over the country trying to weed out the unplayed with and broken toys and get rid of them without the children noticing. With some things a charity shop bag is the least effort but sometimes selling them second hand, particularly eBay selling can bring in a tidy sum of money. The biggest question is how to sell on eBay? This blog is the Toy Infinity guide to eBay selling! The pros and cons, plus a few sneaky little tips that might help you get a few pounds more. This guide applies all year round and not just at Christmas!

What to sell?

Branded toys always do well. What was your child’s craze last year might be someone elses this year. Make sure it’s clean, not broken, that the batteries haven’t leaked and ruined it, and look up the manufacturers blurb to add in extra details to your selling description. Use eBay searches to look for the  best selling items on eBay.

Good descriptions

Size and dimensions: make sure someone doesn’t get the wrong idea on size from your photos making an item seem larger than they are.

Any extras you have included that you would have to buy separately if buying new.

Point out any scratches or damage to try and avoid any item not as described disputes. Mention any small pieces that might be missing.

If you have the original box state that! Especially if it is in good condition. Original boxes and instructions mean more bids.

Good photos

Use a background sheet if necessary to hide any background clutter! Good clear photos on an item will get you more bids.

You get 12 free photos. Use them! Do close ups as well and photograph all angles.

Try not to use filters that might distort the colours of your item. What looks good on your screen can look totally different on a different specification computer screen. Reduce buyer errors by mentioning colours in the description you write as well.

Camera phone photos are fine, you don’t need state of the art equipment.

Obviously colour photos only!

How do you do it?

If you have the app or if you are using the desktop version the process is the same. I use the app on my iPad because there is no downloading of photos to be done to a different device so it saves time.

Choose the selling option, on the iPhone app it is the shopping tag at the bottom.

Click list an item

Write a good descriptive title. Include sizes, condition, what the item is and make sure it is all spelt correctly!

Choose your category, often the suggested categories are correct but double check that it does suit any bespoke or unusual items you might be selling.

Add your photos. This can take a short time to upload depending on your internet connection.

Choose the item condition. Be honest! Brand new with tags is not necessarily bought it and been shoved in a cupboard for five years.

Details: you can never add too much information here. The listings with one line descriptions never sell well.

Check the format and price carefully. Make sure you aren’t accidentally listing a Buy it Now instead of an auction.

Postage cost: EBay now enters a suggested postage price automatically, it only includes the Royal Mail cost with no extra cost for packaging items. You can alter it to your own cost. Check the international postage option carefully! This is automatically activated but you can turn it off.

Payment: you can now turn PayPal off for collection only items thankfully. Never accept PayPal for collection items! It leaves you open to the well known item not delivered scam. PayPal has its critics but it’s the only method of payment with some seller protection on eBay for posted items.

Fees: check the fees before you list, eBay tell you what they will be. Be mindful that accepting PayPal also has a fee so take this into account when choosing your selling price.

My tips and tricks for selling

  • Get proof of postage if you aren’t sending recorded delivery. You can claim for missing items from Royal Mail although you don’t always get more than a book of stamps though.
  • Search sold items to look at what your items have been selling at recently. This works best on the eBay desktop version.
  • For popular items save selling fees by listing at 99p; otherwise list for the price you would be happy to get.
  • For any high value item use recorded delivery! Enter the delivery code into your listing for the buyer after you have posted it.
  • Sell your toys and popular gift items in late November/early December for the most profit.
  • Don’t chase for feedback! It is annoying to buyers and not necessary.
  • Any disputes a buyer opens use the eBay message system and be polite, however annoyed you might be. Small things like entering the item tracking number can prevent not received disputes and clear descriptions and photos of any scuffs or damage help minimise not as described.

My tips and tricks for buying (couldn’t leave it out)

  • Use Goofbid (, link up your eBay account and take advantage of the auction snipe facility to place automatic bids seconds before the end and increase your chance of winning.
  • Search for mis-spelled item listings on Goofbid. These sell for a fraction of the price of correctly spelt and searchable listings.
  • Decide your budget (including postage) and stick to it.
  • Watching items is a great way of remembering where they are and seeing what is selling.
  • In December you pay more for items on certain categories like toys! Buy early and save money.
  • Check you are buying from a UK seller; super cheap can often be shipping from China and Hong Kong with a very long wait.

Take the leap and try eBay selling (and buying). I often make a few hundred pounds by selling the perfectly good things I don’t need anymore. Good luck!