Create an eBay account and learn selling tips and features, including
PayPal, computer requirements, and shipping. An email account and
basic computer experience are required.
Learn a little eBay History
Where is eBay
What are the eBay Categories?
Items that are prohibited from sale on eBay
Unusual items that have sold on eBay
eBay Rules of Conduct
How to Join eBay
How to Search eBay
Understanding Search Results
How to Place a bid
Selling on eBay
List an Item for Sale on eBay
What to do after the Sale
eBay Help & eBay University
What is eBay?
eBay is an online auction.
“With more than 90 million active users globally, eBay is the
world's largest online marketplace, where practically anyone
can buy and sell practically anything. Founded in 1995, eBay
connects a diverse and passionate community of individual
buyers and sellers, as well as small businesses. Their collective
impact on e-commerce is staggering: In 2009, the total worth
of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.”
Some eBay History
"What I wanted to do was create an efficient market, where regular
people could compete with big business ... it was a little bit of an
eBay began on Labor Day weekend in 1995 when computer
programmer Pierre Omidyar created an online auction program.
“eBay is a remarkably efficient market created by connecting
individuals who wouldn't otherwise be connected. It was the world's
first example of online social networking.”
In 2002, eBay bought PayPal, an online payment website.
“With more than 81 million active registered accounts worldwide,
PayPal has made it possible for people to pay and get paid online
across different locations, currencies, and languages. ...Having built a
single global payments engine that has some of the best risk and
fraud detection capabilities in the payments industry, PayPal
continues to be one of the leading ways to pay online. Today, PayPal
is available in 190 markets, 24 currencies, and is accepted by millions
of online merchants around the world.”
eBay purchased Shopping.com, StubHub, and Bill Me Later.
Ann Arbor District Library 1
Where is eBay?
You can find eBay on the internet using your internet browser such as
Internet Explorer, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox.
1. Open your browser and go to www.ebay.com.
How is eBay different than Craigslist?
• Craigslist does not offer buyer/seller protection like eBay.
• Craigslist does not offer a feedback feature, where good behaviors
are recorded and rewarded.
• Craigslist does not have a way that small sellers can receive
payments using credit card. (eBay has PayPal)
eBay is a place to buy and sell items.
A. Already have an eBay account? Click here to sign in.
B. Need an eBay account? Click here to register.
C. Want to search? Click here and type a keyword then press the
enter key on the keyboard or click on the Search button.
D. Click on My eBay to check the status of items you buy and
Ann Arbor District Library 2
• Business & Industrial
• Camera & Photo
• Cell Phones & PDAs
• Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
• Coins & Paper Money
• Computers & Networking
• Dolls & Bears
• DVDs & Movies
• eBay Motors
• Entertainment Memorabilia
• Gift Certificates
• Health & Beauty
• Home & Garden
• Jewelry & Watches
• Musical Instruments
• Pet Supplies
• Pottery & Glass
• Real Estate
• Specialty Services
• Sporting Goods
• Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop
• Toys & Hobbies
• Video Games
• Everything Else
Ann Arbor District Library 3
• Human Parts
• Live Animals (some exceptions)
• Lottery Tickets
• and much more
Unusual items that have sold on eBay
• a leftover brussels sprout
• a cereal bar that resembled E.T.
• a corn flake
• an aircraft carrier
• Bridgeville, California
• legal rights name an unborn child
• a few tablespoons of water from a cup from which Elvis Presley
drank in 1977
eBay Conduct Rules
• You must be 18 years or older
• You cannot use an identity other than your own.
• You must have an email address
• Don't interfere with the eBay web site in any way.
• Don't use profanity on the web site.
• Don't use your account if it is suspended by eBay
• Don't make offers to buy or sell something that is for sale on eBay
outside of eBay
• Don't post want ads, instead, use the Want It Now section of eBay
• Don't falsely report on another eBay member
Ann Arbor District Library 4
1. Go to www.ebay.com
2. Click on Register
3. Enter the following data: Use the tab key to move from field to
◦ First Name
◦ Last Name
◦ Street Address
◦ Primary Phone
◦ Email Address
◦ Re-enter Email
4. Create an eBay user ID for yourself (for example, Joanknitsalot,
or Joan_Knits_Stuff) The user ID is the name you use to identify
Ann Arbor District Library 5
yourself on eBay.
◦ Your user ID must be unique, in other words, if someone else is
already using your preferred user ID, you must create another
◦ You do not have to use your real name for your user ID. Other
users won't be able to see your real name and other personal
information unless you want them too.
◦ Use an ID that you'll remember.
◦ Your user ID must be more than 4 characters long.
◦ You can communicate information about your business or
product in your user ID
◦ The user ID may not contain:
▪ email address
▪ two underscores next to one another
▪ underscore at the beginning of the user ID
▪ the word eBay
5. Click on the Check
6. Create a password
◦ 6 characters or more
◦ Use two of the
▪ uppercase or
lower case letters
(A-Z or a-z),
▪ numbers (0-9)
▪ special characters
◦ Do not make your
password the same as your eBay user ID, email address.
◦ Don't create a password that is too hard for you to remember
◦ Don't create a password that is easy to guess
◦ Don't give away your password
Ann Arbor District Library 6
◦ Don't use the same password for multiple internet accounts
7. Click on the drop-down arrow and select a secret question
8. Type your secret answer
9. Enter your date of birth
10. Enter the verification
11. Click on the checkbox
next to I agree.
12. Click on the blue
13. Follow directions.
Ann Arbor District Library 7
1. Go to www.ebay.com
2. Click in the search box.
3. Enter a keyword such as the manufacturer name
4. Select a category
5. Click the Search button
In the example above, we know the name of the manufacturer, Cyrano,
and we want to search for all items in the category of Jewelry &
Watches that use the word Cyrano in the title or description.
Search & Research Tips
As a buyer, you’ll want to search eBay for items and as a seller, you’ll
use eBay search to perform research before listing your item.
1. Use more than one keyword, the more keywords you use, the more
precise your search results will be.
• Product Name
• Manufacturer / Brand
• Model Name / Number
Example: Watch Swiss Lady Black
Ann Arbor District Library 8
2. Use keywords that mean the same thing as the thing you are
• If you are looking for a blouse, you may want to use the words
blouse and shirt
• If you are looking for something that may be sometimes be
abbreviated, you may want to use both the full name and the
abbreviation in the search; USB or Universal Serial Bus
Example: DVR Digital Video Recorder
3. You don't have to use proper capitalization, it doesn't matter.
Example: it’s a wonderful life dvd
4. If there a couple of different ways the item could be listed, use
Example: (DVD,VHS) Cinderella, this search means you are looking
for DVD or VHS AND Cinderella. You'll get back results for DVD
Cinderella and VHS Cinderella
5. Use a minus sign to exclude a word from the results.
If you don't want movies that are VHS you could add -VHS to the
search DVD Cinderella -VHS
If you have more than one word you want to exclude, use this -(VHS,
6. If there are several options for the start or end of a word, you can
use an asterisk.
Example: the color could be listed as Green, Green-grey, or Green-blue,
Ann Arbor District Library 9
7. If you know that the item is listed exactly as “Big Red Dog Pillow” use
quotation marks for your search with the exact words. “Big Red Dog
Understanding the Search Results
eBay will tell you how many items match the keyword(s) you entered.
You see summary information and have the option to sort by auction
type or fixed price (otherwise known as Buy it Now)
A. Click on the blue link next to an item:
• seller rating and ask the seller a question
• other pictures of the item
• place a bid on the item or watch the item
• payment options
B. Click on Auctions Only or Buy It Now (also known as Fixed Price) to
view search results.
Time Left = number of days, hours, and minutes left in the auction.
If the item is a Buy It Now item, someone can buy the item before the
end of the auction.
Ann Arbor District Library 10
To the left of the search results, you can refine the search:
• Buying Format (Auction, Buy It Now)
Completed Listings & Research
As a seller, you’ll want to use Completed
Listings when researching price your item goes
for, if there are any recent sales, and the
method used to sell the item.
Ann Arbor District Library 11
The Basics of an eBay Listing
Move your mouse over the thumbnail images below the large image to
see the other photos.
Look at the item condition, the time left, the number of bids, the
current bid, and the Shipping and Handling costs.
Scroll down the page to see the listing details and more photos.
Click on Shipping and payments to see the shipping costs and payment
How to Place a Bid
1. Sign in to eBay.
2. Type your bid amount.
3. Click on Place Bid
Ann Arbor District Library 12
How do I keep track of items I'm interested in?
If you are interested in an item, you can click on “Watch this item”.
1. Sign in
2. Click on My eBay to see the items you are watching.
Ann Arbor District Library 13
Are you sure you want to bid on the item?
A few considerations before you place a bid on an item.
• What does the item description say about the item?
• Is the item description poor?
• Does the item have a picture? What condition is the item in?
• Are other people bidding on the item?
• What is the seller feedback? Did any past buyer leave negative
feedback about the seller. To see the feedback for a seller, click
on the number in parentheses next to the seller user ID.
Look at the Feedback about the Seller
On the right-hand side of a listing you can see the
seller information such as the percent of positive
feedback and what color of star they have.
Buyers only have two options for leaving feedback
about a seller, positive or no feedback at all.
What the seller stars mean:
The star color indicates the number of times the seller has been rated,
loosely translates to how many transactions the seller has completed.
Yellow star = 10 to 49
Blue star = 50 to 99
Turquoise star = 100 to 499
Purple star = 500 to 999
Red star = 1,000 to 4,999
Green star = 5,000 to 9,999
Yellow shooting star = 10,000 to 24,999
Turquoise shooting star = 25,000 to 49,999
Purple shooting star = 50,000 to 99,999
Red shooting star = 100,000 to 499,000
Green shooting star = 500,000 to 999,999
Silver shooting star = 1,000,000 +
Ann Arbor District Library 14
Research before you Bid
How do I know the average price paid for an item like the one I'm
1. Perform a search using the same or similar
2. Click on Completed Listings
3. Scroll through the green listings to see the
average price the item is going for.
4. The red prices indicate that the item is still for
What are the Auction Bidding Increments?
Current Bid Increment
under $1 0.05
$1 to $5 0.5
$25 to $100 $1.00
$100 to $250 $2.50
Can I Bid on my Own Item?
You can, but eBay will most likely detect that your computer was used
to bid on an item that you are selling. So the answer is No.
Can I cancel my Bid?
Canceling a bid is called retracting a bid. You can't retract your bid
because you changed your mind but if you've made a mistake entering
the bid you can use the Bid Retraction Form.
eBay has an automatic bidding system that will re-bid for you every
time a competing bid outbids your bid. You enter the maximum amount
you are willing to pay for the item.
Ann Arbor District Library 15
When should you bid?
Some people believe that bidding too early attracts attention to the
What is Sniping?
Sniping is a bidding strategy, and refers to people who are interested in
an item, watch the item without bidding and then during the last 3
seconds of bidding, bid the winning bid.
Selling on eBay
If you want to sell on eBay, you need to create a seller's account.
There is no change to setup a seller's account but there are fees to sell
your items on eBay.
The two major types of selling fees are:
1. Insertion Fees (to list your item)
2. Final Value Fees (after the sale of your item)
To learn more about eBay fees, go to:
There are other fees, like the listing upgrade fees, but those are
optional and not used by the average seller.
Create a Seller account
1. Register with eBay
2. Create a seller's account: Login and
click on Sell.
◦ verify your identity (provide an email address and click on the
link in the email sent to you)
◦ how you'll pay the seller fees (credit card, pay pal, bank
◦ which payment methods you'll accept (pay pal, etc.)
Ann Arbor District Library 16
Verify your identity
eBay asks that you provide your credit card, debit card or checking
account information to verify your identity. If you are uncomfortable
providing this type of information there is another verification option
called ID Verify.
• Credit Card: You won't be charged unless you authorize eBay to
charge your credit card to pay your seller fees.
• Debit Card: Visa and MasterCard only
• Checking Account: Used for identification only and you won't be
charged unless you authorize eBay to remove funds from your
checking account to pay your seller fees. You use the tracking and
routing numbers on the bottom of your checks.
What payment methods will you accept from buyers?
• Checkout, A pay now button will appear after your listing
encouraging the buyer to pay for the item.
• Internet Merchant Account: Accept credit or debit cards using
• Other payment methods include: ProPay, Moneybookers, and
Things to Consider Before Listing an Item on eBay
There are several steps for listing an item on eBay. You want to make
sure that you consider the following before you start the listing process:
• Is the item you want to sell prohibited?
• What is a fair price for the item? On average, what is the selling
amount for this item on eBay?
• What type of sale do you want? 7-day Auction, Buy It Now, Fixed
Price, Benefit for a Non-Profit, etc.
• How is the item to be shipped? How much does the item weigh?
A buyer may be more interested in buying your item if they know
the shipping costs. Package, weigh, and measure your item in
order to use the calculated shipping option
Ann Arbor District Library 17
• Is the item too fragile to ship?
• Will you have the time at the end of the auction to package and
ship the item if it sells? For example, if you count ahead and
realize that you'll be out of town when the auction ends you may
want to hold on listing the item or extend the auction from 7 to 10
• Do you have digital photos of the item? Is the item clearly
displayed in the photos?
• Will you be available to answer questions about the item over the
next several days? For example, if you are going to be on
vacation, it may be best to list the item when you return.
Select a Category
1. Click on the
next to the
2. Click on the
of the page.
Ann Arbor District Library 18
Choose a Listing Style:
There are a few selling formats, with different fees.
Let's use Keep
this is what
Create a title:
• A title can be up to 55 characters long
• Use multiple keywords
• Include brand, author, designer, or artist names
• Include size and color
• Don't use all caps, or use lots of acronyms, or use a sentence
eBay does not allow titles that are:
• Not a clear description or explanation of an item
• Contain addresses such as website, email or phone numbers
• Contain profane or obscene language.
Ann Arbor District Library 19
Taking Photos with Your Digital Camera
Here are some tips to remember when taking photos of your item for
• Use the small size setting so your photos are easier to upload and
view. Look in picture options or shooting menu to find image size.
• Don’t use the flash
• Clean up the area where you are taking the picture so the surfaces
and background look clean and free of clutter
• Take a few pictures of the item at various angles
• Get as much natural light as possible
• Make sure that the picture is attractive
• When taking close ups, use the Macro setting on the camera,
usually represented by the flower or tulip symbol.
• Use a tripod
• Turn on anti-shake or image stabilization setting if needed
Editing your Photos with Photo Management Software
You may need to know how to do one or more of the following activities
with your photos using photo management software.
Examples of photo management software:
• Picasa (Free web-based or local client photo management software
available from Google.com, Google account required)
• iPhoto (on Macs)
• Flickr (Free web-based photo management software available from
Yahoo.com, Yahoo account required)
• Adobe Photoshop Elements (Costly, not for beginners)
• Irfanview (Free software on the web irfanview.com)
• Paint.net (Free pc software for photo editing)
• Some of the digital cameras come with photo management
software you can install onto your computer.
The type of photo adjustments you may need to perform:
• Crop – remove parts of the picture
• Rotate – tilt or rotate the picture to the left or right
• Adjust Color, Contrast or Brightness
• Adjust the size – Look for tools called Image Size, or Resize. You
can control how large the image is by changing the pixel count.
Ann Arbor District Library 20
What is an Ideal Photo Size?
The ideal photo size for use on eBay listings is around 30 to 100 KB per
How do I Transfer Photos to a Computer?
• Use the USB cable that came with the camera to connect the
camera to the computer and transfer the files from the camera to
the computer. The files will be saved into the photo management
software program files. Be sure to notice where the files are saved
so that you can find them later on.
• Remove the memory card from the camera and insert it into a card
reader that is connected to the computer.
• Some businesses will create a photo CD for you using your camera
memory card. You can insert the photo CD into the CD drive of
your computer to use the images with eBay.
Add a photo to an eBay Listing
1. Click Add a Photo
2. Click Browse
3. Locate the photo on your computer
4. Click Upload
Ann Arbor District Library 21
Adding an Item Description:
You’ll be asked to describe the item that you are selling. Some of the
options that appear in this window are determined by the category that
Description: Things to consider:
• How old is it? What year was it made?
Ann Arbor District Library 22
• What material is the item made out of?
• Any defects? Flaws? Repairs needed?
• Is it in good condition? Has it been used? If so, for how long?
• How big is it? What are the dimensions or measurements?
• Is there a personal story for this item? Does this item have a
• What do you like about the item?
• How did you get the item?
• Why is it a good idea for someone to buy your item?
• Payment and shipping details
Setting a Price and Shipping Details
Using your research, determine the following:
• What type of auction, 6 or 10 days?
• Do you want to add a fixed price option (Buy It Now)
Weigh your item in the packaging to determine the shipping cost.
Ann Arbor District Library 23
Decide How Buyers will Pay You
For example, if you use Pay Pal for buying, you can enter the email
address you use with Pay Pal here.
Make sure the email address you
use with eBay is the same as the
email address you use with
For more information on PayPal, go to
Review your listing and see the total listing fee:
eBay has a
items sorted by
Brand, Model, UPC, ISBN, etc. You can use eBay's product details to
boost your item description. It's free. and your listing will be easier for
buyers to find.
• When you create a listing, and after you select the category of
your item you'll be asked if you'd like to use product details.
Ann Arbor District Library 24
Creating a PayPal Account
We won't provide all of the steps for creating a PayPal account in this
handout but here are a few pointers for the process:
When creating your PayPal account you'll be asked to verify your
identity, one method is to enter your phone number.
You have to provide a credit card or some method by which you agree
to pay selling fees.
Ann Arbor District Library 25
PayPal will ask you if you want to be Verified.
You don’t have to be Verified to use PayPal but some eBay users may
prefer to do business with verified members. Verified means that you
have done one of two things:
• you have provided your bank account information to eBay or
• you have a PayPal Plus Credit Card.
See the information below.
For more information about getting verified, go to:
Ann Arbor District Library 26
Watching and Working your Listing
When you have your listing up and running, you can check it to see how
the bidding is going.
• Sign In
• Click on the Sell in My eBay.
In My eBay you can also:
• Set notification, payment, shipping and more preferences
• See messages from other members, potential buyers
After the Sale
The way you handle these last steps will impact your eBay feedback and
Communicate with your buyer using the eBay message system:
• In preferences, you can turn on and off a checkout option. If
checkout is turned on, you’ll get an email that the buyer has
finished the transaction. If you don’t use checkout, you may want
to send the buyer an email.
• If you didn’t specify the shipping costs in the listing you’ll have to
figure out the shipping costs and send them to the buyer or you
Ann Arbor District Library 27
may receive an email from the buyer asking for the shipping cost.
• Don’t ship the item until PayPal shows that the payment has been
• Double-check the buyer address and ship the item, package the
item well and include a return address.
• Ship the item as promised, (within 3 days). Communicate to the
buyer when the item has been shipped and add a tracking number
to the eBay transaction if available.
• Leave buyer feedback
Typical After Sale Messages
Check your messages after a sale. The messages contain links to help
you communicate with your buyer, add tracking information, etc. You
can have these types of messages sent to another email address, check
in your account settings.
Ann Arbor District Library 28
Ann Arbor District Library 29
My eBay Reminders
eBay will remind you about things you may want to do, such as leaving
eBay has an option for you to purchase and print shipping labels using
Ann Arbor District Library 30
Leave Feedback for Buyer
Sellers are not allowed to
leave negative feedback
for buyers. Sellers have
two choices, to leave
positive feedback, or to
leave no feedback at all.
Ann Arbor District Library 31
Insertion fees depend on the sale type: Auction vs. Fixed Type.
For a complete list of Fees for selling on eBay go to:
Auction Insertion Fees
Starting or reserve price Books, DVDs & Movies, Other
Music, Video Games
$0.01 - $0.99 $0.10 $0.15
$1.00 - $9.99 $0.25 $0.35
$10.00 - $24.99 $0.35 $0.55
$25.00 - $49.99 $1.00 $1.00
$50.00 - $199.99 $2.00 $2.00
$200.00 - $499.99 $3.00 $3.00
Ann Arbor District Library 32
Final Value Fees for Auctions
Closing price Final value fee
Item not sold No fee
$0.01 - $25.00** 8.75% of the closing value
$25.01- $1,000.00 8.75% of the initial $25.00 ($2.19),
plus 3.50% of the remaining closing
value balance($25.01 - $1,000.00)
Equal to or Over 8.75% of the initial $25.00 ($2.19),
$1000.01 plus 3.50% of the initial $25.01 -
$1,000.00 ($34.12), plus 1.50% of
the remaining closing value
balance($1000.01 - closing value)
Ann Arbor District Library 33
eBay University Learning Center
Carol Kamm, owner of I Sold It http://877isoldit.com/
and eBay education specialist gave a presentation at the library. Go
here to see her video:
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to eBay 658.87 McG
A guide to the online auction site provides a close-up look at the
latest features of eBay, as well as practical tips on how to set up an
account; how to buy, sell, and bid; how protect one's transactions;
and how to find the best deals.
eBay for Dummies 004.67 Co
Getting a feel for eBay -- Buying like an expert -- Making money the
eBay way -- Even more of eBay's special features -- The part of tens.
Selling Online 2.0 : Migrating From EBay To Amazon, Craigslist,
And Your Own E-commerce Website 658.872 Mi
Beyond online auctions: creating a successful online business --
Fixed-price selling on eBay -- Selling via craigslist online classifieds --
Selling on the Amazon marketplace -- Selling on your own website.
Ann Arbor District Library 34