How to make money on eBay?

The Internet has brought comfort to our doorsteps and made everything a lot easier. Whatever your problem is one search on the web and you get your solution. It has become a platform for connecting and interacting with a large fraction of people at the same time without much effort or costs associated with it. On this note, if someone is looking to make some extra money with a side hustle and wants to reach a maximum audience then online is the best way to go.

While we are on the topic of making money online, you will find quite a few strategies on the web, which will provide you with the information you need to know, making you aware of the opportunities you have and different ways you can adopt to earn money easily, depending on your skills, needs, and ideas.

One of the most effortless ways to earn money online with little to no investment is by selling products online. These products can be the used items that are lying around a corner of your room or the customized items you make in your free time or the things you buy from a buyer and re-sell them. There are plenty of e-commerce sites that allow you to do this. eBay is one of the most preferred sites to earn money by selling products online.

Why eBay??

Before going into the details of how to make money on eBay, let’s dive in and get ourselves familiar with what eBay is and why to choose eBay as a platform to make money. eBay is an American multinational e-commerce corporation which is spread across 32 countries by 2019.  It has over 182 million buyers all over the world and on any given day there are 1.3 billion product listings on the website approximately. 

eBay was founded on September 3rd, 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and became successful over the years and now it is a multibillion-dollar business empire spread across the world. eBay headquarters are located in San Jose, California, United States of America. Their website facilitates consumer-to-consumer sales and also business-to-consumer sales.

When Pierre Omidyar founded it in 1995, he initially named it as AuctionWeb. AuctionWeb was merely a hobby for him until he was informed by his internet service provider that he would need to upgrade his website due to high traffic on the website, which is when he started charging the sellers. Soon AuctionWeb became the first online auction site to allow person-to-person transactions. AuctionWeb officially changed its name to eBay in the month of September 1997 after Omidyar’s consulting firm Echo Bay Technology Group.

How to make money on eBay?

If we have to categorize all the ways you can make money on eBay into two categories, we can divide them into 

Making money by

  1.  Selling products on eBay
  2. Without selling products on eBay

Selling Products on  eBay

Types of sellers on eBay

You can find a wide variety of people selling things on eBay, they can roughly be categorized into the following categories.

Amateur sellers

These people are usually first time sellers and might be looking to sell the pre-used items at fixed prices.

Occasional sellers

These are the users that come up usually when they have something to sell, which mostly are the items lying around at their homes.

On the side sellers

These are the types of sellers who trade in their free time and scales it up when the business shows true expansion potential.


This group consists of the sellers who sell their drop shipped products on the eBay website.

Big time sellers

These are the professional sellers on eBay who have established businesses and a large customer base. This group typically works full time on their businesses on eBay.

Power sellers

This group consists of professional sellers who invest a lot of their time in purchasing, packing, shipping, and receiving goods and also managing auctions on eBay.  

Now that you are familiar with different types of sellers on eBay, let’s look at the different ways you can sell stuff on this website

Auction sales

We already know that eBay was initially called AuctionWeb, which was originally made as an online auction site. It increased its fame through the sales that are auction styled. You can make money on eBay by keeping your product on auction and selling it to the highest bidder. The auction process begins with the seller listing the item with an opening bid and the interested customers bid up the opening price, in the end, the bidder with the highest bid wins the auction.

The buyers mostly sort their searches from the lowest to the highest price, so keeping the opening price lower ( the minimum price you are willing to sell your product for so that you wouldn’t be at a loss) will help you catch the attention of the buyer and increase the chances of them bidding on your product.

The auction lasts from a day to 10 days depending on the number of days you choose for your listing to go live, if you are not in a hurry, you can choose the 10 day period. The longer the product is in auction more are the chances for it to reach maximum buyers, which helps you in getting higher bids.

Fixed Price/ Buy it now sales

As it is called the ‘Buy it Now’ sale, these sales unlike the auction sales have a fixed price. This selling method became part of the website later on when the company was expanding its business to other forms of selling along with auction styled sales. This method enables the buyer to buy the product on the spot with an instant buy option without having to wait, like in the auction sales. This makes buying and selling easier and quicker for those who don’t have the time or inclination to wait.

These listings can go live on eBay from 3 to 30 days at a time. Choosing the longest period will give you more chances of finding a potential buyer for your product.


Dropshippers are the sellers that purchase their products from suppliers or wholesalers and sell them on eBay for profit. If you are planning to be a drop shipper you should start off by finding a reliable supplier. Once you find a reliable supplier you are good to go, you can start off by listing your products on eBay. You can succeed in your dropshipping business by following a few marketing tips which can help you become a top-rated seller on eBay.

Without selling products on eBay

eBay’s affiliate program

Like all other affiliate programs, eBay’s affiliate program also provides an opportunity to earn commission by acting as a mediator between the seller and the buyer. The affiliate will get paid once the transaction is completed. To become a member of eBay’s affiliate program, you should have an official eBay account and should sign yourself up for free at the Commission Junction website. Once you join the program, eBay will provide you with the resources and materials you need to get started.

Your work as an affiliate mostly includes marketing and promoting the product, finding buyers, and connecting them with the sellers. You can make use of several marketing strategies like search engine optimization, classified ads, placing banners, etc to market the products.

As an affiliate marketer, you will get paid an amount of $0.05 for each time your affiliate link is used by a person to bid on an item on eBay in 30 days. And for each person that registers and places a bid on eBay through you within 30 days, you get paid an amount of $5.

Tips to sell better on eBay

No matter which type of seller you are, you need to follow a few instructions and tips in order to be successful in your business.

The first step you need to follow is to get familiar with eBay.

The first thing you need to do in this process is signing up for eBay. After you log in, before you become a seller on eBay, it helps you more if you buy something on the website and gain buyer experience, and build your profile in the process. While doing so, observe the kind of listings that attracted you and take note of the factors that made a particular listing more favourable than the others.

Another thing you need to focus on is your username, remember that this username will be the face of your business, and choosing the username which is more professional and simple can help you in gaining the confidence of the buyer.

Find products to sell

After you get familiar with the website, you can start off by finding things around you that you can sell. Look for anything that you have in your room which someone might be interested in buying. Like it is said, “your trash is someone’s treasure”. So how much ever useless they are to you there might be someone out there willing to buy that from you. After you find your product, research about the product and search for similar products on eBay and other e-commerce sites and fix a price for that. Give the product an appropriate title, description and start your journey as a seller by listing your first product on eBay.

Naming your listings

No matter how much ever better your product is compared to the other similar products if the title you gave to the product you’re selling is not properly framed you might miss out on a chance of reaching out to potential buyers. What you need is your product to appear in the search results or in the feed of the buyer.

While framing the listing title, it might help you if you think or imagine what keywords would you search for if you are looking for the same product. You can also take a look at the titles of other listings of similar products that have more biddings, to get an idea about the kind of words you should use in your title. Make sure that the title you give to the product is clear and descriptive.

Another important thing is to check the spelling of the keywords you used. Misspelling the keywords can result in your product listing getting lost on the website. Getting familiar with the common acronyms that are used on the website and using them in your title increases the chances of your listing being seen.

Product description

Apart from giving a title to your product, one more thing you can work on while describing your product is to make sure that the description you give about the product is clear, accurate and mentions all the details the buyer would want to know. Give as much information you know or could find about the product.

Include details like brand, type of product, dimensions of the item, colour, model, and any item specifications. Some buyers would also want to know the reason why you are selling the item and how often that particular product was used. Even after the buyer finds your listing on the website, if the description lacks the information that they need, the buyers would have to contact the seller to get that information, most buyers wouldn’t like to put that effort, instead, they might want to look for another listing with a clearer description.

Be honest in your description, if there is any defect in the product, mention it. If not the buyer would not be pleased when he finds out after receiving the package. This might lead them to give negative reviews, which compromises your profile’s trustworthiness.

Using High-Quality Pictures

eBay allows the users to upload 12 images per listing for free of cost. Using high-quality images can benefit you in many ways. It helps you in catching the eye of the buyer and also if the images are clear and accurate, it gives the buyer an idea of what to expect from the product which in turn leads to fewer returns of the shipment and more positive reviews. 

Pick a Niche

How many ever items you found at your home to sell, at some point you might run out of the items to sell. Picking a niche will help you run the business successfully and increases the probability of having a steady income.

To decide on which kind of products to sell you might want to check on your sales at home and see which items have sold well or if you have a hobby or any interest pertaining to specific kinds of objects. Once you decide on your product, start looking for the places you can buy them. If possible get your products from a drop shipper or a wholesaler in bulk and sell them piece by piece.

Some have a misconception that by picking a niche might miss out on a major fraction of buyers, but it isn’t, what you actually are doing is focussing your offers on specific kinds of customers who are willing to buy your products rather than selling random items to random people.

Time your listings

How much ever good your product is if you fail to time your listing, you might miss out on reaching greater buyers and more bids. Listing your product when the website has higher traffic lets you reach maximum customers who might be willing to buy your product. Think seasonally, see if your product would sell best at this particular time of the year if it does it’s great, list your product right away, if not wait a bit and choose the right time to list your item. For example, listing your fancy products in the month of October gets you more bids or a greater price since it’s the Halloween month.

Even in the regular times of the year, you should be conscious about when to post your listing and when to end your auction. If you are choosing a 10-day auction for your product, posting your listing on the evening of Thursday lets you reach maximum customers. Remember, always end your auctions on Sunday evenings or on the holidays if you want to reach more customers and get more bids. Listing the right product at the right time boosts your sales up in the right way.


eBay is one of the best options you can choose if you are looking to earn money online. It has over 182 million active users and provides its users with a lot of opportunities to earn money. Earning money on eBay can be simple and effortless if you get yourself familiar with the options you have and learn a few tips which help you in gaining success in your business. One main thing you should learn is to know your product and own it.

Before becoming a seller, be a buyer on eBay and look at things from the buyer’s perspective, take notes, use them while you list your product. Time your listing appropriately, don’t overlook minor things. Do your research, follow the tips and you are good to go.

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