Ebay; Your Shopping Universe or Nightmare?

Ebay; Your Shopping Universe or Nightmare?

90 million active users. 30 million live listings in the UK. 17.7 million unique visitors to the website each month. 160,000 registered businesses. If you’ve never used it before, you can be forgiven for feeling a little intimidated. Ebay is the first port of call for many people who’ve stuff to get rid of. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or not, “Just uncovered some stuff in the cellar, eh? Ebay it!” But, for the novices amongst you, where do you begin? Is it as easy to Ebay all that stuff from the cellar as everyone makes out? Well, once again, House Elf has come up with a few tips to get you out of the cellar and online to each of those 90 million users worldwide.


Step 1 – Choose your weapons of choice

The initial temptation for everyone is to put things on Ebay. Regardless of what it is, they just Ebay away. Firstly, be selective. Ebay charges insertion fees for the majority of their items and, whilst they are by no means expensive, if you are selling several items, the costs can shoot up. Take a look on Ebay and see if other people are selling similar (or the same) items. If not, ask yourself why. If they are, how much are they selling them for? Would you be happy to sell them for that amount? If not, don’t bother. Waste of time and money.

Step 2 – Time to channel Testino and Bailey

Once you’ve chosen your items, the photos need to be good. Vogue airbrushing isn’t quite necessary, but as long as there is plenty of good light, there are no distractions in shot and you take extra snaps of damaged or interesting areas, you should be fine. Always good to let buyers know that, if they require extra photos, you will be willing to send more over as you can only upload 4 at a time.

Step 3 – Upload me up, Scotty!

So, you have your items chosen and you’ve got the photos sorted. Great. Now, all you have to do is upload them. When describing, ebay has some great tips and tools to help you sell things. My advice; DON’T LIE! Be as honest as you can be without underselling your item. When I first started ebaying, I cannot count the amount of times me or Mr. House Elf heard “Well, that’s not how you described it online!” or “You said it was in excellent condition!”. Ebay is the ‘go-to’ website for cheaper items, but it is a sad fact that some people just want a cheap item even cheaper. Be careful using ‘excessive adjectives’ such as “excellent”, “incredible”, etc. If the item is brand new or never used/seen for however long, fine, but just be careful. It would be sod’s law for you to deal with one of those people who just want to save another pound or two. Remember to say why you’re selling, any damaged areas and its overall condition.

Step 4 – RSVP!

If you have a Smartphone, download the Ebay app. It is very helpful when keeping in touch with potential buyers and seeing how the item is doing. Messages from buyers will come through to this app and allows you to respond straight away. I think it is best to reply ASAP. Otherwise, you run the risk of forgetting and losing out on a buyer and a bid. People are always super grateful for speedy responses, which then puts you in good stead. If you don’t have a Smartphone, try to stay as in touch with your messages as possible.

Step 5 – Saying goodbye!

If you have said on your description that you will post within 5 days, then make the time to post within 5 days. People don’t like to be kept waiting and you run the risk of getting negative feedback on your profile if you do. It may be best to sell these items when you know you will have some time in the week to post them. If people are collecting, keep in contact with the successful bidder.

Bill Cobb of eBay North America


If you follow these steps, you should be absolutely fine, however, if you don’t have the time (or even the inclination) to do this, don’t worry, there’s a House Elf waiting to help! We can come to your home, take some snaps/info, upload them to ebay and deal with all the questions. We can even arrange delivery and/or collection of your items if need be too! From as little as £10 per hour, we can do all these jobs and more without you lifting a finger. For more information or to make a booking, call us today on 020 8265 8705, email info@houseelf.co.uk or simply make a booking online via our Book an Elf page!