How to sell your stuff on eBay

How to sell your stuff on eBay

Use eBay to sell your unwanted items and make a little money on the side

One of the simplest, most satisfying ways to make money online is by selling your unwanted things on eBay. It doesn't take long to list an item. eBay even helps you sort out postage and labelling when you need to send it to its new owners. As long as you have a couple of decent images of what you're selling and a clear description, you may well recover a significant proportion of its original price. The item won’t end up in landfill either. Remember, one person's junk is another one’s treasure! Here’s our step-by-step guide.

1. Register for eBay

Go to and click ‘Register’ in the top left corner. Enter your information and your chosen account name. Opt to create a ‘seller account’. You need to provide bank account details and credit or debit card information. This is to verify your identity. It also allows eBay to collect your listing fees.

2. Register for PayPal

Next, sign up for Paypal so you can collect payment from your auctions. Browse to Click ‘Sign Up’ for your free PayPal Account to create a payment account linked to your email address. Fill in the usual personal information, including credit card details. These will be used to collect payment.

3. Confirm email

You will now be sent an email to confirm your email address. Follow the link in the message and enter your password in the resulting page. Click ‘Confirm’. Your account is now ready to use. When you sign into PayPal, you’ll be shown your balance and the most recent transactions.

4. Upgrade account

To receive money you need to upgrade to a premier or business account (don’t worry, it’s free). Select ‘My Account’ and click ‘Upgrade Account’, then ‘Upgrade Now’. Select ‘Premier Account’ and click ‘Continue’. If you choose a business account you will need to supply further business details. You can now start selling.

5. Start selling

Leave PayPal and browse to the eBay homepage. Sign in and click ‘Sell’ on the main page to begin listing an item. You can select ‘Quick sell’ to get an easy selling wizard that guides you through producing an advert. Enter a brief description of your item and click ‘Start selling’.

6. Choose a category

Select a category for your listing. You can do this by browsing the categories and sub-categories or by entering a keyword and clicking ‘Find category’ to search for the most relevant one. You’ll find a number of suggested categories already provided, though you choose your own too.

7. Description and photo

Below this click ‘Add photo’ and browse to the image you want to use. The first photo is included in the price of the advert. Additional images cost 12p extra. Enter the text of your advert below this. Here’s where you can use Auction Ad Creator to help write the text.

8. Payment and postage

Scroll down and type in a starting price and the length of time you want the auction to last. You can add a ‘Buy it now’ price here, too. Now enter the means of payment, and postage details. Click ‘Save and preview’ to check over your advert. Click ‘Place listing’ once you’re happy with it.

9. PayPal auction tools

You can manage the end of your auction more smoothly by using PayPal's auction tools. These handle communication with your buyer so you can collect payment easily and dispatch the goods to them as quickly as possible.

10. Logo insertion

You can show a PayPal icon alongside your auctions by enabling ‘Automatic logo insertion’. Log into your account and go to ‘My profile’ on the Account Overview page. Under Selling Preferences, select ‘Auctions’, and click the option for automatic logo insertion.

11. End of auction email

Customise your end of auction email by selecting the ‘Auction tools’ tab, followed by ‘Winning bidder notification’. Turn customisation on and enter the text of your email, including the auto-text fields for the item and buyer's name. Click ‘Submit’ to save.

12. Postage options

Customise your postage and delivery options. In Auction tools, choose ‘Postage preferences’. Now edit your delivery address and turn on the option to show a return label to your buyers. You can also opt to include label receipt printing as a service.

For more help and advice on selling through eBay, check out our Top Tips feature, coming next month.