How To Sell On Ebay - Ebay Basics

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Selling on eBay Basics | Signing Up and Account Management

It’s never been easier to signup and begin selling with eBay – but there still are a few steps and like anything worth doing if you take the time to understand your options prior to jumping in the end result can be much better then if you simply start off. First and foremost you should consider what exactly you will be doing with your account as this will help you decide on appropriate login names and whether or not to risk using it for personal business if it’s to be a sellers account etc., a name such as ‘dragonlady’ for instance might not be appropriate if you will be selling advice to the lovelorn but fits perfectly if dragon and mystical artifacts and memorabilia is your principle goods.

As far as signing up goes you need an email account, a credit card at least and preferably your bank account information to set up payment receipt and funding requests and access to your personal information (which you should be able to recall) in able to fill out the appropriate forms. If you wish to sign up for a sellers account and go through the ID Verify process, which is recommended you also will need a browser capable of 128-bit SSL connections and some credit information such as your driver’s license etc. which all sounds simple enough, and it is but each of these steps bears a little consideration and a lot of reading to fully optimize them

Before Registering

Before we jump in lets first go over the basic steps and discuss each one so you’ll know what you are in for:

  • Review eBay topics and ‘how to’ information (as we’re doing here)

  • Gather your contact, personal information and credit card / bank routing numbers include you business and personal addresses and a drivers licens

  • Sign up for an eBay account during which you will:

    • Enter your contact and personal information including your date of birth, name, address, and phone number

    • Provide an active email account that will be used during the process to complete the registration

    • Be requested to review and agree to the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Policy

    • Select an available User ID, password and secret question

    • Check and respond the email account you just provided to verify its’ existence

Seller’s Accounts

Once registered with eBay you will want to create a Seller’s Account during which you again verify your identity and then set up your preferred method to handle any seller fees by supplying a credit or debit card or check routing numbers. You can also use ID Verify (at a cost of five dollars) which is recommended to help ensure trust that you are a seller who can be trusted.

Becoming ID Verified

Some of the reasons to become ID Verified include the fact that you

  • Do not have to put sensitive credit card information on file to become a seller

  • Can open an eBay store

  • Have the “Buy It Now” and “Best Offer” options in your online sales

  • May list items with the “Multiple Item” and “Fixed Price” formats

  • Are eligible to use “Buy It Now” and bid on items above $15,000

  • Participate in eBay Live Auctions

  • Have access to eBay’s “Mature Audience” categories

Requirements to become ID Verified include being a US or US Territory resident, and that you provide your (verifiable) HOME contact information and personal details to be verified and pass a 30 day investigation with available resources at Equifax confirming the information you have provided is correct and has not changed. After the thirty days if you move or your information changes you can update it (and are required to do so) for another $5 application fee.

Verification doesn’t affect your credit rating and is protected by the latest 128-bit SSL connections. Your information is not stored nor is the information requested for the Verify process such as your driver’s license kept or used by eBay but only used by Equifax to identify you in their database. Since Equifax is a credit-rating bureau and only you should know certain details of your credit history some questions regarding your personal finances may be asked during the secure session as a security measure to ensure you and no-one else is registering under your name.

Other Verification Methods

If you don’t wish to access your personal information or become ID Verified you can become a seller with certain restrictions by supplying a credit card or bank routing number for identification purposes. Supplying this information doesn’t mean that this account will necessarily be used to pay your eBay fees as selecting a payment method is handled in another step. Depending on whether you choose to use a credit or debit card or a bank routing number there are certain things that you may need to bear in mind or that may cause you problems and we will discuss each now:

Credit Card Method

If you are using a credit card for verification be certain that all of the following are true:

  • Your mailing address and name on the card must match the one that you are registering for your eBay account

  • Cards must be activated and not blocked for Internet or phone order usage

  • The account needs to be in good working order, activated and in good standing

  • If using a debit card only ones with a MasterCard or Visa symbol will be acceptable as no PIN entry is allowed

Bank Routing Number Method

Bank routing numbers are like the ‘account number’ for your specific account with a specific bank. Just like your social security number it uniquely identifies your account and is used for any transactions to or from that bank. Having access to that number means anyone can transfer funds into your account and can verify that the account exists and has not been closed but doesn’t allow them to make direct withdrawals. The Bank routing number is normally found between symbols at the bottom of your checks and consists of a nine-digit number. If you have a bank account without checks your deposit slips should have this number, otherwise you can obtain it from your bank.

About Seller’s Fees

Once you have become a seller there is the matter of how you will pay your fees, those charges on which eBay depends to run their service and retain profitability. Fees consist of Insertion, Final Value and Optional fees

Basic rates

Insertion fees range from twenty cents ($0.20) for items up to ninety-nine cents in price up to four dollars and eighty cents ($4.80) for items over five-hundred dollars ($500). If the item sells there is an additional fee ranging from 5.25% to close to 10% depending on the closing price. These fees as compared to actual auction listings are incredibly affordable, and buyers are not required to pay auctioneering fees either, further enhancing the value of eBay auctions. In many cases the total cost of insertion and final value fees is less then running an advertisement in a local paper – with far greater exposure!

Multiple, Dutch and other Insertion / Final Value Fees

The opening value of your items and final value fee multiplied by the number of items sold is used to determine fees for these types of auctions, but the maximum insertion fee is still $4.80.

There also are additional fees for Business and Industrial equipment (insertion fee of $20 with 1.00% of final value fees up to $250) and a fee to set a reserve.

Other Fees

Special features such as allowing multiple images to be shown, bolding a listing etc. also carry an additional listing fee but often greatly increase the chance for your item to sell. Some of these options include fees for:

  • Reserve price (refunded if item sells)

  • Buy It Now feature

  • Listing Upgrades

  • Picture Services

  • Seller Tool features

Paying Sellers Fees

The method you choose to handle your seller’s fees is up to you and can include the credit card or checking account information you may have already provided either set up on a monthly or one-time payment schedule, a check or money order on an as needed basis or access to a PayPal account. PayPal has much the same verification processes in place for sellers as do's eBay and you can choose to fund your account and withdraw funds in a variety of manners depending on your verification level.


You should now be prepared to sign up for your account and register for a sellers account. This can be done via the “Register” link which should be at the top of many eBay pages, but if you wish to register as a business rather then an individual account you can do this or switch your account at a later time as needed and as described in eBay’s online help about Registering as a Business

Step one

During the registration process you will need to enter the following:

  • Your name and address as listed on any bank account or credit card billing you will use during the registration process

  • Your current contact phone number and email Note: emails can fail if they:

    • Are a free or web-based account such as Hotmail which can be established without a home mailing address being on file

    • Are not immediately accessible to you to verify the process during registration

  • Your date of birth

Step two

Next you will be requested to review the eBay user agreement and Privacy Policy and check the “I agree” check box. Be certain to review the agreement (much of which you are already obtaining from these documents) and understand any restrictions and policies. You then will be asked to provide a:

  • Unique User ID and password

  • <>Secret question

Step three

You should now check your email account that you had provided and click the link to complete the registration. If for some reason you do not receive this email a troubleshooting guide has been provided by eBay at their link called haven’t received your registration email yet?

If for any reason a registration confirmation message is not displayed you can find the confirmation code near the bottom of the email you received and enter it into the appropriate area on the form.

Using multiple accounts

Often users find it useful to have two accounts, either to separate their business and personal sells and purchases or to keep track of different types of items. It is possible to have two different eBay accounts but both must have unique User ID’s and email addresses and each will have a separate profile. If you later decide to do so it is possible to merge the two accounts into one but this can only be done once, and whichever account you choose to ‘keep’ will have the data from the secondary account merged into it. This new account now called the “Primary” cannot be merged again in the future and the following should be considered prior to taking this step:

  • Your account will show you as a ‘member since’ the date of your older account

  • The feedback score will reflect both accounts and may not appear in chronological order

  • Any reviews and guides you have written in both accounts will only reflect the information from the primary account

  • You must owe no sellers fees and be able to prove you are the owner of both accounts and the secondary account must remain inactive for at least sixty days (60) prior to the merging.

You also need to be certain to cancel any eBay selling tools subscriptions on the secondary account, and if you use an eBay store be certain to have your stores’ inventory associated with the new merged account.

  • You’ll need to cancel any subscriptions on the secondary account, such as subscriptions to eBay's selling tools.

  • If you have an eBay Store, make sure you associate your Stores inventory with your new merged account.

Learning more and getting help

You are now ready to dive into the world of eBay selling, but there are many tips and techniques that you should know first, and one of the greatest advantages to an online community such as eBay is that you do not have to learn all on your own. The staff a eBay has many helpful tutorials and help files available online at as well as step-by-step guides for most actions, but by far the most valuable resource they provide is access to other sellers in the form of “Community resources” which provide newsgroups, help files, tutorials and feedback sessions on every aspect of eBay.

A partial list of some of the more useful eBay resources for new users includes:

Other links worth investigating include the

Community Help Boards
The "About Me" Page
Events Calendar

Error Messages and Technical Issues

Suggestions to eBay

Web Browser Recommendations

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