The basic system I follow in preparation for listing on eBay

A Quick Message

Before we get started I just wanted to mention that one of my readers emailed recently saying she was having problems leaving comments. She wrote…

…I have no difficulty getting your current post but when I go to the comments my system freezes. Just went back to try one of the postings in the archives and the same thing happened…

If anyone else is having difficulties please let me know and I will get my tech guy on to it. I would hate to think that my readers have something great to share but can’t get through. Please contact me through my contact page if you are having similar difficulties.

Today’s Post

Today, while the procedure is fresh in my mind, I just wanted to share with you the steps I take when listing items on eBay. The whole process goes a lot more smoothly if you have a system to follow before you begin. I will also share any extra tips I can think of that will help with the process.

The System I Follow

  1. I choose the items I intend to list, being realistic about whether it is worth the effort. I don’t see the point in listing anything under five dollars although I am trialling a 99c (fee free) starting price with one of the items I have recently listed. Personally I don’t feel it is worth the effort or the listing fee if you aren’t likely to make at least $5 on the deal. Even then I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t have numerous items to list at the same time.
  2. Make sure the items are in good order and condition and that all the parts are pressent. Make any repairs or clean-ups required to get them up to selling condition. You don’t want to ruin your seller reputation by delivering poor quality items.
  3. While you are carrying out the above step write down a description of each item. Size, colour, condition, items included, volage, capacity, materials constructed from etc etc. This all depends on the item/s involved of course. Tip: The more information you give the less emails you will receive asking for more details on the item.
  4. With all this information in mind decide on a starting price and add that to the notes about each item. Tip: Check out the listing fee in relation to the starting price. A $20.00 starting price will cost you a fee of 75c while a $19.99 will only cost a fee of 50c. Needless to say the more profit you make the better so save where you can on fees.
  5. Weight each item so as to make it easy to calculate the transport cost when listing the item. Measure the items if necessary to estimate the size of the overall package. Once again add this to your notes about each item so the information is all there when you begin the listing process. Tip: I try to use all recycled materials to post my items once again minimising my costs therefore increasing my profit margin.
  6. Photograph each item. Some will require multiple photos while others will only require one good shot. Tip: Best to overdo it here than take too few pics as each picture will take some time to set up, some more than others. It is easier to eliminate shots than have to drag everything out and do it all over again.
  7. Download your photos and do any editing required to make them the best they can be to sell you items. Tip: Don’t forget to minimise the kilobyte size of you photos as this will make them quicker to upload.
  8. Sign in to eBay and get started listing.
  9. Take your time and carefully work your way through the Create Your Listing template, being sure not to miss any details. You can save templates as you go along so listing similar items is simplified.
  10. I always preview each listing before hitting the list button to make sure I have all the details correct. It is too late to realise you underestimated the postage cost once someone has placed a bid on an item although changes can be made if no bid has been placed.

From here on it is just a matter of waiting to see how the auction unfolds. I have to confess that I can’t help myself but check on how my auctions a doing several times a day once they are underway. It is a bit like gambling really except that you haven’t got much to loose except a small listing fee.

Next week when my current auctions are over I will run you through the checkout and posting process. Hopefully I will be able to brag to you about how well my auctions went. What doesn’t sell will be going to charity, either way I will be glad to have it all leave my house.

Today’s Declutter Item

These Christmas crackers have been lingering in my kitchen cupboards since before we returned to Australia if they haven’t been used yet then they are probably never going to be so off to the thrift store they go. Now if I can just figure out where the thrift store went I will take another load of donations there. 😕

Christmas Crackers (Bonbons)

Something I Am Grateful For Today

I was grateful to have the car today as I had some errands to run and that was much to accomplish with a convenient mode of transport. I just hope it doesn’t rain on my husband on his journey home from work on his motorbike. 

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Nice thorough description.

  2. Inspired by Monday’s mission, I’m about to list a number of items, as well. Good luck to us both!

    • Good for you Cindy, I hope you have success. I just remembered something I meant to list with this last batch but never mind it can wait until next time now.

  3. Colleen,
    Excellent post! I like how you like how you mentioned two very key points: 1) is it worth the effort (value of item); and 2: take your time in the CREATE YOUR LISTING mode (VERY IMPORTANT!!! review it prior to hitting “LIST”!!!!!).

    I have sold lot’s of stuff on ebay. It was worth it (for those items) and a great learning experience (and I met some great folks on ebay, too!!!). It is a wonderful source!!!

    Now I’ve more things to sell, but I find myself ‘hemming and haawwing’ because even though it is nice stuff, I’m not really sure I want to take the time, worry about the listing/selling fee, make the trip to the post office, continue to check my listings (obsessively! DARN, drive myself nuts!). For most people it is worth it. For me, I think I’ve had enough, AND, here is a key point for me, I’VE PURCHASED stuff on ebay, and I SHOULD NOT HAVE!!! It is just too tempting for me, too easy (and when the item comes in the post, I’m embarrassingly ‘let down’ to now have to have it and store it in my house…). Silly me, but true!

    Ebay is an awesome resource; today’s posting is extremely informative (and I wish you and all other readers luck with their listings); but for me, since I’m so into shopping and trying NOT TO, it is too tempting, too easy. It is a quick high that eventually I completely regret.

    • Hi Annabelle,
      I understand where you are coming from here even though I have rarely bought anything over the internet. I am a very tactile person and like to see and sometimes even feel the item in my hot little hands before I buy to ensure it is the right thing for me. The fact that you can do it in the comfort of your own home and the temptation is constantly there makes it way to easy for those who can’t resist. My advice is to resist the temptation to even look, which I know is easier said than done but cold turkey is the only way out of this mess. Find something else to bring you joy that is more emotionally satisfying and worthwhile. Join a social group, volunteer, exercise, study…

  4. Good for you Annabelle. It’s good to know your weaknesses and how to protect against them.

  5. A good way to determine if an item is “worth” your time to go through the selling process is to take a minute to check the completed listings for similar items. See if those items are being bought and at what price, or if the listings are closing without any takers. What is “hot” on the auction market is constantly changing so determining if your item has a good chance of selling is a good idea.

    • Hi Donna,
      good point there and it is certainly a step I use on a regular basis. I should have remembered to include that one. Although I must say that I have used this method before and found that something wasn’t selling well but through caution to the wind and listed the item anyway with great success. I think the key is to keep your insertion fees as low as possible (while still being effective) so as to reduce the loss if the item doesn’t sell. Nothing ventured nothing gained right!