4 Ways to Make More Money on eBay

make more money on eBay
A diverse product line helps increase revenue. Getty Images

Many sellers come to eBay as a way to downsize or clean out a lifetime of accumulated items. Some come to eBay to sell their children's outgrown clothes and toys. Others come because they have an established business they wish to move into the eBay space and leverage the power of the world's largest online marketplace. Whatever the reason for coming to eBay, sellers eventually want to know how they can make more money on eBay and maximize their efforts. Here are a few suggestions.

Diversify Your Product Line

Any financial planner will tell you that investments should be diversified. This is also true with an eBay seller's inventory. A diverse product line reduces risk and opens up more opportunities. You can still sell items you enjoy working with and that interest you, just carry a variety of products in different categories, with different keywords, and mix it up. A great way to start diversifying is to sell accessories or items that complement core products. For example, if you sell mostly handbags, also add accessories like scarves, gloves, costume jewelry, hosiery, and shape wear. Sell items for different seasons, in a variety of styles and price points. If for some reason one category doesn't perform well because of demand or competition, you will still have other products that can produce a profit.

Offer International Shipping

eBay has 162 million registered users worldwide, and 51% of them live outside the USA. That means, for sellers who don't ship internationally, they are not reaching 82 million buyers. The number one action sellers can take to increase sales is to ship worldwide. eBay has made it easy to ship globally. International buyers are just people like you who want to buy items from the United States. Many countries are not manufacturing countries and to have the goods they want, they must order the goods from other countries. There is nothing to fear when shipping internationally. Follow these easy steps:

  • Add international shipping to the Sell Your Item form 
  • Use calculated shipping for international (enter the weight of the item plus packaging when listing the item)
  • Exclude problematic countries including Italy, Mexico, Russia, and China
  • Choose First Class International (FCI) for items weighing less than 4 lbs, including packaging
  • Choose Priority International for items weighing 4 lbs or more

Optimize Listings for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Buyers can't buy your items if they don't come up in searches. Plain and simple. Just like you could have the greatest restaurant in the world, but if it is down a dirt road off the beaten path with no directional signs, customers can't find it can you won't have any business. It is the same with eBay - you must learn how to place higher in searches so buyers will see your item when they enter search queries. Do the following to improve search placement on eBay:

  • Include a 30 day return policy; items with a 30 day or longer return policy place higher in search on eBay
  • Include 8-12 photos on listings
  • Use relevant keywords in titles - avoid extraneous information that buyers won't search for
  • Include at least 200 words in the description box
  • Fill out all item specifics 
  • Avoid busy backgrounds or moving graphics as they confuse the search engine

Include Best Offer

Sellers constantly complain about receiving lowball offers. That's life. Wouldn't you want to try to get items as inexpensively as possible? Turnabout is fair play. Without including a Best Offer option, where you're inviting buyers to negotiate with you, potential buyers may scroll by your item and find a seller who is willing to negotiate.

Competition is tough on eBay and to win sales, individual sellers must remain competitive. Many eBay buyers come from cultures where negotiating and haggling is part of their buying process. Sellers should not be insulted when a buyer makes a low offer -- eBay is business, not personal. If the offer doesn't work for a seller, simply hit the decline or counteroffer button and move on. Best Offer is a great way to appear willing to negotiate and to win more sales. Remember, competitors are just a click away if buyers don't see what they want on your listing.