While it's one of the world's largest online marketplaces, eBay has some issues that are slow and cannot be automated. The major issue that keeps people away from eBay is that listing one-of-a-kind items, used items from thrift stores, or just random items around the home is a slow, laborious, and time-consuming process.
The Listing Process
The listing process goes like this:
- Take photos of the item.
- Log into your eBay account.
- Complete pricing research to determine what to charge for the item.
- Begin completing the Sell Your Item form.
- Choose the listing type: fixed price or auction.
- Write a keyword-rich descriptive title for the item.
- Fill in all the item specifics provided by eBay.
- Write a keyword-rich item description.
- Upload photos of the item to a computer, or list directly from a mobile device.
- Choose the shipping method and assign a shipping cost.
- Submit the listing.
Listing on eBay takes time because of the nature of the task—most sellers are offering items that must be explained and priced individually. There are several ways to list faster on eBay; it just takes some organization, focus, and a plan. Remember, the more items you list, the more items you will sell, so it is definitely in your best interest to learn all the possible methods for listing eBay items faster.
Don't Multitask: Focus on Listing Only
It is better to give 100% attention to the task at hand, complete it, and move on to the next task rather than try to juggle multiple tasks at once. Eliminate as many distractions as possible, concentrate on a listing, and your productivity will dramatically improve because you will be focused.
Time blocking is dedicating a chunk of time to accomplishing one task in order to increase focus and productivity. For example, in the eBay world, you could dedicate 10 a.m. to noon every day to taking photos. Or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for listing. You may also choose to base it on what your schedule and workload are for the day. The objective is to plan what you will do and stick to the plan. If you have dedicated two hours to take photos, don't do anything else during that time, and don't allow yourself to be distracted unless it is a true emergency.
Work With Small Batches
Biting off more than you can chew is a surefire way to get discouraged easily, feel overwhelmed, or give up. Setting small achievable goals can help limit these feelings. You may currently have items that need to be listed but feel too overwhelmed to even begin. The key, and often the hardest part, is getting started. Pick up some items and get busy; once those items are photographed and listed, get some more items, and keep the momentum going. If you set small goals and consistently achieve them, you will feel productive and keep going. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
Work With Similar Items in Batches
eBay goes a lot faster if you work with like items in batches. Keep this in mind when sorting and storing unlisted inventory. For example, if you have a lot of sweaters, pick 10–20 for a batch. Prepare them all at once, photograph at once, and list at one time. You will be in the mode of working with that type of item and won't have to switch back and forth a lot. You can also use the Sell Similar feature on eBay so that information will carry over from one listing to another and you will only have to change small details, photos, and prices. eBay category, store category, item specifics, and the description will basically be the same.
Get the Family Involved
If there are family members in the home who can help, assign them jobs. Younger kids can sort items, remove price stickers, and possibly steam clothing before photos are taken. High school kids can learn to photograph, list, and even ship sold items. Spouses can help in some way—just find out which tasks appeal to them and delegate. eBay can be a great family project. Everyone can get in on the work and then everyone can enjoy the rewards as sales increase.
The great thing about eBay is that there are many pieces to an eBay business and some of them can be outsourced depending on which parts you don't like, don't have time for, or would just rather have someone else do for you. Having an eBay assistant come to your home is one option; however, the drawbacks include:
- Security issues (theft)
- Inconvenience (lateness, no shows)
- Liability (accidents, injuries)
Virtual eBay help is a safe and time-efficient way to outsource the computer part of an eBay business without the hassle of having a stranger come into your home. Experienced virtual eBay assistants can list items quickly and perform these tasks:
- Write titles and descriptions optimized for SEO
- Price items quickly and competitively
- Point out options and features not being utilized
- Make sure all eBay policies are followed (to avoid account suspension)
- Help new sellers avoid making mistakes
- Help sellers choose the most economical shipping option
- Crop or edit photos
- Help correspond with buyers who have questions
The Bottom Line
Your at-home eBay business can be anything you want—a hobby, a part-time gig, or even a full-time job that pays all the bills. Regardless of why you are selling on eBay, one thing all sellers have in common is the desire to make money on their own schedule from the comfort of their home. The key to leveraging your business is discovering how to list eBay items faster. The more items you have listed, the more you will sell, and the more money you will make.