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19 eBay Success Secrets

We've got the secrets you can use to create a booming business on eBay.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

1. Choose a User ID carefully. Be sure to choose a User ID that represents your business or the items you sell. This will become your eBay brand identity to prospective buyers.

2. Start With the "How to Sell" Tour. Watch the eBay selling demonstration video. Then, learn more at the eBay Learning Center.

3. Get ID Verified. You can use the ID Verify option instead of, or in addition to, giving your credit card information when setting up a Seller's Account. You might want to do it so you'll be given an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile, giving the eBay community more confidence to buy from you and allowing you to bypass some feedback requirements when selling in certain formats.

4. Get Computer Backup Disks. Power surges or computer crashes can wipe out your valuable data in seconds. Routinely save the business documents on your hard drive to disks. Label them, and file them in a safe place.

5. Use Accounting Software. Accounting software helps you know how your business is doing so you can make it more profitable. It's also going to make your life much easier come tax time. A bookkeeper can recommend the right software for your business, set it up and teach you how to use it.

6. Make Space for Inventory and Shipping Materials. These items don't have to be in your office, but they do need to be in a safe, dry place nearby. This helps you keep an eye on what you've got and what you need as your business grows. The U.S. Postal Service offers free eBay/USPS co-branded Priority Mail shipping boxes. Go to to order yours.

7. Write a Daily To-Do List. Schedule a time to follow up on opportunities that aren't part of your normal tasks, and use this time frame to respond to unplanned tasks that pop up that day.

8. Take eBay's Fees Into Account. Even though eBay charges a small listing Insertion Fee and a Final Value Fee, you may want to take these into account when you're pricing your items. Both of these fees are listed here:

9. Choose the Best Category. From eBay's home page, click the "Buy" button, and browse the categories to find ones that work for your items. Also see where competing items have been placed. It's a good idea to choose two categories for your listings to reach more buyers.

10. Spotlight Your Title. For an additional fee, you can grab buyers' attention when they search for listings by bolding your text (which has increased final item prices by an average of 25 percent) and using a color highlight or border on your listing. Also, say more about your item by adding a subtitle.

11. Consider Hiring a Trading Assistant. When your business on eBay starts booming, you might want help managing your listings so you can focus on other areas of growing your business and also enjoy a balanced work/home life. Hiring a Trading Assistant can free up the time you need and want. Find a Trading Assistant at

12. Use My eBay. Make sure to use My eBay to monitor your listings and activity on the site. My Messages can also help you keep track of your eBay correspondence.

13. Attend Industry Trade Shows. Not only will you get a preview of product trends, you can also connect with manufacturers and discuss the opportunity of selling their products on eBay. Bring your business cards, and be ready to discuss your success as an eBay seller.

14. Donate to a Nonprofit Organization. Donate part of or the entire final sale price to your favorite nonprofit organizations. Support your community, and your charity listings will get additional visibility along with a blue-and-yellow ribbon icon. Search more than 5,000 charities at

15. Beware of Unusual Buyer Requests. To help protect yourself from potential fraud, be wary of buyers who have unusual requests. If buyers ask to send partial payments, consider that a warning sign.

16. Ask eBay Consultants for Advice. Once you know how to sell on eBay and you've checked out the eBay Community, your head will be buzzing with new business ideas. Run your questions by the Seller OnRamp consultants for free advice on creating a profitable business on eBay.

17. Subscribe to the Chatter. Every month, get feature articles, tips, helpful links and member interviews. Share your eBay story, and you may be next in the member spotlight.

18. Sign Up for the PowerUp Newsletter. Get advance notice of upcoming events and promotions by e-mail at You'll get a heads-up on free listing days, feature discounts, seller sweepstakes and more.

19. Design Marketing Materials to Promote Your Store. Get business cards, fliers, letterhead and envelopes to strengthen your Store's brand and invite offline shoppers to check it out. Download eBay's marketing templates for free or visit NetPost Business Connect to create and mail advertising and promotional messages to your customers.