How to Boost Sales on eBay (Without Buying More Inventory)

Whether you’re selling on eBay as a side hustle, decluttering your house, or trying to make it a full time thing — it’s tough when you’re not making the sales you want. Before I get started showing you some of my favorite (tried and tested!) strategies on how to boost sales on eBay, but don’t overwhelm yourself with all of them. Pick two or three to focus on and test for yourself to see if they work for you. That way you can decide if that method works for you or if it’s time to try something new.

Create New Listings Daily

One of the most popular tips for boosting your sales on ebay is to create new listings daily. But that can be hard, so don’t scroll away yet because I’m going to help you figure out how to do this without actually spending a lot of money on new inventory or sitting there and listing for hours daily.

P.S. I created this fun visual listing tracker to help you track how much you’re listing and see it visually!

Option #1: List unlisted inventory

Of course, if you do have unlisted inventory — list it! Take the time to get those new ebay listings up. Whether you do one a day or you batch a bunch of drafts and make one or two live a day, get those items up because they can’t sell if they’re not listed and these new listings will bring extra attention to your other listings.

Option #2: Relist inventory

If you don’t have anything new to list, it’s time to refresh your existing listings so ebay thinks you’re listing regularly. But don’t use the “relist” feature on eBay. That won’t give you a totally new listing which means it won’t get that extra boost. I recommend using the “sell similar” feature. Then make sure you change a thing or two in the title even if it’s just adding a new keyword or moving things around, so eBay recognizes it as a new listing.

This may seem tedious, but it can be worth while and give your listing the boost they need.

Want a quicker way? Try out Vendoo and use their delist/relist tool. I use this almost every day to relist anything over 30 days old and it takes me about 2 minutes.

Try Promoted Listings

If you’re cringing at this suggestion, I get it. This feature allows sellers to pay a fee to have their listings appear at the top of search results or in other prominent locations on eBay. I avoided promoted listings for a long time because I didn’t want to pay eBay any more than I already was in fees. However, I’ve seen a significant increase in impressions and traffic, and even eBay sales, since I started using it consistently.

To use Promoted Listings, eBay sellers choose which listings they want to promote and set a percentage fee to pay eBay for the service. eBay will then display the promoted listings in relevant search results and other locations on the site. If you’re worried about the cost of Promoted Listings, try a low percentage or bump up your price by $1-2 to make up for it. 

Research Old Listings Again

If a product has been sitting for a while, the market may have changed, and it is important to do research again to see what has changed.

The first step is to check what the product is actually selling for NOW. If this item has been sitting for a few months, the market could have changed. Check the sold prices of similar items to get a feel for whether your pricing is still competitive or if it needs to be changed.

You can also check those sold listings to see if there are any keywords you missed in your title that could bring more eyes to your item. By researching popular search terms and incorporating them into the listing, you can increase the visibility of your products and attract more potential buyers.

Price (Very) Competitively

Pricing can make or break your sales. Unfortunately, a lot of resellers miss out on sales because they want top dollar and don’t realize that waiting 6 months to sell something for a few dollars more is a horrible practice. (That’s my opinion at least.)

If your prices are too high, buyers will simply move on to the next seller. That’s why, even if it hurts a little, it’s essential to price your items very competitively.

If there are 100 of the same thing listed and most of them are at $25, don’t list it at $25 unless you want to wait forever for it to sell. If you list it at $20, you have a much better chance of selling it quickly.

Pricing on the lower end of where your competition is, instead of where everyone else is, can truly help. This is something I’ve really embraced in the last couple of months and I’m seeing items with plenty of competition sell much quicker than they would have when I was pricing “in the middle.”

If you’re worried about not making enough, remember that you don’t decide the price you can sell for, the market does. If you paid too much for an item and price high to try and make up for that mistake, you’re probably going to be stuck with it for a long time. Instead, learn to forget what you paid, price where the market is, and and make better decisions next time.

Here’s a YouTube video I did talking about this:

Lower Handling Time

People expect things quickly, and if you have a high handling time (more than 3 days), it can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. However, shipping late is a big problem on eBay, so only reduce your handling time if it’s something you can reasonably do. Three days or less is ideal.

Clearance Old Inventory

Old inventory takes up valuable space, not to mention the money you invested in that item is just sitting there. By clearing out old inventory, you can make some sales, get your money back, and free up space (and capital) for better inventory.

A few ways you can clearance old inventory:

  • Run a markdown sale
  • Simply reduce the price in the listing
  • Bundle similar products

Add Best Offer to Listings

If you don’t already have Best Offer added to your listings, this is a no-brainer! You don’t HAVE to accept any of the offers you get, but it can boost your listings in the eBay algorithm and get people interested in your products. 

Just because you have best offer added to your listings doesn’t mean that every item will sell for less than you list it. But some of them will. If you’re worried about it, maybe just add it to items that have been listed for a certain amount of time. For example, adding it to listings that have been listed for a month and haven’t sold yet.

Run a Markdown Sale

Having a Markdown Sale involves temporarily reducing the price of your items, which can encourage buyers to make a purchase. Plus, I truly believe that eBay boosts items that are on sale so I like to always have some sort of sale going on, even if it’s a low percentage like 10%.

To do this, go into the Seller Hub and go to Marketing -> Promotions. Then click the “Create a Promotion” button and select “sale event + markdown”

Tips for running markdown sales:

  • Always have one running, even if it’s only on a handful of products.
  • Make them short so that when buyers enter your listing they’ll see that it ends soon. I wouldn’t do a sale for more than a week.

Add Free Shipping

One of the most effective ways to increase sales on eBay is to offer free shipping. Because people can filter by “Free Shipping”, if someone clicks that and you’re not offering free shipping — your listing is filtered out.

For example, I searched “Nike womens shoes size 8” and there were 33,000 results. When I sorted it by free shipping? It went down to 6,600 results. That’s still a lot, but the point is, over 27,000 listings got filtered out in that search because they don’t offer free shipping.

Obviously, shipping isn’t actually free. Someone has to pay for it. To do this the right way, you want to make sure to factor in the shipping cost into the price of the item. This ensures that you do not lose money on the sale by covering shipping yourself.

For example, if you have an item listed at $20 and shipping will be $5, try listing it at $25 with free shipping instead. To do this, you should have some experience shipping and have a good idea of shipping rates so you can pretty accurately estimate shipping costs.

If you go this route, remember that if a buyer returns an item, you will have to refund them the full amount since you built shipping into the price.

Be a Top Rated Seller

Becoming a Top Rated Seller is a must. To achieve this, you must meet eBay’s performance standards, which include maintaining a minimum of 98% positive feedback, a maximum 0.5% rate of unresolved cases, and a minimum sales volume of at least $1,000 over the past 12 months.

To increase your chances of becoming a Top Rated Seller, you should do everything you can to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. This includes providing accurate item descriptions, shipping items promptly, and responding quickly to customer inquiries.

Remember, being a Top Rated Seller is not a one-time achievement. You must maintain your performance standards over time to retain your status.

Improve Photos

Buyers want to see what they’re getting, so it’s essential to provide clear and bright photos that accurately represent your products. If your photos are good, you can skip this section because it would be a waste of time to redo them if it’s not needed.

How can you tell? Search similar items and find one of your listings. Compare your listings to others on the screen. If yours is generally good compared to others, then great! If you find that yours are dark, blurry, discolored, etc. then it may be time to redo them.

Make sure you have at least 5 photos (more if possible) of each item. This allows buyers to see the item from different angles and get a better sense of its condition.

When taking photos, ensure that the lighting is good (buying lighting helps if you can’t get good, even natural light) and that the item is in focus. Use a plain background (I use these) to make the item stand out, and avoid clutter or distractions in the background.

You can also use editing tools to enhance your photos, such as adjusting the brightness and contrast or cropping out any unwanted elements. However, be careful not to misrepresent your item by editing it too much.

Fill in the Item Specifics

When creating a listing on eBay, it is important to fill in all the item specifics. Potential buyers can filter search results by these specifics, so if you don’t fill them out completely, you could be filtered out. We don’t want that!

Item specifics include important details about your product such as brand, size, color, material, and condition. In addition to helping buyers find your product, filling in item specifics can also improve your search ranking. eBay’s search algorithm takes into account the completeness and accuracy of item specifics when determining search results.

I would like to note that sometimes the item specifics on ebay make no sense or leave you with options that don’t fit your item. Don’t stress too much. Just do your best!

Final Thoughts

It’s tough when you’re not making sales, but don’t give up! I have personally tried all of the methods above in the past and have found some success with all of them. Remember, the key is not to dive headfirst into all these tactics at once. Start small, pick a couple that resonate with you, and give them a go. Monitor your results, tweak as necessary, and gradually incorporate more strategies as needed.

Remember, it’s not just about boosting sales in the short term – it’s about evolving your approach to selling on eBay so you naturally get sales too.

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One Comment

  1. Christina C says:

    Just wanted to thank you for this really good and practical information!!! I enjoyed it!! and found some great ideas to help me with my small reselling side gig 😊

    Also love your idea of the inventory boxes! will you be doing anymore?? I’m interested in finding this type of sourcing to try from resellers who sell wholesale.

    Thank you again!!


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