Today I’m going to go over what you need to sell on ebay. As far as necessities to get started, you don’t need much. Everything else can be added once you’re making some money.
If you’re an ebay seller, there are a few things you’re going to need and then there are some things that just make life easier. I’ve compiled a list of everything I recommend for selling on ebay. This list also works for selling on Poshmark, Mercari, Etsy, etc. It’s basically a list for anyone who resells online!
Let’s just jump right in…
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These are the things you really should have on hand in order to sell effectively on ebay. Most of the other stuff you can buy over time if you want, but I recommend at least having the following.
Printer – I use an HP Envy Wireless printer like this one (mine’s an older model). I really recommend printing shipping through ebay because it’s cheaper than at the post office so you can print directly on paper and tape it on your package or you can use half sheet labels.
Polymailers – These are lightweight mailing bags I use for 95% of the items I sell (mostly clothing). I like to have 7.5″ x 10.5″ and 10″ x 13″ on hand. I’ve also bought from this seller on ebay who has tons of different sizes.
Free USPS Priority Mail supplies – Make sure you use these appropriately! They are only for shipping via USPS Priority Mail. Some boxes and envelopes are marked “flat rate” and you must pay for a flat rate label to use them. The ones that aren’t marked “flat rat” are weight based so you can’t use a flat rate label with them. If you’re just getting started you can grab the flat rate box variety pack. I use a lot of the flat rate envelope, legal flat rate envelope, padded flat rate envelope, medium flat rate box, shoe box, tyvek envelope (I like the last 2 for poshmark packages!)
Shipping Tape – If you’re selling items that ship in boxes or if you’re taping your labels onto envelopes, you’ll need shipping tape. Do yourself a favor and get one with a dispenser and then just refill it. It’s so much easier. I also have my eye on this desktop dispenser.
Postage scale – I use this one and have had it for a while now. It’s cheap and it can run off of batteries or be plugged in which I love.
Camera – or you can use your phone which is what I do. I don’t have a recommendation for a camera, but honestly anything will do.
Prepping items to sell
Dryel dry cleaning kit – Some items need a little freshening up and a lot of items that are worth decent money online are dry clean only. I’ve had a ton of success with this kit! You simply throw 3-5 items in the bag with one of the sheets included and put it in the dryer.
Color Catchers – Must have. If you’re watching any clothing for your business I highly recommend keeping these on hand. A few times I’ve had something bleed all over everything and have lost quite a bit of inventory that wasn’t able to be salvaged. So now I always throw one of these sheets in with clothing I wash.
Steamer – When buying stuff secondhand wrinkles are going to happen. You can use a handheld steamer like this one or you can be lazy (like me!) and if your dryer has a steam function you can just throw some clothes in to steam that way.
Fabric shaver – I love my fabric shaver, this is the one I use and it’s so cheap! If you find something with a lot of piling these can be great, you just need to be careful you don’t make a hole when using them. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve heard of others who have.
Magic eraser – If you’re going to be selling shoes you can use a magic eraser to clean the rubber! It works really well and really fast. This pack of 20 off brand magic erasers is really affordable and should get you through a lot of pairs of shoes!
Leather cleaner – Leather shoes can be worth good money so having a leather cleaner/conditioner on hand is great! I just use Kiwi Saddle Soap, but I’ve heard amazing things about Dr Martens Wonder Balsam.
Tag Gun with barbs – Definitely not a necessity, but I can’t tell you how many times a tag fell off that I needed to reattach or my husband pulled the retail tag instead of the thrift store tag off of something. Nice to have handy in those cases.
Taking photos for ebay
White trifold project board – I have one like this that’s 36″ x 48″ and I use it to photograph! I’ll either lay it flat and put clothing on it or I’ll stand it up and use it as a background for stuff like shoes.
Command hook – A cheap and easy photo set up is a command hook on a blank wall where you can hang things. This command hook can hold up to 7.5lbs which should be more than enough for almost anything. Make sure that after you stick it to the wall you give it a good 24 hours or so to really stick before you hang anything on it.
Photography Box Lights – These are totally not a necessity, but it’s nice to be able to take bright photos at any time of day. I recommend these, they’re a little longer than the square ones which is nice when you have something longer like a dress or pants.
Seamless white backdrop – This is a paper backdrop and I’ve had this one for over 2 years now! When it gets dirty I just cut off the bottom and give it to my son to draw on. I like the way this looks better than the vinyl white backdrops.
Backdrop stand – If you have a big space or have to take photos away from a wall this is helpful to hang a backdrop. I personally just rigged a way to hang my backdrop on the wall.
Bubblewrap – Mainly if you sell hard goods. You likely won’t need it for clothing. I usually buy it at Sam’s Club where it’s around $13 for 240 feet, but occasionally will buy it online too.
Ebay inventory storage
Inventory Bags – These are the ones I use and they measure 9″ x 12″. Once an item is listed I fold it nicely and put it in one of these bags to store until it’s sold. What’s nice is it’s already nicely folded and usually stays that way if you push all the air out so when the item sells I can just slip it out of this bag into an envelope.
Inventory Number Stickers – If you plan to list a large number of items you’re going to want to get an inventory system going. You can either grab a roll of numbered stickers like these that go up to 500 or you can print your own on labels like this.
Clothing rack – I have this one that folds up and has extenders on each side. If you’re working out of your garage or in a space that doesn’t have a closet (or enough closet space) these are nice to have so you can hang items and they won’t get wrinkled.
Shelving – If you’re going to be storing items in bins on shelves in your garage like many resellers, you’re going to need shelves! I recommend finding some on facebook marketplace or craigslist to try and save some money, but if you can’t we bought ours at Costco. I can’t seem to find it on their website, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same as this shelving unit.
Plastic totes – We have probably 40 of these storage bins (except in gray) and love them! They’re a bit slimmer than a lot of the others so we can fit 3 wide on our shelving.
Cardboard file boxes – These are a great alternative to the plastic storage totes. You can get them in packs of 12 like this for much cheaper. They aren’t as big as the plastic totes, but they are more affordable and smaller might work better in some spaces.
Shipping tools for ebay
Dymo 4XL Label Printer – Having a label printer definitely isn’t a necessity, but once you start shipping more and more each day it’s really nice to have. This is the one I have and it’s great!
Dymo Labels – These are the off brand labels I use. They are SO much cheaper than the Dymbo brand.
Rollo Printer – This is another label printer that I’ve heard great things about! I haven’t used it myself, but it’s a little cheaper than the Dymo so might be a good thing to consider taking a look at.
Half Sheet Labels – If you decide to go the normal printer route then I love having these half sheet labels. It’s definitely cheaper than having a label printer. If you do this make sure you set up your labels so they don’t print a receipt then you can get 2 labels per page. I used these for a long time before upgrading to a label printer.
Products & services for ebay sellers
GoDaddy Bookkeeping – this is the accounting software I use. It’s just $9.99/month and I’ve honestly been using it for over 5 years now. It’s pretty easy to use, you can link your bank accounts and see reports. You can also even print your schedule C and figure out your quarterly estimated taxes.
Ebates – Get cash back when buying stuff online. Sign up here for a $10 bonus when you make your first purchase. You just go to the ebates website (they have an app too) and then find where you want to shop and click their link to go there and make any purchases you’d normally make then you get cash back!
CheckaFlip.com to check what items are selling for on ebay.
Vistaprint – Some people like to put in a thank you note or something similar with their packages. You can usually you can get 500 business cards for $9.99 plus shipping (even better, signup for ebates and get 3% cash back when you shop through their link!)
Ecoenclose – If you’re more eco-concious this is a great company to buy shipping supplies from! They have recycled, biodegradable, etc. packing supplies.
Inkfrog – If you want to have someone to help you list or you just don’t like listing in the ebay website or app Inkfrog is a good alternative. I’ve used it in the past when I had a virtual assistant helping me list and I didn’t want them logging into my ebay account.
Ebay alternatives for selling
If you want to sell and ship items yourself
Poshmark – Sign up and use the code AILEENBARKER to get a $5 credit for your first purchase. Great platform for younger, trendier, designer items. Though I’ve sold a variety of items there. It’s a fashion app so it’s great for clothings, shoes, accessories, etc.
Mercari – Sign up and use the code MZASRJ for a $10 credit. You can sell most items on Mercari including clothing, home goods, etc. They have great prices on shipping heavier items so keep that in mind when you have something heavier to sell.
Etsy – Most people have heard of Etsy and think of it as a handmade market. While it is a handmade market you can also sell vintage items and supplies on there. Note that you can’t just sell anything on there like non-vintage manufactured clothing, etc. Just make sure to check out their categories to see if there’s something you can sell on there.
Tradesy – Similar poshmark in that it’s fashion oriented, but geared toward designer and luxury clothing items. You can sign up here for $20 off your first purchase of $50+.
If you want someone else to sell and ship
ThredUp – Sign up here to get a $10 credit for your first purchase. They send you a bag, you fill it up and send it back and once they process it you can get a payout if they accept anything. Their payments aren’t high at all, but it’s good if you literally just want to mail a bag and hopefully get a few bucks without any work.
Books for entrepreneurs
Notice that this book section isn’t very long! I’ve read plenty of books, many of them business and personal development related. These are the two I recommend the most. Read them. You’re welcome 😉
Profit First – This has completely changed the way I run my businesses. It’s a MUST read at any point in your business, even if you haven’t started yet. It’s the key to the financial health of your business. Seriously.
The Slight Edge – Teaches how small daily actions can make a huge impact in your life and business. Great read!
Alright, I think that’s it! Obviously don’t go out and buy all of this stuff if you’re just starting, or even if you’re a veteran ebay seller. Figure out what you need and get it as you make money.
Anything I forgot that you think should be added to the list?
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