7 tips to grow your eBay business (hint: they’re all free!)


In honor of National Bargain Hunting Week, here are 7 tips from ShipWorks customers that have built successful businesses on eBay. From shipping software to shipping supplies, the best part is that these are all free!

  1. Maximize your title and description – Titles are powerful because they determine how your item will show up in search results. eBay allows 80 characters for the title, so make sure you use relevant keywords like the manufacturer, model, size, weight, condition, and color. Be careful when using adjectives like “amazing” and “beautiful” because these are words that a buyer would rarely use to search. If you need help finding relevant keywords, we recommend Google AdWords Keyword Planner, which is a free tool that will help you find the right keywords.
  2. Complete the item specifics – The eBay search engine looks in three places for keyword matches – title, item specifics, and the first 100 words of your listing. Make sure you’re using your keywords in those specific fields so that you’re maximizing your listing. By completing the item specifics, your item will be more likely to be shown when buyers use eBay’s left hand side filters to drill down to the item they’re shopping for.
  3. Quality photos – Pictures really do speak louder than words. eBay allows each listing to have up to 12 photos for free, so we recommend that you take advantage of this. Other eBay photo rules are that the photo must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side of the image, the image cannot have borders or seller-added text, and there must be at least one photo per listing. There are hundreds of tutorials online about how to take quality photos, but here are two great tutorials from our partners that give tips if you’re using an iPhone or traditional camera.
  4. Use free shipping supplies – USPS offers free shipping supplies if you ship USPS Priority Mail or Prioirty Mail Express. You can pick up the boxes at the post office, or have them delivered directly to your door.  The added benefit of using Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail is that you can get free package pickup at your home. Once you have your packaging material, there are 3 other “must have” supplies we recommend – a scale, tape measure, and printer. If you don’t have one of these, check out our supplies site where we sell shipping supplies at a discount.
  5. Automate Shipping for Free – When you start shipping multiple items a day, shipping can become a headache.  That’s when you know it’s time to automate, so that you can print multiple shipping labels at one time. ShipWorks and Endicia offer a free version specifically for eBay sellers, so that you can access postage discounts, configure and process shipments and batches, automate order processing and avoid double entry.  Try it here.
  6. Be friendly and communicate – This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s so important. Be as positive and informative as possible. If a buyer has questions, answer them. If the buyer’s question is something that others are likely to ask, post the response publicly. Always be friendly and kind in your responses and post.
  7. Offer a return policy or satisfaction guarantee – Offering some kind of a guarantee is a great way to set you apart from other sellers on eBay. Plus, studies have shown that those that offer a “satisfaction guaranteed” return policy increase their sales dramatically.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your best tip for growing your eBay business?