If you’re feeling a little confuzzled about how to sell on eBay and manage your orders successfully, then ta-da! Welcome to this post.
In this guide:
- How do I start selling on eBay?
- eBay selling fees
- Setting up an eBay store
- How do you become a top seller on eBay?
- What happens if sellers don't meet eBay's standards?
- Requirements for Top Rated and Top Rated Plus sellers
- How sellers can meet and exceed eBay's standards
- Can I use Fulfilled by Amazon to fulfill my eBay orders?
- How do I bulk ship orders in eBay and send tracking numbers in bulk?
- Can I print invoices for eBay and Amazon at the same time?
- Can I use the same pick list for eBay and Amazon orders?
- How do I view my entire selling history on eBay?
- What is the best way to integrate eBay with Amazon and Shopify?
Stating the obvious, but before you can do anything on eBay, you need to register for an account. When you’re registering, you’ll be given a choice between a personal or business account.
Go for a personal account if you’re only gonna be selling a little on the side (like getting rid of some old Star Wars toys or something). Disclaimer: we have nothing against Star Wars, it was the first example that sprang to mind. Go for business if you’re in this for the long haul and are planning:
- To sell in bulk
- To buy items to sell on
- To make products that you can sell
It’s worth noting at this point that we’re gearing this post towards business sellers.
How to set up an eBay account
- Go to the Registration page
- Choose which type of account you want
- Enter your details and hit Register.
When you’ve done that, here's how you get started with selling:
- Click on Sell at the top of any eBay page
- Create your first product listing (exciting)
- Confirm your details and add an automatic payment method for your eBay selling fees
We’ll be getting into the fees shortly. But basically, eBay will email a monthly invoice for all your seller fees (including listings, sales, refunds, shipping label charges). You can choose to set up payment using direct debit, credit card or Paypal. And once that’s done, you won’t need to worry about doing anything because the amount will be taken out automatically by eBay.
You have to pay two fees: an insertion fee when you create a listing and a final value fee when you sell an item.
However, it is slightly more complex than that. The amount you’ll end up paying depends on several things:
- The price of the item
- The category of the product listing
- Any optional listing upgrade add-ons
- How you’re performing as a seller
Yep, we said it was complex!
Zero insertion fee listings
As a professional seller, you do get an allocation of zero insertion fee listings per month (so list stuff for free). Depending on what you sell, you get up to 50 of these a month.
What’s the catch? Well, they’re non-refundable, even if your item doesn’t sell. If you have an unsold product on your hands and think ‘well, I’ll just give it another go’ then you will be charged a fee on the subsequent listings (unless you still some zero fee listings to use up that month).
And the other catch is that you can only get zero insertion fee listings when you list in the country that you registered in. So if your registered address is in the US, you can only use your zero fee ‘allowance’ on ebay.com.
Note: Final value fees are still due on the items that you listed for free.
Final value fees
These are charged on every sale of a listed, or relisted item. They’re worked out as a percentage of the total amount your buyer pays, including shipping. Sales tax isn’t included.
To find out more about fees, go here.
When you set up a store, you have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription. But you do pay lower final value fees and get more free listings at your disposal every month.
Here’s an overview of the eBay store tiers:
Ok, so what do you actually get for your money in each tier?
To get more information about fees for Store subscriptions, here’s the place to go.
How to open an eBay store
To start with, you’ll need a seller account with an automatic payment method set up
First, decide what subscription level you want – Starter, Basic, Premium, Anchor, or Enterprise. When you've chosen one, here's how to open your Store:
- Go to Account in My eBay.
- Select Subscriptions.
- Select Choose a Store.
- Find the Store type you'd like to subscribe to and choose Select and review.
- Select the subscription term (yearly or monthly) and enter a name for your Store.
- Select Submit order to purchase the Store subscription.
eBay evaluates your performance every month, looking at the standard of customer service you provide as well as your selling history. The length of time eBay looks at in each evaluation depends on how many sales you make:
- If you’ve had 400 or more transactions in the last 3 months, then your evaluation is based on that 3-month period
- If you’ve made less than 400 sales over the last 3 months, then you’re evaluated on the last 12 months
Things that can impact your seller rating include:
- Transaction defect rate (for example, seller-initiated cancellation of a sale)
- Number of cases closed without seller resolution (for example, where eBay has to step in to help a seller and finds you responsible for the issue)
- Delayed shipment
- Confirmed tracking and delivery metrics
Max Godin from CrazyLister breaks down the groups that sellers are placed into based on their ‘scores’ over the most recent evaluation period:
- Top Rated/Top Rated Plus – This is the A/A+ group, where only the sellers who provide the very best customer service hang out and eat lunch.
- Above Standard – This group are around the B-/C mark. The sellers in this group provide a respectable standard of customer service. They’re sat over at the next table, gazing wistfully at the overachievers.
- Below Standard – The D grade. Sellers in this group are missing the target in terms of minimum customer service requirements. If transaction defect rate is above 2% or cases closed without seller resolution is above 0.3%, then those sellers end up in detention.
Well. It ain’t good. If you fail to meet the minimum performance standards, eBay can limit your selling activity or lower your search placement until things improve. Kinda like probation. If performance is really bad, eBay could suspend the account.
Here’s what can happen if for some reason, your account isn’t meeting standards:
- You need to sort out all issues on the account before buying or selling on other accounts
- You can’t register for a new account
- You can’t use another existing eBay account to get around buying or selling limits or other punishments policy consequences
- You’ll pay higher final value fees on any sales (ouch)
Let’s get onto lighter topics, shall we? If you become a Top Rated seller, you benefit from increased buyer confidence in your products (which, of course, can lead to more sales) and $30 credit towards promoted listings each quarter (which equals more eyes on your products).
This is what you need to get Top Rated status:
- An eBay account that’s been active for a minimum of 90 days
- 100 or more transactions and $1000 in sales during the last 12 months with US buyers
- A defect rate that’s no higher than 0.5%
- A ‘cases closed without seller resolution’ rate of 0.3% or less
- A late shipment rate of 3% or lower
- Tracking uploaded within your stated handling time, and carrier validation for 95% of transactions with US shoppers
And if you want to go one further, you can aim for Top Rated Plus status. Here’s what you need to do:
- Offer same or one-business-day handling
- A 30-day or longer free return period with money-back guarantee
You don’t have to offer these on all your listings. But on the listings where you do offer these services, you get a Top Rated Plus Seal that’s highly visible in search results and your product descriptions. Ooh, and you get a 10% discount on final value fees. Nice.
Treat your customers like royalty. That’s pretty much what it comes down to. The best way to do that is to stay on top of your order management to avoid errors. Because if we look at what eBay is assessing you on, it’s the number of screw-ups you make.
The standards you’re being measured against (transaction defects, delayed shipments, tracking and delivery) can all be met (or exceeded) with an order management process that runs like clockwork.
Easy for us to say, we know. We’re not the ones running around trying to manage what feels like a hundred businesses at the same time. Because yeah, chances are you’re not just selling on eBay. Add Amazon, Shopify and Etsy into the mix and it’s no wonder orders can get out of control. Mistakes get made. Customers get peeved.
So what we’re gonna do now is dive into the nitty gritty of order management. The actual processes you can use to make managing orders and delighting customers that much easier.
Yes, you can. The fancy pants, official name for this service is Multichannel Fulfillment. And going back to the ‘treat your customers like royalty’ advice, using MCF may be a good option if you’re snowed under trying to get your orders out the door on time. Amazon take that job off your hands and it means you can offer really competitive delivery options like 1-day or 2-day delivery.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that Amazon may take the job itself off your hands, but not the responsibility. They don’t take the blame when it comes to negative customer feedback in terms of late shipment, on-time delivery or valid tracking. (Unlike FBA on your Amazon orders, where they accept responsibility for any bad feedback solely relating to order fulfillment).
And you don’t need to be using FBA on your Amazon orders to be able to use Multichannel Fulfillment for your eBay orders.
If you are already using FBA for your Amazon orders, then your eBay orders will be picked from your existing inventory in Amazon’s warehouses. If not, then you can send some stock over ready to fulfill eBay orders.
Here’s some info about costs.
How to send eBay orders to be Fulfilled by Amazon one at a time
How to send eBay orders to be Fulfilled by Amazon in bulk
If the above method looks a little too long-winded for your taste, you can always send orders to be fulfilled in bulk. We can’t promise it will be much quicker though, as you have to fill this spreadsheet out:
That is just a screenshot of part of the spreadsheet. The columns you have to fill out actually go all the way up to U.
Once you’ve filled it out, head to the “Upload Multi-Channel Fulfillment File” page and click “Upload your created Order file”. Click “Browse” to find your file and then upload it.
It’s all so . . . manual. Let’s get back to the 21st century, shall we?. If you use order management software, you can send orders to Multi Channel Fulfillment with just a couple of clicks. Think how much time that could save!
This is how ChannelGrabber rolls:
Simply select the relevant eBay orders and click to send them over to FBA. No hair-tearing spreadsheets needed. And you get updates on the order status as Amazon is fulfilling it, just as if you had fulfilled the order yourself.
You can do bulk shipping in eBay if you buy eBay shipping labels and you can print up to 50 at a time. When you use this function, the orders are automatically marked as shipped and the tracking information sent out. The option to print shipping labels can be found in the Orders section of Seller Hub. This is good if you’re doing most of your selling on eBay. But we’ll go into more detail on that in a bit.
If you don’t want to buy eBay labels, you can manually add tracking numbers once you’ve sent the order:
- Go to the Orders section in Seller Hub and click on Paid and Shipped
- Select the order by checking the box next to it
- Click on the Dispatch dropdown menu and select Add tracking number
- Enter the tracking number and carrier details then press Save
The buyer then gets an email with the tracking information.
If you don’t buy eBay labels or manually add tracking numbers, this is how you mark an order as shipped in Seller Hub:
- Go to the Awaiting Shipment section in Orders
- Tick the Actions box next to the items you shipped
- Select Mark as Shipped from the dropdown menu
How tracking numbers can protect you
It’s crucial that you give the customer tracking details. Sure, it gives customers peace of mind that they’ll receive their order which is good. And it’s one of the metrics that eBay assesses you on. But it can also protect you against scammy buyers.
eBay announced a change this year to their policy about tracking numbers. (This doesn’t apply if you buy shipping labels from eBay, by the way.) You need to upload tracking numbers to the site before the estimated delivery date to be able to appeal an “item not received” claim. If you don’t do this within the timeframe, and someone insists they didn’t get their items, you won’t be protected under this new policy and eBay will close the case against you.
Even if you send over a tracking number via direct message to the buyer, that still won’t be enough to protect you against a claim. The number needs to be manually uploaded via eBay (as described in the instructions above).
How to easily bulk ship eBay orders and send out tracking info automatically
Ok, so there is a way you can bulk ship without being tied to using eBay shipping labels. And there’s a way to avoid having to remember to manually upload your tracking numbers (yay!). If you’re selling on multiple channels, you need simplicity and automation to make everything easy with less chance of errors.
So here’s how you can bulk ship eBay orders and send tracking numbers in ChannelGrabber without wasting precious time:
Click the orders you want to ship
Click on Ship to get your labels. Or click on Dispatch to let eBay know it’s on the way, and to send out tracking details automatically (with no typing!)
You certainly can! It takes way too much time to go into each channel to sort out invoices. So why not just get them done in one place?
If you look back at the previous section, it’s simply a case of selecting the orders and clicking on “Invoice”. You can splash your brand onto your invoices as well, and tailor them to each channel. Find out more about that here.
Yep, you can. And it’s easy peasy. It makes more sense to create one pick list to work from, instead of having to go into each channel and print out your unshipped orders.
We’ll show you how to do that over here.
Erm. You can’t. If the orders are more than 3 months old, they’re automatically wiped. Which ain’t great because you never know when you might need to pull up an order’s details to check something (think tax returns).
However, with order management software like ChannelGrabber, you can see all your orders for as long as your accounts are connected. You can even choose your own auto-archive settings or disable the archive feature altogether (although we wouldn’t recommend it for page loading reasons). And you can still view all your orders in the archive anytime. It’s good to have the control and the options isn’t it?
If you’re looking to just connect Amazon and eBay, then you need some good ol’ order management software.
If you’re looking to connect with Shopify, then they do offer Amazon and eBay integrations to help you manage orders in one place. But this may not be the best solution.
Shopify's eBay integration has performed better in the reviews department (3.4 stars at the time of writing) than Shopify’s Amazon app (which was rated 1.8 stars). However, there are several angry one-star reviews mentioning glitches with the eBay app.
If you’re selling on all three channels, then you need a solution that works well across all those channels and brings them together effectively for awesome order management. There’s no point if you’re still gonna have a fair bit of manual work to do (which seems to be the case with Shopify’s Amazon integration).
Here’s what to look for in multichannel software if you want an easier time fulfilling all your orders:
- Scales with your business because the price is based on order volume
- Not locked into a rigid payment plan - you can upgrade or downgrade anytime
- Support, updates and upgrades included in the price
- One interface to log into to manage your orders across all channels
- Can create basic things like pick lists and invoices effortlessly
- Can send orders to FBA with a couple of clicks
- The ability to bulk select orders and action them
- Tracking information sent out automatically for both the benefit of you and the buyer
- No ugly spreadsheets or tedious typing (this one is huge)
And what do ya know? ChannelGrabber just so happens to do all of that and more.
How do you manage, or plan to manage, your eBay orders? Any tips or questions? Let us know in the comments!
If you're thinking you'd like to learn more about multichannel order management software, check out our guide: