eBay Tips and Tricks
Useful, free advice for active eBay profit seekers


Starting Trading on eBay...

If I was to advise someone on how to start from the beginning on eBay, this is the way I would suggest. Obviously it is not the only way to begin but the following methods have served me very well. If I had known all of this from the start, my time on eBay would've been that little bit easier and I am sure I would have made more money.

(1) Obvious enough - sign up for eBay.

It's free and once your account is set up you can start bidding and listing immediately. Click Here to go to eBay UK

TIP: Think carefully about your username when first registering on eBay. If you choose "chavscum666" it is hardly going to leave a great impression with potential bidders. At the same time, a username like "john985623233" isn't memorable. Some buyers may wish to keep track of your items so a memorable username is a good idea. Keep it simple.

(2) Sign up for PayPal.

It is certainly not the only way you can pay and there are drawbacks but it is free for buyers and very quick and safe. PayPal can be credited from a credit card or a bank account (direct debit) and all payments are instant. This is great if you are a buyer (your items are delivered more quickly) and superb if you are a seller (your customers can pay you instantly). Click Here to go to PayPal

(3) Get a new current account.

This may not be for everyone. When I first began selling, a lot of buyers were still sending cheques and postal orders to pay for my items. This is not a problem but I needed somewhere to pay the money into. The problem I had was that I paid the money into my "day-to-day" account and didn't transfer it into another. As you can guess, all my profits disappeared into the pub/kebab shop till.

It wasn't until earlier this year that I decided to make my eBay business that little bit more "professional".

I opened an account with First Direct and now use this account solely for buying and selling. It also makes a great emergency fund if I am a little short - saves me spending on a credit card and being charged interest.

First Direct are currently offering 25 if you open a new current account with them and transfer your banking. I opened a new account but didn't transfer my banking and they still paid the money. All I had to do was credit the account with 100.

You will be using the account with PayPal so make sure you register the details. Login into your PayPal account, click on Profie and then Bank Accounts to add the account.

This process can take up to 10 working days so you may have to pay with a credit card whilst you are waiting for your account to be confirmed.

Obviously you don't have to use First Direct but whichever bank you use, make sure the account has the following features:

  • Switch/Maestro card (very handy for paying at the Post Office)
  • Online banking (monitor your cashflow 24 hours a day)
  • No charges
  • Some kind of incentive to join (you are never going to go into your overdraft and the account is simply a place to store your profits, try and get at least some money out of them!)
  • A cheque book (some sellers still do not use PayPal, you may need to send over a cheque)
  • A reasonable interest rate. If your money is sat in an account you may as well earn a little extra from it. Some current accounts offer a tiny 0.1% interest a year. First Direct offers 2%. It won't make you rich but it is still free money.

(4) Get a credit card.

At times you may need to buy from abroad. As it is unlikely that they will take Switch in Canada, a Visa or Mastercard is required.

You will need to be disciplined enough to pay off your credit card every month to avoid interest. If you don't, the interest will eat into your trading profits. I would suggest paying your credit card as soon as funds land in your bank account or even immediately if you already have a healthy account balance.

Try and make sure your credit card has the following features:

  • Low interest rate. If you are a little late you don't want to get too stung
  • Long interest free period. There are some cards which will allow you 59 days interest free from the date of purchase. Try and get at least 40 days in case your sales are a little slow.
  • Cash back. Some cards offer cashback on purchases, often 1-2%. Once again, this is free money and if you can, take advantage.
  • Internet banking (for cashflow monitoring)

The above will probably take up to a month so in the meantime you can begin researching eBay for hot items.

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