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How to Sell on eBay for Free In 2023: Step-By-Step Guide

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Are you tired of scouring the internet for tips on how to sell on eBay for free without success?

eBay is one of the best ecommerce platforms, with over 138 million active buyers and a vast range of product categories.

It offers an incredible opportunity to showcase your products, reach a global audience, and build a successful online business. 

However, the fees can quickly add up and eat into your profits if not carefully thought out.

While you can’t sell entirely for free on eBay, you can reduce the costs by taking advantage of free listings.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to save money on fees and maximize your profits when selling on eBay as a beginner.

Why You Should Consider Selling on eBay for Free

When selling on eBay, you’ll incur various fees affecting your pricing and profitability. The two main types are insertion fees (paid when you list an item for sale) and final value fees (charged when the item sells).

When people talk about how to sell on eBay for free, they typically mean listing your items for free. Here are a few reasons why you should give it a try:

  • Maximize Profits: Reducing or eliminating listing fees means retaining most of your profits, especially if you’re a casual seller.
  • Competitive Advantage: Without listing fees, you can offer competitive rates on your items and attract more price-conscious buyers.
  • Experimentation: You can experiment with different pricing strategies or test the waters with new items or descriptions.
  • Save Money on Unsold Items: Insertion or listing fees are applicable and non-refundable whether the item sells. You won’t incur a loss if you list the item for free and it doesn’t sell.

Problems With Selling on eBay for Free

Selling on eBay for free has its drawbacks. Here are the most common ones you should know about:

  • Limited Free Listings: With a free seller account, you’ll get up to 250 free monthly listings. After exhausting your free allocation, you’ll pay an insertion fee for every new listing. So, relying on free listings might not be a good option if you want to list many items.
  • No Listing Upgrades: The optional listing upgrades are features, such as bold font and subtitle, that help make your listings stand out. Free insertion options don’t include these features, so you’ll still pay for them if needed.
  • An eBay Store is Needed to Increase Zero Insertion Fee Listings: If you need more than 250 free listings monthly, you’ll need to set up an eBay Store. This means you could end up with about 200,000 free listings but will have to part with monthly subscription fees. The number of zero insertion fee listings and subscription costs depends on your plan.
  • Not Entirely Free: Listing your items for free on eBay can help you cut costs, but there’s no way to sell for free completely. You’ll still pay the final value fee when the item sells.
  • Applicable to Specific Product Categories: Some categories don’t qualify for the zero insertion fee listing, for instance, real estate, cars, and heavy equipment.

What You’ll Need to Sell on eBay for Free

Listing your items for free on eBay is quite straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An eBay account or an eBay Store: You can create a basic eBay seller account for free on the site. However, an eBay Store with a subscription plan offers more free listings and additional features than a free account.
  • Profitable Items to List: You can sell a wide range of items on eBay, including used or new products, handmade crafts, vintage items, and more. Just ensure that your items comply with eBay’s policies and guidelines.
  • Good Quality Photos: To attract potential buyers, take clear and well-lit photos of your items. You can use a smartphone or a digital camera.
  • Accurate Item Descriptions: Provide detailed and accurate product descriptions, including any special features and defects. It’ll help buyers make informed purchasing decisions and reduce the likelihood of returns or disputes.
  • Time and Effort: Selling on eBay takes time and effort, especially if you want to maximize your profits. You must research the market, set competitive prices, manage your listings, and communicate with buyers. But you can build a successful online business on eBay with patience and dedication.

What to Sell on eBay for Free

eBay allows you to sell almost anything, new and used. But what are the best things to sell on eBay?

Below is an overview of the best-selling and popular product categories on eBay.

Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories

Whether you want to clear your closet or own a brand, you can make good bucks selling clothing on eBay.

It’s one of the most popular and best-selling categories on eBay. There’s competition, so appearing on top of search results takes effort. But once you establish yourself as a credible source, buyers will always come to you.

People are always looking for clothes! And eBay has millions of active buyers searching for all sorts of clothing, from jeans, sunglasses, and men’s suits to women’s handbags, shoes, vintage clothing, and sweaters.

Electronics and Accessories

Electronics are always in high demand on eBay. About 16.4% of eBay sales fall under the “Electronics & Accessories” category, making it a lucrative option if you’re looking for the best stuff to sell on the platform.

Some popular electronic devices that sell well on eBay include smartphones, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, cameras, drones, and smart home devices.

Most buyers on eBay search for items in this category and items that offer Bluetooth capabilities do particularly well.

Health and Beauty

The health and beauty category is broad and is among eBay’s top five best-selling product categories. It includes fragrances, hair care, health care, make-up, massage, nail care, oral care, spa equipment, skincare, tattoo and body art, vitamins and supplements, and more.

People are always looking for effective products and gadgets that can help them take care of themselves and their bodies easily.

Sports and Outdoors

The sports and outdoors category is also among the top five eBay top-selling categories. You can list different merchandise, such as:

  • Apparel (T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, socks, etc.)
  • Accessories (gym bags, towels, water bottles, etc.)
  • Shoes for hiking, gym, or home workouts
  • Equipment (yoga mats, dumbbells, gym equipment, etc.)

Jewelry & Watches

If you want to sell items that are easy to package and ship, try jewelry and watches. Some of the top-selling items on eBay in the jewelry category include watch bands, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, and watches.


eBay has a vast selection of collectibles, and they sell well. From rare coins to vintage toys to sports memorabilia, there’s a market for almost any type of collectible item.

And eBay’s auction-style listings make it possible to fetch higher prices for rarer collectibles.

How to Sell on eBay for Free: Step-By-Step Instructions

Ready to attract potential buyers and successfully sell your items on eBay? Here’s how to sell on eBay for free:

1. Create an eBay Account

Your seller journey on eBay starts with creating an account. Visit eBay.com and click “Register” at the top left corner of the page.

You’ll have the option to choose between a personal and a business account. Choose the business account option if you’re selling as a company with a business name.

You can select the personal option if you’re clearing stuff from your home or plan to sell casually. However, you can change the account type anytime if need be.

Enter the details required and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the simple sign-up process.

2. Complete Your Profile

Once you’ve created your seller account, you should fill out your profile to make it appear credible. Sign in to your account, click your name on the top left corner, and click your avatar to edit your profile details.

Replace the random user id eBay assigned you with your brand name. Go to “My eBay” and click the “My Account” tab to do this.

3. Understand the Basics of Selling on eBay

Some of the basics you should understand before you start listing items on eBay include:

  • Listing Types: You can list an item via auction for ten days, set a starting price, and sell it to the highest bidder. You can also use the “Buy It Now” listing (fixed price). 
  • Seller Fees: Selling on eBay comes with various fees, but most are optional. The main fees you should be aware of are insertion and final value fees. eBay takes a $0.35 listing fee and a final value fee between 10-15% of the sale price. Set the right product price to help you retain a profit.
  • eBay Selling Policies: You must follow eBay seller policies to avoid account suspension. They include avoiding banned items like drugs, canceling customer orders, buyer complaints, late shipments, using product images from other websites, closing sales outside the platform, and listing contact information.

4. Set Up Your Store Policies

It’s important to carefully fill out your shipping, payment, and return details.

  • Shipping Options: Set your shipping details (dispatch time and delivery services). When will a customer receive their package after a sale? You can offer free shipping when it makes sense for your business to attract more buyers. About 75% of products listed on eBay have free shipping.
  • Payment Options: The platform offers eBay-managed payments that allow you to provide payment by PayPal, card, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
  • Returns Policy: Do you accept returns? Mention how many days apply and who covers the shipping cost for returns.

5. Take High-Quality Product Photos

To attract potential buyers, take high-quality photos of your items. Use natural lighting and a clean background to showcase your items.

Take photos from multiple angles and include any flaws or damage.

6. Create and Optimize Your eBay Listings

Click the “Sell” button at the top right corner of any eBay webpage to create a listing. Fill in the required details; your listing will be ready within minutes.

To optimize your listing, consider the keywords people put in the marketplace’s search engine when looking for such products.

Including searchable keywords in your product’s title and description increase the chances of ranking high when someone searches for those terms.

You should also add enough information about the item in the product descriptions. It helps potential customers get a good product overview to make an informed decision.

7. Set a Competitive Price

Look for similar successful listings that have sold recently and note their selling price and condition.

Based on your market research, set a competitive price for your item. Consider offering free shipping or bundle deals to attract buyers.

8. Manage Your Listings

Once your items are listed, manage your active listings by responding to buyer inquiries and monitoring bids. You can also relist items that haven’t sold or adjust your pricing and other details as needed.

Things to Consider When Selling on eBay for Free

There are a few things to consider before diving in and becoming a top seller on eBay.

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Fees for Upgrades: While listing items for free is possible, eBay offers various upgrades for sellers, such as featured or promoted listings, which come at a cost. Weigh the benefits of these upgrades against the fees.
  • Shipping Costs: Remember to account for the cost of postage and packaging when setting your prices if you offer free shipping options to attract buyers. eBay handles the international shipping process for you.
  • Return Policies: Consider offering a return policy to increase buyer confidence. However, you should clearly outline your policy and any conditions, such as time frames or restocking fees.
  • Customer Service: Good customer service is key to successful sales on eBay. Respond to inquiries and concerns promptly and politely. You should also strive to resolve any issues to the buyer’s satisfaction. Ask buyers to leave positive feedback after a purchase.
  • Competition: Keep an eye on your competition by researching similar active individual listings and adjusting your prices or descriptions.
  • Final Value Fee: These selling fees result from the total sale amount, including shipping price and item costs. Measure the items to get accurate shipping costs when pricing your items.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Sell on eBay Without Fees?

To sell on eBay without paying fees, you’ll need to select the option of getting paid via an eBay voucher instead of cash from buyers.

Otherwise, you must pay 10-15% of the sale price whenever you sell an item.

How Do I Sell Something on eBay for the First Time?

To sell something on eBay for the first time, you must create a seller account, list the item for sale, and manage your product listings.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

Looking for more ways to sell online? Check out these related guides:

Wrapping Up

We hope this guide has clarified what it means to sell on eBay for free. Our goal is to help you make money online.

And now is the perfect time for you to establish a successful online business, including selling on eBay. 

Found this guide helpful? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. You can also share it to help others interested in starting an eBay business.

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