In-depth, no-nonsense, all-killer-no-filler, guide to creating a great eBay listing today.

Creating a listing on eBay makes lots of people very worried for some reason.

However, I have some good news for you! With our guide below you will be up and flying with listings on eBay in no time. However, before we begin on the nitty-gritty of writing an eBay listing we have some golden rules that every eBay seller should follow.

Golden eBay Rules

  1. Be the "customer" at all times.

  2. Be truthful and point out flaws.

  3. Fill in every box possible. Yes, every box is possible!

Now, these rules do seem very simple, however, we will explain each one, in turn, to highlight why we mean each one and what it can mean for your listing and ultimately your sales.

Be the customer.

Walk a mile, or at least scroll a mile in your customer's shoes. 

Always be the customer. 

Thinking like a customer, as you are a customer yourself.

It may sound a little cliche, but you need to put yourself in the mindset when writing the headline, the description, and taking photos. 

Would this make me click buy? 

How would I feel about this listing? 

Do these pictures look good enough for the money?

The customer-centred questions may sound obvious, however, how many times have you scrolled through eBay and been "hell no" to a listing when you have seen or read something that put you off? I know I have, and you probably have as well.

Be truthful and point out flaws.

Carrying on with the customer-centric approach. All flaws in a product, especially, if the product is second-hand or used should be pointed out and highlighted. This should be because you are looking to always be truthful.

Forgetting to mention that knock, nic, or missing manual is only going to end up, in the long run, leaving you with refunds and complaints and more hassle than a quick sale is worth.

Being truthful is good for business.

What would a judgemental cat think about your listing?

Fill in every box possible. 

eBay is an old website. However, it is also a very sophisticated website, that overtime has become, 'under the hood' a real piece of work (in a good way). 

Feeding this machine, and eBay is a machine, with the correct data in the correct boxes will help you in two very different ways. 

Firstly, it will help you appear in more searches, so the chances of getting a purchase will increase. 

Secondly, as more boxes are filled in eBay is going to know more about your listing, so eBay will be able to promote it and include it in the right channels and search results.

Essentially, the information you enter into eBay is the fuel that helps the engine run. Work with the engine.

Creating an advert or listing

So let's now move on to how to create a great advert on eBay. Now that we have got the golden principles out of the way, we can now move on to how we can create a great listing on eBay.

You can use either your phone or your laptop to create a listing on eBay. The good thing about the eBay app and the eBay desktop site from a listing perspective is its synchronization. This is a time-saver, meaning you can quickly switch between the two easily and swiftly.

Five Step Listing 

Please note the steps below are based on using the desktop webpage.

  1. To begin listing on eBay, go to My eBay at the top right-hand corner.

  2. Click on selling in the drop-down

  3. Click on the listings tab once the backend selling hub opens up.

  4. Click on 'Create Listing', the big blue button in the top right corner. This will take you to the eBay listing form.

  5. Fill in the eBay listing form once it loads. 

The listing form is a very long form that changes depending on the category of listing you undertake. We have outlined how to fill in the form below.

However, when it comes to listing on eBay there is nothing better than practice.

Guide to filling in the eBay listing form


The headline is one of the most important parts of eBay. Along with the photos that you upload, this will be the biggest influence on purchasing decisions you have. 

So writing a good headline is important. Indeed vital.

Six rules to writing a good headline

  1. Put the most important word first.

  2. Only include words that people search for - no one searches for WOW, Brilliant etc.

  3. The title does not have to be a sentence, it can be a collection of relevant words.

  4. Try if possible to use the entire space for the headline. Every character if possible.

  5. Do not use hyphens - slash's / or / exclamation marks ! question marks? or emojis.

  6. You double-check the headline asking "Would I click this headline".

You can if you so wish, use a subheading, however, this does cost extra money, at the time of printing this was £0.12, which might not sound a lot, however, it will cut into your profit without much benefit in your early days. Especially at the price eBay charges for its other fees!

If you are still stuck about what to include in the headline of an item, we suggest you open up eBay and search for the item, filter the results by Sold Listings and review the latest sale and get inspiration. 


Next, you move on to the selection that is the category. For clarification, the category is the type of product e.g. books, DVD's, Children's toys, home, car parts etc etc. 

Now from here on in, each category of the item will have a separate range of boxes to fill in that are different due to the varying nature of each product type. So we will not focus on explaining each section as this would make a very long and very dull book. 

However, we will mention what we said before and that it is important to fill in every box possible. As this will help your listing rise to the top of relevant searches on eBay, and help eBay display it on the advertising network, which is huge.


A quick note on the condition. When you are being asked to describe the condition, always be truthful and "err" on the side of caution. For you the item may be "mint" to the collector it might be in average condition. 

Now that you have filled in the boxes that relate to the item you will come across the photo section. Miss the photos for now. Come back to them last.

Item Description Box

You will now come to the item description box.

This is an important "free text" box that will allow you to describe the item, your shipping notes, and any issues about the item. To help make this simpler we have included an example below so that you get the gist of what we are talking about.

Headline - Describe and Name the product.

Outline the Condition of the product - New or Used Good Condition.

Postage - note how it is going to be packed and who the carrier is going to be.

Add a note about your shop.

Add a note about being open to asking you questions.


Pink Felt Hanging Decoration. 

Condition is Brand New.

All items are packed very securely for post.

Dispatched Royal Mail, 2nd Class.

 Please take a look at our shop, we have many items being added daily.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.


Do you notice that we have included very little information above and beyond what is needed? Keeping it simple is the most important part of eBay.

You will move on to the next section - Selling Details.

Selling Details

In this section, we cover the pricing, type of listing, postage details, advertising rate and a few other bits and pieces that make up an eBay advert. 

We will progress through each part of the advert in the order that they appeared at the time of writing.


This is a choice between Auction style (traditional eBay) or Fixed price. Most items now sold on eBay are at the Fixed price methodology. There are pros and con's to both types of listings.

Reasons to go with an "auction" listing

  • You may sell the item for more than you valued it at.

  • Auction listings are exciting.

  • Auctions allow you to set a reserve price (that you are happy to sell for) whilst giving You the possibility of maximising the price you receive.

  • Auction is the best format for selling unique, rare or collectable items that are in high demand.

Reasons to Fixed Price Listings

  • You get to set the price you want to receive.

  • Less stress as the listing comes to an end.

  • When the item sells the customer has to pay straight away.

  • You can fully appreciate your profit margin before you list.

  • You are able to send out offers of discounts that you are in control.

  • You can change the price on the listing at any time.

  • Best format for selling "run-of-the-mill" products.

Start Date

In regards to the listing start date, if this is a rare or high-value item that you are thinking about listing to gain an absolute maximum price, then by all means, schedule a start date for the item. However, for most items, you are not going to need to change this, so just leave this as the default time.


As you are most likely to be using a fixed price method for your sales working out the price is important. However, it is pretty simple:

Item price + Postage & Shipping Costs + Packaging Materials + eBay fee's + Desired Profit = Sales Price.


The next box is the VAT box. As you are casually selling you do not need to worry about VAT at the moment so leave blank.

Tick Boxes

Next, there are two tick boxes. The first tick box covers buyers remaining anonymous and the other about charity donations.

If you want to make a donation click on the charity box, otherwise, leave both of these blank.

Delivery Details

In this section, you will have to fill in three policy areas: Payment Policy, Postage Policy & Returns Policy. 

What you include here is up to you and how what you feel comfortable with as a seller. 

You will have to think about this and make the best decision for you. 

We do have suggestions:

  • Demand immediate payment. Stops shenanigans and time wasters.

  • The quicker the dispatch time the more likely people are to buy.

  • The longer the return policy the more likely people are to buy.

Package Dimensions

You can fill this section in if you wish, However, we generally leave this blank.

Item Location

This will only display your town/village or city. Our suggestion is always be truthful regarding this. Do not put a location like Brighton, Knightsbridge or Scunthorpe to sound cool and hip. It will not affect your sales.

Sell it faster

This is eBay's own in-house advertising platform. Now to be fair to eBay, this is the bee's knees. It takes very little effort to promote your sales on eBay.

With our store, we are (at the time of writing making 60%+) of our sales via promoted listings.

The great thing about the promoted listing is you can set a price as a percentage of the final sale price. eBay will also give you the cost of the advertising if it sales through promoted listings.

Your listing is now almost ready to go. All you need to do now is add in the photos.

eBay Photography School

Great photographs sell items. The secret to great photographs is no secret, it is just all about keeping it simple, making sure that it is in focus and following these simple steps.

15 steps for a listing Photograph

  1. Clean and prepare the item so it looks its best.

  2. Save your current listing.

  3. Open the eBay app.

  4. Open the draft for the item you are going to photograph.

  5. Once the listing has opened at the top of the listing, there will be a blue cross. Click the blue cross.

  6. When presented with options click camera.

  7. The eBay app will open up a special camera app that will link straight into your listing.

  8. You can now take photos of the item.

  9. Once you have taken the photos click done at the top.

  10. Giving it a few seconds the photograph will load into the photo screen.

  11. You can move the photos around so that the best photo is the main photo.

  12.  Tap or click on each photo to open up the photo editor.

  13. Once in the editor click on the button that looks like a mountain with dots around it.

  14. This tool will remove the background and give your item a professional white background. The tool is not perfect, so it might require some touching up. 

  15.  Once you have done this for each photo click done.

Golden Rules for Great Photography

  1. The photo should be honest.

  2. Photograph and reference any knocks, scrapes or blemishes on the items in the photos and in the description box.

  3. You can take up to 12 photographs. The more photos the better.

  4. Do not forget to use the background tool to make the listing look professional.

  5. Make sure the item is in focus.

  6. Ensure that light is not reflecting away.

  7. Use a white background to help the background tool do its business.

  8. Do not be afraid to crop the image.

  9. Position the image in the centre of the image.

  10. If in doubt ask yourself, how would a retail store or professional e-commerce company photograph the item?

  11.  Do not be afraid to check other people's photos for ideas and inspiration. 

Get ready to list your first item.

You have now filled in every box, and added some great photographs. You are ready to click the list. However, before you gallop ahead and click that shiny blue button, make sure to click the preview button and have one last look over the listing.

Some people will leave the draft 24 hours before listing, so they can review it with fresh eyes the next day.

Whatever you decide to do, if you have completed the above steps, clicking "list" on your first item is a nerve-wracking experience. 

I felt the same. 

However, the nerves and worry will soon disappear when you get that notification about your first sale.


Was this post too long? Comment below


This post is an extract from my book "My First eBay Sale" which is available now.

We have also created a spreadsheet that will help you track your eBay profit and loss. Check it out now.

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