The quick guide to kicking off and starting your eBay store today

Getting started selling on eBay is easy. It can seem intimidating thinking about what to list, how to write a listing, dealing with customers, shipping and returns. Taken all together it does seem like a lot of new skills to acquire.

However, breaking it up into small bite-sized chunks makes learning eBay far easier and way less stressful.

Below is a handy guide to everything that you will need to get started. Phew, I bet you are glad we put this together.

You need the following:

  1. Email address.

  2. Bank account and PayPal account.

  3. An eBay account.

  4. Things to sell.

  5. Laptop or mobile phone.

  6. A place to store the goods.

  7. Packaging material.

Not much at all to start selling on eBay is it? 

Email address

For almost everything on the internet, you need an email address. eBay is no different. You will need an email address to get started.

Now there is a debate about whether you should use a new separate email address or your everyday email address when you first start out on your eBay journey.

Personally, when we started out on our eBay journey, we began using our own personal email address and then grew into a more professional email address and set-up. 

At the start, you can just use your own account, as you are just getting started.

However, I would recommend that your email address is fit for purpose, e.g. rather than as it is more professional and does separate personal and professional email.

The top three free email address providers are listed below. However, other email providers are available and please check out each one before deciding. 

Gmail from Google - - great for Android users.

Outlook by Microsoft - - great for everyone.

iCloud Mail by Apple - - great for apple users.

Bank account and PayPal account.

Why do you need a bank account and a Paypal account? So eBay can pay you all that lovely money from your sales.

eBay requires these as a must. Gone are the days of being able to write cheques for payment. If you remember this you are either a hardcore, early days internet or very old, like me!

Recently eBay introduced managed payments, a system that cuts out PayPal from its platform. Customers can still pay for items using PayPal, but it's not the only option. We have found that this has made dealing with all the cash from eBay so much easier and frankly cheaper as well.

Get a separate bank account to start your journey with eBay and you will find the entire experience far more satisfying, pleasant and less stressful.

Having a separate bank account will allow you to manage the money you make via eBay and in time to reinvest the profits. Many people when they get started on eBay use their own personal accounts and find that they get money mixed up and do not enjoy their profits or mix up their costs with personal expenses.

There are various "free" digital first banks that are a great starting point in your search for a bank account 

Free app accounts & Paypal

Monzo - 

Starling - 

Tide - 

Paypal - 

Of course, before you use any financial product or service, please do your own research and due diligence to ensure that it is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.

An eBay account

Now it goes without saying that you will need an eBay account. My suggestion is that you use the account you already shop with on eBay. That is of course if you have used eBay in the past. Amazingly some people have not used eBay. 

You might be thinking 'Didn't he say earlier to keep your business and personal separate'? I know, I know, you are going to be saying 'But shouldn't we be acting professionally and keeping business and pleasure separate?'

With your finances that is certainly very true. However, when it comes to your eBay account, it very much makes sense to use an account you have had for a while for a number of reasons.

Reason 1: it's just easier and quicker to get going. Defeating procrastination is important.

Reason 2: age plays a part in the algorithm that decides what products to show people. Having an older account will help you rank higher.

Reason 3: you will already have feedback. Nothing is worse than an account with no feedback. It will slow down initial sales. However, never fear, everyone does have to start somewhere even if you are new to eBay. It will just slow down those few initial sales.

At this stage, taking that first step is all that matters!.

  1. Things to sell.

Once you have your account, your bank account (and PayPal), and your eBay account you are now ready to go! 

So all you need are things to sell. This is where it gets really, really exciting!

Now you could go and get out into the big wide world and hustle, hustle, hustle and find good fantastic stock to sell. 

Or you could just look closer to home.

Everyone has things that they do not need anymore, that someone else might need. You may think it is junk. But your junk is another person's 'must have'.

For instance, old instruction manuals. They could go in the bin or they could go on eBay for someone who repairs VCRs and wants the manuals to go with the finished item. Or old books that you have read, but other people have not read and would like to read. 

Used books are one of the biggest markets on the internet. A small unknown company called Amazon started with books.

Other ideas for things to sell on eBay:

  • Old clothes, wash them, iron them and list them.

  • A pile of clutter in the attic. Get up there and get it sorted, get it listed.

  • Garage full of old bikes, toys and other clutter. Get them listed also.

Start at home and declutter the house first to start your selling journey. 

If you are decluttering it will go in the bin anyway, so you may as well list it.

There are a whole host of ways to find products to sell on eBay: charity shops, Facebook marketplace, dumpster diving, or just asking friends and family.

However, we suggest that you start small and start at home. Starting at home will give you the confidence to continue selling and it will teach you the ropes without having to spend money.

  1. Laptop or mobile phone

These are a must if you are going to be selling on eBay. If however, you only have a very basic smartphone that will be enough. 

Essentially, you just need to be able to download the eBay app to get started.

If you can connect to the internet with a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone you will be fine. 

Remember, this is about starting this journey today.

  1. A place to store your inventory.

This does not need to be anywhere fancy. Just some boxes in a corner that you keep the items separate from everyday life and allow you to easily pick, parcel and ship the items when the time comes.

If you have a garage, a spare bedroom, a dry shed or attic space this is even better.

Essentially you want the items to be away from the rest of your other stuff because it stops them getting broken in between listings and shipping. Keeping the items separate also allows you to ship more quickly and with less hassle and stress.

Remember, the essence of this approach is for it to be easy and simple.

Start organised. Stay organised.

  1. Packing material

The chances are in your house you have all the materials that you need to be able to ship the items that you sell initially.  From old boxes, cuts of bubble wrap, too old newspapers you will be amazed at what you can find around the house for free.

Basically search those draws, those cupboards and those boxes, those nooks and those crannies. 

Ask friends, ask families, ask neighbours if need be ask your granny. 

You want to find as much packaging material for free as possible. 

Always keep all the packaging materials that you find when you get a delivery to your house. 

This is a great way of recycling (Brilliant!) and saves money (double brilliant!!).

Visit your local supermarket and ask if they have boxes or other waste materials that you can borrow. Even your corner shop can be a great place to get packaging material.

At the start of this project, not spending money is important. As you want as much of that lovely money as you can keep to reinvest or treat yourself.

The Last thing you need

The last thing you need is hard work and patience. As you can see, this is not much to get started selling on eBay. 






At present it might seem like there is a lot to take in, and indeed a lot to do. However, many of the tasks above will only take a few hours. If that.

If you looking for inspiration check out our eBay shop - - remember we started small, just like you. We are still on our growth journey, but hey, it's all about the journey. 


Have you sold on eBay before? If so what happened?


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

We have also created a spreadsheet to help you navigate the world of eBay accounting. Take a look now.

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