Top 4 Mistakes Beginning eBay Sellers Make

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eBay has very few barriers to entry, so most new sellers just jump on and start listing. While eBay makes this possible, it is wise to step back, read the eBay policies, and understand what can cause account restriction as well as suspension. eBay doesn't buy "I didn't know better" as an excuse when a rule is violated. Make sure you understand these basic rules before starting to sell on eBay.

Take Your Own Photos

It is against eBay policy to use another seller's photos or to steal them off the internet.

If using a photo that you did not take, you must have written permission from the owner. The official eBay policy states:

You should be sure you have permission from the rights owner or creator before you use the following:

  • Images or text copied from websites or internet searches
  • Stock photos and text 
  • Information from product packaging
  • It's usually OK to use information such as measurements, weight, or other item specifications that are necessary to describe the item that you simply can't say any other way. However, you should avoid using any other text from product packaging unless you have permission from the owner to do so. 
  • Images and text copied from listings of other eBay members
  • Scans or text copied from catalogs or advertisements

Read the full policy about eBay Image Theft here

Understand Your Selling Limits

All sellers have selling limits. If you are brand new to eBay, your limits will likely be as low as 10 items and $500.

If you have had an eBay account for several years, but have never sold anything, your limits will be higher because eBay sees you as a trusted community member.

Selling limits are sort of hidden on eBay, so here is how to find them:

You can see most of your account limits in My eBay and in Seller Hub. Click My eBay at the top of most eBay pages, sign in to your account, then select the All Selling option in the Sell section on the left side of the page (or in the Selling Manager Summary). In Seller Hub, you can see your account limits in the Overview section.

Read all the details about Selling Limits here.

Learn About the VeRO Program

eBay has a program called VeRO, which stands for Verified Rights Ownership. Basically, VeRO is a list of companies or brands who don't want their items sold on eBay or insist that the items be authentic. For example, Michael Kors is on the VeRO list, but as long as the item is authentic, it can be listed and sold.

The VeRO Participant Profile Page states:

To help you safely sell branded products on eBay, we offer the following pages written by intellectual property rights owners and similar organizations that work with eBay.  These pages give information about the brands’ products and legal positions. The rights owners are solely responsible for the content.  Please contact the rights owners directly if you have questions. Some rights owners who work with eBay did not to contribute a page, so the list of brands is not comprehensive. 

If you commit a VeRO violation, you will receive an email that says,

Your auction was most likely terminated because it displayed unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted images or trademarks owned by (company), or because it offered for sale unauthorized merchandise.

The listing will be pulled off eBay and your account may be limited.

Give It Time: eBay Is a Marathon Not a Sprint

New eBay sellers often throw in the towel when their items don't sell right away. The 7-day auction is simply an arbitrary number of days to have a product for sale. Try 30-day listings for a few months and give buyers time to find your listing. The right buyer may not see your item in 7 days, so leave the item listed for a while. List a variety of different kinds of items. You will learn what kinds of items you like working with, and those you don't. It takes time to learn how and what to sell on eBay that is a good fit. Take your time and find what works for you.