Last Updated: October 28, 2015 649 Your Neighborhood Garage Sale Goes Global

Found In: Sell things online

It’s never a good sign when the advertising budget for your local garage sale nears or exceeds your actual profits. Despite your best efforts, the neon poster boards with the arrow pointing towards your sale location just don’t seem to ever bring in the right buyers to make much of a dent in your collection of stuff. Your problem isn’t that your stuff is unwanted junk no one wants to buy, it’s just that your buyer may be in the next town over or is simply not the type of person who frequents garage sales.

Not many years ago, most people wouldn’t dare buy something on the internet from a complete stranger, especially something that’d been used! It’s hard enough to trust someone in person about the quality or details of an item being sold. A transaction between two anonymous people online seemed an impossible leap of faith.

How can a buyer know her payment information such as credit card details will be safe? How would a seller be able to take payment in any form other than a personal check? Is the item really in mint condition and what recourse does a buyer have if it turns out not to be as described?

Ebay and its sister company PayPal have answered all these questions for us and more with, a simple website that anyone can use and that features built-in protections for both buyer and seller.

Creating an Ebay account

Creating an Ebay account is simple and free for anyone with an internet connection and a bank account. To begin, head over to using your website browser of choice (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox all work great). You can also simply type “ebay” into your favorite search engine and click search.

Once on the Ebay homepage, look over on the far left-hand corner of your screen where you’ll see two small buttons to “Sign in” or “register”. Since we’ve never used Ebay before, we’ll click “register” and go to the next page.

On this page, you’ll just need to enter your first and last name, your e-mail, and then create and confirm a password. Be sure to create a password that meets Ebay’s minimum standards for difficulty. Yours should be at least six characters long and include at least one number or symbol. Don’t forget that your password is “case sensitive”, meaning an uppercase ‘A’ is treated differently than a lowercase ‘a’, and so on. Before moving on, write your password down somewhere safe as a precaution. Now click submit.

Once inside, you’ll probably receive a welcome e-mail from Ebay in addition to the greeting message you see on the website. On the website, you’ll see some instructions for how to change your Ebay username if you’d like to, but for now let’s just click “Continue”.

That was easy, right?

Selling Things on Ebay

You’re now a member of Ebay, but before we can buy or sell things, there’re a few more simple tasks we’ll need to complete. To see what Ebay needs from us in order to sell things, let’s move our mouse to the menu at the top of the website and click the button that says “Sell”. Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to sell yet, this is just a test run to make sure we have all our necessary account details in place for when we do decide to sell something.

After you click “Sell”, Ebay is going to ask you to update some account information. Go ahead and fill in the details of your address and phone number and then click “Continue”. There’s no need to worry about revealing your contact information here. You won’t have anyone showing up at your address to verify that you live there or try to buy or sell something. Ebay operates 100% online and you’ll never have to meet fellow Ebay users in person.

At this point, Ebay is going to want to verify your phone number. You can choose whether you’d like to receive a text message or a phone call where you’ll be given a four digit PIN. You’ll receive the phone call or text message almost instantaneously, so make sure the line is free.

Have your PIN number? Type it into the box and click “Continue”.

On this next page, Ebay is going to give you two choices where you can select “Sell it myself” or “Sell it for me”. “Sell it for me” is a brand new Ebay feature and is it a little more advanced so we’ll go ahead and select “Sell it myself”.

Now you’re officially on the page to begin selling things! You can see just how easy it can be with the box asking you what you’d like to sell. From there, Ebay will guide you every step of the way. Since we don’t have anything to sell just yet, though, we’re going to go up to the top left-hand corner and click the “ebay” logo to bring us back to our homepage.

Accepting Payments

Our last order of business will be to make sure we’re able to accept payment from future buyers. On your home page, move your mouse up to the top left-hand corner where you’ll see your name like this, “Hi Suzy!” If you just hover your cursor over your name, a list will drop down where you can see a button for “Account settings”. Click there.

When you’ve arrived on the next page, scroll down until you see a section titled “PayPal account information”. By now, you should already have a PayPal account, so we want to select the option to “Link My PayPal Account”.

Once you’ve clicked that, a new website will pop up on your screen. It’s PayPal asking for your PayPal e-mail address and password to verify it’s really you trying to link your account. Fill in the two boxes and click “Link my account”. The final step in this process is simply to click “Return to Ebay” where you’ll be sent back to your Ebay Account Settings page.

Now, you’re ready to buy or sell just about anything you want on Ebay (with a few exceptions). Your basic Ebay account doesn’t cost you a penny, but Ebay does take a small percentage of your final sale price once it’s complete.

In Conclusion

Ebay can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. For high volume buyers and sellers, there’s plenty of advanced options and premium memberships to consider with additional features. Ebay was originally conceived as an auction site where people could place bids on various items. These days, you can choose an auction format or decide to sell at a “fixed price” if you’re more comfortable with that.

We suggest starting small to get familiar with the Ebay process. Buy or sell something that’s relatively inexpensive to see how fun and easy Ebay can be. Whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll be able to make and receive payments with either your PayPal account or a credit/debit card. It’s all up to you.