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5 Aug 2011
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Having an online trading account provides you with an ideal platform to showcase your product and reach millions with zero investment. No matter what it is that you are trying to sell, you will surely find a buyer for it online. Amongst the various online trading portals, eBay is by far the most popular. According to statistics, an estimated 2.5 million Indians shop regularly from 2,471 cities across India on eBay India.
We spoke with Kashyap Vadapalli, Director, Categories, eBay India, to find out how can one get started on eBay, things to consider, payment options, and also how to make your product stand out in the crowd.

Why eBay?
Selling on eBay is an easy, comfortable and safe form of trading. Whether you are looking to sell your old stamp collection or planning to start a business, eBay is the right place for you to begin without any investment. Starting an online business is very easy, and over 12,800 Indians actually make a full or part time living from their eBay sales.
Take the case of 52 year-old Hyderabad based Suniti Mathur, who, with encouragement from her daughter, converted her passion for ethnic jewellery into a successful business. She began her journey with eBay in 2004 and today enjoys a clientele of over 400 people. Suniti’s schedule involves a couple of hours on eBay every day creating listings, replying to buyer queries, and shipping orders.

"I love the flexibility eBay selling gives me. I can list when I have time and when I need to take a break, my business is not affected by the lack of activity for a few days. This allows me to participate in social occasions and family functions. Also, my eBay selling is a hobby, which makes me financially independent. The money is good and I utilize it as an investment for sourcing designs and samples."
Suniti Mathur

Getting started
Before opening an account, read the eBay rules and guidelines, which must be adhered to create a safe, fair and enjoyable trading environment for all eBay members. As a seller, you are responsible for reviewing and understanding eBay’s selling policies, as well as all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the User Agreement. Once you register yourself as a buyer on eBay, you have to get yourself verified, either through SMS or via phone.
On eBay India, there are over 2,000 categories in which you can list your product across four verticals – technology, lifestyle, collectibles and media. It also provides a wide range of resources that will help you manage your selling activities. Also, you can communicate with other sellers and share experiences.
Additionally, to be able to sell on eBay, you also need to offer PaisaPay as a payment method. PaisaPay is eBay's totally safe and secure payment service that will allow you to receive online payments from your buyers through credit card, debit card or an online bank transfer. It is mandatory to complete registration for PaisaPay to be able to list items on eBay India.


Create a template to make listing easier. You can also use eBay's Listing Designer to help you with the look and feel of your listings.

New sellers may like to look at popular product lines to list in. Have impactful listing titles with search-friendly, relevant keywords. Ensure a great looking listing with good pictures and detailed item descriptions. Deliver a good buyer experience and build up your eBay feedback score, which acts as your online reputation.

Use the power of social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook) to drive interested users to your eBay listings. If you have expertise in your category, this is easier as consumers will find your content engaging.

Note any flaws, wear, or damage. Unless the item’s value would decrease with cleaning, remove any dust, stains, or dirt.
Use the completed listings search to find similar items that have recently been sold on eBay. Notice the starting and ending price of items that have sold successfully and whether they are auctions or Buy It Now listings. This information can help you decide how to sell your item.

Consider packaging and weighing your item. When you list your item, you might want to add the cost of packaging or shipping the item based on the weight of it.

How PaisaPay works?
Once the buyer makes the payment using his preferred mode, PaisaPay will notify you as well as the buyer about the payment being confirmed. You then have to update the shipping details (courier details) on the system within 7 days in case of national shipment and within 10 days in case of international shipment. Ensure that the item reaches the buyer within 10 days in India and 21 days elsewhere. Once the buyer receives the item, he needs to confirm the receipt of the same. When the transaction is successfully completed, the amount will be remitted to your account online in compliance with the PaisaPay seller terms and conditions. If the buyer does not receive the item, he can claim a refund within five days after the specified delivery timeframe.

Listing items on eBay
It’s very crucial to select an appropriate listing title for your product, as the users search for and are shown products based on the item title. Keep in mind that you have only 55 characters to use, so make intelligent use of space. The item title should ideally contain a one word key description (eg. ring, camera, etc.), and use the words 'certified' or 'authentic', if applicable. Also, avoid words like cute, look, wow, etc. as the buyers won’t use them as search words.
Give a clear and precise item description to avoid misunderstandings later. Provide essential facts about the item like the brand name, description, size, condition, original retail price and certification, if applicable. Also, be very clear about your shipping, payment and return policies. Although, these are outlined in the listing, it is recommend that you restate these in the item description as well.
You can boost sales by displaying a clear professional photograph of your item. Include 1-3 digital photos of your item from multiple angles. Highlight any important details and include photographs of any Certificates of Authenticity. You can use various picture options, such as super size images, slide shows, etc to give better look to the listings.
Cost and taxes
eBay India does not levy any cost for opening an account. Once the account is opened, there is no expiry date as long as you do not violate any eBay policies and have a good track record as a seller in terms of customer satisfaction.
The first 20 listings created by you on eBay will not be charged the insertion fee or final value fees. After 20 listings, you will be charged a nominal amount i.e. Re 1 for a listing for seven days. A Final Value Fee is calculated per item sold, based on the final sale price of the item.
Popularity in India
In India, the Internet medium is maturing. The geographic spread of the medium is no longer restricted to the metros and tier-1 cities. Online shopping is becoming a way of life for young, online Indians. The key drivers for the growth of online shopping are the variety of products available online, availability of quality products at competitive prices, and the convenience of being able to shop without leaving home. For online shoppers, the additional driver is that of access to brands and products which are not available through traditional retail in their hometown.

Source : Chip Magazine.
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