(You can safely buy coins at ebay with this information)
Selling coins on ebay can be rewarding and exciting, not to mention profitable. With advice from other coin sellers, but not just any seller's advice either, you can circumvent many of the initial problems novice sellers encounter.
You shouldn't just take pictures or scans and list your coins on ebay. It best to learn as much as possible about the coins you intend to sell because the more you know about coins, the better the description, than the more money you will sell them for, and the more respect you will gain! The idea is to sell your coins in a manner that pleases the collectors who buy them so they return for business.
I see a huge problem at ebay, and have watched if for years- too many sellers don't know much about coins, coin grading, or taking coin pictures, while others just don't care and hope the bidders doesn't either. As a seller, or potential seller, you should think of your self as a buyer first.
Ask yourself what you wouldn't want a seller to do to you, or how you would like the auctions to be if you were bidding. Being a buyer first can give you a lot of knowledge on how you should sell your own items.
(Just a side note, I sell on ebay as coinauctionshelp, and I do care about coin collector's. My coins sell better than average because I can be trusted and I am know about the coins I sell.)
Now let's get started, if you don't already have one, you will need a free ebay account. You can register by clicking here.
If you just signed up or already have an ebay account you will need a valid credit card or bank account in order to sell items. This is required so ebay can collect their fees from you, and it's a completely secure and easy verification process. I would use a credit card or open another bank account just to use for ebay selling.
The next thing you need is a paypal account. Most sellers and buyers use paypal, and its use will attract more bidders to your coin auctions. You can get one for free by clicking here paypal. (Paypal will charge you 3% of what a winning bidder pays you when they use paypal, all other transactions are free).
Now that you have an ebay sellers account and a paypal account, you're ready to sell!
If you know what type of coins you have and how to take crisp, clear coin photographs then skip the rest. If you don't I encourage you to keep reading because the following information will help you make the most money from your coins.
Pictures are the most important aspect of coin selling on ebay. You need to properly represent each coin with photos so the bidders can determine the condition or grade of each coin. You can write an essay on how honest and trustworthy you are, but if the coin images are poor, then the final value fee will be less. Besides that, most ebay buyers have learned not to buy into a seller's hype on the coins they are trying to sell. You just don't want any important aspects, of a coin's condition, masked by poor photography techniques.
If your coin is cleaned, or damaged in any way; make sure you put this in the description, and that your pictures don't hide the details of the problem. If you need to learn what damaged or cleaned coins look like then click on these articles Damaged Coins (Non-errors) or Detecting Cleaned Coins.
Look at it another way, put yourself in a buyers shoes, and walk into a coin shop. The first thing you will do, after you see a coin you like, is ask the dealer if you can see the coin. You will carefully hold the coin, turn it in your hand, and inspect the coin closely for any problems that say "Don't buy me". But what if the seller said, "No, I can't remove the coin from the case. If you like how you see it there, feel free to buy it, or go someplace else."
If your like me, you would immediately leave the coin shop, being angered by the dealers attitude. It's the same on ebay, and even more so, because the buyer can't actually touch or closely inspect the coin(s) you’re selling. I can't say this enough, you must take clear and detailed pictures of your coins. You will get more bids, and happy buyers. Ebay has too many sellers that either can't take decent coin pictures or just don't care. Please don't add yourself to that list!
Important note: If you're images are detailed and clear then this gives the bidders an opportunity to see important details about your coins. It could be that one of your coins is a rare variety that escaped your notice, and sell for more money than you realize.
Descriptions are not as important as pictures, but they're a close second. It's your only way of telling your buyer what you know about the coin you're selling. In this, you must be honest, concise and upfront with any information about the date, mint mark, and condition of the coin. You must list any problems you think the coin might have i.e. cleaned, scratched, bent, etc. You don't want buyers to be unhappy with a misrepresented coin.
Also, try to stay away from phrases like "I don't know anything about coins" or "I'm not a coin dealer" or "Grading is just an opinion". You want to sound knowledgeable and professional about the coins you're selling. The only opinion a buyers cares about is their opinion of the coin when they receive it. The buyer will trust you more and feel safe bidding higher on your items, if you know what you're selling and what your talking about.
Remember, make sure the description includes the following information: date, mint mark, coin type, denomination, the problems (as outlined above) or the lack thereof. Don't offer a grade (your clear pictures is enough) or hype the coins condition or rarity, because as sure as the coin is metal, a buyer will soon disagree with your "opinion" grade.
Also, please don't use huge letters and bright colors in your auction description. I have seen many auctions descriptions that had huge letters, and that has nothing to do with the coin being sold and I don't recommend this. Also it's just unbelievable how some ebay sellers will use up page after page of "large-type-hype" to tell you what others found, and what you might get, or how rare and valuable the coin is, but when your finished reading their description, you have a headache and already forgot why you were on ebay in the first place.
In reality, these sellers have thousands of coins, and most are common (some might be damaged or cleaned), and they want to sell them for book value and above. So they create interesting estate stories, make sure 1 in 1,000 bidders get something good, and hype the coin, lot, collection or roll they have listed. Because they know that these same coins would not make them much money if people just bought them for what they are, common, cleaned, and junk coins.
In conclusion, that's it! At least, the above is all you need to get started and be a successful seller. Of course, you will need to learn more to continue as a credible seller. One, that's trusted and draws repeat buyers, that is. At the top left of this article is FREE TOOLS, and these will help in all aspects of identifying coins, their value, mintages, specifications, grading, identifying cleaned or damaged coins, etc. I hope you take advantage of these tool and the advice provided in this article.
It will help people trust coin sellers at ebay, and make it a better place to buy coins. I guarantee you will sell your coins for more money if your pictures are good, your description sounds accurate, honest and professional. I'm here to help. Feel free to email any questions you might have! I wish you the best of luck in selling coins and visit our forum if you have any questions. Coin Fourm