How to Sell a Laptop on eBay

If you’re looking to sell your laptop on eBay, it’s always best to know the basics before getting started. Whether it’s a pair of shoes you finally want to part with, some old textbooks from your college days, or your old Pokémon card collection, it’s important that you take a little time to decide whether your item is in the right condition to be sold.

If your laptop is missing important parts, has broken hinges, bad battery cells or it is simply not in the best condition, make sure you have that noted in the listing, otherwise, you will get a negative rating! eBay buyers rely on the description of the items being sold. Before you go ahead and put up a listing, make sure that everything is described 100%, as accurately as possible.

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Things to Consider Before Selling Your Laptop on eBay

Ask yourself, is selling this laptop really worth the effort? Don’t forget that you still have to pack your laptop, pay eBay fees and take the laptop to the post office.

  • Does your laptop look like the dog got his hands on it?
  • Would you have to tell any lies about the condition of your laptop to sell it on eBay?
  • Is there something missing that the buyer would need to use the laptop?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should not be selling your laptop on eBay. However, there are exceptions, you can still sell your machine as long as you describe it perfectly. If it is in really bad shape, it can still be sold as defective. Someone may even acquire it for parts.

Build a Good eBay Profile

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just open an eBay account and sell your laptop right away? In theory it is the same, but the reality is quite different. Buyers want to know if they can trust you, after all to them you’re just a stranger on the internet. I would recommend buying a few inexpensive items first to get some positive feedback. Other eBay users can then see your feedback and bid on your laptop with confidence.

Another important step is choosing a username. You should choose a name that looks professional and instills confidence in buyers. No one wants to buy a laptop from someone with the username ninjaboy89 Lol!

Before Selling on eBay, Find Out What Costs You Will Incur as an eBay Seller

Before you list your laptop, the first thing you need to do is figure out what it is worth because it will factor in determining how much it will cost you to sell it. Of course, you want to make a decent profit, but there are a ton of additional costs involved in selling on eBay that you need to be aware of.

eBay distinguishes between different categories of seller fees in the United States. The fee structure is different for private and commercial sellers. Since you are a private seller, in most categories you can count on 10% commission, which eBay takes for the mediation.

If the sale is processed through PayPal (which I highly recommend for security purposes), this will cost you an additional 35 cents per transaction plus a percentage of the final sale price.


How Much is My Laptop Worth?

eBay offers a tool which shows you how many similar items have been sold recently and at what price. Simply search eBay for laptops which are the same model as yours and check the “Items sold” box, so you can quickly get an idea of what you can expect to receive for your machine.

You should also make sure that you calculate the shipping fees correctly, otherwise you could end up paying extra for the shipping costs. A preferred way to do this is to use eBay’s shipping tool which calculates the price according to the location of the buyer automatically. One downside for this is that the buyer knows how much he is paying for the item and shipping separately. High shipping costs can put off some buyers from bidding on your laptop

Set the Auction Low to Attract Bargain Hunters

It may be tempting to start your listing with a high price, but if you want to make a quick sale, start your auction at a dollar. A low starting price will attract the attention of more potential buyers and thus encourage competition when the item reaches the last day of the auction. In the end you will end up getting a good price for your laptop.

However, please keep in mind that this trick doesn’t always work. If you are trying to sell your laptop at a time when people are not looking to make a purchase, it can backfire! So please act accordingly. A good time to sell is during the holidays or even during summers.

Take High Quality Pictures of Your Laptop

Good pictures of your laptop will increase the chance of getting a good price. Buyers will offer a lot more if they can get a better idea of the condition your computer is in. If there are any additional accessories for the laptop you are selling, take photos of them as well. Whether accessories or the original packaging, everything should be clearly visible in the pictures.

You don’t need a really good camera to get good photos, a phone camera will do just fine! Natural daylight is always the best option to provide the clearest possible images, a little more light (from a desk lamp) can make a noticeable difference. Just make sure that your light source doesn’t cast a shadow.

Remember that 12 pictures can be uploaded to your listing for free! If you want to add more photos then you will have to pay a small fee. However, 12 pictures are more than enough!

Timing is Everything

Before you list your item on eBay, you should take some time to think about when you will start the auction. In general, the best time to end an auction is on a Sunday evening . This has proven to be the time when most of the casual shoppers are browsing. For this reason, auctions that end on a Sunday evening fetch the highest amounts.

So if you choose the maximum 10-day auction (“the best option” as it increases the chances of getting more bids), you should list your item on a Thursday evening to get the maximum number of potential buyers.

Write a Detailed Description

Now for the hard part: you need to write an engaging description for your laptop to sell on eBay. It’s important that you take the time to do this because a good description can really make the difference between selling and not selling.

eBay gives you the option of using up to 55 characters in your ad title, so make the most of it. Include as many important details as possible here. Avoid funny checkmarks or special characters that are not intended here. Use the space and include important information such as: Model, Processor, RAM, HD size, condition (new, very good), color, etc.

Offer PayPal as a Payment Option

I cannot recommend enough that you need to accept payments via PayPal – despite the annoying fees that arise per sale here, you should offer PayPal. Buyers love to pay with PayPal because they feel secure and because a payment can be made with just a few clicks.

Remember, Even When the Sale Is Complete, The Job Is Not Done Yet!

You can’t relax yet! Once the sale is complete, you should send your buyer a confirmation email as soon as possible in which they will be billed for the full amount, including shipping costs. You don’t have to write the mail yourself, one click in the eBay Seller platform and the email will go out on its own.

You should also send your buyers another email once you’ve received payment and let them know when you will ship the laptop. Buyers appreciate being kept up to date, and if you are a good communicator chances are you’ll get positive feedback without asking.

Make sure that you send the laptop as quickly as possible and be careful not to be too optimistic about shipping times. If you estimate that it will 2 days for the laptop to arrive, but the buyer ends up receiving it later, you may get a negative review or the buyer may contact eBay.

Once the transaction is complete, don’t forget to leave your buyer a great review. This leads most to return the favor and you will end up getting some positive feedback as well!


Always Keep Proof of Shipment

You should send your laptop out via UPS or Fedex as an insured package and always keep proof of postage such as tracking numbers. Unfortunately, there are also black sheep on eBay who claim an item has not arrived even though they already have it.