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Need Help Selling Online


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I've run into some financial issues at the moment, and I have to unload some collectibles for a quick buck. I have a question about the exact mechanics of selling as it regards to shipping and PayPal. I've never sold online before.


I'm planning on selling some anime figures via reddit (r/AnimeFigures) or MFC. I understand the mechanics of posting a sale (item, shipping not included), but I'm not sure beyond that point what to do once someone wants to buy. I have assumptions, and I've watched some YouTube videos, but I would rather have our folks here tell me their experience.


  1. PayPal
    1. It sounds like once someone agrees to buy your product, you send them an invoice (contingent on the next bullet point) via their email, and they provide the funds and shipping address directly to you.
  2. Shipping
    1. This is where I have very little clue on what to do. Do you ask what shipping they want next? Should I only stick to UPS or FedEx? Do I take the item to the shipping place, get it weighed, get customer's feedback, then send them the invoice? Again, I would appreciate a very specific walk through of this.
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I would recommend you only use shipping methods that offer tracking and insurance. It costs more and the seller may or may not care but, it’s good coverage for you. In most cases, you can select a shipping method and add that to the invoice right in PayPal so when you send it over you can agree on shipping details ahead of invoice and payment. For payment through PayPal, you’ve got it: invoice them, they pay you and then the funds will be “pending” to your account for however many days. The wait period is usually 5-7 days I think but, could be shorter/longer based on your account or the buyers account. And fair warning, PayPal allows for 30 days for the buyer to contest anything if they want to so the funds may be held even longer if they disagree with you on something in the sale. 

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I've sold a bunch of videogames + boardgames over the past few years via ebay + BGG. You're on the right track. I typically box up these things ahead of time so that I can estimate shipping quickly. I typically send via USPS with tracking - for high value items, with a signature required for delivery. 

So yeah, the order in 2 is right - sell, get shipping estimate, invoice, get paid, ship. 

Ebay can be a cesspool, but I've had good luck selling expensive/out of print boardgames on it. Even when I made a mistake once & shipped wrong thing, the recipent worked with me. 

BTW depending on where you live & what the demographics are of the place, there might be easier options to sell this stuff via local trade groups on Facebook etc. I know here in austin, for example, there's a nice big boardgame group that I've dumped a lot of stuff via. You might not make as much as online, but have less hassle & no shipping.

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  • Be aware that if you have not sold stuff before, Paypal will hold onto the money for a while. You need to hit a certain amount of $$ sold before  that stops happening. Phil had that issue last year.
  • If you are selling via Ebay, always communicate via ebay messages, so your safe.
  • If someone pays you on paypal, if they are not verified, wait to make sure there are no issues, and make them aware of it.
  • Also if selling on ebay find out the weight of the packages before listing it. That way you can put the numbers in , and people can see how much it will costs to their zip code.
  • Do not do flat rate shipping for bigger items, you can get majorly screwed that way. People do not realize just how expensive shipping is these days.
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Selling locally is much easier, but you're also limited to locals, so it really depends on where you are.  I haven't sold on ebay in ages, but they take a cut.   Same deal as Paypal if people pay by CC (make sure to specify that you won't cover CC fees in this case-the seller can do it).  Not sure what other options you have for p2p cash transfer where you are.  Here in Canada all the banks are connected to each other (interac), which offers an etransfer service that's really convenient for p2p transactions.  I know some people in the US use Venmo, but it's not really a thing here. 


If you know what you're selling, and have things ready to ship, then you can figure out shipping cost in advance.  If you run into problems selling, figure out what your shipping cost would be (even if it's just continental US), add that to the price, and then list with "free shipping".  Might get more hits that way. 

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Thanks, Brian, don't know if I would have seen this!


There have already been a lot of great suggestions here.  I am out of the game these days, so I have no experience at all selling on Reddit.  I used to do all of my selling almost exclusively on Ebay, though I did do trades and deals through various enthusiast forums (Digital Press, Cheap Ass Gamer) as they had a pretty decent feedback system and they would usually be pretty tight knit.  It was rare to get scammed there unless it was somebody with very little activity, and in that case, people would usually be cautious and not setup any massive deals.


Ebay is pretty straightforward:

- Like Joey said, keep communication through Ebay's system and obviously just ignore outside offers, non-PayPal payment offers, etc.

- Always, always ship with tracking information and weigh everything and don't try to guess on shipping costs

- Be very descriptive about the condition of the item, any flaws, and take a few high quality photos

- I would always recommend researching how much similar items have sold for recent (sold, not just got listed for) and place a Buy It Now price just below that, I can't stress enough how much more you will get with BIN listings vs. auction listings, though it may take longer to sell

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I sold of my figures on Ebay for the most part and yes there’s some good advice here already. If you’ve not sold on EBay and used PayPal the the money will be on hold for a bit before you can access it. The number of transactions and dollars will change that but as Joey mentioned, you should be aware of it.


1. When you post an auction, make sure to select that immediate payment is required. It gives the user three days to pay or they lose it. You can send an invoice before or after depending but more often than not, I’ve gotten payment immediately with no invoice and sent and I move ahead with shipping. I’ve sent invoices after on request.

2. Check the option to not accept offers or allow folks with zero feedback to buy your item. Don’t waste your time and save yourself the headache. There’s a boat load of scammers on Ebay. 

3. Ebay and PayPal offer easy shipping services once an auction is complete via FedEx and UPS. I prefer Fedex as they have better rates but you can easily print labels and ship ASAP. Check rates to make sure you are posting accurate shipping costs on your auction based on the item you are shipping. You can do that right on the FedEx or USPS website.

4. Check other listings that have SOLD when pricing your item. I always set the price of the item a bit higher than that, listed the item as “Buy it Now” but allowed folks to make offers. I set the low end of the acceptable offer as the price I actually expected to get on the item. I rarely had to go lower.:)

5. If the items are smaller and you can absorb the cost, free shipping is enticing as hell to folks. I was lucky in that I shipped everything from work for free but I know most folks don’t have that option. If you can do it though, it may move faster.

6. Be super accurate with your descriptions. Folks will latch onto the tiniest missed detail you didn’t put in an auction and if it’s get to the point where Ebay gets involved - as the seller you’re going to lose.

7. Post pictures. Lots of them and be clear they are getting the item in the picture. Stock photos = I ain’t buying it.


All of that having been said, don’t underestimate Facebook marketplaces and local options. Easy money to product swap, no shipping and no fees means more money in your pocket. Hope that helps.

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