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We could all use some windfall cash, and here’s one way to get some: sell your extra stuff on eBay. I don’t know about you, but I find myself in a constant battle with clutter, and it’s hard for me to part with my possessions. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m more willing to part with something if I get paid for it. For our family, selling our extra stuff on eBay is a great way to cut down on the clutter in our house and make a little extra money to boot.
How to sell on eBay:
Here are my six tips for selling on eBay. If you need step-by-step instructions on the mechanics of listing an item on eBay, click here. But beyond that, here are the rules of thumb that I use:
1) Pick the Right Stuff
- Only sell stuff that is light enough, and small enough, to ship cheaply. That means small collectibles, small electronics, clothes, shoes, accessories (purses, sunglasses, jewelry), books, etc. If it costs too much to ship, people won’t buy it.
- Clothing and shoes should be well-known better quality brands only (so that they show up in popular searches) and in excellent condition (free of stains and any other damage).
- Many collectibles and cell phones, as well as almost all Apple products, can be sold even if damaged/completely broken.
2) Make Sure Your Listing Ends On A Weekday
I have a feeling people shop on eBay while they are at work, because I have found that items have more bidders (and consequently higher ending prices) if they end between 10am and 3pm PST on weekdays.
3) Use Cheap Shipping Materials
You don’t want the cost of shipping the item to cut into your profit, so make sure you pay as little as possible for shipping materials and the shipping itself. (It’s true you can set up your auction so that the buyer pays the shipping, but that means buyers will bid less for the item, so either way you lose profit if shipping is too expensive.) For soft items, I use poly mailers from Amazon, because they are cheap and very lightweight. For hard or fragile items, I re-use boxes from stuff I’ve ordered.
4) Take Lots of Photos
Buyers appreciate being able to see every angle of the item being sold- it helps them feel more confident in their purchase. Lay a solid-colored sheet or towel down as a backdrop and snap away. Try not to use a flash- indoor daylight is best for a pseudo-professional look.
5) Disclose All Defects
When you write your eBay item description, make sure you are loud and clear about any defects in your items, even if they are shown in the pictures. You want to make sure that the buyer understands what they’ll be getting, otherwise you’ll get negative feedback ratings from unhappy buyers, not to mention bad karma! I bold format any description of defects, and I also include close-up photos.
6) Research Before You Price
Ebay makes it easy to find out the going price for an item you want to sell- just use the eBay search box to search for the item, then use the options on the left of the results page to refine your search by clicking “Sold listings.” Now only recently sold items will show up, with their sale prices. Yippee! Using that information, you can decide how low you want to start your auction.
That’s it! I hope you have fun listing your extra stuff.
What do YOU plan to sell on eBay?