Merry Christmas everyone! Earlier this week I sat down at the computer to post several items for sale on Ebay. I always tend to go through a nesting phase just prior to Christmas to purge items we haven’t used over the past year and to make room for new ones that will arrive Christmas morning and in the new year.
My organization and purging senses seem to go into overdrive in December. Perhaps it has to do with bringing all of the holiday decorations out of storage and the need to make room for them without feeling like I’ve cluttered the house. Anything that doesn’t have a place, typically gets donated or sold.
Donating is a great way save money on your tax return so I highly recommend you send several items the way of a local charity. Selling items on Ebay is a great way to earn a little extra cash for yourself and to build up your PayPal account for Christmas shopping.
The Ebay posting and sales process can seem a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it, so over the next few days I’ll be explaining the process and walking you through the detailed steps to post an item for sale on Ebay.
How to Sell on Ebay: PART I
Ebay is a great way to sell both new and gently used items. I’ve been selling new and like-new items on Ebay for about three years. While you can sell just about anything, big or small, there are a few rules I personally follow to keep selling easy.
Sell New & Like-New.
With the exception of antiques which gain value as they age, I only sell new and like-new items on Ebay. Think like a buyer when choosing items to sell. You don’t want a buyer to be disappointed when they open their package to find an item that’s not in good condition. So, if you wouldn’t purchase it yourself, then then don’t sell it. Be proud of the items you’re shipping to a buyer. Sell items that are functional, clean, and free of stains and tears.
Sell Items of Value.
Some online stores can afford to sell products at very low prices because they’re working in bulk. For my particular situation however, it doesn’t make sense for me to list an item that I don’t think will sell for at least $10.00. In addition to a small profit, I need to cover the cost of time it takes to photograph, post, and ship and the cost of packaging, paper, tape, and printer ink.
Keep it Small.
I only sell items on Ebay that I can ship easily through the United States Post Office. I save the larger items for Craigslist and Yard Sales sites. For Ebay sales, I prefer items to fit in either a shipping envelope or small box. Keeping the items on the small size, means I can drop it off at the Post Office or even leave it in my mailbox for the postman to pick up.
Keep it Light.
Keeping the size small generally means they’ll also be light. Shipping items that are under two or three pounds means the buyer won’t be paying exorbitant shipping fees. I once tried selling a pair of wrought iron lamps that weighed 13 lbs. The $20-25 shipping fees drove buyers away and I wasn’t able to sell them on Ebay; but they did sell right away on Craigslist.
Invest in a Scale.
Purchase a small kitchen scale that measures both pounds and ounces. I bought one on Ebay for just about $10.00. This will help you include accurate shipping fees when you post an item so buyers know exactly what fees they’ll incur.
Purchase Shipping Supplies.
When I first began selling on Ebay, I would ship the items in whatever cardboard boxes I had around the house. What I found was that shipping in envelopes was far less expensive and the lower you can keep costs, the higher your chance of selling an item.
I purchased two sets of shipping envelopes on Ebay for just a few dollars. The first were 15″ x 12″ gray plastic which I use to ship clothes and video games. The second were small 5″x 7″ padded envelopes to ship costume jewelry. I also invested in few rolls of clear packing tape to seal packages and attach the paper labels.
Set up a PayPal Account.
For the purposes of this post I’m going to assume you already have a PayPal account established. PayPal is one of the easiest and safest ways to buy online. When you make a sale on Ebay, the money is deposited directly into your Paypal account. When you purchase postage, the money is withdrawn from your Paypal account. To setup your Paypal account, go to PayPal.com.
These are the basics you’ll need to get started selling on Ebay. Now lets get into the actual steps to post an item for sale…
(to be continued… tomorrow.)
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Thank you & Enjoy!