Thursday, August 15, 2013

Earning an Income With eBay

Sell Your Stuff:

I have read articles and eBooks on how to make a living with eBay. It is definitely feasible – but it takes a lot of time and effort. It can be a long road before you are making serious profit. And even then, there are no guarantees with eBay. 

However, while I won’t recommend you and your spouse quit your job today – you can make some cash and make it fairly quickly.

The days of a typical yard sale are behind us it seems. Of course they still occur, and you can definitely have one. But making real money requires you to really sell each item. That is almost impossible to do at a typical yard sale. 

But on eBay you can create ads for each item and truly SELL them to your customers. 

But how?

First take inventory of your stock. Many of us have closets, garages, attics and even junk drawers full of items we no longer need or use. So start digging around and make a list. 

Great items to sell would be:

  • Clothing
  • Antiques
  • Appliances
  • Books
  • DVDs
  • Electronics

Do you have bags of your kid’s clothing that they no longer fit into? Or old cell phones collecting dust in a drawer? What about your old coffee maker that you stored away last year when you got a better version? These items are not making you any money just sitting in a box somewhere. 

If you do not already have an eBay and PayPal account – create one now. Both are free and secure sites. You can easily link your PayPal account to your eBay account. 

PayPal allows you to link your debit cards/bank accounts to your account as well. So when you sell an item you can transfer the money from your Paypal directly to your card or directly into your bank account. Same goes if you are purchasing an item on eBay. PayPal will securely transfer the funds from your card or bank to pay the seller.

Once your account is ready to go - its time to create your first ad on eBay. Make sure you take individual pictures of each item you want to sell. Take a couple of each if you can. Make sure your lightning is good and the pictures are not blurry. These pictures will be a big key to selling your items.

Upload your photos to your computer. If you have a lot to sell – it can be a good idea to take notes on each item. Which brands are they? Which sizes? What is the condition?

Go ahead and log into your eBay account. In the top right corner you will see the category for Sell. Hover over it and a drop down menu appears. Choose Sell an Item

You will start with your title. I always encourage you to list the item first 
(Example: Samsung Galaxy Phone s ii). 
Then you can list an accessory or item that comes with it
(Example: with charger and leather case). 
And lastly list the condition 
(Good Condition – Used).

So your title could be:
Samsung Galaxy Phone s ii with Charger and Accessories – Good Condition – Used

You don’t want to start out with Used or the color of the item. You want the actual item name first – that is what jumps out to your buyers.

I always do an eBay auction and start the bidding at $.99 cents. The standard auction lasts 7 days which I recommend. But you can have 3-day auctions. I wouldn’t go any shorter than a 3-day however. You want to give buyers time to find your item.

You can add a Buy Now price. This option will allow a buyer to buy the item at a fixed price without having to wait until the auction is over. So the Buy Now price would be the top price you want for that item. Say you'd like to get $60 - that would be your Buy Now price.

Don't forget shipping costs. The buyer should be covering those. I recommend that you use the calculate shipping option Based on the size and weight of the item you are selling – and the zip code of whoever the buyer turns out to be…you will get your shipping total. 

Add a good description to your item. Get specific and detailed – but don’t run on and on about it. 

Add pictures – I usually recommend 3-4 pictures tops. But do not post the same picture over and over. Add photos from different angles and views. 

Now you are ready to list your item. It’s out there and millions of potential buyers have access to it.
Never get discouraged. Re list any item that doesn’t sell. Learn from your mistakes. Learn what works and what doesn’t. The point is to start selling. Get your feet wet. 

And you will never run out of products if you:

  • Doing some major cleaning house a few times per year can produce items to sell on eBay for cash. Every time you upgrade your phone, sell the old one. Your laptop burned out and you have to buy a new one. Sell the old one. You can sell items that are not working for parts.

  • After the holidays, have the kids gather up toys they no longer play with. Sell the ones that are in good condition and donate the rest.

  • Sell Other People’s Stuff

Once you become pretty eBay savvy, you can help others. Offer to sell items for family and friends who don’t have the time or the know how to use eBay. Some people would just rather have someone else do something for them. 

You can sell items for friends and family and just charge a percentage fee. Say 5-10% of the selling price. 

You can also advertise your eBay skills. Once you have the know how and a good reputation on eBay – it is much more likely your items will sell. Offer services on craigstslist – sell items for others and charge that same percentage fee.

Another tip is to check out flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales. Too often people devalue their stuff. It helps to be knowledgeable about what items go for on eBay. You may find an old painting at a thrift shop for $5 bucks to discover later its worth $50.

Selling on eBay can take up a lot of your time. But you can make more of that time quality time. Take the kids with you on a Saturday when you hit up a flea market. Or let them help you take pictures of stuff you are selling. Create a vacation fund and put all your profits into it. Encourage everyone in the house to sell items they never use or no longer need. Putting that money towards a vacation fund can really get them motivated.

The Bottom Line is you can make extra money on eBay. Most of us have more than we need. I had to de-clutter my life and my house more than once. Too many of us are small scale hoarders. If you haven’t worn that dress in the back of your closest for a year – then you won’t ever wear that dress. If the kids haven’t played with their Baby Alive Doll in the past 6 months – they are over that toy. So why leave stuff sitting around collecting dust? 

The more you sell and explore eBay – the more educated you will become about products, pricing and sales. You may be surprised by how knowledgeable you become. Before long you may be able to walk into a thrift store and eBay price everything – and know what to buy and what you can make a profit off of.

Good luck!

I would love to hear your eBay success stories. 


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