Thursday, January 31, 2013

Selling Your Stuff {Part 3/eBay}

I don't claim to be an expert at selling things on eBay, so this post may be short and sweet.  I think it goes without saying, though that selling on eBay can really pay off.  In my opinion, the biggest advantage to selling on eBay is that it provides sellers with a really large captive audience.  With Craigslist you are limited to a local audience.  Consignment stores are local and you'll only get a percentage of how much the store sells your item.  With eBay you have the world wide web :)

Used pair of Chaco's I sold for a friend (you know who you are:) this past summer for $65.
While eBay does take a cut of your sale price, it's pretty minimal.  In my opinion, the only real downside to eBay is the time you have to spend photographing your item and listing it on the site.  For this reason, I'd say my biggest piece of advice when it comes to selling on eBay is to make sure it's worth your while.

What do I mean by this?

I only list things on eBay that I have good reason to believe people are specifically searching for and that are going to bring a decent amount of money.  I have personally had the best luck with clothes and shoes.  You want to stick with brand names that people are out there looking to purchase for less than retail prices.  That sweater made by a brand you've never heard of?  Send that baby to a consignment shop where you'll have people coming through, looking at the selection (and excited about your cute sweater! :)  For someone to spot your sweater on eBay, there's got to be something about its description that brings it up in search results (ie. the brand name).  The same is true for small household items--don't waste your time listing them on eBay unless they happen to be made by a brand that is going to be sought after and bring money.  As cute as your silver picture frame that you no longer want may be, it's probably better off at a consignment shop (unless of course it's made by, say Tiffany & Co. :)

My mom got me these at the Clearance Store so I couldn't return them (they're the wrong size), so I'm selling them right now!  {There's still time to cast your bid :) }

While I don't have experience with this myself, I would imagine eBay is a great place to sell other {smaller--remember you have to ship it!} items made by desirable brands.  Think china patterns, linens, jewelry.  Just keep in mind your item's title and/or description needs to have some brand name/keyword that's going to bring a buyer to it.  I hope I'm not overstating the obvious?  Also, remember to take nice, clear pictures and provide a thorough and accurate description.  Oh, and I recently read that some study apparently showed that the best day for an auction to end is Sunday.  Who knew.

My cowboy boots I featured in a previous post deserve a little more explaining.  I actually bought them at a yard sale for $10!  I really loved them and was so excited to keep them for myself, but after I wore them around a little, I realized they were just not quite big enough :(  I figured I could sell them one way or another and at least make up my $10.  Little did I know that after a quick eBay search of their brand, they were likely to bring way more than $10.  Can you imagine my excitement when I got this email from eBay after the auction ended:

The way I see it, there are two lessons for us here:  Number 1, shopping at yard sales is a very, very good idea.  Number 2, selling your nice items at a yard sale is not such a savvy idea!

Had I sold them at a consignment shop, I never would have made this much once the shop took their cut.  Selling them on Craigslist could have taken forever.  Of course, I really did wish the boots would have worked for me, but making nearly $100 off of them helped to ease my sadness :)

I think that's all I've got regarding eBay.  If anyone has other tips, I'm all ears!

1 comment:

  1. This is such great advice - thank you! I just wish I had read this before sending a huge pile of things to Goodwill after my last sprint cleaning. Next time, I'm trying ebay first!