Happy bank-holiday weekend friends! I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend. We have been keeping things low-key and hoping the sun comes out so we can either get out in the garden or take ourselves off to a National Trust property somewhere. I’m determined to make the most of our memberships this year and I recently bought a new picnic rucksack so we *have* to get some picnics in when the weather allows!
After all my painting last week, I started this week determined to make some real progress with clearing some of the clutter I’ve been
hoarding hanging on to. With two growing children in the house, there is an ongoing, relentless tide of clothes, toys, shoes, DVD’s, video games etc coming in to our home. If I didn’t purge these items every now and then, we would find ourselves overwhelmed. I find myself in a constant battle to ‘clear out’ and I usually have a stash of things I need to sell. I’m not an eBay expert but I have sold things using eBay and I know lots of other people who regularly sell and make good money selling things they no longer need or use. So, as a result, I have picked the brains of friends ‘in the know’ and drawn on our own experiences to bring you my ten top tips for selling your stuff on eBay.
1. Only sell seasonal items.
In order to get the best price for your possessions, you need to sell them at the time of highest demand. So don’t be selling your winter coats in the summer or your floral maxi dresses in the winter. Wait for the right moment and you will maximise the amount you can get for any given item. Sell the toys or bikes your children have outgrown in the months leading up to Christmas and get your Ugg boots on sale in early Autumn when people are starting to make the switch from sandals and ballet pumps to warmer footwear. As a general guide, look at what’s selling in the shops at any point in the year, and sell your similar items.
2. Don’t sell rubbish.
When clearing out, I always separate our belongings into piles, keeping the best items to sell. The slightly more worn items or those that are in less-than-good condition, go to charity. The really awful bits that are stained or falling apart go in the bin and only the best items get sold. This way you will ensure good feedback from your buyers and secure a good seller-rating.
3. Show your items off in the best possible way, describe them accurately and be honest.
If you are selling clothes, make sure they are washed and ironed. If it’s toys, clean them up. For shoes and bags, take the leather cleaner to them. The more effort you put in to making your items look good, the more money you are likely to get for them (most of the time!) If your item has any flaws, take photos of them, mention them in the description and make sure your buyer knows exactly what they are getting. Use the title and description to your best advantage including any words you think buyers of your item might use in their search terms. So, don’t be afraid to be specific and list all of your item’s features….for example…
‘Pretty navy blue and floral Joules Picnic Rucksack‘ will get you more hits than ‘Picnic Rucksack‘ and ‘Disney Store, Toy Story, Pull-string Talking Woody Doll‘ will get you more hits than ‘Talking Woody Doll.’
4. Ensure you get the best possible pictures.
Always photograph the things you are selling in natural light, preferably on a sunny day when you have plenty to play around with. If you are selling something large, take it outside and you’ll get even more light. Pay attention to your background. I can’t stress that enough! I have seen people selling things which are photographed on dirty work surfaces or carpets and there is nothing more sure to put me off! Lay your items out on a clean, neutral backdrop with plenty of light and you can’t go wrong.
5. Have your auction end on a Sunday evening.
One of my friends told me this tip a few years ago. Apparently Sunday evening (around 9pm) is the time most people are online and buying. I don’t know if this is true but when I started using this tactic, all my things sold for a lot more than I had been getting previously. Worth trying. This means you will probably want to start your auction on either a Sunday (for a 7 day auction) or a Tuesday (for a 5 day auction) evening.
7. Bundle branded items together.
This works really well if you are selling children’s clothes. If you often buy kids clothes from a handful of different shops, try selling small (around 5 items) bundles of clothes by brand type. For example, a ‘Next’ or ‘Gap’ bundle will often sell more easily and for a better price than individual items for which buyers have to pay postage every time. Remember to wash, iron and display them nicely to get the best price. You can also use this tactic for books by the same author, DVD’s with the same actor or toys that are part of a range like ‘Play Mobil’ which buyers may be collecting.
6. Get the postage right.
If you go too high with your postage charges, you will put buyers off but if you go too low, you will lose money so it’s important to get it right when it comes to gauging what to charge. I think it’s always useful to weigh your item first so you know exactly what you are dealing with. Remember to allow for the packaging you will need to use as well. In the UK, you can download the Royal Mail price guide (here) to get exact postage charges for the weight of your parcel. This way, there are no nasty surprises when you come to mail your item. I always sell everything second class ‘signed for’ and state this in the information when listing. Don’t forget to allow time to get your items to the post office as soon as you possibly can after the auction finishes.
8. Try the ‘pick-up only’ option for larger items.
For items that are too large to post, you’ll probably be surprised by the number of people in your local are who are looking to buy. We once sold a pile of paving bricks which had been hiding behind our shed since we bought our house by pulling them all out, hosing them off and stacking them neatly for a photo. We listed them as ‘pick-up only’ and there was quite a bidding war over them! Talk about money for old
9. Make sure you are not alone if people are coming to your home to collect pick-up only items.
If you do decide to go the pick-up only route, always, always make sure you have the item waiting outside the door when your buyer arrives and make sure you are never alone. You can never be too careful when it comes to this kind of thing and as the seller, you are in a good position to ensure the collection time suits you at a moment when someone else can be with you. Don’t ever let buyers into your home.
10. Make the most of your free listing limit.
As a private seller, you can list up to 20 items a month on eBay without being charged. If you go over that limit, expect to pay around £0.35 per item.When you sell, eBay will retain around 10% of the total transaction cost (including postage) plus a small Paypal fee if your buyer pays with Paypal. But like I said, I’m no expert! Familiarise yourself with all the eBay selling fees here.
So, who else is ready to get listing on eBay with me this weekend?! It does take some planning but it’s so worth it when the money starts rolling into that Paypal account!! Good luck!
P.S. – Do you have any eBay selling tips? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
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