If you have read my About Me page, you know that I have been trying to earn money to help support my efforts to pay for the care necessary to keep my mother in her home. One of the first things I did was start selling items on Ebay
I’m sure almost everyone has heard about Ebay, but most people have only purchased items through the site. This was also my first introduction to Ebay years ago. Since then I have purchased several additional items through the site with all positive experiences, so I thought I give selling a try.
What I Sell:
There are many “types” of sellers on Ebay. I would call myself a amateur seller. For the most part, I have only sold items that I have previously owned and no longer need/want. They are items that I would normally donate or sell at a yardsale or throw away. Some of the items I’ve sold over the last year were: leather riding boots and chaps, stuffed animals, winter jackets, an old game boy charger, basketball, shoes etc. This has been a no risk way for me to earn some money while cleaning clutter from my house. Over the past year I have made almost $1,000.00 selling stuff sitting in my garage or closets collecting dust.
Possible to earn a full-time income?
Yes, I believe there are many, many sellers earning a substantial income through Ebay and I did contemplate ways to become more profitable as an Ebay seller. However, I am not much of a risk taker and I feel I need to do a little more research before I step up my Ebay game. I do not trust my ability to predict the next big thing to sell. And, if I were able to predict what would be hot, how many other sellers would also start selling these “hot” items and would I be able to compete. I fear that after purchasing in bulk, I’d be unable to sell my items. I have considered drop shipping, but I don’t like the thought of being dependent on another company to ship the products on time or in good condition. I would be the one receiving the negative feedback from buyers, not them. I do continue to brainstorm ways to earn more through ebay because I believe there is opportunity there. I have not ruled out drop shipping – I think I need to be more of a risk taker 🙂
Before you start selling:
- Go to Ebay and look through the help section where you can find an abundance of information on how to start buying and selling.
- Start out as a buyer – purchase items you need and build up your feedback score. Once you start selling, buyers will be more comfortable purchasing from someone who has received some positive feedback
- Spend some time looking through the items for examples on how to list and describe items.
- Register as a seller at ebay.com – you will need your name, address, email and mobile number. When you start selling you will also need to open a paypal account if you do not already have one.
- Click on Sell and follow the prompts starting with listing the Title of your item – be sure to include important keywords (what you believe buyers will be typing into the search when looking for an item
- It is important to take quality photos. You cellphone camera should be fine, but be sure the background is not cluttered and photos are clear. For most item, you will want to have many photos. Be “honest” with your photos and include any damage to your item.
- Write a clear and detailed description. Again, be sure to mention any flaws or damage. It is important to build a positive reputation where buyers feel they can trust you. Positive feedback is important to success with ebay.
- Choose your selling format. Ebay has to selling formats: Buy It Now and Auction. I tend to do mostly Buy It Now items, but auction may be a better choice for some items. When you get to this section, Ebay will let you know which selling format usually works best for your product.
- Decide on shipping charges. I recommend having free shipping. Items with free shipping are more likely to show up before other items in a search – just be sure to include the amount you will be paying for shipping in the price.
- Package securely to avoid damage. I also try to make the packaging look nice, using tissue paper and leaving a note thanking them for their purchase.
- Print your shipping label provided through ebay – you can use your paypal account to pay shipping cost.
- Remember to leave feedback for your buyer.
- Registration is easy and you can start listing items quickly
- Most of my items have sold relatively quickly
- Large customer base – reaching a large number of potential buyers
- Relatively easy way to earn money from items you no longer want/use.
The Not So Good:
- Confusing fees. It is very difficult to understand the fees. Different items have different fees and there are many fees that can be added to each listing. You then must pay paypal separately. You also have to pay not only a percentage of your final sale, you also pay a portion of your shipping cost.
- I have only had one minor issue with ebay where one of my buyers had still not paid for an item two weeks after an auction ended and ebay would not let me cancel the sale (she did eventually pay). However, I have read many horror stories from Ebay sellers who have lost large sums of money due to scummy buyers. Many feel Ebay always sides with the buyers and does not protect its sellers.
Would I recommend trying Ebay
Yes, I do recommend Ebay both for buyers and beginner sellers. I believe if you are selling items you would be donating or selling at a yard sale, you are taking very little risk and have a great opportunity to earn some extra cash (I’ve earned close to $1000 in the last year). Although, I do not have experience as a top seller, I believe there is the opportunity to earn more through Ebay. I would just suggest that you start small and do some research (as I am currently doing) before selling on a larger scale.
Have you been successful using Ebay? Any suggestions for me as I consider expanding my Ebay presence? Please leave a comment below….I’d love to hear from you.