If you’ve ever hosted a yard sale, you know how much work goes into preparing, labeling, displaying, and selling your unwanted items. At the end of the day, you’re exhausted and the few hundred dollars you’ll earn (if you’re lucky) hardly seems worth the amount effort required.
An easier alternative is to sell your quality items on eBay instead of hosting a yard sale. I have a friend who even uses this method to supplement her income quite nicely by visiting estate sales and selling her purchases on auction sites. eBay is a great way to make a little side income. Here are a few tips to help you sell more effectively.
Tips for Selling on eBay
- Take quality pictures and put the most favorable picture on top. Use a neutral background or at least an area of your home free from distracting clutter and decorations. If you’re selling clothes, include a shot of the item’s clothing tag and any intricate details such as close-ups of beading or embroidery. Include a shot of the serial number or identification tags if applicable. Use natural lighting to help consumers see the product’s colors and details as accurately as possible. Take as many pictures as necessary to fully depict the item. Consider including a shot of the item in use, such as someone typing on the laptop or wearing the shirt for sale.
- Be generous with your description. List the product’s uses, its benefits, and a link to the manufacturer website info if available. Include all pertinent information and double check for typos and spelling errors. Read your description out loud before making your last edit.
- Be honest. If the product has scratches, is well-used, or sometimes gets glitchy, be sure to mention this up front. Most consumers will not hesitate to file a complaint if the product fails to meet their expectations once it arrives.
- Consider shipping costs carefully. Go to your local post office to find out how much it will cost to ship the item anywhere in the continental U.S. Calculate the cost of packaging, and travel expenses to and from the post office as well. You can also include a small handling fee for your trouble if you desire, but keep it reasonable. Many consumers don’t check the shipping costs until after they’ve bid on an item and see they are winning. You don’t want to foot the bill for shipping, but you don’t want to gouge the buyer either.
- Promote your items for sale on local online discussion groups and communities. Our county has a County Buyers United website that allows people to post ads for free and our local paper has freebie classified ad days on occasion. Mention your listing on Facebook as well to help get the word out about your sale. (Local buyers can have their shipping rates refunded if you so choose.) Include a favorable picture with any ad when possible.
Experienced eBay sellers, what tips do you have the newbie seller?