Saturday 13th July 2024

How to eBay like a pro!


My parents are moving house this summer and have decided that they no longer want to store all the stuff I don’t want enough to have with me (in my box room in London) but still want to keep.

They last moved house when I was 18 and I have managed to build up quite a collection of ‘stuff’ over the eight years so it’s time for a good clear out.

To give you an idea, I currently have two full double wardrobes, two full single wardrobes, two full chests of drawers plus a number of boxes full of clothes under my double bed (and this is before we include the clothes I actually wear, which are in London).

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How I ended up with so much stuff I’m not really sure. I’ve definitely been in denial about it for a number of years. So over the weekend I made a start and listed 50 items on eBay, I still have another 60 odd in my wardrobe but hey I’ve made a start. Here’s my tips to make the most you can out of your sales:

1. Timing is everything

If you want to get a good price, get your listing to end in the evening: Fridays and Sundays are particularly good. No one will be entering into a bidding war at 10am on a Monday morning.

2. Take good photographs

You want to show off your items in the best light you can. I always photograph clothes on a wooden hanger against a white door with good light or if hanging up does them no favour, lie them down on a white bed sheet or cream carpet. Photographing labels shows your telling the truth about size and brand.

3. Give a good description

Outline the style, material, length, shape. How worn the item is. Even occasions you’ve worn it or could where it. Why you’re selling it and how much you paid for it. Invite buyers to ask questions and make offers.

4. Don’t lie

If the item has a defect explain it and photograph it. Imagine how upset you would be if a dress with a hole in it turned up on your doorstep! This will affect your rating so it’s better to be upfront. Same with postage – if you won’t post it the next day, don’t say you will!

5. Consider your prices

Sometimes starting your item at 99p will attract bidders, sometimes it means you will sell your items for 99p. If your item is worth something, try to reflect this in your prices – I normally list things a bit rubbish for £2.99, good stuff for £4.99 and the best stuff for £9.99 starting bids, that way I know I’ll always make some profit. If you’re not sure about selling an item list it for a higher price and if it sells great and if it doesn’t, it’s a sign, keep it!

6. Take advantage of offers

eBay offers a number of free listings each month. They also run promotions such as only pay if you sell, 75% off final value fees or £1 final value fees. Even though a listing costs 35p this quickly adds up and will eat into your profits. Also take advantage of the auto-relist option, this will save you time and energy!

7. Postage

I always charge £4.50 for postage so I make some money on it. Package your items so things like tops will fit in the ‘large letter’ slot. I always save and reuse the bags from online shopping – not having to buy bags will also increase your profits. Finally keep your receipts in case there’s a problem so you can (a) prove you posted the item and (b) claim a refund from Royal Mail.

8. Give and receive

Be a good eBayer by keeping your buyers up to date with their purchase and leaving feedback. At the end of the day you want people to do same to you.

9. Think outside the box

I’ve been really conservative about the items I’ve listed on eBay – mostly old party dresses, going out tops and unworn heels (cos I’m old and not fun anymore…). However, people have had success listing more bizarre items; blogger Emma from ‘From Aldi to Harrods’ sells her old smelly shoes on eBay and Skint Dad sells his loo roll tubes in bulk!

10. Don’t get distracted

If you are selling your items to make money or clear out space. DO NOT, whatever you do, think “oh, I’ll just have a quick search for xxx”! The amount of times I’ve sold 5 items on eBay and bought 10 more in the process is disgusting. Yes, eBay is great and there are lots of bargains to be had but think about your priorities; just because you sold an item doesn’t means you should treat yourself – I’m sorry but it’s true. So far on this clear-out I am yet to bid on anything… promise!

Happy selling!

[Pic credit: “eBay live! Vegas, 2006” by m01229]

Millie Chapman

Mouthy Blogger

If there’s a bargain to be had anywhere, Emily’s your gal. Theatre, drinks, baking and being treated like a VIP for free, not necessarily in that order.

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