Last week we were talking about 18 Ways for mums to earn extra money. One of the suggestions was to de-clutter your house of all the surplus baby clothes and equipment, and sell them on eBay. This may sound daunting, I know because I have been there. In January 2015 I read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo. It changed my life. This is not an exaggeration. It was probably the strangest thing I’d ever read, but after reading it there was no going back. The way I viewed all my possessions was now through a very clear filter.
The question was, after I had implemented the new tidying strategy, what do I do with all this stuff????? Three children accumulate a lot of just about everything! A great amount of money had been spent on items that I could not and would not throw away. So, after asking poor Andrew all the technical questions I had, I started listing items on eBay. If you are reading this, you are either thinking I’m making a big deal over a basic task or you’re thinking, WOW I wish I could do that, I’d make a fortune and get some space back in my house! If you’re the latter, then this post is for you. ebaying isn’t difficult, but there are things that I wish I had known at the start, so I’m going to share them with you.
Here’s my challenge to you. After reading this post, see if you have 10 items or bundles of items you know you don’t need/want/love anymore. Try eBay listing this week and see what happens! My advice is, keep the money you make separate to your normal income. Let it build up over time until you’ve sold everything you intend sell. Then use that money for special treat, like a meal out, a holiday or decorating part of your home.
eBay Strategy for Busy Mums
Set up an eBay account and a paypal account.
Think about what you are selling, is it worth selling on it’s own, or do you have a bundle of similar items that are more likely to sell. For example, baby clothes sell well in bundles, but you need to think it through carefully. Obviously, the size needs to be the same, 0-3 months or 3-4 years etc. Also, think about marketing them as ‘summer bundle’ or something similar.
When you have planned what you need to sell, check the quality on all items, for example, are there any rips or stains, no matter how small you need to mention this in the description.
Here’s an an example of a bundle I sold last year
As you can see, it was boys clothes, from memory they are 9-12 months, they are all tops, and from a variety of different shops. The reason I bundled so many together is that separately these are not worth much secondhand, as they are from stores like tesco, asda, maybe a couple from NEXT. Think about a buyer who is paying for postage, they want to get good value and get as much as they can for the postage they are paying.
If you are selling more designer items, that cost a lot and are in good condition, then it is worth listing these items separately. For example, these items were sold individually
Next you need to carefully write the description for each item. Remember there will be thousands of items on eBay trying to grab buyers attention, and if you want yours to stand out, then you need a catchy title on your listing. Try and upsell the best parts of the item. For example, above, I could list those baby suits like this “Baby Suit 3-6mths”. This will not attract anyone. If I say “Mamas & Papas baby boy Outfit 3-6mths excellent condition” this will grab attention. Likewise in the item description, you need to state all the reasons this is great product. Such as,
- kept in smoke free and pet free home
- only worn once for a wedding
- washed and pressed ready for posting
- adorable outfit, great fit
These are great phrases to use, but there are others depending on what you are selling. If the item is Brand New, add the letters BNWT to the end of the product title. It stands for Brand New With Tags on. Everything great you can think about this product should be in the description. Think of yourself as a salesperson when you do this!lol
Make sure you provide lots of photographs, you are trying to show potential buyers that there are no nasty surprises in this item. Look at the example below, it might look like overkill, but it worked, as the items I had more photos of generally sold for higher amounts of money.
Remember that bad photographs will effect your sales greatly, so make sure you have good light and clean surface to lay the products down on. Also, iron clothes as best you can, as the camera shows everything.
I should say at this point that if you have an iPhone, use the eBay app to sell, it is far quicker than the desktop site and you can take the photos within the app. It’s great, I can have an item listed in a matter of minutes.
Once you’ve written the description, make sure you set the correct postage. Generally speaking, I post 2nd class in the UK, and I set this as the default postage for all items. If you want to sell internationally, you can set this in the postage settings. If you are in the UK, the Post Office website can give you good estimates of postage prices to other countries.
There may be 100 other things you want to know about selling on eBay, but my best advice is to just get started and learn as you go along. If all else fails, google your questions 🙂 sure that’s where all the best advice comes from anyway, isn’t it? 🙂
Let me know how you get on!