I’m constantly looking for side jobs to help cushion our savings account. Always on the prowl for extra gigs so we can spend more on adventures. I had read it time and again from every famous travel blogger out there, “if you want to make money fast, sell all your stuff.”
The problem was that they never told you HOW to do this. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist definitely didn’t work for me. So up until two weeks ago, I never had any luck selling my old stuff.
Yes, eBay is STILL a major online marketplace and you can actually make a LOT of money as a seller. I recently read an article about a girl who makes six-figures buying and selling on eBay, so we decided to give it a try and sell all of our unwanted goods.
To be honest, we didn’t expect much. A couple hundred dollars would’ve been nice, but instead, we’ve sold over $1,300 worth of stuff within two weeks. I guess we can’t complain!
What have we sold?
ENO Slap Straps Pro for Hammock
Our DJI Mavic Pro Drone Controller (RIP drone!)
Phones: water-damaged phones, phones with cracked screens, phones that don’t turn on anymore, etc.
Old iPads that no longer update
Clothing we no longer wear
A lot of DVDs
A RIF6 Cube Projector
And basically ANYTHING that was lying around. You might be thinking:
A) No one wants my old junk -or-
B) I don’t have anything to sell
Both of these claims are false. Mike and I keep all of our belongings in a fifth wheel trailer, so if we have things to sell in such a small space, you absolutely have things you no longer use, too.
And the reality is, people DO want your old stuff. I promise. You’d be amazed at what people buy.
Next, you’ll gather all of the items you hope to sell. Be sure to clean them up and make them look presentable. The better they look, the faster they’ll sell, and the more money you can charge for them.
Take pictures of each item. You can use the camera on your phone for this, but be sure to get several different angles and use EXCELLENT lighting.
After you’ve taken the pictures, go back to eBay and figure out a price point for each item. I’d suggest downloading the eBay app because it’s really easy to use and can be accessed right from your phone.
To determine how much you’ll sell each item for, type in the name of the item into the search bar at the top. When the list appears, you’ll scroll down until you see the description “Sold Items“. Click this.
This will give you a complete list of items sold similar to yours. You’ll be able to tell how much they sold for, the condition of the item, and what was charged for shipping. For best results, find the item that most closely matches yours.
I typically set the price of an item as the average of all the recent sales, however, the choice is completely up to you.
Once you decide on a selling price for your item, click on the “Sell” button at the top of the screen. This can be done from a computer or your smartphone.
You’ll upload your pictures, title of the item, and description here. Be sure to disclose all of the faults or imperfections of the item. Being trustworthy is a necessity for selling on eBay.
When you get to the “Pricing” section, uncheck the auction button. Some people like to sell their items for auction but I can tell you that we’ve made SO much more money by using the “Buy It Now” option. I highly recommend this.
Set your price and move onto the shipping section.
What about shipping?
Not to worry about shipping, the buyer will pay for the shipping costs. All you have to worry about is sending the item.
On the same listing page I was describing above, there will be a section to select the shipping costs.
When we first started selling, we simply just copied other people’s shipping costs for the same item. This worked just fine and we were always within a dollar or two of the actual cost of shipping. This is what I recommend you do when you first start selling, too.
In order to charge a fixed amount, you’ll check the box “I don’t know the package details“. To the right of this section, you’ll also select “Charge a fixed amount“. Input the amount you want the buyer to pay for shipping.
Sometimes if we are really unsure of the shipping costs, we charge just a little more than we think is necessary. This covers us in case we calculated something wrong.
Any eBay fees?
There are definitely eBay fees, but this is to be expected. I’ve researched and found mixed reviews on what the actual eBay fees are, but I know they are somewhere around 9% of the final sales value.
For us, these are annoying but it’s all part of the game. If you’re worried about eBay fees, you can always charge a little extra for your item. This way it covers any fees associated with the sale.
Are you afraid of scams?
We were afraid of scams at first but after selling over $1300 worth of items and seeing the extensive security measures that eBay takes, we are no longer worried and feel completely comfortable.
We do not ship out of the country and we also do not do business with anyone off of eBay. Common sense applies here, so if someone asks for your credit card number, say no.
A few tips from the not-so-pros:
I can’t say we are pros yet since we’ve just started two weeks ago, but I can tell you what we’ve learned during that time.
1. Never offer free shipping because if a customer decides to return an item, they will be reimbursed for the price of the item AND the cost of shipping (which came out of your pocket). Always have the customer pay shipping.
2. Print your shipping labels through eBay, you’ll receive 16% savings! It’s awesome!
3. Learn how to cut down boxes to size. This has been huge for us and we’ve been able to save a lot by doing this. Watch this Youtube video for more details.
4. For quick sales, allow others to make a profit off of you. I know it’s fun to get the most money for your items, but the best way to sell is to offer a slightly lower price. We do this and sell our items almost instantly.
5. Don’t be afraid to sell large items, too! People ARE willing to pay a lot of money for shipping ($100+) if it’s something they want. You’ll use a freight service for these kinds of items.
The bottom line
Selling on eBay has been extremely lucrative for us. Since we started selling our old and unwanted items two weeks ago, we’ve brought in an extra $1300. Use the tips above to start selling your unwanted items and see how much money you can bring in.