Money Making Tip: Selling Clothes on eBay

A few years back, I tried selling a top on eBay.  The process was so complicated that I gave up after only a few minutes.  It wasn’t until I met my coworker, an eBay pro, that I decided to try again.  Since my second attempt, I’ve sold about 20 items of clothing and made over $200!  I know $200 isn’t enough to quit my day job or anything, but it’s still pretty awesome considering the fact that all the items I’ve sold would’ve gone to Goodwill anyway.  Plus, the best part of selling on eBay for me is getting rid of so much unworn clothes.

The time it takes me to photograph, upload and post an item is less than 5 minutes now.  Even though it’s so easy, I know a lot of people still think it’s too complicated to try so here are my tips for an eBay beginner:

When you sell, use the quick listing tool.  As soon as you click the “Sell” button on top, it should automatically take you to the quick listing tool.  But just in case it doesn’t or you accidentally click on the advanced tool, you’ll know to switch it to the quick listing tool.

The instructions for title, condition, photos and item specifics are all pretty self-explanatory.

Once you get down to the Details section, write a few things that the buyer may want to know about the item like if there are any stains or missing buttons.  Sometimes if there is nothing particularly worth mentioning, I write something like, “only worn once!” or “great with leggings!”

I like to list my items for Auction with a starting price of at least $3.  I’ve sold items for $0.99 before and believe it or not, those are the items that I never get paid for.  This has happened to me 2 out of 2 times.  I feel like with a $3 minimum starting price, people who bid on the item are much more committed and likely to pay up.  After setting the Auction starting price, I select the Buy It Now option and put an amount typically 2 or 3 times the starting Auction price.

For the Listing Duration, I like putting 3 days so the turn-around is quicker.  After the Listing Duration, you can schedule your listing’s start time.  If you don’t check that box, your listing will be live as soon as you click “List it” at the bottom.  I like to schedule my start time for 7:30am because that means the auction will end at 7:30am 3 days from now.  I can check eBay that morning and if there was a bid on the item, I’ll bring that item to work with me for shipping.

Shipping is, for me, the tricky part.  From my experience, eBay does a good job 90% of the time estimating how much postage costs to ship your item.  But when they’re wrong, it can be costly… for YOU.  For instance, there was one top I sold that eBay thought weighed 6 oz or something like that, which means the buyer paid $2 for shipping.  Once I tried to ship it, I found out the top actually weighed 14 oz.  This was a problem not only because it was much heavier, but also because it surpassed the weight limit for First Class shipping (13 oz).  So then I had to ship it Priority Mail, which cost me over $7.  My net profit for that sale was less than $1, which was disappointing but at least I didn’t lose money!  From then on, I try to estimate the weight myself and probably even over estimate by an ounce or two just to be on the safe side.

Last thing, don’t be surprised if after a month after your first sale you get an email from eBay saying you have a balance.  Ebay charges a seller’s fee but it’s not too bad considering you won’t get charged a seller’s fee unless you’ve made money from a sale.

And that’s it!  You’re ready to list your first item!

For those of you who are eBay veterans, I’d love to hear some of YOUR selling tips!