Many times, a couple hundred dollars each month makes the difference between being able to meet our financial responsibilities and struggling. Do you need some extra monthly income without taking on another job. Then consider becoming a seller on eBay.
Now that they’ve introduced an eBay mobile app (that’s free by the way), becoming a seller on eBay is easier than ever.
Step 1: Set Up Shop
- Set up an eBay account (www.ebay.com) — it’s free.
- Set up a PayPal account (www.paypal.com) — it’s free. You’ll need this to accept payments.
- Use www.usps.com to get free mailing supplies (like boxes). You can also use it to create postage when you’re ready.
- Have a smart phone or camera to take pictures of the items you’re selling. Smart phones are great because you can take a picture and send them straight to your email.
- Eventually, consider purchasing (or asking for Christmas) a scale from USPS to better figure out shipping costs.
Step 2: Create Your First Listing
- Before you run, learn to walk. Practice doing one listing at a time.
- What to sell: I have found that children’s clothing sells great. So does old software and electronics. Sporting good and sport items also sell.
- Where to find inventory: Look for clutter around your house. Or around your friend’s and families home. Most people will be happy to give away their clutter. Chances are, right now you have a couple boxes full of old junk at your parents’ house.
- Start all your listings at $.99 (unless it’s something kind of specialized, like a little girl’s bridal dress — where there isn’t likely to be a ton of people looking for that at one time. For items, like that, start at a low price (like $19.99).
- Use the defaults for the most part. eBay does a good job these days of estimating shipping costs, etc. Go ahead and use all those.
- For the write-up of your auction, keep it simple. Here’s a recent write up of mine:
“This auction is for a girl’s Gymboree aqua blue flutter sleeve dress (size 6). This outfit has been rarely worn and in terrific condition with no defects or stains. Included with this auction is a pair of coordinating silver gem sandals (size 12).”
I like to first state what the item is, a little description, and it’s size. I’ll then go into it’s condition. If there are any extras, I put that last.
Step 3: Doing Business
- Once you list the item, get the eBay app. You can keep track of things very easily. It’s wonderful in that it lets you know when people have questions. Respond to those quickly. Buyers on eBay like promptness.
- After the item sells, make sure you get it mailed ASAP. The shipping is the biggest pain for me, and the easiest part to screw up on by waiting too long. Have boxes ready to go (get them free from USPS). You can also create postage via USPS and print straight from your computer. You can also schedule USPS to come pick up your packages.
- Give folks positive reviews and work with your buyers to keep them happy. Your rating is very important on eBay.
Step 4: Building Your Business
- After you get the hang of having one listing up, work to have ten listings up at one time. I like to have ten listings going every week.
- On average, you will get around $10 for item. That’s really, pretty conservative — you’ll probably do better than that. That comes to around $100 a week.
- Before you know it, you’ll have $400/month extra coming in. Use that to pay down your debt.
Step 5: Words of eBay Wisdom To Live By
- Start small with one listing at a time. When you get that down, go up to 2, then 5, then 10 at one time.
- I find 10 listings at once the perfect amount for the part-timer. Keeping up with questions and shipping more than 10 items a week is challenging if you have other full-time work.
- Keep an inventory of everything you’re selling in an Excel spreadsheet. Put the item description, date listed, date sold, and amount sold for. Over time, this will tell you the items that sell the best.
We live in a debt-acceptable world. But honestly, debt is slavery. Free yourself. You don’t need debt to live, and you cannot prosper from debt.
There’s not one millionaire anywhere that says they made their fortune from credit cards. So free yourself. One great way to do that is little-by-little through eBay.