More $$$, Less Junk – A Quick Guide to Selling Everything You Don’t Need on eBay

Image Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBay#/media/File:EBay_logo.svg
Image Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBay#/media/File:EBay_logo.svg

So you want to be a minimalist? Or just rid yourself of the extra clutter filling your life? Or you’re strapped for cash and want to make a few extra bucks? Look no further, you’ve found all of my hard earned secrets that I am now passing on to you! I’ve recently just finished ridding myself of all the unnecessary crap in my life. Let me tell you, I’ve never felt more free! With owning less things, I have now opened the door to experience more and continue a life that isn’t revolved around worldly possessions! I’ve sold over 300 items and have donated thousands more. I’ve made over $6,000 in 3 months and had zero eBay experience when I began this endeavor. If you need a little motivation to rid yourself of all the clutter read my post on the benefits of living a simple lifestyle.

How to entice and attract eBay buyers even when you don’t have ANY feedback or experience
When you first set up an eBay account, you won’t have any reputation built from buyers. Who’s to say you’re not a scam trying to steal money from the naive and innocent?! Never fear. This is the most difficult and most daunting hurdle to hop over. Put yourself in the buyers’ position – what would you want to see from a seller? You want to make sure you’re not buying into a scam where you’ll get a moth eaten, mold covered item that isn’t even remotely close to what you saw in the photos, right? RIGHT! So give the buyers what they want.

  1. Offer free shipping – When you’re just beginning to build your eBay reputation, ask yourself why someone would want to buy your item over the exact same item that is already listed on eBay? I know, this sounds counter productive and a waste of time, “Why would someone want to buy my junk when someone else’s junk is already listed from a reputable buyer?” You can’t change your lack of feedback, so do everything you can to be different from what is already out there. Offer free shipping, price the item lower, and write an enticing description.
  2. Take clear photographs – No one will want to buy your item if the photographs are blurry and they can’t zoom in to see every little detail. More photos are better than less and all angles of every little nook and cranny should be photographed! It’s helpful to have a designated photography area where the background is either all white or all black. Nothing should be in the background of the photo and make sure there is ample light. eBay buyers are fickle, they’re used to seeing clear and photoshopped images of everything they buy online, try to replicate a professional with your photographs!
  3. Be honest – In the description, let the buyers know that you are just starting out on eBay and are willing and able to answer any addition questions they may have about the item and provide additional photographs. Buyers want to see that you’re a real life person sitting behind the computer screen. It also helps to include with the description why you’re selling the item. Again, be honest. Buyers want to know what, if anything, is wrong with the item you’re selling and why you don’t want it anymore. I included something like this in my description – “I am selling this item because I am moving to a smaller space and need to downsize my possessions.” If you’re selling clothes your little quip could be “I am selling this shirt because it no longer fits, it wasn’t my style, it was a gift, etc”. Tell the buyers as much as you know about the item as you can!
  4. Be friendly! – 🙂 When buyers reach out to you, always give them a quick and upbeat response (even if they send you emails that are full of typos and they’re demanding). Chances are, your buyers are busy and they’re reaching out to multiple sellers. You can stand out by providing a positive and friendly response! My responses go something like this “Thanks for reaching out to me! …..Answer the question….. Hope this helps, happy bidding!” A little extra goes a long way.

How to list your junk, Buy it Now (BIN) or Auction
This is one of the hardest decisions when beginning you eBay endeavor.

  1. Auction – If your item is rare and hard to find (collectible, older/vintage, limited edition), list it in an auction format. If you don’t know if your item is rare or what it is worth, list it in the auction format so you can let the buyers determine how much it is worth. This way, if your item isn’t worth anything, it’ll show. If it is worth $500, the buyers will likely bid it up to that amount.
  2. Buy it Now (BIN) – If your item is common and there are numerous eBay listings for the exact or similar item that you’re selling, list it as BIN. I like the BIN feature because it also allows sellers to offer it at best offer. This is great because if I have an article of clothing that I don’t know how much I’ll get out of it, I’ll overprice it on BIN with an OBO option and take what I can get.

Do ample research to see what else is selling, how it is listed and at what price. It’s a good idea to look at the sold listings to see what similar items are selling for. I had limited time, so I listed my items at a lower price than my counterparts just because I wanted a guaranteed sale rather than $5.00 extra.

Other relevant tips and and things I learned

  • Before you start, do yourself a favor and write down the reasons why you’re selling your things. Tape it next to your computer. You need a goal, a light at the end of the tunnel, to be successful in this. You’ll have a day (probably soon) where you’ll be banging your head against the wall wondering why on earth you’re doing this to yourself. You’ll need the reasons why you’re putting yourself through Hell.
  • eBay is hard work, it’s frustrating, it’s tedious, it’s monotonous. My best advice to you is just JUMP IN! Give it your best shot for two weeks, post a variety of items, and see what works and what doesn’t. Keep a list of everything you sell on Excel to do a recap at the end of 2 weeks to regroup.
  • Things I thought would sell really well, didn’t. Things I thought were junk, sold faster than a hummingbird flaps her wings! This proves that either it’s hard to predict what will sell or I’m a complete moron.

Don’t lose your courage! eBay is a great way to rid yourself of the excess in your life that can be a benefit to others! It’s a daunting task to commence because you will never know if something you consider junk will sell or not! All you can do is give it a go! Chances are, you’ll be a few (or a few thousand) bucks richer!!

We would love to hear from you!! Have you sold on eBay? What have you learned? What works vs. what doesn’t?


39 thoughts on “More $$$, Less Junk – A Quick Guide to Selling Everything You Don’t Need on eBay

  1. Thanks for the guide! I’m trying to reduce the amount of stuff we have and thought ebay might be worth trying. 🙂 I have a lot of jewelry that I think will go for only low dollar amounts (under $5 based on the competition). Did you have any low price items that you did free shipping on? How’d that work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a tough one Sara… When I offered free shipping, I would compensate by pricing the items $2-3 higher than I normally would. However in low price points, that is hard to do because it puts you at a much higher price than the competition. I would either mimic what the competition is doing (price $1 – $0.50 lower than them to grab buyers and charge the same amount as the competition for shipping) or put a few pieces together to sell in a lot listing. Hope this helps, let me know how it works out for your! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some good clear tips! Thanks! I’ve been slowly de-cluttering, purging stuff that I’ve held on to for years. There is an emotional and physical freedom that comes from getting rid of stuff.

    Good luck with your travels – I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely love the information here. I am in the process of living a more minimal (oxymoron?) lifestyle and this article is just what I needed!

    Like

  4. I hate selling on Ebay.. but it can be such a good way of getting rid of everything! I agree completely that it’s hard to know what will sell and what won’t.. guess it all depends on there being just that 1 person who wants to buy it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great article! 19 months ago, I decided on tiny house living, so I started to get rid of any excess stuff in preparation. Now (with the exception of my car), every single thing I own fits comfortably into the 14’x12′ bedroom I rent, and I LOVE it that way. Moving is a cinch, and life seems so much simpler and less stressful. I primarily used Craigslist to sell my stuff, but ebay was great for a few of the more valuable items.

    As my grandpa says: “The more stuff you own, the more stuff owns you.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that quote from your Grandpa! So true. My husband, Alex, coined “Things don’t tie you down, you tie yourself down with things”. I love your minimalist approach! From your climbing shots I’m surprised you can get all your gear in that room 😉 We’ll see you on a peak somewhere, sometime!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have an Ebay account and so far, I’ve sold two items on there. Both were cameras that I didn’t use anymore. I actually trying to sell some of my books on Ebay too, but they don’t seem to getting a lot of attention. Ebay isn’t easy; there’s competition. But it can be done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A fab starter guide. I’m also in the midst of decluttering and de-owning loads of stuff (in part via eBay). I even wrote a blog post on letting go of my little black dress! $6000 is a fantastic achievement!

    Top tips I’ve found are scheduling 10 day auctions to start Thursday evening so that you hit 2 weekends (even better if one is a payday weekend). Also, think seasonally and sell accordingly. You’ll get more for summer dresses in summer! It may sound obvious but I’m prioritising what I’m currently selling on this basis. I also sell on Facebook forums and book buying companies where bulk is your friend and it saves me listing everything individually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are great tips! Unfortunately I had limited time so I couldn’t plan item sales with the seasons. I always did a 7 day listing so hearing your thoughts on the 10 day is really great! I’ll have to try that next time I accumulate a plethora of junk!

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  8. I don’t use eBay as we have a local auction site here in New Zealand and I regularly sell unwanted/needed items to cover the cost of my travel. It doesn’t usually pay for it all but it covers the occassional nights accommodation, meal or sometimes a deposit. Most of us have too much stuff, so occassionally I look around and think “that has to go”. The trick is to sell more than you buy.

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  9. I was just thinking about doing this! Thanks for the pointers. What do you think of selling jewelry on Ebay? I have a necklace that I’m trying to sell but not sure if that’s the right place to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I haven’t sold jewelry on eBay simply because I don’t have anything worth selling! I would think jewelry would sell well if it was a name brand that people recognize. If you have vintage or heirloom pieces, I would go with Etsy. However, I would think there would be a jewelry specific online marketplace where your buyer base would be concentrated on jewelry.. Sorry I don’t have much more to tell you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the post. I am in the middle of trying to consolidate my life into less “things” since I have many hobbies that needs gear. But once I don’t use something for more than a few months, I figure they should get to someone who wants it more.

    I find it useful to list things not only on ebay, but also on dedicated forums if it is a specific type of goods. It eliminates the commission on ebay, even though it is a bit more work. I guess it depends on the size of the operation. If I’m mass-listing things, ebay does help centralize it 🙂

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    1. That’s a great idea too! I looked into internet garage sales but it seemed like more work than it was worth to me for all the meet ups. The eBay commission does add up but I warranted it as an acceptable trade off for a large base of buyers. All the best to you in ridding your life of “things”!! 🙂

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  11. I could never figure out how to eBay well. I have some trinkets from my travels I always wanted to sell. Maybe I’ll give it another go with this post in-front of me.

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    1. You’ll never know until you try! Like I said, the things I thought would sell really well didn’t. The things I thought were junk got top dollar! It’s amazing how the market works like that. Good luck!

      Like

  12. Great post and very timely for me as I have a tonne of things on eBay right now and none of them are selling. I look forward to relisting them after making a few changes to test out your tips.

    Liked by 1 person

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