eBay is a great way to make a few pounds by selling unwanted items you have cluttering up the house, garage or shed. I have sold many things over the years and have learnt a few lessons through trial and error. Read on to find out the best ways Iíve found to make money.
Not many people realise that every private eBay seller is entitled to list 100 items free of charge per calendar month as long as the item has a starting price of 99p or less. I tend to use this entitlement for items that I donít mind what they sell for, even if it is just 99p. For items that you would like a bit more for itís best to hold out for free listings weekends where you can start the listing at the lowest price you wouldnít mind receiving for the item. Iíve noticed that there is normally a free listings weekend at least once a month, normally the first weekend of the month but eBay donít usually advertise until the day before on a Friday. So keep an eye out to make sure you make the most of it. In both cases you donít actually pay anything to list items and if the item doesnít sell it doesnít cost you anything. If the item doesnít sell by the time the listing ends just re-list it using your free listings allowance. Before I submit a listing I always double check that the insertion fee does appear as Ďfreeí and the total fee is Ď£0.00í. You can view this under the ĎReview your feesí section which is just above the ĎList your itemí button at the bottom of the page.
Something to be aware of, if you list items for 99p or less on free listings weekends this will come out of your 100 free listings allowance for that calendar month, so make sure you start your auction at £1 or more. The beauty of free listings is that if the item doesnít sell it doesnít cost you anything, so you can pretty much name your price. So make the most of it and list anything you donít want any more, you just never know what might sell and it could have been something you were going to throw away! If your item doesnít sell first time, donít give up, just keep re-listing it until it does sell. In some cases it has taken me 7 attempts to sell a particular item, itís all about timing and the right people searching for items youíre selling at the right time. Persistence is key.
Offering postage discounts will encourage your bidders to buy more from you but make sure you charge enough for postage. Weigh the item first, preferably in itís packaging then visit the Royal Mail website and use their postage calculator. I usually add an extra pound or so on to the price to make up for any shortfall and to incorporate an element of the fees that eBay and PayPal will charge me. I remember selling a listing of 6 magazines for 99p and charging an estimated cost of £3.49 for P&P as they were quite heavy. When I went to the Post Office I was charged £4.41 for postage, so I had already lost out. The eBay final value fee came in at 10p which is 10% of the sale price and then PayPal charged me 35p to receive the money. In the end I was actually out of pocket by 37p, so I really lost out there! Well, a valuable lesson was learnt and needless to say Iíve never made that mistake again.
Another thing Iíve learnt when listing P&P charges is that eBay sometimes wonít actually let you charge more than what they deem to be a fair price. Like my magazines listing, I seem to recall it would not allow me to charge more than the £3.49 I charged however I have since found there is a way to bypass this. You need to select the ďfreightĒ option and make sure you clearly mention what you will be charging for P&P in your item description.
Also I always list items to be sent by 2nd class post as Iíve found itís not worth paying the extra for 1st class and Iíve even had items arrive at the destination the next day by 2nd class post, go figure! Sending items by 1st class post does not guarantee next day delivery so personally I donít see the point paying a little extra, Iíd rather have the money in my pocket!
Donít waste money on buying new jiffy bags and envelopes, you should reuse and recycle where you can. Every time you receive an item in the post in a jiffy bag, peel the label off and stick it in a box. Youíll be surprised how many jiffy bags you will accumulate which you can reuse for posting the items you sell.
Last year, in the run up to Christmas, I made enough money to pay for my Christmas shopping! So, what are you waiting for? Have a look through your bedroom wardrobes and drawers and Iím sure youíll find various items of clothing youíve only worn a couple of times and will never wear again. If you have kids there will always be clothes and toys theyíve outgrown that you can sell. Also donít forget to look in your kitchen cupboards as there are often electrical appliances that get used to start off with and then end up in the back of the cupboard such as a bread maker or ice cream maker. Youíll be surprised what you can find around the house and most importantly it could be extra cash in your pocket instead of cluttering up your house.
Remember, another manís junk is another manís treasure.