Tips for Making Money on eBay

A stay at home mom (SAHM), work at home mom (WAHM), a mother wishing to not return to work after maternity leave or anyone in general can bring in some extra income by selling items on eBay. There is money to be made, but it does take time and effort. I am an avid eBayer who loves to shop for bargains then resell them for a profit! The brands I frequently sell consist of Ralph Lauren, Coach and Burberry. I purchase my merchandise at the Chelsea Premium Outlets and the Prime Outlets for bargain prices, then I resell them on eBay for a profit. I wanted to share some lessons I have learned over the years that will hopefully make your selling experience smoother and more profitable.

  • Feedback is key! If you are new to eBay, I encourage you to sell some cd’s or books on eBay’s sister site, This is a quick way to get rid of unwanted stuff lying around your house and build up your credibility.
  • Know return policies for the retail stores where you purchase your eBay auction merchandise.
  • Sign up for coupons and incentives for the stores you frequently buy eBay merchandise from.
  • Familiarize yourself with the various eBay fees (e.g. listing fees, insertion fees, photo fees, end of auction fees, PayPal fees, etc.).
  • Research stock numbers or product descriptions through eBay’s “completed listings” prior to posting. This feature will show everything that has ended for your search criteria within the past couple of weeks. This tool is BENEFICIAL for setting prices and/or expectations about the price point for your item.
  • Take clear photos of your item. It is critical to take good photos of your merchandise so people know what they are bidding on. The first photo is free; however, eBay charges for additional photos.
  • Write descriptive auction descriptions. Spend time on your description then use it as your template for future posts. Over communicate the product features to try to eliminate any potential questions. For inspiration, take a look at similar auctions. Do not plagiarize, be sure to write your own description.
  • Use disclaimers and indicate payment expectations in your auction description so bidders are clear on your policies prior to bidding on your merchandise.
  • People become obsessed with being the high bidder. In my 8 years of experience, I have found my auctions sell for higher prices when I list them under $1 starting price. People become so obsessed with trying to be the high bidder that they run your prices up.
  • If you are worried about your item not receiving a high enough bid, then set a “Reserve” price. This will cost you an upfront fee; however, you will have the peace of mind knowing your item will not sell unless you receive your reserve price.
  • If you have a bottom line price, you can always just make your starting price that amount. Using this method will avoid the “reserve price” fee but may increase the insertion fee because of the higher starting price.
  • “Buy it now” auctions can be used if you want to sell your item for a flat price. Keep in mind, eBay has increased fees for this type of listing so make sure your price is set appropriately to make a profit.
  • “Best Offer” auctions are one of eBay’s newer features. Basically, a bidder can make an offer and the seller can refuse, accept or offer a counter price.
  • If it is not convenient to drive to the post office, schedule for the United States Postal Service (USPS)  to pick up the package from your home.
  • Get free boxes! The USPS will deliver free Priority Mail packaging to your home. Create an online USPS account and place your order. Priority Mail is a bit more expensive than First Class mail, but saves the seller a ton of money on packaging supplies.  Also, they have convenient flat rate boxes so you do not have to guess shipping fees.
  • Delivery confirmations are vital for fighting any disputes that may arise about an item not being shipped.
  • Encourage buyers to purchase shipping insurance in case their package is lost or stolen once it leaves your possession.
  • Communicate with your buyer. Send invoices promptly and communicate the delivery confirmation number once the package has shipped. I personally include a thank you note inside each package and also remind the buyer to leave positive feedback for the transaction.

For more information, check out these free eBay tutorials then start making money today! Also, visit my eBay page. What is your experience with eBay? Let me know your success stories in the comments section. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to bookmark The Unemployed Mom.

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