- Personal Finance
How to Make Extra Money on Ebay
I DO NOT work for Ebay! This is NOT a paid advertisement or anything like that.— Me-Jim Laughlin
I have been visiting Ebay.com for years, but have never actually bought or sold anything until this year. I always just flipped through items, just because I was interested in how it worked and I had always heard of people making money on Ebay. I wasn't sure if I trusted it.
I have in the past used Craig's List to buy and sell items and found it to be quite useful on the local level. Being able to show up at a sellers' house and see the item to purchase is very nice, or vice versa. Craig's List has some issues like scammers and such. Buyer and seller beware but keep vigilant and you should not run into any issues. But meeting face to face to buy and sell is a major plus to avoid those issues. With Ebay, all buying and selling of items are done online.
But Ebay does offer buying and selling assurances and very rarely does scamming happen and if it does Ebay will take care of the situation. They will even ban buyers or sellers for life if warranted. In fact, I see people on Craig's List wanting to buy Ebay accounts to get back on Ebay after being banned. Whatever you do, don't get involved with that.
So, this year, I became unemployed and started writing a lot. But, just starting with writing doesn't pay the bills. And the lack of jobs out there, caused me to think of other ways to make some money. Believe me, a lot of different online ideas have been going through my head. But, I started really researching Ebay further and thought it was time for me to give it a try.
This year, during our annual spring cleaning ritual, I came across some more valuable items in our house. Of course, Ebay was fresh on my mind and figured there was no time like the present to sell the items I had hidden around my house. Now, any other year I may have given these items to friends or donated them, but with needing every bit of cash, Ebay was the only choice for me.
First thing first, was to do a little research on the items I was selling. I went to Ebay.com and looked up each item one a time. They have options to see what is selling now or what has recently sold. These are great tools to see what price you should start at. Also, I read about these items, the ones that sold and the ones not selling. Was there a difference in the wording of the products or the description? I took note of the prices and descriptions and worked up prices for my items. I started a little high with my prices, hoping for the best.
Also, when pricing items, take into the consideration the condition of the item. Used and new items will not sell for the same price. Used items with dents and dings will sell for less than used in great condition.
Before I could move on, the one big thing I noticed about items that had sold, where they had great descriptions and seemed to have well-taken pictures of the items for sale. I knew I had to take pictures of my items.
So, I set up a little studio on my dining table. My wife thought it was a little obtrusive, but I assured her it was only temporary. I am by no means a professional photographer but by looking at the pictures taken by other Ebay sellers I got an idea how to make it work.
Never mail out an item you sold until it is paid for and you are notified by Ebay it is OK to mail the item.
The picture above is an example of an a item i sold on Ebay. You will notice, it is definitely not professional and no where near perfect. I used a cardboard box and a pillowcase propped on it as the backdrop. I would suggest making your pictures of better quality, if you can, but this seemed to work great for me, all my items sold fairly quickly.
To make Ebay work for you, it is the combination of things that will sell your item. Informative and thorough descriptions, good pictures, great title and last but not least, the right price. Doing your research prior to listing items on Ebay is the key to success. Do these things and hopefully the money will start rolling in!
A few other things to note. The best way to get paid is through Paypal, so sign up for an account before using Ebay. It is very secure and they let you know every step of the way, and when it is OK to ship items. The communication from Ebay and Paypal is great and really puts your mind at ease.
Also, if your buyers have any questions, Ebay will let you know, Respond quickly to make the buying decisions easier for them. NEVER sell to a buyer outside of Ebay, it is against Ebay's policies and is most likely a scam!
Decide whether you will pay for shipping or they will. If I pay for shipping I will raise the price of the item slightly to at least cover part of the shipping.
Another, very important point! When you are describing your items for sale on Ebay, it is essential you are honest. Be as detailed as you possibly can and read every instruction along the way. If the item is used, mark it used. If it has dings or scratches, let the buyer know in the description. Be open and honest, buyers will pick up on this and trust you more! As a buyer or seller, trust is important.
And of note, Ebay and Paypal are not free. They have fees, that can be paid after the buyer pays, so no money has to leave our pocket, but it will come from the money you make. See Ebay or Paypal for details on that.
So, after all is said and done, I put in about 3 to 4 hours worth of my time to make $400 on Ebay. Not a bad deal at all, plus I cleared out some stuff that was sitting around my house collecting dust. My house is a little cleaner and my wife is happy! I also learned how to make Ebay profitable for me and recommend it highly. I will be using Ebay for future buying and selling of items. I will still use Craig's List too, but Ebay has me hooked for now.
Share your experiences with Ebay, good or bad, below, please. Let us hear of any bad experiences, especially!