One of the most lucrative side hustles a person can start doing is to sell their old stuff that they no longer want. There are lots of ways to do that thanks to the internet (Facebook Marketplace and Posmark are just two examples), and personally, I am a big fan of eBay, which has been a big moneymaking side hustle for me over the years. Seriously, I just made $200 selling three things last week.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years from selling my stuff. Now purge your closet and cash in!
1. Work on building your profile before you sell
When you set up your account you’ll notice buyers and sellers have ratings, so in order for you to establish yourself on the website, consider making a few purchases and being a buyer first. That way, other users can see you have an eBay history and will trust you. The higher your rating, the better. Make sure to also choose a username that will be effective and trustworthy as well. Unicornlover2018 probably isn’t the best to start with.
2. Understand the costs of selling
Before you list an item you need to understand how much it’s worth and how much you will actually pocket at the end of the transaction. Research what other sellers are listing the same or similar items for to be sure your pricing is competitive. There also are costs on Ebay to consider such as:
- You only have 20 items free each month you can list
- 10% of the sale goes to eBay
- PayPal will take an additional 3.4% of the sale price
- Estimate the cost of shipping far from home to be sure the shipping price you are advertising is accurate
3. Include good photos
You can upload 12 photos for free, so make sure to take a variety of good product photos, in natural lighting. Photographs add the most credibility to the listing.
4. Start bids low to catch the bargain hunter’s eye
You will actually find you get more bids on items if you start with a low price. As tempting as it is to start higher, I’ve found that you’ll push the listing higher when you have more people viewing the listing. A lower starting price is bound to catch the most eyes. You can always add a “minimum price” if you’re worried about losing money.
5. Start a listing on Thursday or Sunday
In general, they say the best time to end any auction is on a Sunday evening. So, if you’re going for a seven day auction, list it from Sunday to Sunday. However, consider the 10-day listing for the best results. Listing on Thursday will give you two full weekends and weekends usually have the highest traffic.
6. Finish the job right
Remember, once you’ve made the sale and the money hits your PayPal account, the job’s not done. Make sure to send a confirmation email to the buyer as soon as you can and a tracking number as soon as it ships. Be sure to ship promptly, within one to three business days, too. And when you’re all said and done, leave the buyer feedback.
7. Avoid scams
Just because you got an email from “PayPal” saying you received payment, does not actually mean you have money. That’s right, there are fake PayPal accounts and emails out there that will notify you that a payment was received, when in reality it hasn’t. A friend of mine once shipped her iPad off to who knows who, only to realize she never double checked to make sure the money was actually in her account. It wasn’t and she had been scammed. Luckily, she was able to stop the shipment (a USPS miracle), but it was a close call!
8. You don’t have to just sell things you already have
If you have a good eye and enjoy bargain hunting and garage sale shopping, you can make money on selling stuff that you buy discounted from retail stores or on undervalued things you find at thrift stores or garage sales, or even brand name things you find that are being discontinued. For example, I once purchased a name brand ski jacket in the state of Alabama, on clearance at the end of the season, for nearly $100 less than I sold it to someone in Utah!
Feature Illustration: Laura Caseley For The Money Manual