Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

In this economy, stretching the budget is necessary. eBay may not be the powerhouse it once was in terms of marketplace opportunities, but it is still a great option for making a little extra money. The harder something is to find, the better it will sell. If someone can go buy it at Wal-mart, they’re not going to buy it from you. I have had incredible success, however, by being smart about eBay selling, using the auction house as a method for keeping life simple, making a little extra money, and getting rid of clutter.

Over the years, I’ve used eBay to sell kids clothes, comics, shoes, and collectibles as well as perceived junk from local yard sales. Kids grow so fast that they are often not in clothes long enough to wear them in, let alone wear them out. As the kids outgrew their clothes, I packaged them in lots by size and post them on eBay. You should only sell clothing that is in good shape, with no stains or holes. If you smoke or have pets, your clothes are less likely to sell.

Opportunities exist everywhere. While out shopping at a local department store, I came across a clearance rack of baby clothing (a popular eBay category)—everything on the rack was marked down to $1. I bought several different outfits in different sizes, brought them home, took pictures, packaged them in lots by size, advertised them on eBay. I made $60 off 3 lots of clothing on which I had spent $8. Garage sales are another excellent source of items. I once bought an original Cabbage Patch doll at a garage sale for 50 cents which sold on eBay for $60 (Cabbage Patch dolls have fallen out of favor, as have beanie babies, but there’s always some hard to find collectible eBay shoppers are after).

Probably the greatest source of profitability available for me through selling collectibles. In the past, if my husband wanted to sell one of his comics, he would have to take it to a reseller. Resellers can only give you a portion of the value of the collectible (normally around 25%). eBay takes out the middleman and allows you to sell your collectibles for whatever the market will spend.  We’ve sold comic for $10 that we purchased at a garage sale for a dime, and sold an entire lot of comics for $1200 that were simply gathering dust in the basement!

eBay makes it easy to sell nearly anything (they have restrictions on health products, and frown on people who try to sell body parts – it always makes me laugh and cringe to think they have to have a policy about that!). eBay is an opportunity for moms and families to make a little extra cash.  All you really have to invest is some time.

Tips for success:

  1. Take the time to take decent photos of the item(s) you are selling – photos do most of the sales work for you
  2. Add a thorough description of the item
  3. Reputation matters, so be honest! If the item is not in perfect condition, say so
  4. Log in regularly to answer questions from sellers
  5. Be sure to factor in the cost of shipping & supplies, as you can end up losing money on shipping if you don’t
  6. eBay is not the only auction house, but they’re fully integrated with PayPal, and PayPal makes sales easy and safe. When you accept PayPal, you’re much more likely to find buyers