Two months ago the trunk of my car turned into an Ebay Store. It’s one of the only consistent ways I can earn money on the road. Selling on Ebay can be rewarding but time consuming. On average I spend a total of two hours traveling to and shopping at thrift stores and an additional hour taking photos, measuring, weighing, and posting my listings. So when I first started out and made these mistakes it really hurt to think about all the time and money I had just wasted.
Mistake 1. Overestimating an item’s worth
What you think something is worth does not always equate to what someone else is realistically going to pay for those items. This goes double when you’re reselling your own items. Before you pay $4.00 at Savers for a pair of jeans because you would pay double that amount read on for mistake number 2.
Mistake 2. Leaving your phone in the car
You’ve found a pair of Calvin Klein pants and you’re unsure how much it will sell for. Instead of guessing how much an item is going to sell for pull out your cell. In the app type the item in, and filter the search results to sold items. In addition to average pricing you should also note how often people are buying similar items.
Mistake 3. Underestimating Service Fees
Ebay has restructured their fee system several times. The fees currently depend on the final price of an item and how you choose to advertise that item. Extras like large pictures or bold print will cost you. Paypal then charges you a transaction fee for the ebay transaction. You can expect to pay a minimum of 10% per item’s final value in fees.
Additionally there are insertion fees. Currently you can sell up to 50 items a month without paying insertion fees. If you go over that amount you’ll need to keep an eye out for promotions or consider transitioning from a personal account to an ebay store.
Mistake 4. Overlooking Damage
Though some wear and tear is acceptable don’t make purchases when items are excessively dirty, torn, missing a feature, defected, or otherwise damaged and always be sure to mention any signs of wear and tear in the condition statement and include pictures. Most thrift stores don’t allow returns so create a checklist until you get the hang of it. Think of what you would want to see a picture of if you were going to buy the item.
Mistake 5. Not investing in a Scale
Get a scale. ASAP. I recommend a small digital model intended for weighing food. That’s it. You can move along to number 6 now.
Mistake 6. Using the Wrong Shipping Method
First Class Mail. Unless the item weighs over 13 ounces, which you can tell by placing the item on the scale you just purchased, it is highly advisable to use First Class Mail. I can’t even count how many items I have wrongly sent in Flat Rate Priority Mail Envelopes SMH.
Flat rate options can be great for some items like small heavy boots (PM Flat Rate Medium Box) but if it’s under five lbs you should use your scale to weigh it and check the cost for priority mail with your own packaging.
So go on, try selling some items and screw up. Find out what you’re good at selling. I thought my specialty would be leather skirts. Turns out I’ve been a quick study with athletic shoes. It’s your first challenge. And while you’re at it try finding your goods at non-profit thrift stores that helps fund a good cause. Except for Salvation Army because they hate the gays.