A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tips For Selling On eBay

This is NOT a sponsored post! These are personal tips I wrote this weekend (for my readers) for selling on eBay.

I throw clothes away, give clothes away and sell clothes on eBay. I never considered eBay an option until I started blogging 3 yrs ago. I came across a blogger who sold her clothes EVERY season. She stated it kept her closet manageable, up-to-date with new styles and gave her extra money to buy new things. Well, I'm not flipping everything in my closet every season, but as I get new things I like to get rid of old things. Why not make some extra cash for the nice items in your closet? I wrote some tips below for selling on eBay.

Open a PayPal Account:
Many buyers on eBay purchase items via PayPal. PayPal offers both you (the seller) and the buyer protection on all purchases. Not offering this payment option, limits the number of potential buyers for your items.

Write Descriptive Titles For The Items You Are Selling:
Buyers on eBay must search for what they are looking for! It's important to describe in detail what you're selling. Below is an example:

Brand / Color / Print / Fabric Style / Women or Men / Size
JCrew / Blue / Striped / Linen Buttoned Down Shirt / Women's / Size L

Take LOTS Of Pictures:
Great pictures will get you more views and offers! Take pictures of the front, back, neckline, embellishments, buttons, cuffs/sleeve and a closeup of the material. Take pictures of any defects. Leave nothing to guess. It protects you and the buyer knows exactly what they are getting.

Give Detailed Measurements:
Listing a top as L (Large) sometimes is not good enough. A buyer may ask for the bust, inseam (pants) and length measurements. If you purchased the item from JCrew etc. refer to their online measurement/size guide to get these answers. It's also important to STRESS if an item is misses, petite or plus size.

Material Matters:
What type of material is the garment made of? This can be found on the tag! Buyers want to know specifics. Is the garment 100% Cotton, Cashmere, a Cotton Blend, Dry Clean Only, etc.? Be sure to nclude this in your description.

Weight, Packaging & Shipping Costs:

WEIGHT: There is a BIG difference when selling a coat or tshirt online. A coat is heavy, has to be placed in a large box and costs MORE to ship. So consider the weight of what you're selling and factor in costs.

PACKAGING: Boxes, tubes, envelopes! What are you shipping the order in? I save boxes when I shop online and reuse them when I sell something. Go to CLEAN places like Best Buy etc. and ask if they have empty boxes you can take. The Post Office has boxes, but I find it's cheaper to ship when you use your own box. If you sell shoes, wrap the box the shoes came in. Putting a box inside a box adds more weight and adds to your shipping costs.

SHIPPING COSTS: Be honest with yourself! Factor in TRUE shipping costs. I live on the East Coast! When I ship to the West Coast it costs more. You never know who your buyer will be, so take that into account. I ship everything through the Post Office (it's cheaper, it's insured up to $50, and tracking is NOW included in the price)! If you're selling a really expensive item, I suggest using FedEx or UPS for safe & secure delivery. You must factor in all of these things, when coming up with a price for your item. If not, you will lose out and pretty much sell your item for FREE. That's a horrible feeling.

Group CHEAP items into LOTS: Last year (that's not my picture), I grouped my Old Navy & Target items into LOTS and sold them that way. I sold a LOT of Old Navy dresses. I sold a LOT of Target skirts. It's too hard making money off these things individually (buyers KNOW they don't cost much). Group and sell them together! You clear your closet, you sell to one person (saves on shipping), and you make a little extra cash.

Consider Selling Internationally: How many times have you said, "we can't get that here!" I mainly sell within the US, but I've received emails from people in Canada and Asian countries, asking if I would consider shipping there. Shipping internationally can be costly (but it's not as outrageous as you may think). 1. Be VERY clear to the buyer how much it will cost them to ship there. 2. Usually no tracking is offered for international countries (Postal Service). That may be different with UPS and FedEx (please check).

Designer Handbags can be SOLD on eBay: Here's how to get the BEST price! Keep the original packaging (box, receipts, pamphlets, dust bag). You'll get MORE money for the item, if you have the original box & dust bag and show it in your pictures. Luxury bags have authenticity numbers! When selling, take a picture of it close up and within the bag. Type the word "Authentic" in your title description. Don't sell to anyone with a low feedback score (this can be requested when you fill out the eBay selling form). Still jittery? Bring it to a consignment shop :). This is not for an eBay newbie or faint of heart. I sold a designer handbag set and received a much nicer amount than a consignment shop.

List Towards The END Of The Month, So You Can SELL At The Beginning Of The Month: THINK about when people get PAID! Some people get paid weekly! Some monthly! Think about when people are most likely to have money (usually it's at the beginning of the month or near an upcoming HOLIDAY). It's important to list right before, so they can SEE your item, make a decision and then hopefully BUY your item.

Be Patient: Don't expect to list an item once and expect it to sell the very first time. It takes time! You may have to relist it many times! Remember someone has to come along, that is your size and likes your style. Sometimes items sell right away! JCrew, Anthropologie, Garnet Hill, Coach, etc sell FAST! When you buy something, think of it as an investment. Ask yourself if you will resell, toss or give it away?

I hope these tips help. I realize this post is long, but I made mistakes when I first sold on eBay.  
I didn't think everything through. I learned quickly, have a 100% sellers rating and thought it would be helpful & beneficial to someone else to write a post. Do you sell on eBay or another site? Share your experiences below.


Alice Warren said...

Great tips! I've thought about selling in lots since it's faster to get rid of items. Just curious - how many items did you include in your lot and did you take photo of each item in detail?


Jacqueline said...

Interesting post Kim! I have always wanted to sell a pair of shoes I never wore but have always been intimidated. Might have to give this a try! Great post as always!


Kim Alston said...

Hi Alice! Thank You! I sold in groups of six. It's best to take one group picture and then individual pictures of each garment. That way the buyer can see what they're getting. Also group accordingly! Sundress together. Shorts together. It has to make sense or it will never sell. Hope this helps.

Kim Alston said...

Shoes sell fast Jacqueline! Especially if they've been lightly or never worn. Do it! Give it a try! Once you sell one item, you get easily hooked on selling more :)

trishie said...

Great tips, Kim! If I ever decide to sell anything on ebay I'll have to keep these tips in mind.

Kela Taconea said...

Great tips! sometimes is really difficult to buy in some internet sites :D You don´t follow me yet via Google Friend? :((

Kisses from Spain, Kela

Stephanie G said...

ha, i love your tip that says "think about when people get paid!" - something most people forget hehe. great advice kim!

steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

The Dainty Dolls House said...

These are great tips! I love selling on ebay and it's cleared some space and given me some money in my pocket too. I have a load of things to put on there just now actually, haha. Being smart on there though is important as people will try and rip you off easy. Super tips. I hope you have a great Monday doll :)

Anne said...

Very good tips Kim...have a lovely week:)

Nicky mywishstyle said...

fantastic tips Kim!

Thrifted Shift said...

Excellent pointers! I haven't sold anything in over a year, but maybe I should get rid of a few purses...

Mica T said...

Great tip Kim! Especially the tip about listing near payday, I didn't think of that!!! :)

I sell on ebay now and then, but after ebay fees and paypal fees..it's really not worth it. Have just finished a bunch of auctions on ebay. I might relist what didn't sell but I'm not going to go through the hassle of writing up new listings for items, takes up too much time when I could be hmm...shopping instead. haha! :)

Away From Blue

Tina Bradley said...

This is a great "how to" for selling on eBay! I've often toyed with doing this. Now, I'm more seriously considering it. I adore the idea of grouping the less expensive pieces as one lot for sale! Have a truly spectacular Monday, Kim! xo T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Great tips dear! I never thought about listing towards the end of the month - it definitely makes sense to track when people may be more willing to shop!

I love selling on ebay and while I've had the occasional non-paying bidder, I usually make a pretty high margin because I have good feedback and sell items in good condition. You're reminding me to take another look through my closet!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Blond Duck said...

We're moving and I thought about doing a garage sale...I wonder if E-bay would be easier.

Emmylou said...

Great tips, Kim:) I used to buy and sell at Ebay, but haven't done so in awhile. These are great things to remember for sure.
Happy Monday!

Style Journey said...

These are some awesome tips Kim! For an eBay novice I would have absolutely no clue how to even get started.

Sacramento Amate said...

Brilliant tips, my friend. I have been selling on Ebay since 2007.
I have found a selling nich for bigger sizes that have less options.

PAPS said...

Great tips Kim.

Kim Alston said...

I sat down one day and thought about why I wasn't getting many offers. I was like, no one has any money this time of month! HaHa Thanks Stephanie!

Kim Alston said...

There you go Kizzy! That's the point of selling on eBay! Always start with a price you're comfortable with, especially if you only get one bid. Once you start selling, you want to sell everything. HaHaHa

Kim Alston said...

Sounds good to me Vivienne! When it's been awhile, definitely start small. It's easier to handle. Then you can always add more listings.

Kim Alston said...

You have to consider all costs when coming up with a price for the item you're selling. I made the same mistake when I first started selling there. I didn't make a nice return. You also have to see if the item you want to sell is feasible to do so. I know I've re-thought some items and decided to just give them away. Lol Good Luck Mica!

Kim Alston said...

Try it Tina! Start off selling one or one lot of things to get a feel of it. It's a nice option instead of always giving something away. Email me if you have a question.

Kim Alston said...

I try to sell a few things every season. It really helps. I bet your feedback is great. You feature really nice things on the blog, so I can imagine what you sell :) Good for you! Yes! Sell when people have money. It helps. I'm so happy eBay implemented penalties for non-buyers (hurts their score) but its still not enough because you end up having to relist again.

Kim Alston said...

It depends on what you have to sell. I would go with a garage sale. Advertise it in your local newspaper and put a sign leading to the major thoroughfare of your house. Really nice clothing, accessories...I would box, label them as eBay, transfer them to your new home and sell on eBay once you get settled.

Kate Sullivan Corpuz said...

Wow, sounds like a lot of work! It's worth it I'm sure~

always, koru kate

TheTinyHeart said...

I have sold some of my clothes on Ebay before. That is a really great idea to sell the clothes in lots...I may just try that! Thanks for the tips, Kim!

The Tiny Heart
Target Giveaway!

Vett Vandiver said...

these are incredible tips, Kim! I love buying and selling on EBay!!

Love and Ace said...

Great tips! As a buyer, I always look for great, accurate photos and of course the shipping cost is always a factor. xx Kat

Love and Ace

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Whoa this comes at eerily perfect timing for me. Just the other day I was wondering how to sell stuff on ebay. I have a bunch of cute designer clothes I wanna get money for lol.

Coco said...

You are a genius Kim! I read every single word and will treasure your advice! I'm so clumsy at selling on eBay. But I can improve!
Have a lovely week ahead!
Coco et La vie en rose
Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook

Rosy said...

This is a wonderful post, dear Kim, I did not sell on Ebay yet but I'm thinking about it and these tips come in handy to me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

bridechic said...

I just started using ebay to buy vintage and out of print patterns. I'm thinking of selling on there too. Great post

Kim Alston said...

Diane Stuercke Great stuff, Kimalim. I used to work in an ebay store and the part about detailed descriptions and GOOD (not blurry) pics I can't stress enough. Could I suggest one thing more? When you end your listing, do it on a Sunday night between 7 and 9pm. People are home on their computers waiting for the work week to start the next day. There will always be a much better possibility for bidding wars on a Sunday night. At least that's what we found when we watched our listings.

Sara Gerard said...

GREAT post Kim! I remember you telling me that you did this. I think I might have to keep this in mind for after our garage sale next month!

two birds said...

great tips! i am so lazy about things like this, but i really should do it because i have a closet full of clothes i should get rid of!

Heel in Mint said...

Very useful tips and informative post! I never thought of grouping cheap items together but it makes sense. Thanks for the tips Kim. I can't wait to put these tips into action. :)

Heel in Mint

Alicia Mackin said...

Smart post and great tips on sizing information and on selling handbags.

Ali of

Dressing Ken

Lorena said...

Very smart Kim.... i buy a lot on ebay but have only sold a few items as the shipping is not easy from outside the US.

Anya Jensen said...

Great tips - I would love to sell more on Ebay - but shipping from Denmark is extortionate really, and makes it difficult. Happy day sweets

Nancy said...

great tips! I haven't sold on eBay in a long time but I think I'm close to starting up again. I have a corner of items ready for sale! =D


Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Kim, you are totally awesome! I was just thinking of selling some things on eBay and wasn't sure where to start so this post will now serve as my guide! Thank you so much!

Thanks for your feedback on my resto review! I hate writing bad reviews but I want to be honest. I think I prob. will join Urbanspoon so I can share.

Rowena @ rolala loves

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

You're soooo right about pictures. Pictures can make or break a sale.

Jen ♥ said...

Great tips! I've never spent much time on eBay...it seems scary to me haha. This makes it seem much more manageable. I can see why you have a 100% seller rating!

Fashionista622 said...

I have never sold anything on ebay but my hubby has sold sports memorabilia in the past. Thanks for this cheat sheet Kim, great bookmark for many of us. :)

Hope you had a great weekend doll!


Rebeca Muñoz López said...

Hi Kim, interesting tips, long ago I opened an account on Ebay and Paypal, but until today did not encourage me to sell, this information is very useful :)


Annie L said...

Wow, Kim, thanks for this great advice! I don't have a ton of high-priced items but I never thought of grouping them. Genius!
xo Annie
New England Romance

Cheryl van den Berg said...

I don't really sell on eBay, but that is such an awesome tip to group inexpensive items together to sell in a lot. That must work so much better!

Oh to Be a Muse
Shop Layered Muse

Linda B said...

Hmmm, I've thought about selling on eBay before, so these are great tips to keep in mind! Thanks for sharing Kim :)

The Dragonfruit Diaries

Anonymous said...

Brilliant tips, and I know they are true, I've sold a lot of things on eBay myself. I would absolutely love to get rid of most of my clothes and buy new ones every season. I tend to give away most unwanted clothes but eBay is a great way to be kind to the environment by recycling, and earn a little cash to spend on your new clothes too. Great post!

oomph. said...

thanks for the tips! i've sold things on craigslist, but not ebay. been a customer many times! i do know a lot of people who make a business out of selling their thing, tho!

$150 Kohl's Giveaway!
Brighthouse Baubles Jewelry Giveaway!

Rainbow Gatherer said...

great tips! I'm thinking of opening an etsy shop, wish me good luck =)

LyddieGal said...

Thanks for sharing your tips! I also think about what time my auction is ending, I like to choose a sunday, early evening, because most people are probably home at that time, and many like to wait until the end of an auction to place their bids. if it's ending in the middle of the night or a work day, those people might not remember to bid!
Chic on the Cheap

Vett Vandiver said...

I kept these in mind while I put up items for selling - thanks!!

Adley Haywood said...

Wow your list is very extensive!

I like all of your points. Selling on eBay can be very profitable if you figure out the latest trends or buying vintage items.

I also have tips for selling on ebay here: http://sellonebayforprofit.com

Great post!

jo said...

Hey Kim, I'm back from my short trip. It was okay because it was raining there but that didn't really bother me since all I did was EAT. Haha. I LOVE this post! I always wanted to sell my stuff on eBay but I never set it up because of the technicality of the contract, maybe I should after reading this post. Have a great weekend!

xo Jo


april said...

Great tip kim...I just started selling stuff on ebay and your right I have been relisting some of them.I cant wait to get everything sold....the group sell sounds a good idea

Nico Saich said...

I really appreciated this post so much! Lots of good tips and info! Hope you are doing really well, I miss ya!



Beyonce Justice said...

Great tips for selling.They are very useful.
preowned clothing.

Chicago Girl said...

I love this. I can't wait to start selling stuff!!!

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