From time to time I sell something not fashion related through my Ebay store. I’m no snob–if it makes money, I’m willing to list it! I got started on Ebay by selling a stroller $360 that I had bought for $200 and used for a year. That definitely got me interested in reselling full time. I’m convinced that just about any category–home goods, collectibles, glassware, instruments, you name it–can make money on Ebay when you know what to look for. Here are some of my biggest oddball scores:
These cuties are by United Nude and they are so well made! The pink leather on the inside was supple and the fabric uppers was just a little stretchy. I’ll tell you the truth–I was really hoping they would fit me. But they were too big. So I sold them for a good profit.
Purchase price: $5, Goodwill
Shipping and fees: $12.95
Sale Price: $67.98
Total Profit: $50.03
Do you have a thrift score to brag about? Comment below!
This past week, I’ve had an unusually high number of dud sales that were totally my fault. I sold an item, got it out to ship, and found some awful defect that I hadn’t mentioned in the listing. One was a denim dress that I was really excited to sell. I was going to make $30 off of it! I don’t know how I missed the six (!!!) faint yellow stains on the front of the dress. Then there was a pair of pink Timberland boots–the sole was totally coming off one shoe! When you deal in used clothes, it’s inevitable that there will be some wear and tear. But I could have avoided both of these problems by inspecting my inventory more thoroughly.
So what do you do when you can’t complete a sale?
Step One–Message the buyer explaining the problem in a polite, concise manner: “I’m so sorry. When I started to ship this item this morning I noticed a defect. Would you like me to send it anyway or cancel?” You can attach a photo of the problem to your message.
Step Two–After the buyer responds, work with them. Occasionally the buyer will want the item anyhow, or want a discount. Come up with a mutually agreeable solution.
Step Three–Follow through with that agreement. If that means cancelling, choose the option “Buyer asked to cancel the sale or there was a problem with the buyer’s address”. The other cancellation option can negatively effect your seller account. Double check to make sure the refund is processed right away. If you’ve agreed to ship the item anyhow, don’t wait! Get it packaged and labeled as soon as possible.
I’ve also had to cancel sales because:
The buyer asked me to
The item was accidentally listed as buy-it-now at a ridiculously low price
I lost an item in my inventory
The buyer made unreasonable demands
The vast majority of the time, buyers will not object to a cancellation with immediate refund, even if it’s your fault. However, if they don’t cooperate, you can ask Ebay to step in and help. But for the most part, it’s easier to deal directly with the buyer. If the worse case scenario happens and the buyer leaves you negative feedback, contact Ebay customer service and see if there are grounds to have that feedback removed.
Have you ever had to cancel a sale? Comment below!
We’ve all used Ebay at some point or another, but sometimes all the options available can be overwhelming. What if it sells too low? What if I pay too much for shipping? Never fear! I made 5 super quick steps to getting started selling your stuff on Ebay TODAY.
1. Use Ebay’s label printing service and print labels from your computer. Don’t have a scale to weigh your own items? Use flat rate option and the free USPS boxes–you’ll save money over going to the post office to buy your postage. If you sell a few items, definitely get a food scale precise up to 0.25 ounce so that you can use USPS First Class shipping and FedEx Smart Post, the cheapest options available for per pound shipments.
2. Don’t offer free shipping. Use calculated shipping. If you’re shipping something fragile, don’t forget to add in 1-2 pounds for extra packing materials to your estimated weight. Once again, if you don’t have a scale, use flat rate options. You can ship jeans, tops, dresses, and even jackets in a flat rate envelop. You can get quite a bit in medium flat rate boxes, even shoes and boots. For more information, here’s my blog posts about shipping.
3. Take photos in natural light and make sure your item fills up the frame. Use a plain background, like the floor or a blank wall, and get 4-5 different angles. Take a picture of the tag or serial number. Don’t skimp on your photos! Crappy pictures will result in poor sales. Here’s How to Photograph Clothes for Resell Ebay. Here’s another post if you want to see how NOT to photograph clothes..
4. Use descriptive, searchable terms in your title. Size, color, brand, type of thing, gender if applicable, style, etc. Whatever word a buyer might search for that fits your item, squeeze it into the title. Your title is what directs search bots to bring up your listing in the search results from buyers. Poorly written titles will get pushed to the bottom of the search results and nobody will ever find your listing.
5. List your items at 7 day auction, starting at a reasonable price. NEVER start an auction at $0.99, even with a reserve. Reserves turn off buyers. On the other hand, starting a $0.99 without a reserve can lose you money big time. It doesn’t attract serious buyers, it attracts yardsalers looking for a dirt cheap bargain. So start your item at a price you can live with. If your item doesn’t sell at the first auction, list it again as a buy-it-now for 3o days at or a little below your original auction start price.
Have an Ebay listing question? Fire away in the comments below!