If you’re looking to make a bit of extra cash, selling on eBay can be a great way to do it. Today I have a guest post from the lovely Laura at thriftylondoner.com which tells you everything you need to get started!
I’m Laura, and I have successfully made money from selling mine (and my family’s!) unwanted things on eBay for around 8 years. Selling on eBay can be the gateway to a quick cash injection when you need it most- low on funds for an upcoming holiday? Sell on eBay. Need more money in your Christmas spending pot? Sell on eBay. This is the attitude I have taken for years whenever I have needed a little bit of extra money in my bank account. Here I’m going to give you my top tips on how to get started, and how to make sure that your eBay listings stand out and start making you money right away.
Where to start?
If you don’t already have an eBay account, you can set one up in minutes. You will also need to set up a PayPal account (if you’re not set up already) and link this to your eBay account as any money from the sales of your items will go into your PayPal account. You can then withdraw this money into your bank account whenever you wish to.
I would fully recommend downloading the eBay app and using your smartphone to take photos and list your items- this is so much quicker than using the website version of eBay. Each listing will only take you 5 minutes as opposed to a lot longer if you take the photos with an old fashioned point-and-shoot camera (just like I used to do 8 years ago!) and upload to the website via a laptop.
You then need to search through your wardrobe to find good quality pieces in great condition that you would like to get rid of. Ask your family members if they have anything that they can give you to sell- my mum gave me a load of her unwanted (now vintage) clothing from the 80s and 90s when I first started with eBay and I made some tidy sales from this at the time!
Once you’ve found your items, it’s time to get listing…
It’s all about the product description
Your title description should entice a potential buyer to click on your listing, and you should make full use of the available character limit. Do some research about what people are likely to be typing into the search bar- make sure the title is as relevant as descriptive as possible. For example, if you were selling a purple dress, your title should be something along the lines of the below:
BNWT Purple Jacquard Shift Dress Size 12 Ted Baker Knee Length Christmas Party
You should include as many eye catching ‘searchable’ words into the title and add information about the brand, size, style, colour and pattern to make sure as many people as possible can find your listing. After all, the more people that see your listing, the more likely your item is to sell.
After deciding upon your searchable title, you should add extra details in the description box. You can go into more detail about the condition of the item (if necessary), and I always add the following statements: UK bidders only, payment via PayPal, payment within 24 hours and no returns. This is my personal preference, and whether you choose to add statements like this is up to you.
If you want to get really serious about selling on eBay, you can do some research to find out what similar items to the item you are listing have sold for in the past. You can view completed listings to see how much a similar item sold for, the photo used and the description. To view the completed listings, enter a search term on the app, go to ‘filter’ and then filter by ‘completed items.’ This means that you can price your items accordingly- you may be surprised what someone has paid for in the past!
Optimise your photos
Buyers like to know exactly what they are buying, and when they see a clear photo it gives them more confidence that they are going to like their purchase when it arrives. To really make your listing stand out, your photos should be well lit, with a plain background so that the focus is on the item. If you have a mannequin that you can use or borrow – use it to its full potential as buyers will be more likely to buy something when they can see how the item might fit on them. If you don’t have access to a mannequin, you could alternatively take photos of the item of clothing as you are wearing it. Always be sure to use up the photo allowance, and highlight any flaws both in the photos and the description.
Timing is everything
Some eBayers swear by ‘buy-it-now’ listings, but I have always personally had more success with auctions. When you are listing your item on auction, think about when the auction is going to end. This is key to ensure there are as many people as possible looking at your listing when the auction is ending.
Many people will be browsing eBay on a Sunday evening between around 6-9pm as this is when most people will have access to a phone or computer to make a bid- so this is an ideal time for your listing to end. If your listing ends during the working day, or in the middle of the night, it’s likely that there isn’t going to be as many people looking at eBay and bidding on your item.
Luckily, eBay have a scheduling tool so that you can create your listings in advance and choose when they go live. This means that if you schedule a 7 day listing to go live at 8pm on a Sunday night, you know it’s going to end at prime time the following Sunday.
PayPal & eBay fees
Unfortunately, eBay is not a free service, and although eBay will allow you to list 20 items for free every month, if you exceed this number, eBay will then charge you 35p for each additional listing. When your item sells, eBay will then take a fee of 10% of the selling price (including postage), but luckily if your item doesn’t sell, eBay won’t take a fee.
PayPal unfortunately will also take a cut of your profits, usually 3.4% of the sale value, plus 20p per sale. This sadly does eat into your profits, but usually you will still be left with a nice profit after the sale.
Want to take it further?
If you fancy yourself as the next Sophia Amoruso (she made a clothing empire which all started from selling on eBay- check out her book Girlboss or the series Girlboss on Netflix- amazing stuff) you could try your hand at reselling clothing on eBay.
Reselling is where you source clothing at a cheap price and then sell it on eBay for profit- many have made a profitable side income from doing this, you just need to make sure you have enough space for your stock! Great places to source clothing from for resale are second hand shops, auctions and car boot sales. If you do decide to venture into reselling- remember that this income needs to be declared to HMRC.
Hopefully this post has given you some insight into how to make money from selling on eBay, I love the flexibility that selling on eBay gives, and it means that you can get some money from things which are cluttering up your home. It’s a win-win situation!