Selling on eBay: Choosing What to Sell

If you’ve ever looked at all the things you have in your storage unit and thought, “I could sell this stuff…” then today is a great day to get started. If you want to make money on eBay, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of getting top dollar for your items.

The easy way to sell items on eBay can be broken down into three steps: (1) choose what you want to sell; (2) learn as much as you can about each item you’re selling so you can set the starting price appropriately; and (3) take great photos.

The first step is to decide what you want to sell. You’ve got a storage unit—or garage, or closet, or trunk of your car—full of stuff. Just start at the top of the stack and, for each item, ask yourself:

Do I need this now? For example, it’s a heavy jacket you had in college—in Maine—and you’re getting ready to move to San Diego. No, you don’t need it.

Will I need this during the next year? There’s always climate change to consider but… if you’re planning on spending your weekends hiking and kayaking, nope—you won’t need the jacket over the course of a year.

Do I have a real emotional connection to the item? If the answer is “No,” put it in the “To Sell” pile; if the answer is “Maybe,” wait an hour and see how you feel about it.

Is it in good enough shape to sell? Using the jacket as an example, you can wash it or have it dry cleaned to get it into prime shape for selling. If, on the other hand, it’s ripped or stained you might want to “repurpose” it (maybe Fido needs a new blanket in the dog house). If it’s ripped and a sought-after style or brand, you can sell it. eBay’s market of buyers is worldwide, and you just never know who might want exactly what you’re selling.

Will selling this be manageable? Some items require extra work, and extra time, to sell:

  • Large items, like desks and tables, are just about impossible to pack. (An exception would be a valuable antique, for which a careful packaging job and insured shipping would be worthwhile.) Let the buyer come to you: specify “Pick-up only” on your eBay listing and make sure to mention this in the item description, as well.
  • Low-cost items that are bulky or heavy. Are you saving those reams of paper for something? They will cost more to ship than their selling price. The same goes for many low-cost items that are heavy or bulky: flower vases, three-ring binders, desk lamps, etc. The best thing to do is to donate them. A quick trip to your local thrift shop will lighten your load and help others.
  • “Leftovers.” Let’s say you’ve got a bunch of related items left over from a project. If you paint, you might have some tubes of paint, brushes that came with a set but were never used, and a few canvases. That’s great! Bunch them together as sell them as a “lot.” Be sure to use the term “lot” in the item title on eBay, because people looking for a good deal will use “lot” as a search term: “Painting Supplies Lot of 15 Items” is an example that will get traffic on eBay.

And there you have it: you’ve begun the first, and biggest, step to selling your stuff on eBay. Once you decide what to sell, you are on your way to making real money over the next three to ten days, and cleaning out your storage unit—making room for the treasures you will no doubt find while you’re spending time on eBay.

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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