Looking to retire early? Well this isn’t the article for you but what you can do with the following information is effectively sell your kid’s toys using our tried and true How-To Tips and Tricks to Selling on eBay so that you no longer trip over them, fight over the TV because of them, or at the very least sell a few Thomas the Trains that it allows you to buy something nice for yourself at their expense.

Now I do have to warn you, depending on the toy, game, or whatever, your children may hold a grudge against you for the rest of your life because what you thought were just pieces of plastic they no longer cared about, in all actuality, might have been like a best friend to them and you won’t know this crucial information until it’s already gone and they’re upset with you. Believe me, the mom who sold me her son’s original Star Wars toys at that garage sale in 1989 is probably still hearing about it even though she was under the impression that he was, “off to college and no longer played with them.”

So, be warned.

Listing Price

To begin, you need to know what a reasonable price is to sell your items for. On the left side of eBay’s search engine (or in the ‘Refine’ tab on the app) you can choose to search items by how much they actually ‘Sold’ for whereas if you look at what others are ‘Selling’ the same item for you will quickly find out how out of touch some sellers are with reality because they think something is worth a lot more than it really is (and those people will sit on the item forever…seriously).

When looking at how much similar items sell for make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. The last thing you want to do is think yours is worth the same as someone else’s whose is in better condition or has more value, somehow, than yours. Be realistic here because you’ll only hurt yourself if you aren’t.

Once you have an idea what your item is worth, you should be slightly cheaper than the cheapest one listed that is EXACTLY like yours so that yours sells first.  Now this is a “most likely” rule as your seller rating could effect it if it’s too low from negative feedback because some people are willing to pay a little extra if the seller is more reputable.

Sell, Don’t Auction

In my personal experience, selling at a ‘Buy It Now’ price rather than a bidding ‘Auction’ will yield higher profits. If you start an Auction too high, that it seems expensive from the start, you’ll never attract bidders. If you start too low you may only have one interested bidder and will get it at such a low price that you lost money. It just depends on what you’re selling and how popular it is in the market.

With ‘Buy It Now’ yes, you might have to hold on to an item a little longer but you’ll make more money typically because you know what it should sell for (as we previously spoke about).

Shipping

Smaller Items – You should list smaller items with ‘Free Shipping’ as long as you have an idea on what shipping will cost (we discuss this later in this article) and can build cost into the price without overpricing it. People search items by ‘Price + Shipping: lowest first’ typically and the brain typically responds better to ‘Free Shipping’ than listing the item price separately from shipping because that particular shipping price can seem like a rip off or a waste of money to most.

Larger Items – Pack large items in a box as if you’re going to ship it, so that you know what the weight (we discuss weighing it yourself below) and dimensions are. List your item with ‘Calculated Shipping’ so that the buyer will pay the shipping price unique to their location. Why do it this way rather than ‘Free Shipping’? Because if you build a general estimated price of shipping into the cost and offer ‘Free Shipping’, somehow the buyer of your larger items will be an anomaly and have a much higher cost than what you anticipated, resulting in you losing profit margin on your item (this used to happened to me almost every time I sold a large item).

You may sit on a larger item a little longer because you’re filtering out those who live across the country from you and narrowing your customer base down to those more regionally who won’t have to pay too much for shipping. But this could mean the difference between making money and losing money.

Also, when you do pack your items, always, ALWAYS, take photos of each step of your packing and hang onto them because you may need evidence that you packed it correctly and that any damages incurred may be the fault of the carrier and not you.

Handling Materials

Save your Amazon boxes AND the packing materials because you never know when they’ll come in handy and save you some money.

Don’t be afraid to ask friends on Facebook or wherever, if they have boxes and/or shipping materials they don’t want. I’ve always received great boxes and packing materials this way.

Don’t be afraid to ask for boxes when you see them empty in the aisles at a grocery or department store. A lot of time you’re doing them a favor by taking it off their hands.

Weigh Your Own Shipments

Cut out the middle man. By you being able to weigh and measure the item yourself, and print it out, you’re cutting out the cost of a USPS/Fed-Ex employee doing it for you and those costs are literally passed on to you, the seller, through eBay discounting what you would have been charged.

I’ve even verified the quote eBay gave me, to that of the USPS, by taking it to the post office and asking what it would cost. It was the exact same price eBay quoted me so I went home and printed the shipping label from eBay instead because it knocked a few bucks off the quoted price.

In order to weigh the item yourself, go to your local Goodwill and, I can almost guarantee that if not on your first visit, at least after a couple visits you will find a digital scale for a couple bucks.

You can even make money by shipping through eBay. How? If you do the calculated shipping cost, that’s specific to the Buyer’s location, eBay will charge the shipping price in full to the Buyer and then discount you less for shipping through them, resulting in you making money off the shipping paid.

How-To

When actually listing your item here are some tips to be aware of and we list them in step-by-step order:

1. Find someone who SOLD (not selling) the exact item and condition for a great price. Click on it and underneath the picture that says “Sold” you’ll see, “Sell one like this”. Right-click on that, open in new tab (I’ll tell you why below), and list it that way because it obviously uses a category setting that proved to work and, most of the time, the same title and description won’t hurt either.

2. When it comes to titling your item, the ‘Sold’ one that you’re copying should suffice but know that typically the most important words should be in the first five words as those are the most important.

3. Take badass, beautiful, almost artsy pictures of your items. It will draw more eyes to it and make it more appealing than those crappy photos and especially more than generic pictures you can grab off the internet. Not only will this result in more clicks but I have actually sold worse conditioned items for more money because after I saw how the pictures turned out I knew they would do a great job for me.

4. Remember when I said to right-click and open your listing in a new tab, that’s because you most likely want to use the same description as the one that sold so now you can click on the “Sold” picture, scroll down and copy and paste the description into your listing. Just make sure it’s accurate.

5. Make sure to ” Require immediate payment when buyer uses Buy It Now” so that you don’t have to relist an item after the buyer never pays.

6. Almost always list your shipping as “Standard” no matter what. The reason for this is that Standard shipping costs less but is much slower to be delivered so if you can utilize it to save some money great, and they won’t be surprised by such a late delivery date. However, if you can save money by shipping Priority, and this will happen, then they can only be pleasantly surprised by how fast it delivered which tends to trigger positive feedback more often that way. The one exception to this rule is if you send something fragile then Priority is the best way to ship it with the least chance of it breaking so charge for Priority and ship that way only.

7. Under “Sell globally, ship domestically using the Global Shipping Program” uncheck the box that says, “Send it to the US shipping center, and the rest will be taken care of for you” as having it checked will open you up to selling internationally and sometimes that’s a bigger headache than it’s worth. The only time I say ship internationally is if the items you’re selling is more popular and more valuable overseas somewhere.

8. Under “Return Policy” do not offer returns because this opens you up to issues and buyers should know they are protected by eBay already anyways so everyone’s a winner here. That said, when you do this make sure you add “as-is” in your description so you have an out.

Watch Closely

Last but not least, don’t list and forget. Monitor how many views you’re getting (just know that you going to your own listing will count as a view typically only once). If you’re not getting a decent amount of views you may need to make some changes. Are you pricing too much? Is your item not that popular? Is your subject title accurate or maybe it could be better for eBay’s search engine optimization?

Just have patience and remember the goal in mind…buying yourself something nice while decluttering.