Lifestyle · Making Money

Cash From Your Closet – How To Run a Successful Ebay Store

Hey all,

So this semester I have been doing a full-time unpaid internship which meant I had to quit my usual paying gig. I needed to scrounge up a little income from somewhere and I thought why not from my own closet? I have sold a few items here and there on ebay for years however this January is when I got serious about it, listing about 3 items per week. I have ended up making more than I did at my part-time job, here are some tips and tricks of how I did it:

1. What do you have that others would pay for?

Items that sell best tend to be name brand items for example: Lululemon, Hunter boots, Canada Goose, BOGS boots, TNA, Aritzia, etc. Designer goods can go for a lot, almost retail prices, such as Chanel, Christian Louboutin shoes, Balmain. However you often have to prove they are real by keeping the box or have papers to prove it’s authenticity. The item also should be new/ in good condition to make any real money on it, especially if it’s something like makeup. A $64 eyeshadow palette will only sell for $16 if you simply opened it. Listed at the bottom of the page is every item I have sold this year just to give you an idea of how much things go for. Don’t think items will always go for retail prices, but getting back some money on a product you never use is better than nothing.

2. The rarer the item – the more it’s worth

If a popular item is sold out from a store, for example these Lululemon cut-out leggings, it will sell for at least twice it’s retail value. This goes for items that are no longer being sold such as mint-condition toys from the 90’s which can go for a crazy amount.

3. List according to what other ebay sellers are pricing that specific item at 

When you decide on what you want to sell, the best way to figure out how to price it is to search that exact product on ebay to see what it’s going for. Check items which the seller has sold many of and price it similar to that item in order to be competitive.

4. Make sure you list in CDN Dollars

If you are from Canada make sure you change your listing price to Canadian dollars. The Canadian dollar is worth a lot less than the American dollar right now so if you were hoping to sell something at $50 American, it will be $62.20 Canadian (based on the value of the CDN dollar today.) Since it’s a lot more expensive than you intended this can discourage buyers from purchasing your product.

5. List to ship to America as well 

It tends not to be that much more to ship to the US and can mean the difference between whether your item sells at all. I personally don’t ship internationally other than the US because it can get pricey.

6. Post at least 3 great pictures

Listing more than one picture can show how the product looks from different angles and make it seem more attractive to the buyer (you can list up to 10 for free.) You can even use pictures of the product from the company website because those are professionally photographed and look the best. If you do use pictures from company website, be sure to include at least one non-blurry photo you took, this gives you more credibility as a seller because it proves you actually have the product and it’s in good condition. Warning: take pictures how you want to list it, if you have to crop a photo, this lowers resolution and ebay only lets you upload high resolution/ quality pictures. Also, finding a cute picture of someone wearing the item on Pinterest can really help how well the item sells.

7. Describe item honestly

If a shoe has scuffs on the bottom, if a laptop is water damaged, be honest because the buyer will figure it out then give you a terrible review which will end your potentially very lucrative ebay selling career.

8. List as much information in the title as possible to make it come up in searches

Listing as much information as possible in the title (size, brand name, colour, etc.) will help people who are searching for that item to be more likely to come across yours because it will pop up from the key words they searched. E.g. Adult Ginger Spice Sequin Dress Costume Size Large Pop Stars 90s

9. Answer buyer questions punctually and be extra nice/ helpful

If buyers ask you questions, be sure to answer as soon as you can. I have ebay linked to the email on my phone so I can answer ASAP which shows you are a reliable seller. Also, being extra nice and helpful can make people more likely to buy your product.

10. Make sure you receive a payment before you ship!!!!!

I have had a terrible experience as a newbie seller after selling an $150 Volcom ski jacket and shipping ASAP only to realize the buyer hadn’t paid. I contacted the buyer to ask them to pay but they refused and ebay said it was my bad so I never got that money or the jacket back. Just make sure you receive the payment before heading to the post office and you can avoid that whole fiasco.

11. Ship immediately/ mark as shipped ASAP

Fast shipping makes a big difference on how the buyer will rate you. Even taking more than a day will leave the buyer wondering what’s taking so long and give them a bad impression which can turn into a bad review.

12. Receive great feedback

Being helpful, punctual, and friendly with questions; shipping quickly after receiving a payment; and describing the item honestly will result in the buyer giving you a good review. If you haven’t sold many items, one bad review can take you from a 100% rated seller to a 60% rated seller which can really effect whether people ever buy from you again.

13. Shipping Costs About $10-15 Per Item

You can decide whether you want to charge buyers for shipping. I tend not to just because the item tends to sell better if there is free shipping. Most clothing items if put in a large envelope can be mailed like a letter (costs about $2.50) but small packages like shoes or ski jackets tend to be about $10-15 each. If you are not charging shipping, price according so you at least make some money after paying for shipping.

List of things I’ve Sold This Year

– $145 – US Magneta Hunter Boots Original Women's Hunter Boots Magenta Pink Gloss Wellies Wellington Boots Size 7

– $25 – Small Chandelier Chrome Crystal 1-Light Mini Square Chandelier

– $73.81 CDN – Women’s Bomber Jacket Women's Brown Bomber Down Parka White Fur Hood Size Large Winter Ski Jacket

-$26.90 – Turquoise Bench Jacket Women’s Bench Jacket Turquoise Blue Size Large Patterned

-$67 CDN – BOG Boots Item picture

– $19.39 + $5 shipping –  Forever 21 Booties Item picture

– $12 CDN – Blackberry phone housing Item picture

– $45 CDN – Ginger Spice Dress (I bought for $21 on ebay)Item picture

– $50 + $3 shipping – Gently Used Navy Blue Lululemon pants (which were a gift) Item picture

-$18.77 + $5 shipping – Blue Ked’s Shoes Item picture

Let me know your experiences and tips as an ebay seller in the comments below!

Happy selling 🙂

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