I love a decluttered house. I also love a good bargain. A couple years ago I started experimenting with eBay and Craigslist. I shopped for all kinds of things – household items, clothing, baby gear, and furniture. Not soon after discovering just how fun and easy this was, I thought it must be just as easy to list some of my own items. If you have never done it before, you will probably be surprised at how easy it is and how quick you can make a little money.
The purpose of this post is not entirely about making some extra cash, however. Believe it or not, selling your things on eBay and Craigslist can have a much greater reward than dollars and cents. I’ll get to that later…first let’s take it step-by-step from the beginning.
1) Open An eBay & Craigslist Account
This is a very quick and easy process. FYI: If you sell things on eBay you will also need a PayPal account (this links to your checking account – PayPal link).
2) Decide What to Sell
When selling, you have to think like the buyer and ask, “how would I search for this item?”
Two important things to consider before listing an item: #1. Brand Name (or no-name) and #2. Condition (new, gently used, worn out).
For example, if I wanted to eBay a skirt from Old Navy (good re-sale brand) but the zipper was broken, it really wouldn’t be worth my time to list it (I wouldn’t buy a skirt with a broken zipper!). Likewise, if I had a no-name, average, run-of-the-mill clothing item, like a plain white T-shirt, it wouldn’t be worth my time either. However, if it’s a unique item, give it shot! Someone just may be looking for a lime green, vintage-style hoop skirt with a poodle embroidered on it!My recommendation would be to sell large item on Craigslist and smaller item that you can easily ship on eBay.
3) Take Pictures of Your Items
The more pictures, the better. The more details you offer to the customer the more likely they will buy it. Make sure you have good lighting and provide a neutral background if possible. When I sell a skirt, I take front and back pictures as well as close-ups of the tag and any zippers or detail work. You’ll want to take careful measurements of the item as well – height, length, depth or sizing details. The more info I can give on an item the more likely it will sell!
If you have a good camera on your cell phone this can save tons of time (all my camera shots go directly to my computer). *Tip: I wait until I have several items to list and then spend concentrated time measuring, taking pictures, and organizing things. I have a clip board marked with each item’s details and then at the computer I can easily post everything back-to-back.
4) List your Item
eBay is easy to follow, step-by-step. The hardest things you will have to decide is what to name your item and how much will you sell it for. Try to include concise, valuable info. For example: GAP Pink Ladies 100% Cotton Sweater Size M. This will catch the eye of anyone who types in “GAP,” “sweater,” “pink,” “medium,” and even “cotton.” I try to keep thing decluttered in the title…keep it simple but informative.
*FYI: It does cost a couple cents to list an item. But, the more you use it, the less fees you pay. Right now I only pay if something sells.
Below are screen shots for step-by-step posting on eBay –
If you’re still stuck, there are numerous tutorials out there you could watch to help you along. Sometimes it just takes a little experimenting. It may also be helpful to search for the item you are posting to see what others are selling it for. If you can offer it for a little less or better shipping costs, it may catch a buyer’s eye.
Below are screen shots for step-by-step posting on Craigslist –
Craigslist is completely free and sales are usually done with cash only. Again, this really is the best way to sell larger items (furniture, baby gear, sporting gear, etc) and is not suitable for clothing, decorations, seasonal stuff, etc.
5) Answer Buyer’s Questions
Buyers may email you with questions about the product, it is in your best interest to respond quickly to them. They are clearly interested in buying the product, otherwise they wouldn’t have spent the time emailing you about it. You can respond to their questions and see what each item is going for from your account.
6) Ship Your Item or Schedule a Meet
If you’re selling on eBay, it’s important to know a little about shipping options and costs. If you’re selling a small item under 13 oz you may need a scale. Anything over 13 ounces I recommend using USPS Priority Flat-Rate Envelopes and Boxes (free at any post office) to ship with. This way you’ll never have to weigh anything and it will get to the customer in 2-3 days (which makes a happy customer). If you’re selling any books or educational material, you can ship super cheap via Media Mail (you will need the weight).
If you sell on Craigslist you will need to schedule a time and place for the customer to pick up the item. Some people (buyers and sellers alike) are skeptical about this because it can be somewhat unsafe. Giving a stranger directions to your house can be a little unsettling. My favorite spot to meet is the church parking lot :o) I happen to live directly across the church parking lot and that’s where I do the exchange of goods. But even if you don’t live across from your church, it still can be your meeting place – plus it’s a great way to start a spiritual conversation – “Hey, this is my church!”
7) Make Your Sale Count
Although I started out selling my extra stuff on eBay and Craigslist to get rid of clutter and make a few bucks, it really has become much more than that. In every package I ship, in every meeting I arrange, I’m reminded that although I’m a stay-at-home mom, busy caring for two precious souls, I am still responsible to take part in the Great Commission. I may not be able to go on every visitation and do Bible studies every other day, but I can still be involved. I have given out literally hundreds of Gospel and testimony tracts to every person who’s bought from me! Now my focus is not on how much cash I can make on my clutter but on getting the Truth into the hands of someone who may have never heard about Jesus’ great salvation!
So give online selling a try! You never know the people you might reach as a result.
by Jackie Gable