One thing I don’t tend to talk about a lot online are some of the side hustles I do to earn a little extra cash. Do let me know if you would like a whole post on ways I make money, but in this post, we are talking all things eBay. Growing up, I always thought of eBay as a really strange place and I feel like it always had a bad reputation. However, when I wanted to earn a little extra money, I found that selling on eBay was super effective. I’ve done it for years now and so I feel like I have a lot of advice to offer when it comes to selling on eBay.
Especially clothes. Particularly with it being Second Hand September and a lot of people becoming more open-minded with shopping second hand, there is no better time to jump on eBay than now. So I thought I would do a whole post on my tips for selling on eBay. This could apply to any online selling service though.
SELL THE THINGS YOU’D RATHER HAVE MONEY FOR THAN WEAR
How to decide what to sell online? My thought process is very simple. Take an item of clothing and ask yourself if you’d rather have the money for that clothing item, or would you rather wear it yourself. That simple question tends to answer if you are going to love that piece of clothing more than someone else, so that clothing item can get the maximum wear out of it.
I will say that it takes discipline and I’m not always amazing at deciding when I should sell something, but I think going through your wardrobe regularly and giving it a good declutter is essential. I tend to do this at the start of every season and it allows me have a clean slate and more stock to sell online. I’ll link a post here that I wrote a while back about how to declutter your wardrobe though, in case you’re looking for a little extra help in that department.
Once you’ve got a few pieces you can sell online, then you can get onto the listing…
LOOK OUT FOR THE PROMOTIONS,
What I will say about selling on eBay, is that if you don’t look out for the promotions, you can be paying a lot in fees. The main thing to look out for are their promotional emails. They have a lot of them on at the moment, with trying to encourage more people to use it during lockdown, so keep an eye out. Things like ‘sell for £1’ or ‘it’s free to list’, are super useful and just means that you aren’t paying loads in fees at the end of the month. It is definitely something a lot of people don’t realise when selling on eBay, so do make sure that you are researching the costs to sell and the fees you have to pay.
ALWAYS ACCOUNT FOR FEES AND POSTAGE
Following on from that last point, but always account for fees and postage. What I have typically found on eBay, is that if you sell an item, eBay charges a 10% fee of the sale price of that item, including postage. So if your item sold for £10 and £4 postage, then you are paying eBay a fee of £1.40. With the offers, it can be cheaper than this, but this is the usual rule for eBay. So always charge a bit more for you postage, to account for the fees and the cost of materials. Some people don’t tend to like high postage fees on eBay items, but for the majority, I would say it doesn’t both them. For example, if I’m selling a think coat or sweatshirt, my postage would be between £4 and £5, to account for the cost of postage, the eBay fee and for the cost of materials.
ALL KEY INFORMATION SHOULD BE IN THE LISTING’S TITLE
From colour of clothing item, to where it was from to sizing. All of it should be in the title. Ebay gives you a high character allowance on titles for a reason, and that is because all essential information should be in it. It makes the experience as a buyer much easier and you are increasing the likelihood of it being seen by more people. For example, instead of saying ‘black tshirt from ASOS’, type in ‘ASOS women’s black slogan, short sleeve t-shirt, size 10-12′. That way, someone interested in this item can see straight away, all of the key details. Anything from the print it’s in, to the fit, to the season it can be worn in.
Another essential tip for appearing more in shopper’s searchers and that is to use keywords. I’m still trying to get my head around this one too, but especially if you are selling a trend item or an item in high demand, definitely maximise your keywords. Take inspiration from people selling similar items to yours and try to replicate that same use of keywords and details.
GOOD QUALITY PICTURES ARE KEY
I don’t know about you, but as a buyer shopping online, I always look at the pictures first. So when selling on eBay, you want your pictures to be clean and crisp so that people can gain that same experience as shopping online. They don’t need to be professionally taken. But use a plain background and have good lighting. They are the main things. Ensure that your pictures show the item’s shape and colour well, and that you have a range of pictures showing the item from front and back, as well as proof of sizing and brand.
SELL DURING THE CORRECT SEASONS
Not exactly a rule that you have got to follow, but definitely one that would ensure your items get sold quicker. And that is to sell at the right time. Sell shorts in spring/ summer, coats in autumn/ winter as that is when people are going to be searching for those pieces more. Obviously you can still try to list summer pieces in autumn and winter pieces in spring because some people will be searching for certain pieces. But generally speaking, try to sell during the correct season, as your item will probably sell quicker. Like right now, people are searching more for coats, knitwear, loungewear and boot. However, there are things like t-shirts, jeans and gym wear that people are always searching for so just use some common sense when trying to sell your items.
ALWAYS BE HONEST ABOUT DAMAGE
The last thing you want as a seller is someone requesting to return items. It is disheartening and just kind of annoying really, so always be honest about damage. Always take clear pictures of holes, discolouration and general signs of wear. If the fit is a bit weird and you think the buyer should be aware of it, let them know in the description. If you’re selling the item because it isn’t true to size, put it in the description with the size that it would probably fit better. I’m always looking in the description when buying an item and it just means that you are covering yourself if a buyer tries to return the item.
START THE BID AT A PRICE YOU’D BE HAPPY WITH
A bit of a controversial one I feel like, but I have always kept my beginning prices super realistic from the start. A lot of buyers on eBay tend to start their bidding prices super cheap, like jeans for 99p and a coat for £2. That’s all well and good if you can get enough people to bid on it before the bid ends and that the item it in high demand, but what if it isn’t. You could be selling something valued at £10 for 99p if you aren’t being careful.
Obviously if you don’t care about the money and just want to get rid of it, sell it cheap. But if you do want to make a bit of cash from selling, then so be realistic with listing prices. Most of my high street items are listed for £3-£10 and my designer items for anything more than £8. But by the same token, don’t overprice your items either.
It is all a bit trial and error in the beginning, learning what sells for what price. But you’ll soon get good at understanding what items sell for what prices.
REPLY TO QUERIES ASAP
Super important and not something you should ignore. If someone asks for measurements, try to reply asap. They could have a question about anything from fit to damage to how quickly you can get the item posted. Be honest in your answers but a fast response is always beneficial for the buyer which could make it more beneficial for you.
CONSIDER REALISTIC OFFERS
Another one you should reply to asap and that is offers. Some people really like to make a joke in giving you the most ridiculous offers, but some are worth considering. If you’ve had a listing for ages and maybe now just want to get rid of it, accept the slightly lower offer. And if you do decline offers, you have the option of adding a description to tell them why. I tend to do this a lot to negociate some prices or to explain why I couldn’t accept. It is benefical to the buyer to see this as they have more insight as to where you are with selling the item.
USE GOOD PACKAGING
Not super important but just something that I think leaves a good impression and that’s packaging. Just ensure that you package items securely and in a clean manner. I always fold the items nicely and wrap them up with lots of tape to ensure it is secure and that it won’t break on its journey.
DISPATCH SOLD ITEMS AS SOON AS YOU CAN
Obviously dependant on how busy you are but do try and make an effort to dispatch your items quickly. It does leave a really good impression and it can really boost your reviews if people say you have quick delivery.
GIVE IT TIME
I’m still learning when it comes to selling on eBay and it is a platform that is always changing so give it time. Some items take longer to sell. And learning how to sell on eBay takes time and experience. Although it is easy to do, you are always going to make mistakes in the beginning so dwell on it too much.
Any other eBay sellers reading this, do leave your tips in the comment too! And if you found this post useful, share with friends and get your side hustles going!
Lots of love,