Published: Monday, June 29, 2009
Sell your stuff
Make a little extra cash with eBay
By WENDY THOMAS, Correspondent
EBay as a way to sell your unwanted items is alive and well, and although prices on average have come down in this economy, things are still selling. Those people who sell on eBay will tell you that auctioning items is a relatively easy and consistent way to make a little bit of extra pocket money on a regular basis.
There are many reasons people decide to sell on eBay, however, the most common is simply to downsize and make money.
When explaining her reasons for selling on eBay, Donna Boerner, of Merrimack, said: “The first reason is I wish to simplify my life by paring down the possessions that, in some instances, I have moved from one residence to another since I was a child. Time to let go. My husband and I would like to downsize to a smaller home and he made the point that I need to take the term downsize literally when it comes to my ‘things.’
“The second reason is to make a little cash.”
Boerner likens the experience to a much easier yard sale.
Donna Boerner, of Merrimack, sold this Steiff teddy bear for $181.38.
“I’ve always enjoyed the little thrill I get from selling items I no longer want when I’ve held yard sales in the past. In the past is just where I want yard sales to stay, though, because frankly I find them a considerable amount of work, and you’re a slave to the weather and traffic flow,” Boerner added.
One of the first few items Boerner sold was an old miniature Steiff teddy bear she had had for years. She got more than $180 for it. She became hooked and is now going around her house putting “lots” together of things she can sell at auction.
EBay is also a way to attract the attention of a large audience, especially if you are selling older collectible items.
Denise deBruyn, of Merrimack, is selling on eBay because she has a lot of antiques in her cellar and wants to move them out of the house while getting a little more than the asking price from consignment shops.
In one of her first few auctions, deBruyn sold a vintage glass shaker for almost $90 to a man in Canada. She has plans to put many of her other glass collectibles up for auction.
At left, Merrimack resident Denise deBruyn’s vintage shaker went for $89.99 on eBay.
EBay offers a self-guided selling tutorial on its site to help you get started. Simply follow the links on the Web site. Many people who think eBay is too difficult to try find out that it is not that difficult, especially when you are taking it in a group or class environment.
“I netted approximately $130 my first week, $80 my second, and have a lot of ‘watchers’ right now (no bidders) which I hope at least almost half of the watchers become bidders closer to the end of the seven-day selling period.” Wrote Laura Ochoa, of Merrimack, an eBay class student who had never sold anything on eBay before the class.
Even Juni Pierce, of Merrimack, who admits that she is “technology challenged” has been able to successfully sell on eBay.
She wrote: “I have sold a few things and will sell more. It is kind of exciting when someone actually buys something and a real feeling of accomplishment and success. I would recommend selling on eBay to anyone. I have used the proceeds as pocket money and will eventually use it to pay back a loan.”
What it really boils down to is that eBay can give you some extra cash during a time when you could really use it. When asked if she intended to keep selling items on eBay, Ochoa replied, “I do plan to continue the eBay experience. Extra money coming in is extra money coming in.”
MAKE MONEY ONLINE
Helpful tips for auctioning on eBay:
• You must have a digital camera. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but you must be able to take and download photos.
• Each item must have a photo. Make sure the lighting is good and the background is a solid color. I use a pink or blue polar fleece blanket for my backgrounds.
• Go for the basics. You can spend a lot of extra money choosing things such as a bold title. It’s not necessary. If your item is good, someone will find it on the site.
• Craft a good title. People search on words used in a title. Don’t waste our space using words such as “and” or “set of.” Use as many searchable words as possible. For example, “Antique jade green glass scalloped 6 inch bowl.”
• In the description, create a story or a need for someone to buy your item. “This blue-eyed 16-inch doll” may very well describe her, but “This adorable blue-eyed sweetie sat on my daughter’s shelf for years” will sell her.
• If you can’t take a class, then hook up with an eBay buddy with whom you can ask questions and bounce ideas off.
• Don’t price your items too high. In this economy, people want a bargain and besides, a few dollars in your pocket is better than a figurine sitting on your shelf collecting dust.
• Use the U.S. Postal Service Web site (www.usps.gov) to get information on shipping prices and to get free priority shipping materials.