Friday, March 12, 2010

To Ebay or Not to Ebay, Spring

How do I know it's Spring?  I just made over $600 by selling my sons' spring clothing from last year on Ebay!   I buy my kids clothes from consignment, yard sales, clearance in dept. stores/ boutiques and even ebay. I look at it as an investment.  Friends ask how much time it takes to sell on ebay.  Broken into segments- taking pictures, listing and then packing/shipping, approx. 3 days worth of work for 80 listings, 65 sold.  

For Pink Saturday, here's a sampling of what I sold -

The RL shirt was purchased on clearance at Dillard's last year for $9.99.  Sold for $7. Some other shirts bought at the same price sold for 9.75. 
The Abercrombie set was purchased at a yard sale for $5 and sold for $22.  Not a bad return.  Maybe I'll even have a little left over to buy these cute tennis shoes found at .Zazzle

Well, not really.  They're cute but not $60 cute.  The only place I'd probably wear them is to the kids' Egg Hunt.  Come to think of it, it's the teacher in me who's really attracted to them.  Where else would you hear, "Oh, Mrs. W, I love your shoes!  They're beautiful.  Can I try them on? Hey everybody, look at Mrs. W's shoes!" and then  immediately be swallowed up with oohs, ahhs and giggles.  I love kids!
Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for hosting Pink Saturday!
Are there any fellow Ebayers out there who sell/buy kids clothing or other items on Ebay? Share a tip if you have one.  (This is not a promo for Ebay and sadly, I don't even get paid for advertising.) 

Top 10 things I have learned, still have a lot to learn! 

1.  Always list the size in the title.  Some newbies forget that.  Everyone searches by size first.
2.  Name brands sell best.  Gap, Gymboree, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie, Tommy Hilfiger, Strausburg, if you buy kids' clothing, you know the hot brands.  List it in the title.  If you have something which isn't name brand, pair it. Circo shorts suddenly look different when paired with a RL shirt. A sure sell every time?  Smocked clothing.  Never listed one which didn't sell.
3.  Sell seasonal items.  Winter items won't sell well in the spring.  Put them in a box and save them for early fall.  The later it is in the season, the harder to sell, or get maximum amount.   ***Only sell very clean, spotless clothing.  If there's any imperfection, disclose it.
4.  Don't overprice items.  Search to see what the average price is going for.  I do better selling individual items/sets vs lots.  Just a personal preference.  I do lots when I don't think the items will sell on their own. Auction style, 7 days, seem to work best for me.  You limit yourself  with "Buy it now" and a set price. 
5..  Buy a pair of scales. Worth every penny. This is a must if you're going to sell more than a few items!
6.  Pay postage through PayPal.  It saves money and time.
7.  Use Avery shipping labels to print out address labels/postage via PayPal.  Another fantastic time saver! (That option is right on your ebay listing at the time customer pays.)
8.  Items over 14 oz. must ship priority instead of first class (the cheapest way to mail.)  The USPS has free priority mail envelopes which are thick enough to not tear during shipping. Pick up as many as you need in your USPS lobby.
9.   If you mail in a brown envelope (my preference), put the clothing in a gallon zip lock bag or some kind of plastic.  Otherwise, it can get damaged or wet.  I once received an outfit where the red ink from the postal stamp bled through the package and damaged it. 
10.  Courtesy goes a long ways.  You want to receive positive feedback to build up your rating.  Otherwise, buyers will not buy from you. Work with people when they're not happy even if you have to give a refund.   Just like anything in life, communication is key.

I know there are many of you out there who are probably pros.  But for anyone just getting started, I'm happy to help you if you need it.  Just email me.  
Happy Ebaying!


Anita said...

I've been wanting to start selling via ebay for months. I even wrote a post on it.
First time I attempted to start, I got stompped with PayPal, got frustrated and never went back.
But we will!
I'll be reading the comments of your readers to get tips too.

Feather Your Nest! said...

I have a box full of my kids clothes that I have procrastinated putting on ebay! I would love to hear what suggestions you have! Did you list them individually or by lots?

Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating said...

I used to be a crazy ebay seller but noticed that my listing weren't scoring nearly as much $$ when the economy tanked, that's also about the time ebay raised their fees.

I do what you do, get namebrands for cheap, use them, then sell em.

I've been having some thoughts about selling again so your posting was inspiring... I gotta do it.

Your tips were great, one thing I thought of is that if you print your shipping on-line with usps you can have your mail person pick up the package from your house (if it's less than 40lb) for FREE! This keeps you out of the post office and the forever long lines. It's all on the USPS website, easy to do but you need a scale, got mine on ebay for about $20.

Good luck!

Wendy said...

Some people seem to have a knack for finding bargains. Even when I used to buy my kids clothes on ebay... I still paid a fortune. It's like people see me coming and raise the price. I don't get it. lol

Maria@ChicaBellaCrafts said...

I like to buy and sell on ebay too, it is a lot of work but soon after comes the paypal to be exact!
Thaks for all the tips you posted, they sure come in handy. Happy Pink Saturday and thanks for visiting me on my very first Pink Saturday post. Please feel free to stop by any time.

Maggie said...

Is it to obvious if I say I love those shoes?

Happy PS!

In Shoes We Trust,
Maggie Mae
"Do these shoes Match this purse?"

anna banana said...

I love the shoes too but you're right, I don't know if they're $60 cute :) Thank you so much for visiting me at Frosted Petunias and making my first Pink Saturday such a lovely one. Have a great weekend!....Anna♥ said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, and your input on the elastic "issue"!! I am inspired by your Ebay post...I haven't ever sold stuff there, though now that I do on etsy, I probably could! If my "returns are anything like yours, it would be well worth it!! Happy Pink day! Kathi

Anastasius Widjaya said...

wow it is a good business and nice store. I am from Indonesia and i get a good information about clothes.
God bless you

Kimberly said...

Wow! Those are really great tips. I have not sold my things on e-bay, but you make it seem like it is might be worth it.

TheVirginiaHouse said...

Shoot, wish I had seen those listings, I would have bid! Love looking for clothes for my boys on Ebay!