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!