How to Make Money with eBay — Listing Your Items: Part 2

This series is brought to you by Kimberly from Homemaking Expert. Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom who uses eBay to supplement her family’s income while her husband finishes college. She writes at Homemaking Expert about cleaning, cooking, budgeting and all other things related to making a house a home.

Once you know what type of listing you want to use, you get to the step of actually getting your item live on eBay for potential buyers to see. This is a really key part of the process because you want to attract people to the listing. So, let’s go over the different aspects of an eBay listing:

The Title

The title is a vital part of the process. When people search for an item on eBay it develops search results based only on what is in the title. For example, if you are selling a vintage item and you put “Vintage” in the title and someone seaches for “vtg” your item will not be in the results. So, when I list a vintage item I use both “vintage” and “vtg” in the results. Try to include as much in the title as possible with the idea in mind of what search terms you want your item to be found for.

Pictures

All listings now are entitled to up to 12 free photos. I try to list at least 4 per listing. It takes a bit more time but showing details in photos is much easier than describing them and it gives you a safe guard against buyers feeling the item wasn’t as described. I always focus more on taking the photos against a blank surface as opposed to making it look fancy. People need to see the item clearly, not see what a great photographer you are.

Description

This is the part of the listing where you need to accurately and thoroughly describe the item. The most important part is to describe in detail any defects. If there is a tiny scratch on the bottom of the bowl – let the buyer know. Even if it seems like no big deal, putting the detail of a defect will save you from having to issue refunds or deal with cases against you.

Shipping

This is a part of selling on eBay that lots of people differ on. Some people prefer to offer free shipping and add more to the starting bid or buy it now price. Others prefer to charge the buyer shipping and some even split the shipping between the seller and buyer.

Personally, I charge the buyer the full shipping amount at least 95% of the time. At the end of the listing process you’ll be able to select your method of shipping and even calculate the amount to charge. I’ll go over full details of shipping tips in tomorrow’s post!

Relisting Your Item

If your item doesn’t sell, you will have 30 days to relist your item. If you don’t relist within that 30 days the listing will be removed from your account and you’ll have to start all over. Always make sure if you plan to relist that you do so in that 30 days otherwise you’ll start back at square one and waste a ton of time! Relisting requires a couple of clicks and you will be able to edit the price or details if desired.

Summary

My main piece of advice on listing your items is - be thoroughIt will save you time and headache in the long run to give lots of details and photos of the item you are trying to sell. You’ll have less questions, less complaints and more satisfied buyers.

eBay has made the listing process extremely user friendly and self explanatory! It’s a breeze to list an item, but put in the time to include lots of details and an adequate amount of photos!

Upcoming Posts in This Series

Getting Started
What to Sell
Finding Inventory
Listing Your Items – Part 1
Listing Your Items – Part 2
Smooth Shipping
Customer Service Tips
Staying Organized
Tips for Success
My eBay Successes & Stumbles


How to Make Money with eBay — Listing Your Items: Part 1

This series is brought to you by Kimberly from Homemaking Expert. Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom who uses eBay to supplement her family’s income while her husband finishes college. She writes at Homemaking Expert about cleaning, cooking, budgeting and all other things related to making a house a home.

Today we’ll get into the really important step of selling items on eBay – listing your items! In this post we are going to cover different listing styles and fees so that you can decide which type of style works best for you.

Listing Styles

There are two primary ways to list your item on eBay – Fixed Price/Buy It Now and Auction Style. There are pros and cons to each method that you should know about.

Fixed Price – With a fixed price or Buy It Now listing you can list your item for 3, 5, 7, 10 or 30 days or list until it sells. There is a $.50 insertion fee (charged regardless of whether it sells) per item and if you choose the list until it sells option, that $.50 is charged every 30 days. There are also Final Value fees of 7-11% of the total sale price (price + shipping) that is charged only if the item sells. Here is a chart that outlines final value fees for each category. With this style, you set a fixed price and the item sells at that price. It is pretty cut and dry and you know what you’ll be getting if the item sells.

Auction Style – If you list auction style you can choose to list the item for 1-10 days. There are insertions fees of $.10 – $2.00 (charged regardless of whether the item sells) per item. Here is a chart that outlines those fees. If the item sells you will be charged a final value fee of 9% of the total purchase (cost+shipping). With this listing style, you start a bidding price and it could sell for that price or more!

I personally use the Auction Style listing every time. Here is why – I generally have a bottom dollar price that I am willing to take for an item. If I were to list fixed price, I would most likely sell it at that price. However, listing on a 7 day auction there is a chance that there will be a bidding war and I will get more for the item.

Plus, each seller is give 50 FREE 7-day auction listings per month where you are not charged the insertion fee. There is still a final value fee if the item sells, but that is great savings! As far as how long to list the item, I always choose 7 days. In my opinion, it gives buyers time to start “watching” the auction and draw in some interest. Have several watchers is great because sometimes it incites a bidding war! And you’ll end up getting way more for the item than you had hoped.

I know people who only used fixed price listings and that works great for them! So, I am by no means saying my way is the best way. It is just the way that I prefer. The fees seem to be less and the potential for profit is more. For example, a few weeks ago I listed a scarf on a 7-day listing. I started the bid at $29.99, which is what I hoped to get for it. The last day of the auction there was a bidding war and the scarf ended up selling for over $200! This example sums up why I choose auction style listings.

Tomorrow I will get into more detail of listing your item. We’ll go over things like shipping prices, descriptions, taking a decent photo and things like that!

Upcoming Posts in This Series

Getting Started
What to Sell
Finding Inventory
Listing Your Items – Part 1
Listing Your Items – Part 2
Smooth Shipping
Customer Service Tips
Staying Organized
Tips for Success
My eBay Successes & Stumbles


How to Make Money with eBay: What to Sell

This series is brought to you by Kimberly from Homemaking Expert. Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom who uses eBay to supplement her family’s income while her husband finishes college. She writes at Homemaking Expert about cleaning, cooking, budgeting and all other things related to making a house a home.

If you want to sell stuff on eBay, it’d be really helpful to know what to sell, right? Well, technically, you can sell pretty much anything – as long as it is legal, that is. I’ve personally seen someone selling a date with himself, so I do mean anything!

But what SHOULD you sell? As far as stuff around your house that you no longer want – anything goes. You have nothing to lose since it’s stuff you already own and had planned to get rid of anyway. Some things that I once owned that have sold successfully on eBay are:

  • My son’s toys
  • Jewelry
  • My husband’s music equipment
  • Camping and outdoor items
  • Military apparel and gear
  • DVDs
  • Books (sell best in lots)

However, when it comes to items that you are going to purchase just to resell, you need to do a bit of research and be more choosy, since these items will (most likely) be costing you money.

Here is my biggest tip for knowing what to sell on eBay – research items that have already sold on eBay! There are two ways to do this. One, using the eBay smart phone app.

Dowload the app and select “search” on the bottom toolbar. Then type in a description for the search. You will want to use these steps for  a few different descriptions for your item. For example, “Vintage Cabbage Patch Doll” will return different results than “Vtg CPK Doll” since the search bar searches only the title.  The default search will show listings with the amount in blue. These are items that are currently listed and have not sold.

This is the most important step – click “Refine” in the top right corner. Scroll down to select “Completed Listings” and then click the Search button in the top left corner.

What you are now seeing are items whose auctions have ended in the last 30 days. The items with dollar amounts in red didn’t sell and the green dollar amounts did sell.

How to Make Money on eBay

With this tool, you get a great indication of whether or not the item you are looking at is a good investment. So, let’s say that I found a baggie of about 8 Thomas the Train pieces at a thrift store for $1.99 (which has happened). I can tell from the past 30 days, that I can potentially resell them for $15. Then I can decide if that is a desirable profit margin. Like I said, GREAT TOOL for research!

You can do the same thing on their website by choosing the “completed listings” option on the left hand column after you’ve searched. You just don’t have the convenience of being able to look up the item at the store before purchasing it.

Just because something hasn’t sold on eBay in the last 30 days doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t sell. But researching and purchasing what has a successful sales record is just a great way to take a bit of risk out of the investment.ake Money on eBay

There are some categories of items that I have consistent success in selling. They are:

  • Vintage toys
  • Popular current kid’s toys (Legos, Thomas the Train, Little People)
  • Name Brand Purses, Scarves and Accessories (Chanel, Gucci, and other high end brands)
  • Lots of children’s books
  • Music and sound equipment
  • Scrapbook and craft items

Those are the things that I look for and that have sold well for me in the past. You may find you have success with other stuff, but that is what works for me. Most importantly, do your research! Make sure to check out the posts below for more information.

Upcoming Posts in This Series

Getting Started
What to Sell
Finding Inventory
Listing Your Items – Part 1
Listing Your Items – Part 2
Smooth Shipping
Customer Service Tips
Staying Organized
Tips for Success
My eBay Successes & Stumbles


A New Series on TFF: How to Make Money with eBay – Getting Started

This series is brought to you by Kimberly from Homemaking Expert. Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom who uses eBay to supplement her family’s income while her husband finishes college. She writes at Homemaking Expert about cleaning, cooking, budgeting and all other things related to making a house a home.

Buying and reselling items or selling n0 longer used items around your home is a great way to bring in a little (or a lot) of extra cash. I’ve been selling on eBay for over a year and have learned lots of tricks along the way that I am excited to be sharing with you!

Let me first answer the question that I’m sure many are wondering – How much can I make? It completely depends on how much work you are willing to put in. I devote two full days per week to listing and shipping and then another afternoon each week to go thrift store and garage sale hunting for inventory. (Though this doesn’t feel like work, cause it’s so fun!) I average $800 – $1,000 per month!  Of course you can work more or less and make more or less, it’s totally up to you! But suffice it to say – eBay is a GREAT way to make extra money!

In this post I am going to cover some basic getting started information. If you have sold on eBay before, this will all be stuff you already know. But for the new sellers reading, here’s where to begin:

  1. Set up an eBay account: There really is no magic to this. Just go to eBay’s website and set up an account, they will walk you through the process.
  2. Set up a Paypal account: This will be your primary and perhaps only form of receiving payment (it is the only way that I receive payments). It is important to make sure all of your information is correct and complete on Paypal. Having things inaccurate could cause a delay in payment.
  3. Link your Paypal account to your Bank account: If you are leery of doing this, you could open a separate checking account just for Paypal, which is what I chose to do. This is also helpful if you plan to run your eBay store like a business for tax purposes, etc.
  4. Gather needed supplies: See the list at the bottom of this post for supplies that I recommend you have.
  5. Start listing! These few steps are really all that is required to get started. Tomorrow’s post will be all about what types of items successfully sell. I’d bet you have a few laying around your house that you’d be willing to part with!

Seller Supplies List

  • Postage Scale: I personally use the Weighmax scale which is about $20 on Amazon, and I’m very happy with it.
  • Shipping Supplies: boxes, newspaper, bubble wrap, brown paper — I pay very little if anything for these supplies. About once a month I go on a run to gather boxes and packaging materials that various stores are going to toss out. The only shipping materials that I pay for are brown paper, bubble envelopes, manila envelopes and tape – all of which I purchase at the Dollar Tree.
  • Camera: for taking photos of your inventory. I use the camera on my  iPhone and a basic point and shoot works fine as well. We’ll cover photos in more detail later, but a digital camera is a must.
  • Printer: highly recommend printing your own shipping labels. There are lots of reasons which I will cover in the shipping post of this series.
  • Cleaning Materials: Even if items I’m selling are in great condition, I give them a once over before shipping. Cleaning items that I keep in stock are baby wipes, Goo gone (for removing price labels), a lint brush, scissors and a small sewing kit.

Upcoming Posts in This Series

Getting Started
What to Sell
Finding Inventory
Listing Your Items – Part 1
Listing Your Items – Part 2
Smooth Shipping
Customer Service Tips
Staying Organized
Tips for Success
My eBay Successes & Stumbles


Serve.com: Load $25, Get $25 FREE!


Head on over and sign up for a Serve account – when you load $25 or more through December 31st, you’ll get a $25 credit in your account. This is a great way to stretch your budget a little before the holidays!

Thanks, The Freebie Blogger!


Disheartening News on the Frugal Front – Gas prices got you down?

Image Credit

The news today is a bit disheartening on the frugal front.  As much as I’d love to think we are inching our way out of a recession, I’m not so sure that is the case just yet.  There is always a “reason” for things such a gas prices rising to almost $5/gallon.  As a result food prices could likely soar as well.  Top that with the prediction that diaper prices will skyrocket and you have the recipe for a further hurting economy.

With gas so high it’s almost too expensive to get to work.  Then with the food prices going up, your basic living costs are going to become an even greater burden.  I’m sure many of you watched the debates and saw that 47% of American’s are recieving some sort of government aide – that’s HALF of our country!

Trust me we’re in the same boat as you and it’s easy to become weary and worried.  Instead however I’d like to make it a goal here at The Frugal Find to rediscover ways to rise above this mess and provide for our families. I think many of the solutions will come from going back to the basics and making our own foods, household supplies, clothes (cloth diapers), etc.

We’re in the middle of redesigning the “look” of TFF but it’s so much more than that – we’re redesigning the heart of TFF.   We will always share online deals, coupons, store match-ups, and Black Friday finds.  Along with that there will be an increased focus on sustainable living that works for all families.  Whether you’re living in an apartment or on a farm, there are things you can do to make sure your family thrives during tough economic times.

A few of the topics I’d like to tackle here at TFF will include:

Bulk Cooking and Freezing Meals
Canning
Container Gardening
Homemade instead of Store-Bought Goods
Meal Planning
DIY Home Improvement Tips
Maximizing Space when Space is Limited
and so much more!

Thankfully though even as we prepare for the needs of our family, the burden doesn’t lie on us …

Matthew 6:25-27

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Will you join us as we head in this new and exciting direction?  Really it’s just an extension of many of the posts we’ve already written, but in my heart I believe it’s the way many of us need to go to ensure our families are well taken care of.  If you’d like to get a taste for some of the things we’d like to expand on you can head over and check out our categories: Frugal DIY, From Our Pantry, and Stock Piling.


FREE Credit Score (no credit card required and nothing to cancel!)

Just a reminder, this freebie is still going!  Mr. Frugal and I just signed up for this completely FREE credit score/report a couple of months ago and I wanted to mention it because it’s one of the ONLY completely FREE credit reports out there.  I also like the monthly score update that we get via email.  You’ll have the details in just minutes and you never have to put in a credit card # and there is nothing to cancel.  Instant gratification that’s good for your finances, head on over here for your report.

It’s good to keep up on your credit score to make sure there are no surprises, credit theft, etc. We’ve used several different companies in the past, usually having to cancel a service after 30 days so we don’t get charged. This year, we found Credit Sesame, and we couldn’t be happier.

This isn’t a full blown report, but it’s a great start to see where you’re at with absolutely zero obligation.


(Ends Tomorrow!) Credit Sesame: $250 Back to School Cash Giveaway!


Set up a free account with Credit Sesame today and automatically enter to win $250 for Back to School. This is a limited time offer, so get in quick!

Credit Sesame is a 100% free personal finance credit and debt management tool with no credit card required or trial period. Credit Sesame automatically tracks and monitors your loans and debt information and they tell you how you’re doing. You’ll see your loans, debt and credit accounts, all in one place. You’ll know where your credit score stands every month and understand how to improve your debt situation. Do you know how your finances measure up? Find out, for FREE!

  • Monitor your free credit score, every month
  • Manage your loans, debt and credit all in one place
Mr. Frugal and I signed up for this completely FREE credit score/report a couple of months ago.  We like it because it’s one of the ONLY completely FREE credit score reports out there.  You’ll have the details in just minutes and you never have to put in a credit card # and there is nothing to cancel. Instant gratification that’s good for your finances, head on over here for your report.

FREE $10 American Express Gift Card Bonus Offer! (Get roadside assistance too!)

AMEX
Don’t forget you can still sign up for this FEE FREE American Express Gift Card, just load it with $50 at the time of ordering and they’ll send you another FREE $10 American Express gift card!

I like to use these prepaid gift cards for online purchases, especially for ones that require me to cancel a subscription or risk further charges.  If you’ve ever had a $0 balance for an online purchase yet still been required to enter credit card info, a prepaid card can put your mind at ease. They’re also great for online shopping in general – no need to worry about your actual credit card (or debit card) info being stolen.

As an added bonus you get the benefits of American Expresspurchase protection, fraud protection, and roadside assistance!  There are absolutely no fees associated with this card either – a win win and an easy FREE $10 money maker!


FREE Credit Score PLUS $1.00 in your Paypal Account Today!


Credit Sesame has a new promo running, get PAID $1.00 to sign up through this link!

Credit Sesame is a 100% free personal finance credit and debt management tool with no credit card required or trial period. Credit Sesame automatically tracks and monitors your loans and debt information and they tell you how you’re doing. You’ll see your loans, debt and credit accounts, all in one place. You’ll know where your credit score stands every month and understand how to improve your debt situation. Do you know how your finances measure up? Find out, for FREE!

  • Monitor your free credit score, every month
  • Manage your loans, debt and credit all in one place
Mr. Frugal and I signed up recently for this completely FREE credit score/report last week and I wanted to mention it because it’s one of the ONLY completely FREE credit reports out there.  You’ll have the details in just minutes and you never have to put in a credit card # and there is nothing to cancel. Instant gratification that’s good for your finances, head on over here for your report.

Credit Sesame: Get your credit score for FREE plus get $1 in your Paypal Account!

Credit Sesame has a new promo running, get PAID $1.00 to sign up through this link!

Credit Sesame is a 100% free personal finance credit and debt management tool with no credit card required or trial period. Credit Sesame automatically tracks and monitors your loans and debt information and they tell you how you’re doing. You’ll see your loans, debt and credit accounts, all in one place. You’ll know where your credit score stands every month and understand how to improve your debt situation. Do you know how your finances measure up? Find out, for FREE!

  • Monitor your free credit score, every month
  • Manage your loans, debt and credit all in one place
Mr. Frugal and I signed up recently for this completely FREE credit score/report last week and I wanted to mention it because it’s one of the ONLY completely FREE credit reports out there.  You’ll have the details in just minutes and you never have to put in a credit card # and there is nothing to cancel. Instant gratification that’s good for your finances, head on over here for your report.

Credit Sesame: Manage your debt and credit score for FREE!

There have been some questions about what Credit Sesame offers for free, and I think this explains it pretty well!
.
Credit Sesame is a 100% free personal finance credit and debt management tool with no credit card required or trial period. Credit Sesame automatically tracks and monitors your loans and debt information and they tell you how you’re doing. You’ll see your loans, debt and credit accounts, all in one place. You’ll know where your credit score stands every month and understand how to improve your debt situation. Do you know how your finances measure up? Find out, for FREE!
  • Monitor your free credit score, every month
  • Manage your loans, debt and credit all in one place
Mr. Frugal and I just signed up for this completely FREE credit score/report last week and I wanted to mention it because it’s one of the ONLY completely FREE credit reports out there.  You’ll have the details in just minutes and you never have to put in a credit card # and there is nothing to cancel. Instant gratification that’s good for your finances, head on over here for your report.

FREE Credit Score (no credit card required and nothing to cancel!)

Just a reminder, this freebie is still going!  Mr. Frugal and I just signed up for this completely FREE credit score/report last week and I wanted to mention it because it’s one of the ONLY completely FREE credit reports out there.  You’ll have the details in just minutes and you never have to put in a credit card # and there is nothing to cancel.  Instant gratification that’s good for your finances, head on over here for your report.

With taxes behind us and house hunting in full swing we decided it was time for our annual credit check (it’s good to keep up on your credit score to make sure there are no surprises, credit theft, etc). We’ve used several different companies in the past, usually having to cancel a service after 30 days so we don’t get charged. This year, we found Credit Sesame, and we couldn’t be happier.

This isn’t a full blown report, but it’s a great start to see where you’re at with absolutely zero obligation.

 


Coming up for air. Debt is suffocating.

.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a time when I found myself wrought with worry.  It was more common that I found myself awake at night than asleep.  The burden of our debt and the lack of income we had was eating away at me, I felt hopeless.  I had NO IDEA how we would be able to dig out from under the mountain we created.   The future looked bleak and many of the dreams we had as newlyweds had begun to fade.  That was about 5 years ago, and as much as I hate to say it we STILL have some of that debt lingering around.  However the difference now is that we have HOPE and we have a plan.

As permanent as your situation may feel I want to encourage you that nothing is forever.   So many things in our lives have changed over the past 5 years that I’ve begun to realize nothing is impossible and very little is forever.  From the day we got married, Mr. Frugal and I had always dreamed of living outside of CA.  At the time though much of our situation looked to say that CA was where we’d call home for a very long time.  Here we are in Oregon today.  For 1o years my husband worked for his family’s business, while we were thankful for the opportunity it wasn’t a career that he loved.  We dreamed of owning our own business and even though not a single bit of The Frugal Find came because of anything we had planned, we’re so very thankful that the Lord blessed us and allows us to  do what we do today.  It’s a ministry that we’re very passionate about.

Today we find ourselves about 18 months away from being DEBT FREE!  We would have been out of debt a lot sooner, had we been insured when we moved to Oregon.  Remember when Mr. Frugal ended up in the hospital the weekend we arrived in Oregon?  Yep we were uninsured.  Our kid’s were covered, but in CA we simply couldn’t afford it.  In hindsight the 20K bill was a whole lot less affordable then insurance would have been at the time, but alas we feel that the hospital bill really helped kick us into high GET OUT OF DEBT gear.  So we’re awkwardly thankful for it.

All of this to say, we’ve been there.  We’re coming out on the other side of the dark tunnel and there is hope.  We’re looking to buy a house in a town we love, running a business that we never would have dreamed of, and we’re all healthy (and insured!)

I’m praying for you today.   I know what you’re going through.  I know the desperation you feel.  Please know that as the song above says, even in the desert – our God is the God who provides and He is refining you. In every season, He is still God and we have a reason to sing.


Debt Free in 52: ‘Garage Saling’ Season

It’s that time of year again, it’s Garage Sale Season!  In CA there wasn’t a season because it was year ’round but in many other parts of the US ‘Garage Saling’ has a season.

Fall, Winter, Spring, Garage Saling, and Summer

I absolutely LOVE to go out on a Saturday morning and hit multiple garage sales.  It’s a fun hobby but it’s also a frugal way that I provide for my family.  If there is something that we need, say clothes for the kids, a griddle, a printer, a patio table, etc it goes on my Garage Sale hunting list.  We have envelopes for these expenses already budgeted so I cipher the funds and plan my trip.

Here are a just a few tips to make the experience worth while…

1.  Have a plan.  I use the iGarageSale app on my iPhone to help me along the way, but beforehand I search Craigslist and the newspaper for ads that look like they may have a few of the items I’m looking for.  I gather the address and add them to my GPS, optimizing them so that I’m not driving back and forth across town.

2.  Have a budget.  Bring a certain amount of cash and leave the rest at home.  You’re much less likely to overspend if you simple don’t have a way to do so.

3.  Practice negotiating.  People that are selling the items you’re shopping for consider much of it “junk” and that works to your advantage.  Many times I’ve been blown away by what people consider junk because to me it’s a treasure!  With that said, always ask if they’ll take less.  More times than not they will.  Now don’t undercut them to the point of insulting them, but it is a garage sale and bargaining is the game.

4.  Be prepared.  Pack a snack, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lots of water – but not too much because you’ll have to find a restroom!

5.  Your turn…. Share your best Garage Saling tip and we’ll choose one random reader’s comment at the end of the day to win a $20 paypal payment to fund your next garage saling adventure.

This giveaway had ended and the winner is…

Stephanie Hirsch (steph4575@) ”I think you covered them all, the only thing I would add is bring lots of dollar bills, and change!”