If you’re like most people, you probably have loads of excess stuff crammed into your closets, garage, attic or basement that you’d like to get rid of. You might be surprised at the things you can actually sell on eBay, including old TV remotes, holiday decorations, toys, home decor and power cords unique to certain devices.
I’ve even sold electronics that didn’t work, including an old laptop. I explained what was wrong with the laptop in the listing’s description and made it clear that the device was offered for parts only.
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I’ve sold my unwanted stuff online for more than 15 years, and eBay is still a great option for making some extra cash from things you no longer need. If you’ve tried selling your excess stuff on eBay with so-so results, try these strategies to increase your sales and get more money for your listings.
Research, Research, Research
Don’t try to sell your stuff online without looking up previous sales and prices first. Conduct a search for your item on eBay, then select ‘completed’ in the left pane. Then, select the item’s condition – used or new.
Look for listings with a green price, meaning they sold. If you see a lot of black (unsold) prices, you might not want to bother listing your item.
Be sure to look at the listings that offer items that are most similar to yours. Many factors can influence selling prices, including model, age, color and condition.
If items like yours aren’t selling, all isn’t necessarily lost. The timing might not be right. Try again in a few weeks.
Also, list your holiday items during November and December, winter clothing in late summer/early fall, summer clothing and sporting goods in the spring/early summer, Halloween items in September and October and so forth. You’ll have trouble selling anything in December that isn’t related to Christmas in some way, such as holiday decor or items that can be given as gifts.
Mimic Sold Items
If you see an item like yours that sold at a good price, look closely at the listing and take notes on its description. Then, click ‘Sell One Like This’ to create your own listing.
That way, you’ll choose the same category and have the same title, which you should edit as appropriate while retaining the high points. I do this with most of my eBay listings.
You shouldn’t copy any text exactly, including the title or description, but you can take the best of the successful sales and make them work for you.
Buy It Now With Best Offer
Unless they’re buying collectibles, most customers don’t want to wait for an auction to finish. They prefer to buy an item and have it shipped right away. However, buyers still want to feel like they’re getting a good deal.
To give customers the best of both worlds, set your Buy It Now price a few dollars above what you hope to get. Then, check the box to accept Best Offers, and select the option to reject offers below your minimum acceptable price.
Some items still do best with auctions. When I’m researching similar item sales, I check the format of the successful listings to see whether they were auctions or Buy It Nows. If your item doesn’t sell, you can relist it at a lower price, and you also have the option of changing it from a fixed price (Buy It Now) to an auction format, if you’d like.
Take More and Better Photos
Great photos will give you a leg up on many other eBay sellers. Take plenty of shots with a high-quality digital camera or a phone that takes dynamite pictures.
In my experience, photos can really make or break your sales. EBay allows up to 12 photos at no extra cost. You should use as many of these as it takes to show all angles of your item and put its best foot forward. Before I relist an unsold item, I check the photos carefully and think about whether I could add to them or somehow take better shots.
Break It Up
You might think that a complete set of something would fetch more dollars than its individual parts. That’s true in some instances, such as with several books in a series or by the same author.
With others, such as sports cards, you’ll often do best to sell the most sought-after, valuable parts on their own. For example, consider a set of all USFL cards from 1984. Rather than selling it as a set, you might fetch more by offering the individual cards of the league’s players who went on to acclaimed NFL careers.
I had a nice electronic children’s toy called a LeapFrog Word Whammer. It included all of its magnetic upper-case letters, plus a bunch of extra letters and almost an entire set of lower-case letters.
I tried the whole set together with no success, despite repeatedly lowering the price. Then, I separated the complete Word Whammer set with all of its 26 letters and listed it by itself.
At the same time, I listed all of the extra letters, including the lower case ones, as a separate sale. Both listings sold within days.
How About You?
Do you sell your excess stuff to make extra money on eBay, Craigslist or Amazon? How has it gone for you so far? What else would you like to know about online selling that I haven’t yet covered on this blog?