The old saying “your junk is someone else’s treasure” has never been true. With the popularity of websites like eBay and Craigslist, it has become easier to make a little extra money on stuff you’re getting rid of. So when doing your spring cleaning this year, and getting rid of stuff you deemed useless, consider the value it might have for someone else. Here are some tips to follow to maximize your profits.
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AS YOU SPRING CLEAN, KEEP IN MIND WHAT SELLS WELL
Bigger items like appliances, furniture, exercise equipment, sporting goods, large toys, and kid’s play structures sell quite well on Craiglist.org. If you have many big items to sell and want to get rid of them quickly with as little time investment as possible, a yard sale is the best way to go. But if you have less stuff to sell and it is in pretty good condition, you can typically get more money on Craigslist than at a yard sale. When creating your listing, write an excellent description of the product, including all flaws, and take a couple of good pictures of the item. By solely doing these two things, you will get a lot more interest from buyers.
If you have less stuff to sell but higher quality, your best bet to maximize profits is to sell on eBay.com. Like Craigslist, write a good description, take a high-quality photo, and be completely honest in describing the item. For example, if you are selling a pair of Levi jeans with a small knee hole, be sure to take a separate photo of the hole and add it to your listing. Being completely honest from the start will alleviate many headaches down the road.
Smaller items that sell well on eBay.com include gently used name-brand kids’ clothes, toys, video games, books, DVDs, and home décor. For example, in the past three months, I sold two pairs of Levi jeans for $27 and a lot of 3 gently used American Eagle Outfitters polo shirts for $32. Also, I just sold an almost new Fisher-Price Little People farm set for $16. Name brands sell well because buyers are already familiar with the item’s quality.
HOW TO FIGURE OUT SHIPPING COSTS
There are two ways to figure out shipping costs when selling things on eBay. First, you can check ”Completed Listings” for the item you are selling and quickly find out what others are charging to ship the item. The problem with this method is that it doesn’t consider the cost to ship to some rural locations and should be used as a general rule of thumb.
Your best bet is to pre-package the item and let eBay determine the exact shipping costs for interested buyers. Essentially, you’ll enter the package’s weight and dimension, and eBay will determine the shipping costs based on the prospective buyer’s zip code. This takes all the guesswork out of the process and ensures you don’t get nailed paying high shipping costs and having it eat into your profits.
PROTECT YOURSELF ON EBAY
Your best practice to protect yourself on eBay is to use PayPal for transaction payments. Doing so allows you not to have to worry about bad checks and allows buyers to quickly and conveniently pay using a credit card or bank account. Plus, it gives buyers a sense of security as it gives them automatic eBay Buyer Protection. Never ship items until the buyer has paid in full via PayPal. Another way to protect yourself is not to accept bids from buyers with little or zero positive feedback. Your prerogative is to say in the item description that you will not accept bids from such buyers.
PROTECT YOURSELF ON CRAIGSLIST
When using Craigslist, always be sure to do it safely. Since you’ll typically be dealing with a stranger, it’s a best practice to finalize the transaction in a public place like a grocery store or shopping mall parking lot. If the item is too big for you to haul to a public place and the buyer will be coming to your home, be sure not to be home alone and don’t let the buyer into your home if possible. Also, trust your gut instinct and never be afraid to call off a transaction.
Best of luck with your spring cleaning, and I hope you can make a few extra bucks. What items have you had success selling on eBay and Craigslist?
Author Bio: James owns and operates a coupon website and blog titled Rather-Be-Shopping.com. He lists coupons to over 850 stores and blogs about creative ways to save money and make your paycheck go as far as possible every month.