Got Junk? Listen, Learn, and Earn!

By Michele Robert Poche

Let me guess… your closets are cluttered, your cabinets are crowded, and your shelves are disheveled. Sometimes it seems like everything in the house is completely overstuffedóexcept, of course, your wallet.

I have a solution.

About a year ago, a friend talked me into making extra money by unloading some junk we had around the house. No, Iím not talking about a garage sale. Work all day from dawn to dusk selling things for a nickel then pretend to be proud of making $200? No, thank you.

I’m talking about selling on eBay. Afraid? Don’t be. It’s easy. And here’s how.

1. Download the app on your smartphone.
I can check things on the go and list the average item in about a minute. Because of the camera, I actually prefer using my phone for listing.

2. List just one thing at first.
Find something in your house you think would sell—such as sports memorabilia, an old smartphone or designer clothing—and walk yourself through the listing process line by line. Before setting your price, look up similar listings for comparison.

3. Use suggested shipping charges.
Unless you offer free shipping, the buyer covers the postage. So it’s up to you to make sure you’re covering your expenses but not overcharging the buyer. This knowledge comes with experience. As a new seller, use eBay’s suggested amounts as your guideline.

4. Designate somewhere in your home as your “mailroom.”
You’re going to start accruing boxes, envelopes, tape and, most of all, stuff. As in things you’ve already listed and things you plan to list. Before your addiction grows, pick a spot and get organized.

Your success as a seller is largely dependent on your reputation. For that reason, you want to be 100 percent accurate about everything you sell. If the item is used, say so, and point out any damage or defects in your listing. Take a picture of it. eBay allows you to upload a certain number of free pictures, so take advantage of it. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. What would you want to know and see?

It’s been 14 months since I became an eBay seller. How have I done, you ask? Well, Iíve sold everything from a $0.99 book to a $128 iPhone. Itís all just stuff from my house. And so far, Iíve made nearly $1,900.

Thatís a little better than a garage sale, isnít it?

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