From “junk” to cash, with eBay or Amazon
Aunty did a post about selling on eBay a couple of years ago. Aunty also took (paid some bucks) an eBay course from an eBay guru who was a power seller. Truth to tell, Aunty did not use much of the information since a lot of it was for true rookies and some were for power sellers that are willing to devote all of their time loading, selling, packing, and shipping.
Aunty is more of a “hobby” eBayer, selling rarely and buying more often than she should.
However, since reading Marie Kondo’s book on the magical aspects of tidying up, piles of things that have value but no appeal or use are growing like mushrooms on Aunty’s floor. These are things that are someone else’s potential source of joy and in new or great condition, so eBay or Amazon are great venues that act like stores for Aunty.
The easiest store is Amazon.com. One of the requirements is that you have the UPC or ISBN or manufacturing code from the packaging (best if you still have the box). If you have that, it is as easy a matter of entering the condition, number of items available, choosing a few options, setting your price, and SHAZAAM!, your listing is live. Amazon’s process will fill in the details, pictures, specifications, and your store is on the web. Listings remain on the site forever, until they sell.
Aunty uses Amazon mainly for books. Fulfillment by Amazon is a service that actually stores and ships out your items – one day Aunty actually shipped out an entire bookcase worth of books that were not being looked at – fees are higher but it was like a wall of freedom with blessed space!
Customer service at Amazon is fantastic. If you opt for a phone call from customer service, you WILL receive a phone call within minutes! The only downside as a seller on Amazon is that selling price points are very low, and if you don’t set your selling price low or lower, your inventory does not move. That being said, it is a great place to find bargains!
It used to be painfully difficult to sell on eBay. All of the descriptions were the responsibility of the seller, and photo editing, sizing, and uploading were time consuming and laborious.
Now, with the advent of eBay’s mobile app (eBay), it is super duper easy to begin a listing with the app, take all the photos with your smart phone, save the listing as a draft, and then use your computer to complete the listing. If you are a 100% mobile user, you could complete everything with your phone but the screen is much too small for Aunty’s aging eyes and scrolling is a pain. A computer screen allows Aunty to see the whole picture and more wonderful options reveal themselves, iAo (in Aunty’s opinion).
One of the new options is to enter the ISBN or whatever they call the numbers that manufacturers use to identify their items. Entering this will fill in a lot of the vitals of your items for sale, almost like Amazon!
The advantage of eBay being an auction site rather than a set price “store” like Amazon is that you could potentially get big bucks even if you don’t realize that your item is super desirable. Listings are usually on for just 7 days, but can easily be relisted if it does not sell, all for free. Fees are based on sales price, so if it sells, you pay. If it doesn’t sell, you don’t pay.
eBay also started a service that is almost like Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon program. eBay Valet will provide a shipping code and easy form to simply list the items that you want to sell (only certain items qualify), put them in a box and take it to a FedEx store, where it ships for free(!) to a “valet” who will do all the work and list your item(s) for sale on eBay. If it sells, you get a percentage and they take a percentage. Fees are rather high this way, but the convenience is wonderful. They are very picky about what they accept and will return the items that they reject. Aunty can attest to that – the valet returned most of the things that were sent and only listed a couple of the items. The good thing is that it didn’t cost Aunty a single cent to ship out or receive back the rejected items.
Another great improvement is the ability to print shipping labels that have all the shipment info on it from your computer to your printer. The shipping costs (Aunty only uses USPS) are slightly lower than going to the post office and charged against your PayPal account. After the shipping label is printed, just trim, tape on the package, and pop it in the drive through mail box! They look super professional, with all the correct info, tracking number, and addresses printed in crisp black font. SUPER easy!
The greatest danger in using eBay and/or Amazon is the potential to shop and spend. Using their services to get cash for things that need to go out of the house is really terrific. Aunty loves seeing her Paypal account (acts as a bank to collect and pay eBay transactions) grow a little and grow a little more with each successful sale.
It is better not to look or search for items of interest on either site because you WILL find tantalizing treasures that will whet your appetite and draw your finger to the BUY button. Aunty’s weakness is Issey Miyake.
Buy, if you must, especially if not buying will become a regret. If you later decide that it no longer gives you joy, add it to the pile of “mushrooms” and sell it on eBay.