Frugal Friday #28 – Selling on ebay

I think our week this week has been as random as the weather! Its been one of those where you feel like youve not stopped, and yet you can’t even remember what you did? I’ve spent most days close to home, going to the little groups in the village, mixed with house stuff and the usual day to day, but the bonus of the week? Well I made a few quid on ebay too. It wasn’t loads but its cleared out a bag of stuff and I always think making money from your old tat is the ultimate frugality!

Selling on Ebay


With so many apps, Facebook pages and selling sites around these days, its hard to know which channel is best to post your stuff for sale on. I also think to myself sometimes too, which one is it actually going to sell on? But I guess the answer to those questions/query has a lot to do with what the item is and how quickly you want rid.

I sell the majority of my things on ebay because its often clothing, shoes and things that are easy to post. I find ebay is straightforward, often free to list, and it more often than not sells within the time frame I want rid of it! I enjoy the surprises of how much it sells for (if posted under auctions) and I love that there is always a sneaky chance you’ll get more than what you wanted too! Saying that though its been ages since I have sold anything so it was fun to list some things recently. 

On this occasion I posted a pair of brand new H&M jeans I bought for Nath last year (too tight on his legs), and a small bundle of Next baby clothes that Alice had grown out of. The clothes went for £7.50 (+ the postage of course), and the jeans haven’t yet sold, so I have relisted them for a few more days with high hopes! (You win some you lose some). But whilst it might not sound like a whole lot, you can see how if I had sold several bundles, or more of her baby stuff, how quckly those 7 pounds would have added up. And I always think it’s better to get something back than just bagging everything for the charity shop.

If it’s been a while since you sold on Ebay or you’ve never given it a go, here are a few tips and things to look out for to help you on your way to getting a few quid back from things around your home.

  1. Log into your account or create one!

  2. Decide what you want to sell and Take good pics – Make sure the images are clear and they can see whats on offer. They can’t see it in person so they need to be able to have a good look (from various angles) from behind their screen. Remember a picture speaks a thousand words so use images to sell or entice them. If there is anything wrong, missing etc then be courteous enough to point it out. Just because it affects your view of the item it maybe fine and something that’s not a big deal to someone else. 

    I took pics of the item as a whole then close ups of individual things, labels, sizing etc.

  3. Write about it & Sell it to them – Once you put the item into the header, ebay will suggest the category to list it under. This automatically helps narrow it down to what the customer is searching for.
    Next you can select various options that describe your item – is it new? Used? New without tags? What size and fabric? All of these things mean that ebay can narrow it down to make it easier for people to find when they are searching for what you are selling.

    Finally there is a box where you can describe and sell your item. Its an opportunity to tell the person why you might be selling it, if its from a pet free home etc. I always go as far as to suggest what it looks good with and how it might be useful to them.

  4. Be realistic in what you want to make/What its worth – There are “Buy it now” options on ebay but to be honest I barely use it. Whilst it usually guarantees a decent price for you (or you can reserve the price too) I feel this option is more suited to furniture, cars and newer labels! When I am selling used clothes, like in this case, the auction option is fine. I started if off at £1.50 with hope of making about a tenner, which would equate to about £1 per item. That was fine to me because after all whilst they are nice, and from Next, they are worn and they are out of season. I took the risk of putting it on auction because I was interested to see others interest (there were about 12 people watching it in the end) and I hoped I might potentially get more than £10, but to get £7.50 seems pretty decent to me and I am pleased with that.
    I bet the buyer feels like they got a right barg too!!
  5. Don’t take advantage of people with postage – Its clear to see when people are worried they won’t make much on the stuff they’re selling, and as a result slap on a ridiculous P&P price and it annoys me and turns me off!  I think reasonable and realistic postage makes people more willing to bid on your item. I always factor in the cost of postage too when I buy, so to be a pleasant seller I keep it on point for them.
  6. Post for the time frame you want – I posted these items for 10days. Obviously the jeans didn’t sell which I am a little surprised about, but it was a reasonable time I think.
  7. Sit back and await the surprise of a few quid coming your way – whilst its selling you don’t need to do anything. You can track how many are watching it and bidding on it, and occasionally you may receive notification of a question a buyer has, but usually its just wait it out. The 10 days mine were on flew by and it was super easy and straight forward.
  8. Don’t forget to post the items – Best to do this the day after they pay. The sooner they get it, the sooner you’re rid of it, and it keeps them happy and gives you a good review too.

My Bonuses to Selling on ebay…

It eliminates time wasters – There’s no one coming round wanting to look, or saying they’ll come and not shopping up! If you want it then bid on it, if you don’t then don’t.

It does the work whilst you’re out – I love that you can post something and then get on with life. The app sends a reminder and then you can post it.

Auctions mean items are sold and cleared out within a few days or a couple of weeks – You can control the time frame…from 3 days to 28 (I think) you can decide how soon you want rid of it, or how long you can wait for the best price.

Payment is easy via paypal – once sold, most people pay straightaway via paypal. When selling several things that balance soon goes up.

It doesn’t infringe on your time and privacy (unless your’e selling something big they need to collect)

The App makes it even easier – I listed mine via the app and it was so easy. I took the pics via it, typed in and selected the relevant info and boom… it was selling! I then periodically checked in to see how they were doing! The app also updates you when you get messages so you can quickly respond if its convenient to do so.

Autumn is already here so with season changes in your wardrobe and home, why not have a little clear out and pop some of the kids stuff, your stuff or that stuff your bored with onto ebay and make a few quid ready for Christmas or half term! I am glad I did and it was great to remember how fun and easy it is to sell things we aren’t using or needing. Remember – One mans rubbish is another’s treasure! Happy ebaying!

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post].”

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