Thursday, July 23, 2009

eBay 101

Throughout the summer I've been having an online yard sale through eBay. I know a lot of people consider selling stuff on eBay to be a real pain, but it's not that bad if you do everything in steps. Here's what I did.

1. Gather everything you want to sell and put in one place. I used the guest room bed.

2. Take a couple of pictures of each item. If there is a front and a back, then be sure to take pictures of both. Lay clothes flat on the floor and stand above them (I stood on a chair for some, to try to get a realistic picture of the shape of the clothes.)

3. Load all of the pictures onto your computer and crop (using Microsoft Office Picture Manager or any other photo editing program). Crop photos to eliminate anything other than the actual object you are selling.

4. Weigh everything you are listing inside of a box or whatever packaging you are going to use. Mark the weight somewhere on the package so you don't have to weigh again when it's time to ship. When you list an item, you will need to know the weight in order to determine shipping. We use a kitchen scale. For heavier items, you can stand on the bathroom scale with and without the box and subtract the difference.

5. Download Turbo Lister, free software through eBay. With this software you can type all of your listing descriptions and go back and edit later, and then when you are finished you can load them all in eBay at the same time.

6. Type out all of your listings. Include measurements in addition to sizes for all clothing. Measure and describe as accurately as you can. If it's a popular product then go to the manufacturer's website and read what they say about their product. You can quote the company if you give credit to them on the page, or you can use their pitch as inspiration for your own.

7. Set all of your auctions to last 7 days (the longest you can wait without having to pay extra) and load them all on eBay.

8. I also start almost all of the listing prices at $0.99 because you pay the smallest listing fee and people are more interested in listings that start low.

9. At the end of the week, eBay will send you an email for each item listed and whether or not it sold. On this email will be a button that says "send invoice." Click this to let the buyer know how much to pay.

10. Package everything, address and mail. If you have a scale and know the exact weight of your items, then you can print your own shipping labels through Paypal. If you catch your postman then you can save yourself a trip to the post office. Otherwise, take everything to the post office to ship, but not until after you have received payment.

That's pretty much it. I've made several hundred extra dollars this summer which has made a bit of a dent in the mountain of medical bills we have received for Ben's surgery. I've sold mostly clothes, shoes, purses and books. I sifted through our house and also received some "donations" from family members. Some things just haven't sold this summer after listing a couple of times, so they went to Goodwill yesterday. It is rewarding to see my cleaned out closet and our slightly less full bookshelf.


I made Ben another set of pajamas that match his newest diaper. Again, Josh picked out the fabric. Ben is refusing to lie on his back these days. He flipped over sooner than I could get the camera.


  1. Curious if you have discovered for photo editing... I LOVE it! I have only touched up a couple of photos but it is super-user friendly and part of their software is FREE! Your discussion on Ebay reminded me of it, thought I would pass the info on.

  2. Oops its

  3. You make that sound really simple. Kind of wish I'd tried it for a couple of items, but maybe another time. I'd have to be way more organized to make that work!

  4. soon it will be flip, roll, scoot scoot scoot!

  5. Ben's on the move... now the fun begins!

    Thank you so much for this organized list. I have sold a few things on eBay in the past, and yes, considered it a pain. You encourage me to try it again.. thanks! -Tammy