Need some extra cash? And quick? We’ve all been there…
Luckily, eBay can help.
I recently returned home from an extended European trip. Shockingly, when I returned to the States I didn’t have as much money as I did when I left.
In order to pay bills and some of my credit card debt, I needed cash – on hand – as soon as possible.
Sure, I could have driven for Lyft, but there’s still a payment cycle there. Could I grab a seasonal job and get paid under the table? With limited freelancing skills, I couldn’t do that either.
I began to look around my house in deep thought. I needed to clean; I sure did have a lot of stuff lying around. What if I sold some of the stuff I no longer had a need for?
When I was a kid, I tended to be a collector – or as some call it – a hoarder. After watching a documentary on Netflix about minimalism, I realized that half (or more) of what I had wasn’t necessary.
I started to tear up the house, looking for anything that I could sell for a quick buck. As a recovering “collector” I immediately found some things of value around the house. I eventually found a rare Nintendo 64 game.
I booted up my computer. My aunt and uncle have made a career out of selling stuff on eBay. Could I potentially do the same?
Use eBay to Research The Item’s Value
I typed in the videogame’s title on eBay. I found that just the game – no box or instruction manual – was going for around $100! Since mine was in mint condition with the box, I decided to start an auction with the starting price at $200. I just wanted to see what happened.
This is a good way to check if your item is actually worth something. If there are lots of them on eBay, with very few bids, odds are it will be hard for you to sell it.
Conversely, if there is only a few for sale, with lots of action, you stand a good chance of selling it.
There are two ways to sell on eBay. You can either list an item for a fixed price (think Amazon) or you can put the item up for an auction like I did in the example above.
Which Is 4 U? Fixed Price or Auction?
If you have actual inventory and the time to wait, the fixed price may be the best way to sell on eBay. That way you can sit on it until someone comes along looking for exactly that item. You will likely fetch a higher price this way too.
Otherwise, I recommend going the auction method.
If you’re in a bind like me, it’s a great way to get some money in your pocket.
You simply list the item for a certain period of time and a starting price. People discover it and hopefully bid on it. Ideally, two or more people will get into a bidding war, driving up the price of the item and turning a pretty sweet profit for you.
Experiment With Your Auction Listings
There are two main components to “optimizing” any eBay auction. Those being:
- Title of the Auction
Much like Google or Amazon, eBay works like a search engine. People type in the keywords of what they want and eBay gives the best results.
For that reason, you will want a title that 1) clearly tells the potential customer what the item is 2) use keywords that will be searched and give you the best chance to be discovered.
You can optimize it (just like with SEO) to ensure that you appear close to the top of the results – where people are ultimately looking! Views convert to people actually bidding on the item. That is if your price is reasonable!
Finding the right price can be tough. You don’t want to list the item too high, as no one will bid on it. However, if it’s too low, then you risk selling the item for less than its market value.
My advice to you is to start high. You can always relist the item at a lower price if it doesn’t sell on the first try. eBay luckily gives you an estimation of each item now. You can adjust the price (I always go a little higher than the recommended).
There’s a probability gauge that determines the likelihood that your item will sell at that price. Again, you want multiple people to bid on it, so make sure it’s reasonable to start. More bids will drive the price up naturally.
Ultimately, you want to try changing the price and the title to see what works best. I’ve found success by:
- Including the word ‘rare’ in the title of certain items
- Starting prices off with whole numbers (e.g. $5.00, $12.00, $500)
- Using 7 or 10-day auction formats
- Offering free shipping
Experiment and see what works for you.
Conclusion: Is It Easy To Make Money on eBay?
Yes and no. If you have some rare items, eBay can be a goldmine.
But remember, there has to be a demand for your products on eBay. Sure, you might have all your old Beanie Babies lying around, but who actually wants those? Unless you have a rare Beanie Baby, the demand for those products just won’t be there.
Start by selling things that are rare or scarce. Those items tend to sell themselves. Then, with time and experience move into the items that might be a little more common.
What’s nice is that with PayPal, payments on eBay are a breeze. As soon as the auction closes, the buyer can pay you. You ship the item and transfer the money to your bank. PayPal is absolute MUST if you are trying to make quick cash on eBay!
Benefits of Selling Stuff on eBay:
- Earn quick cash
- Declutter and clean by getting rid of unwanted items