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I’ve been purging a lot of stuff around the house – trying to make some extra money during COVID – and I’ve been trying to sell things on eBay, but I haven’t had any success.
Do you have any tips?
eBay and Amazon are great resources to buy and sell pretty much everything and anything you want. But, just because they have the greatest number of customers, that doesn’t mean that they have the customers who are looking for your item specifically.
For example, you can sell a car on eBay, however if you’re looking to buy a car, eBay isn’t necessarily the first (or 10th!) place that you’d look. Likewise with clothing, you can purchase clothing on eBay, but that’s not the best place to go. Make sense?
So, first and foremost, you need to determine your niche market – that’s really just a fancy way of saying, “You need to figure out who would want your stuff, and then determine where they would hang out online.”
If you’re trying to sell large items, (like furniture) or items that would benefit from an “in-person” look, check out sites like OfferUp.com, LetGo.com, and “Buy and Sell” groups on Facebook in your area. If you have clothing items, look at Poshmark instead.
If you have artistic or vintage items, sites like Etsy and Artfire may be a better fit. For example, back in the early 2000’s, I sold vintage astrology postcards out of a performance space that I ran – but these were not just the traditional Zodiac or Chinese astrology. I also had Indian astrology, Aztec, Egyptian, and African:
Fast forward a decade or so, and I found them when moving. I didn’t want to just throw them away, so I looked at places where I could sell them online besides eBay and Amazon. Since these cards were out of print and considered vintage because they were made in the 80’s (which just makes me feel old, but I digress), I could sell them on Etsy. Over the few years that I sold them, I made around $200-$300! Not bad for items just taking up space in storage!
Once you’ve determined your niche, and are selling online, remember to take care of your customers! Obviously you’ll provide a good product at a fair price, as well as quick, cost-effective shipping, but there are other things you can do as well:
Writing thank-you notes goes a long way! Here’s one that I received from Mindy, after purchasing jeans from her on Poshmark.
Isn’t that sweet? Don’t you think that puts Mindy in the fore-front of my mind when I return to Poshmark? I already know that she has the size and style clothing I like, so why wouldn’t I return?
Provide coupons and discounts – If the platform lets you create coupons or discounts, think about including that in your thank you note to give an incentive to a customer (or one of their friends) to return to your listings!
Be careful about trading discounts for reviews – If you offer a discount to someone to post a good review for you, keep in mind that they have to disclose that they received an incentive for doing so. You can however encourage honest reviews, and hope for the best.
Get a mailing list started – If you are able to create your own shop mailing list, you’ll be able to have a pool of interested buyers available when you have new items to sell. Some platforms let you create a mailing list through them, but it’s even better if you’re able to create your own. That way, if you get tired of selling on one platform (if their fees get too high, for example), you can take your mailing list with you.
I hope this gives you some ideas to get started and grow beyond eBay!
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