How To Ebay Your Items

August 13, 2020


Happy Friday! This is a continuation of my Closet Clean Out post. If you're looking for my usual Fit Review Friday post, I will have something up next week. 😊

At this point you should feel amazing because your closet is now paired down to what you love. You should have a trash pile, donate pile and a sell pile. Rule of thumb is- if it looks too worn, I would trash it. How to determine if the item can be sold? Usually if it's a Lululemon item, it can definitely be resold. Lululemon is very high in demand these days. Other brands I would do a quick search on Ebay to see if it's worth selling or not. You could always list the item and see if it sells. If it doesn't sell, then donate it. Or if you do not have the time to list things, package them up, and drop them off at the post office I totally understand. This is not for everyone. It usually takes me 10-15 minutes to list an item. Then it's 5-10 minutes to package the item up after it sells. Then you have to haul it to the post office to have them scanned or dropped off. It does take time. So it's up to you to determine if this is worth your time.

Step One - Equipment

You will need a smart phone with a camera. I just use my phone to take all the photos and list everything. It's much quicker this way. Trust me. Download the Ebay app. I've been a member since 2003. You should also have a Paypal account in order to receive funds from sales. If you do not, PayPal is easy to sign up for, but you do need a few business days to link your bank account to the Paypal account. They will deposit a very small amount like 2 cents and you will need to verify this. Then link the two accounts together and you're all set.

I would highly recommend buying a small faux fur area rug. I linked to one on amazon that has a few inexpensive options and various sizes. I purchased a couple from Target years ago and only use them for Ebay listings. It's totally worth the investment. They make your items look pretty and from what I have learned, pretty equals sales. 


This rug looks to be about the same size as the two I have. I sometimes need two depending on the size of the item and place them next to each other to create the look of one large rug. 



I prefer the off white or cream color, but any neutral will work well. Now we're ready for Step Two. 

Step Two - Lighting

Find an area where the lighting is natural. I usually like to take the photos next to an open window where the sun isn't shining directly on the item. The time of day does matter. I find the lighting to be best when the sun starts to lower and it's not quite as harsh. Early morning may work too. A cloudy day also works well. You want to have even and natural lighting. You want the photos to represent the color of your items as close as possible. Natural lighting is definitely the best way to represent colors accurately.

Here are examples:

This has even lighting, colors are vibrant and fairly close to real life.

This is an example of uneven lighting. The bottom half is in the shadows. It's not the worst photo, but it could be better. I ended up using this photo anyway since the color is fairly accurate at the top and it's in focus. The photo of the FTBW bra is definitely better. 

Let's talk about stock photos, should you use them? Lululemon cracks down on Ebay listings using stock photos from their website. It's happened to me a few times where my listing gets removed. It's annoying. I try not to use them unless it's a rare item and I never use it as my main photo. If I do use one, it will be the last photo in the listing.

Step 3 - List your item!

The first thing I do is a search for the item on Ebay. I use the app for everything. If you know the name of the item- for example "Lululemon Swiftly Relaxed" It will bring up every listing with those terms. (This is also a good time to do a search for sold items to get an idea on pricing. On the right hand corner click on Filter and scroll down until you see Sold Items and Completed Items. Then click on Show Results.) Ninety nine percent of the time there will be a listing of the item you want to sell. If you're lucky it might even be the same exact color and size. When you find one that's close, click on the listing and there will be an option to select "Sell One Like This". That's the jackpot. Why? Because 50% of the work is already done for you. All you have to do is upload your own photos, edit the title a little bit if the color or size is different from your item. You may also have to tweak the item specifics section. There will be a few sections you will need to fill out. I'll go through each one and share some screen shots. 


Time To Add Photos!

I use the camera on my phone to take the photos right then and there. Make sure the item is flat and try to smooth out any wrinkles. Use a lint roller to get rid of any dust or stray hair. I always take photos of the front and back of the item. Try and get the item completely inside the frame. I usually do a few close ups to show any flaws. If you have labels and tags include pictures of those. I usually end up taking 5 or 6 photos per item. If the buyer wants more photos they can always message you. If there are pockets, this is always a good time to make sure the pockets are empty! Once the photos are uploaded, Ebay will allow you to edit the photos. I always use the rotate and crop feature.

Front

Back

Proof of size

Close up to show detail of any wear or flaws.

My item is not new, so I would edit the title by removing NWT (New With Tags) and replacing it with EUC (Excellent Used Condition) or VGUC (Very Good Used Condition). For Item Specifics, I had to change it to Pre-Owned. Everything else stays the same. 

Description

Next step is to write the description for your item. State the condition - excellent, very good, etc. I also state any flaws. Is there pilling? If the item has been altered in any way, definitely include that information. Inseam lengths are usually very helpful to include. Rule of thumb the more information you include, the better. I use a little trick here where I copy and paste from my notes and add after I write in the description. It saves a lot of time. 



Pricing

I usually prefer Buy It Now over auctions, just because you don't have to wait for the listing to end in 5 or 7 days and then wait and see if the buyer actually pays. Dead beat bidders are really a thing. If you like to entertain offers, you can change that to yes. I prefer no- too many low ball offers. They can always send you a message asking if you would accept a lower price. That does happen from time to time. Enter in your price. Check sold listings if you're not sure what to ask for.


Shipping Options

I only ship within the US just because international shipping costs a lot. If the item weighs 15 ounces or less, it can be shipped USPS First Class which is the cheapest and also includes tracking. Prices vary but the cost is usually between $4 - $5.25. I usually charge a flat $5. Anything that weighs one pound and over has to be shipped by Priority Mail which costs a lot more. The minimum price is $8.25+ depending on weight and the size of the package. This is where it gets tricky to determine shipping cost. There are quite a few times where I undercharge for shipping and I usually just eat the cost. Sometimes I over charge, sometimes I undercharge. I figure in the end, it probably balances out.



Preferences


I only accept Paypal as form of payment. My ebay account is linked to m y Paypal account. Handling time - how long will you take to ship the item? Right now I'm only going to the post office once a week as stated in my description. So if the buyer pays on a Monday, I will print the label Wednesday or Thursday and then drop the package off Saturday. I usually select 3 days handling time. You can choose however many days you like. I always require Immediate Pay. Too often someone will click Buy It Now and then just never pay. It's a time waster and pain in the butt to deal with. I also do not accept returns unless the item is drastically different from my description. 



If you've made it this far, you're ready to list your item! Hooray! Now I prefer using Ebay only. I avoid cross posting because I'm too paranoid in the slight chance I have two buyers for the same item at the same time.  I can see that happening to me with my luck. I hope this helps for those who have never tried to sell their items from their closet clean outs. Once your item is sold, you can do a little happy dance or fist pump. It feels good to have something sell! Congrats! Your hard work has paid off. 

 Fees 😑

At the end of the month Ebay will send you an invoice. Ebay charges 10% of the final listing price for each item. If you charge shipping they will also take 10% of that. I don't know why they do it separately. Then Paypal also takes a cut. Paypal will take 2.9% plus 0.30 per transaction. Let's just round that up to 3%. Just to give you something to compare it to- Poshmark takes 20% of the sale and if you choose Paypal as your form of payment, there goes another 3%. There are Facebook groups you can sell on that do not charge fees. I'm just never on Facebook all that much, but there are tons of options out there. Facebook may actually be less work than Ebay but I've never sold my items that way.

There's a lot to cover and I may have missed something. If you have any questions or comments do let me know!! 

That's it for me. Hope you all have a great weekend!










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10 comments

  1. Great post! I like to use eBay but Mercari sells faster IMO. The good thing about eBay is that you get your money first before you ship. You don't get paid til they receive the item on Mercari which is weird but ok.

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    1. I have heard a lot about Mercari. How much fee do they charge?

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    2. I did a quick search, they charge 10% of the listing price. This also includes the processing payment from the buyer. It sounds like it's less than what Ebay charges.

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    3. I've only purchased from Mercari twice. I had positive experiences for both, so it may be something to consider. I do think that the audience is probably much smaller than Ebay though.

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  2. Thank you so much for a detailed guide to the selling process. I do pretty much the same. My biggest struggle is getting the right lighting for photos. I should try to figure out a better place and time to take my photos. And I really love the idea of the the faux fur area rug as the background. I may have to invest in one or two.

    I have learned a few things over the years. 1. list measurements: chest and length for tops, waist, rise, and inseam for bottoms. I started doing this after I had one buyer insisted that the fit was too small even with the original rip and hang tags. I refused and got a bad review :(. 2. do not send offer. I did not realize that buyers do not have to pay before accepting the offer. 3. There are always unethical buyers out there no matter what I do. They would ask for a return because they did not like what they received. To save time, I always give them a small refund to avoid bad reviews. I has been working and I think this is what they want. Have you experienced this before? I am curious how you handle it?

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    1. I used to list measurements, but stopped doing so. I will if I get asked for it. I haven't had many problems with unhappy buyers. There was one where she said the pilling was too much for her to wear to the office so I offered a partial refund which she refused so in the end I just refunded her in full instead of dealing with the shipping back and forth. It wasn't expensive I think maybe $20 or so. It happens sometimes but I would say 99% of the time I've had no issues with buyers.

      But I would offer a partial refund if it did happen again. It definitely saves time. I always try and take really good photos and make sure your listing states to ask questions because you do not accept returns.

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  3. This is a great post Leslie! I typically post on both eBay and Poshmark, though I do find Poshmark annoying because of the 20% they take. I have not tried Mercari, they don't seem to have much when I have looked to buy on there so to me it isn't worth posting to one additional site.

    I will say I do typically choose the international shipping option where you just send it to eBay and they do all the shipping work for you, and have sold a few items that way without issue. It's also worth noting that if you live in a house rather than an apartment, you can just put the outgoing packages in the mailbox and the mail person picks them up, so you can avoid making trips to the post office.

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    1. Both good points. I have to look into the international shipping option and see what the costs are. My biggest worry is if the buyer wants to return the item for whatever reason- I probably wouldn't agree to it because shipping costs have to be a pretty penny. Ebay makes you pay the return ship. It just gets a little too dicey.

      True about having the mail person pick up the packages from your house. I live in an apartment complex and we don't have that option. I also prefer having the items scanned in person. It just makes me feel better!

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  4. This is an amazing post, Leslie! Even though I still haven’t decided whether or not to sell my gently used clothings, I really enjoyed reading all the details and tips of listing something on eBay! Thank you for the time and effort! :)

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    1. Thanks Andrea! So far I've managed to sell 5 items from my closet sale. I have listed a total of 21 items. I think I have maybe 2 more coats to list before I'm done. =)

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