As much fun as getting mail is, I often have to send it as well. You know, to be able to afford all the shit I buy. For the past 2.5 years I have been a seller on eBay and bringing in a pretty nice income doing it. I’m often asked about how I do what I do, but it’s much more involved than a five minute conversation will allow me to delve into.
So what do I do? Essentially, I buy stuff at thrift stores, clean and repair (if needed), take a million pictures, list for 2-30x what I paid for it, then ship when it sells. When I first started, I would buy anything that looked like it would sell. A few years in, I am much more selective, and my time much more valuable and rare, so I focus only on items that will give me a great return of investment. Typically, if it doesn’t sell for at least $35, I’m not interested. There are exceptions, of course, such as items I’ve gotten for free or $1 or less.
My husband is pretty hands off in the eBay department, other than the shopping part, and man, he is GOOD at that! He’s got some really obscure knowledge of tools and music equipment and most of our best finds were found by him. This week he found this thing:
Had I found it, I would have looked right past it. It’s a piece of metal with a sticker, spring ,and some rope. How valuable and exciting can that be? Well apparently he knew how valuable it could be. He threw it in the basket with a price tag of $7.95. It took me a day to get around to listing it, but I priced high at $199.99 plus free domestic shipping, calculated international shipping, and it sold in three hours to someone in South Korea, who wanted it bad enough to spend $200 plus $35 in shipping fees.
I only got around to listing three things yesterday, and two of them sold. The other item was this string of lights:
A set of 10 Adidas shoe shaped lights in their box. We purchased this several weeks back and it’s just been sitting in my TBL (to be listed) pile.
Myself, and many sellers, have noticed a discrepancy between Sold listings/prices seen in the eBay mobile app vs. actual website. In spite of this, and after being duped many times, I still use the eBay mobile app when I’m out thrifting, rather than the website. Why? Honestly it just works better for looking things up quickly. I have gotten burned in the past and these string lights were an example of those differences. When I looked them up in store, I found very few listed and the last one selling for $60-70. This registers as BUY ME RIGHT NOW in my head. When I got home and looked them up, I saw some not even selling for $15; however I’ve already got $5.35 invested in these, so they need to go. I decided on $34.99 (seems to be my magic price) with free domestic shipping and calculated international. They sold in about 12 hours, to Germany, with a shipping fee of $25 paid by the buyer, in addition to the $35 for the lights.
Do you notice that the only two items I sold yesterday were to international buyers? Do you realize how much money you could be losing by NOT offering international shipping? I was terrified of it at first, but I would say a good 1/4 to 1/5 of my sales ship internationally. That’s a lot of sales to miss out on just because someone’s cousin told you that their mom sells on eBay and got duped by someone in Nigeria buying a cellphone.
While it sounds daunting, if you’re printing your labels at home, international shipping is jus as simple and straightforward as domestic.
Have you ever sold on eBay? Do you offer international shipping?