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Earning money through Ebay

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by taniaaust1, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I was watching a current affair show a few weeks back and they did a segment on how some people are earning heaps of money on ebay so they dont need to work as its like having a job. Tne person interviewed was earning $13 000 per month by it after only doing it for 5 years .. and was giving out tips on how others can be doing that.

    so Im wondering if anyone here is seriously using ebay for an income? It would be great to be getting some extra cash and setting myself up for something I could do a lot more of if I got better.

    I mentioned my interest in this to my daughter the other day so she's dropped all her old baby clothes off to me that she was going to dump at the op shop.. so I can experiement and see how much I can make via ebay. (Im excited as there is a ton of new things with labels attached and also half the bag is designer clothes or sort after brands).

    Now i just need to work out how to start an ebay account :p
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Tania - I've been selling stuff of my own that I don't want any more on Ebay for about five years. I've been keeping detailed budget records for the last nine months and I've made over £500 this way - I think that's about AU$750.

    I've thought a lot about using Ebay as a source of income if I become well enough to work again. In the meantime, you need to be careful not to be running a business on Ebay (i.e. selling shedloads of stuff that couldn't plausibly be all yours) because (in the UK at least) the tax people keep a close eye on Ebay.

    I think it's good to do what you're doing and just get experience to start with. I discovered that the tiring thing is to describe the items - you need to photograph them, upload the photos, measure things, give a detailed description, weigh stuff for mailing. For a business, I'd want to buy items wholesale so that I wouldn't have to do that process for each item - I'd have multiple identical items.

    I've found it worth getting cheap but accurate electronic scales (from Ebay!), buying stamps in advance and using online postage cost tables so I'm not standing in a big line at the Post Office.

    I'd also advise, once you're registered, putting a search term onto Ebay for any item you're thinking of selling ("amethyst pendant", for example) and clicking the "completed listings" option in the left hand sidebar. This shows you what similar items have sold for, if they sold at all, and will indicate whether it's worth your time and money to list the item, if you're in any doubt.

    Ebay have many free listings weekends (in the UK, anyway) and these days, I wait for those. Anything that doesn't sell, I wait for the next free listings weekend and hit the "relist" option. You can save a lot of money that way.

    There are good books (on Ebay! Also on Amazon) about how to run a business on Ebay.

    Good luck! I've done very well out of Ebay, and as a customer too - when you're mostly housebound it's great to have a source of cheap stuff that is delivered to your door.
    taniaaust1 and justy like this.
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    oh i wish, but I think I have fat chance of that one. :) (I cant even manage to post my own mail all the time when I get driven by support worker to post office). Im just looking to really develop a skill so I ifgot weller (so I wouldnt need to be on disability then!), maybe I could then make an actual job out of it.

    One thing I hate is all the time I have on my hands and no growth, my life like stagnating.... so yeah if I could learn something new and become good of it. even if its by just doing it for 20-30 mins per day. maybe its something I could then do in the future seriously and earn a proper income from, if my health really improved.

    I dont know if it is so where you are..but in Australia, those on disability are allowed to earn a certain amount per week or work up to umm it used to be 15 hrs per week.. before their disability pension is affected. Its actually encouraged at times to do part time work even on disability if able to.

    Nods..yeah the ones who do earn a lot of money out of doing that.. say its all in the photographs and descriptions and in knowing what to sell (I have all the time in the world to learn what sells well and what doesnt).
    Im not registered there yet but that is what I have already been doing since yesterday.. checking up the prices for what Ive been given to sell for my ebay experimentation :) Working out what clothes are sort after brand names etc. :) I think ive got that figured out. (one of the sort after brand name new baby dresses I have here Ive worked out i should be easily able to get $25 up to $45 for it.. exciting discovery)

    thanks :)

    nods true.
    .....

    I could also offer to sell unwanted stuff for others if i could keep half of the cost. (maybe its some mental simulation Im after right now. Having a very good brain day today :) .

    or Maybe I could get more given to me to sell if I was offering to donate half of money to a charity? (been trying to think up ways too lately of how to help get money to donate to ME/CFS research).

    I think Im needing to do something but not to hard for more mental stimulation.... could do this as like some kind of volunteer work.. seeing i cant get out of house to do anything and just cant think too much in a concentrated thought kind of way..
  4. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    When you start out, don't put your best items. You need to sell cheap items first to build up feedback. If you don't have good feedback, buyers will bid less or skip your item, so you won't get a good price.

    Buyers expect fast shipping and prompt emails. If you need 2 or 3 or 4 days to ship, you may mention it, so they won't get upset.

    Selling for others is done a lot, the seller often takes only 30% but the owner pays all fees. And their fee is more for the cheap items.

    Charity is a good idea. eBay has this feature already, so bidders can see that you're donating 50% or 40%. You might get better bids from them.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  5. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Pick something that's easy to ship i.e. smaller rather than larger. I don't know if your mail is the same as in the US, but here you can get free Priority Mail boxes from the post office. They will mail them to your house for free. I buy and print my postage online and tape it to the box, then I put it in the mailbox for the mail carrier to take. I never have to go to the post office.

    It helps if you develop a niche that you become known for. I make a craft item which sells in the $35-45 range, so it's worth my while to deal with. I sell a couple a month and that works for me. It makes me feel like I'm earning my own money, but I'm well within the limit for being on disability.

    There are supposed to be quite a few disabled people selling on eBay because it's a perfect fit.

    The baby dresses sound pretty good to me. Then the problem becomes where do you find more baby dresses to sell?
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  6. Googsta

    Googsta Doing Well

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    My husband & I have been selling on ebay for two years now just to supplement our pensions. Unfortunately when I am unwell we stop selling as it's just too complicated for me to write up ads & that's my part of the partnership.
    However, when things are better & depending on what we can find to resell, we can earn up to $100 on a good month. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially if you let it build up.

    You really need some extra money to play with when you start out as you are bound to make mistakes, lose money on items (until you get the hang of things) & you also need to invest in scales etc.

    If you are selling clothing it is a bit easier. You can use Aus Post Pre Paid satchels & depending on the weight size you can fit multiple items into one satchel which is an incentive for people to buy more from you. Read lots of other peoples ads to get an idea of what to say etc.

    We put alot of effort into our ads, I do them on a wordpad with nice font & colours, then cut & paste them when I am ready to list the item. I also save templates for things like 'How we rate the condition of our dvd's", that saves retyping it all everytime.

    A word of warning though, it is occasionally very stressful. Most buyers are just lovely but there are also some nasties out there & people who just don't give a damn that they are giving you the run around.

    The best advice I can give is to read all the rules thoroughly. There is a forum section, it used to be called Ask A member, it's something else now I forget. It's where to go to when you have buying & selling problems, it is a great resource.
    Avoid the other ebay forums like the plague. Whilst I made some gorgeous friends on there it was also very very nasty. I have friends who carried over to real-life friends & we all left due to the horrendous bullying.
    Even making minor errors in grammar can bring on an onslaught of abuse.

    We find our 'stock' anywhere & everywhere. Family with what they term 'junk' laying around, my Dad had 5 Castrol Oil Bottles just sitting in his yard full of dirt, they all sold for $50 each. Op shops (thrift) often stock new items, I found designer business shirts with their tags still attached, Royal Albert crockery, designer shoes etc.
    Garage Sales (if you can get out obviously), reselling your own items.....
    We also looked into buying ties from ebay wholesale to resell but after we carefully worked it all out with postage, fees etc the income was pitiful.

    I hope it works out, have fun!
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    :) Ive got a big family with 3 sisters and they each have 2 or more kids (only one of my sisters sells her kids clothes).... thou I do hardly see them, when I do, they always have big garbage bags of kids and baby clothes they are getting rid of. They always seem to get tons given to them. (My daughter is also pregnant currently with her second and this one is a different sex to her last, so she will be getting rid of nearly everything as they grow).

    Just with selling off the family members not wanted clothes, it would make me feel like Im actually achieving something.

    Thanks for all those ideas in your post, some of which I didnt know.

    I do get parcel deliveries brought right to my houses door if I did want to buy and then resell (unfortunately I would have to go to post office or send another to post my mail out) but I'd probably just look into selling what others (family members) give me to see.. thou who knows what I could try in the future.

    that's a great idea too.. thou Ive not done any crafts for a long time due to my affected and shaky my hands can get with use . (far easier to type as i just rest my wrists on the keyboard). I used to do a ton of different kind of craft stuff before I got sick.
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    nods yeah, it would be too hard if ones brain isnt being okay enough to do. Im only more capable brain wise due to the molybdenum Im currently on (possibly selenium helping too) and the B12 injections from the past which Im currently on again right now. Previously ..no way would I have been capable brainwise of even considering doing this.
  9. Googsta

    Googsta Doing Well

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    Yeah getting to the post office could be difficult. You can buy the pre-paid satchels & have some on hand (that's where your float money comes in).
    And there is a section where you say how often you post, 'estimated delivery time.'

    If you can't get out very often I would add an extra note onto your ads saying you can only get to the post office once or twice a week, hopefully that way your star ratings & feedback won't suffer.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  10. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I've had some bad experiences buying from other (supposedly) disabled people on ebay. If I sell something I make sure that I am well enough to offer people a great service or else I don't do it.

    A number of times I've bought from people who say that the reason they took so long to send something to me or the reason it doesn't worked or wasn't well packed was because they were in hospital or too sick to go out and post something.

    That has meant extra stress to me and extra work returning things. They can get quite nasty in my experience.

    On Ebay I try only to buy from people selling their own items now and avoid the people trying to make a business as they have been so unreliable and sometimes dishonest in my experience (apart from a few "gems" of course!).

    Good luck. Hope it goes well for you.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Nods .. yeah that is what Im going to do.. best always to warn people that you can only get to post office twice a week in advance.
    ....

    I got my ebay account finally all sorted out yesterday and also my paypal account all confirmed now too :) . And then went and brought a couple of things, as I just want to gain some confidence in using ebay now before I start trying to sell.
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Tania - do you have a post box nearby, rather than a Post Office? A lot of the things I send are low-value so even if a customer says they haven't received something (which has happened once in maybe 200 times) I can afford to just brush it off and refund them. That's why I have my scales and postage stamps at home - so that I can just use the post box around the corner rather than have to use the Post Office.

    If you've only just registered, you won't have been able to see the "completed listings" thing (unless a friend logged you in). It doesn't show you what prices people are asking for certain items, which is all you can see when you're not logged in. It shows you a list of those items that people have tried to sell and whose auction date has passed, including the unsuccessful ones. It shows you whether or not the item sold and if so, how much for. It's very, very useful.
  13. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    There is a post box about 5mins walk away thou...umm probably could walk that far on most days unless it was warm.

    Its kind of a worry as I could get to the end of the street and find myself in trouble, I usually dont ever leave the house alone as the POTS can suddenly kick in very fast and hard (the POTS currently is far more disabiling then the rest of my ME). I dont even always get seconds warning that Im about to go very bad and be left unable to walk at all hence Ive lost my confidence leaving my house alone. Ive been caught out too many times now and ended up in gutters in a bad way so crying cause I cant get home unless carried or helped.

    Its Winter right now, so I "should" be fine for that far so maybe I should use that post box... Im actually amazed right now how much fear the idea is causing me... seems the two collapses Ive had in the past two weeks, both times I went out.. has made me loose all confidence in going out alone at a short distance I was previously confident with.. It sucks.

    sorry I couldnt understand the rest of your post on the ebay stuff and what you are saying at all... but I think its probably not your post at all but rather issues right now with my brain (your sentences are making as much sense as Russian would to me) so I'll go to bed and try to comprehend the language in the sentences tomorrow (too many concepts there in each sentence for my brain to place together in a way which makes sentences make sense.. When Im trying to learn something new.. my brain can struggles to learn if too many concepts in the words at once).

    Fingers crossed im not so brained dead tomorrow. thanks
  14. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Sasha has great tips. I like to buy very cheap items to build up feedback too. It goes under Buyer feedback instead of Seller feedback, but it helps raise the number a little.
  15. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Tania - not surprised you're worried about going out! Sorry you have so much trouble with this. But if the post box is only 5 minutes' walk, maybe a neighbour or visitor could mail items for you.

    When I have brainfog, I have problems following the kind of stuff I wrote! Maybe if you read it another time it will seem clear. You could just log in, type in, say "lamp" and click on "completed listings and you'll see what I'm on about. Just in case, I've broken down my explanation and formatted it better (you're probably not the only one who didn't get me!):


    When you're not logged into Ebay, you can see what people are asking for their items.​

    For example, an item might be, "Buy it Now: $2.99" or, if it's an auction, "0 bids: $5.69".​

    In the lefthand side of the page, there's a list of options, starting with "Categories".​

    If you look (quite a long way) down, there's a group called "Show only" which has an option "completed listings".​

    You can only choose the "completed listings" option once you've joined Ebay and when you're logged in.​

    When you do that, it shows items whose buy-it-now listings have expired or whose auctions have finished.​

    If the item didn't sell, it shows you what price the seller was asking. If the item did sell, it shows you what price they got.​

    You can easily see if the kind of item you want to sell is popular and what price is too high for it.​

    Anyway, don't worry if this is too much to take in now, I'm sure you'll be fine once you're having a better day! :)
  16. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sasha.. I must of been knackered last night. I didnt get up till 3.30pm this afternoon.
    .. thank you. I understand that now :) . Thanks, that sounds handy.
  17. LilacGardenia

    LilacGardenia

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    Yes, I eBay.

    You can sell stuff around your house, unwanted gifts, etc. to clear up clutter (I absolutely despise clutter :aghhh: so I'm constantly selling stuff people give me that I don't like.)

    If you want to make a lot, you have to go and buy stuff then resell. I'll go to thrift stores and store during season clearout and buy brand name items that I know will sell (it helps to have a good eye for this type stuff and be well-educated about the stuff you wish to sell.) Most thrift stores are overwhelmed with donations, so on clearance days they are just trying to get everything sold. I'll get Abercrombie and Fitch jeans for 99 cents then sell them on eBay for $20. $20 is a good deal for gently used/new Abercrombie and Fitch jeans, so I'm helping out someone else, and making a nice amount of money I wouldn't make scooping ice cream or bussing tables.

    Another option is online yard sales in your area, Craigslist-type websites, and having a yard sale at your house, or a community yard sale. I sell bulkier items like extra furniture and our old TVs through Craigslist.

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