Saving and Giving has moved to! I hope that you'll all join me over at Saving & Giving's new home. I'm planning some fun giveaways to kick things off. I'm still working on the site, and I'd love to hear your input. Let me know which features you want me to keep. You can email me at If you're currently an email subscriber, you shouldn't see any change in your daily email newsletter. I switched the feed over so that you should continue to receive your daily updates.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frugal Friday: Making Money Using eBay

I'm an eBay junkie! I love to buy and sell on eBay. It's convenient, the sellers ship quickly, there's accountability, and you can find things that you can't find other places. I've sold through my business, and I've listed items for our family. I've had a very good experience with eBay.

eBay is currently offering five free listings each month. I just listed our first five items for June tonight. The best part about the five free listings is that you can list items that you're unsure about. Sometimes I don't list items because I'm not sure that they'll sell. It usually costs a little to list the items, so I don't really want to risk losing my money and still being stuck with the item. The five free listings eliminates that possibility. There's no risk. You can learn more about the five free listings HERE.

If you're new to eBay selling, let me offer a few tips from my personal experience.
  • Start and end your listings on Sundays. I broke this rule tonight, because I have so many things to list and want to get them done.

  • Take great pictures. Blurry pictures do not sell. Don't steal borrow others' pictures.

  • Be totally honest about what you're listing. If there's a blemish, describe it. Take a picture of it. Just don't leave room for surprises when the item is received by your buyer.

  • Add an extra dollar to your shipping costs. Don't inflate them too much, just enough to cover the box, tape, and your time.

  • List items that are in-season. This is not the time to be listing Christmas ornaments unless they're collectors' items.

  • Pack up your item as soon as it has bids. I usually sort of pack it to weigh it. That way I know I'm charging enough for shipping. Then, as soon as the item has a bid, I do the official packing. I don't include a packing slip or anything fancy like that. I figure the person can print a copy of the invoice if they'd like it for records. I make a note of the contents on the box, and it's ready for a label when the auction ends.

  • Investigate before you list. Most people know that you can search on eBay. But did you know that you can search auctions that have ended? Simply click the Advanced Search link, enter your search terms, scroll down, and click the box next to Completed Listings. This gives you a chance to see if items similar to the ones you want to sell are actually selling. I've been surprised by the results of this search more than once, and it's changed how I listed items. Look for items like yours that did sell, and model your auction after theirs.

I'm sure that you can find many more tips on eBay selling, but these are some that have really helped me. eBay is a great way to make a little bit of money on the side while ridding your home of clutter. It's true that one person's trash is another person's treasure!

For more great frugal ideas, stop by Frugal Friday hosted by Life as Mom.

UPDATE: I learned the hard way that the five free items have to be listed using the Sell an Item form online. I always use the Turbo Lister software from eBay, but items listed using Turbo Lister do not qualify for the promo. It's okay for me, because I have many items to sell! But I wanted you to know in case you just had five that you wanted to try. The good news is that I'm only out $1.15 for listing them.