When I started this blog and delved into the amazing money saving community I found on social media, never did I expect to turn back to eBay selling. Like most people, I had dabbled in this in the past to get rid of various bits of clutter, but that was as far as it went. Generally my experiences as a seller had been ok (not amazing, due to the selling prices) but the amounts I was getting for some of my items just made me think it was pointless. The final straw was non-payment on some new unworn River Island shoes that only went for about £6 in the first place, and then the buyer had the cheek to message several months later asking if I could remove the unpaid strike off her account as it had been her sister!
So when I read various blog posts about Ebay reselling, my first reaction was to let them pass me by. Good for them if they are making it work but I know it’s not for me. But gradually over the next few weeks I began to think about what I had lying around the house that I could sell – after all, I was beginning to see every penny counts and why not get rid of some clutter that may otherwise depreciate in value (such as an old Nintendo DS console). In the back of my mind though I didn’t hold out much hope for what I had lying around having previously had a big KonMarie style clearout. I am pleased to say I was wrong!
Wondering what you could declutter to sell? Thrifty Mum talks here about 10 easy things to declutter.
I first got the “bug” again when I realised one of my old Nintendo DS games, Super Princess Peach, was rare and worth around £15, compared to other similar aged games worth £2 or £3. This got me wondering and researching what other games I owned that were unplayed for several years were worth. In turn this led to me checking what other items I owned that might be worth money.
So far these are my favourite finds – all from items I or my husband originally owned:
Shenmue II Sega Dreamcast game – sold for £50 (bid auction)
Skies of Arcadia Sega Dreamcast game – sold for £56.87 (bid auction)
Animal Crossing Nintendo Gamecube game– sold for £30.00 Buy it now
Lego City Alarm board game (new and sealed – unwanted prize from tombola) – sold for £39.99 Buy it Now
Animal Crossing Sanrio Amiibo cards set – 6 trading cards bought Dec 2016 for £5 – now selling for approx. £80 on Ebay (I haven’t put these on for sale yet but think I will do. They are just pieces of card after all, and I’m 40 years old for crying out loud).
As you can imagine, not all my sales have been this profitable but I was thrilled to make over £300 in my first 60 days – all from things lying around the house and loft! I have since been visiting carboot sales and charity shops in the hopes of finding some bargains, but I don’t want to fill my house with clutter, especially if it may not sell. At the moment it is just a bit of fun rather than something I consider a regular income stream, and I know that if I want to buy to resell, I would need to change my eBay account from personal to business.
Here are my top tips for starting out:
- If you are considering buying to resell, stick to what you are interested in or at least develop an “eye” for things you know are worth buying. After never having much luck in selling clothing, I decided to stick to computer games but quickly realised the charity shops are not the best place to find rare games. However, sealed jigsaw puzzles and Lego can be very profitable. I recently bought what looked like the dullest jigsaw in the world for £1.99 in a charity shop (new and sealed – that is very important for jigsaw prices!) because a quick search showed it was selling for over £20.00.
2. Have your smartphone to hand in the shop / bootsale to quickly look up selling prices.
Obviously be subtle rather than standing right in front of someone’s stall or dear old Marge on the tills. You can search for items on eBay and filter to “recently sold”. This is very important as there will always be some chancer trying to sell something for 10 times the price – whether it sells or not for that amount is a different story!
- Check for damage before you get too carried away.
It’s the moment you have waited for – you’ve found a bargain and checked the price online and can make a tidy profit – your brain says Quick -buy it before someone else does! But before you do, slow down and check the item carefully. If it’s clothing, are there any rips or marks? Is it the genuine brand? With computer games, check the discs for any scratches. In my experience, board games or puzzles should be sealed to guarantee profit, otherwise the selling price can plummet due to the potential for missing parts. The Lego game I mentioned above was only going for around £6 unsealed as opposed to £40 sealed – thank goodness I never opened it out of curiousity when I won it on the tombola!
- Factor in the eBay / Paypal fees.
Paypal fees get taken at the time of transaction but don’t forget that eBay take 10% of your sale total. £36.00 was taken in fees for me one month and I was unprepared for that amount! Also, if you have shipped any parcels via ebay Shutl these costs will also be billed to you later in the month. I find it easier to leave some money in my Paypal account to cover these fees so I don’t get any unexpected direct debits to my bank.
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Here’s a rookie mistake for you. It’s a nieche one, but nevertheless everyone can learn something from it.
In my game research frenzy I discovered that there was a rare Xbox game called OutRun 2006, selling for in excess of £70. I couldn’t believe it when I saw an experienced eBay business account selling it for £6 – after all, they were a specialist games seller with 10,000+ feedback, so you would think they would know what they were doing. (This should have been my alarm bell – they did). In my excitement on grabbing a bargain, I did a quick double check then decided to buy. I received the game and was very happy with it. It was only a couple of weeks later when trying to relist it that I realised my error – this was Outrun 2, not Outrun 2006! The differences were minute but the profit was very different! I still managed to sell it for £12 but I probably wouldn’t have bothered for such a small profit margin after fees & postage.
Feeling inspired to start? Check what you have lying around – you may be pleasantly surprised what you have! And do let me know your eBay selling stories and tips in the comments!