Who else is still wildly into KonMari right now? I’m excited to share more about our journey within the next week, but in case you missed it, here’s why the Larkin Family committed to a full-home clean-out and here’s the result of the first phase/category, which is clothing. (Sorry I’m still talking about it, haha. I will tone it back soon.)
One question I continue to get is why I’m not selling some of my stuff on Poshmark or eBay. The short answer is that my life has changed significantly in recent years, and I now want to spend my free time with my daughter. :) I therefore have decided to donate, consign and give away to readers instead. But back when I had fewer responsibilities, I did sell on eBay… and I found great success with it! I definitely made WAY more money than I did with consigning, and although I’ve never tried Poshmark, I have friends who swear by it.
Consignment shops do the work for you. You drop off your stuff, and the shop handles the resale process, whether through a brick-and-mortar storefront or online. It’s pretty nice, but the convenience factor comes at an enormous price: normally between 25 and 50 percent of what someone else deems your things to be worth. (Sometimes more!) And while eBay does take a portion of what you earn through sales, it’s usually only around 10 percent of what you decide the price tag should be. A little more work; a lot more money.
Today, I thought I’d share how–at the height of my eBay glory days 😂–I made $1,000 per month. Yes, this took a lot of time and dedication, and I spent my weeknights surrounded by mounds of stuff, packing supplies and shipping labels. But it honestly wasn’t that bad! I did it while watching TV shows or movies, so it went quickly… and having the extra change in my pocket as a 20-something living in a tiny, overpriced NYC apartment was awesome. It functioned as my spending money, paid for a couple of trips, and was actually how I funded this blog in the early days!
Anyway, this article originally appeared in The EveryGirl all the way back in 2015. But I’m reviving and updating it in light of the KonMari craze that’s recently swept the country. It goes without saying making donations is strongly encouraged; your unwanted stuff could potentially really help out someone in need! (My favorites here in Chicago are Sarah’s Circle, Bridge to Success, Catholic Charities, Cradles to Crayons, and Goodwill.) But there’s nothing wrong with setting aside discarded items that have some worth and selling them. You paid for them originally, and if you’re willing to put in the time to sell them, that’s great!
How to Make $1,000 This Month by Selling your Stuff on eBay
I actually took this photo for a brand collaboration, but this is the sequined hanger I used to use, and the pic looks very similar to those I’d use on eBay!
1. Set up a seller account
This should take no more than five minutes. You’ll need to select a username; enter and confirm your name, address, and phone number; and specify an automatic payment method for paying your seller fees.
2. Set up a PayPal account
When you’re done, you should also get “PayPal Verified.” This increases your credibility on eBay, raises your sending and withdrawal limits, and allows you to sell internationally. To get verified, all you have to do is log in to PayPal, enter your bank account information, and follow the site’s simple directions for confirming it. It’s safe; I promise.
3. Know what your stuff is worth, and think outside of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories
Do your research! Certain brands—and certain products—retain a lot of value. For example, hot J.Crew items that sold out quickly (or gained popularity through Pinterest and blogs after the end of a season) might resell for quite a bit, even if they’re used. Similarly, I sold an old film SLR I had laying around from middle school for $200! (Totally thought it was worth nothing.) A quick search on eBay will give you a good idea of what you’ll likely get for your inventory, and might encourage you to move a few items from your other piles.
4. Steam or iron wrinkly clothing
Clothing should be clean and tidy-looking. Iron or steam while watching a movie or television show to make the task more enjoyable. It’s really not that bad if you do it all at once.
5. Set up a “shooting” area
Good photos are key to making sales! Find a white wall that gets good natural light, and install a 3M hook that can withstand some weight. Ditch the white plastic hanger for a wooden, velvet or sequined one.
6. Photograph, edit and store
No need to bust out the DSLR anymore! Smartphones have come a long way, and so has their photography quality. Use a photo-editing app like Lightroom Mobile, VSCO or Snapseed to edit photos quickly. (Even doing something as simple as increasing the exposure will make for more appealing images! I’d also suggest trying out some in-app presets.) Make sure to get photos of item’s front, back, brand/size label, and materials label. You should take pictures of any damage or well-worn spots, too. When you’re done, place the items in storage containers, and keep them in a dry location.
7. Download the mobile eBay app and list your items
The mobile app is the quickest way to get your stuff up on eBay. When you open the app, click the “sell” icon at the bottom of the screen, and follow directions. Make sure to be completely honest about your products. If there’s a small stain on the sleeve or a pull in the material, mention it in the description, otherwise you could end up with disgruntled buyers and poor ratings.
8. Price appropriately
You can choose to list your items for a “Buy it Now” price, or put them up for auction (starting at $0.99 or at a predetermined minimum). Decide what you’re comfortable with, and refer back to #3.
9. Once an item sells, package and ship it quickly
Use old packaging materials to cut down on costs. In my prime, I’d actually use paper bags from the grocery store–though things have really changed since then, and now most people are going green. :) Like I said, though, I would also save and use old bags and boxes, and repurpose them for my eBay sales, which was way more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than buying new shipping materials. Oh, it’s also important to include tracking numbers on all shipments. (To save time, use the Self-Service Kiosk at your local USPS, or print your postage at home. So much faster than standing in line, especially once you streamline the process!) In the app, mark your products as shipped, enter the tracking information, and respond politely to buyers’ questions.
10. Go through your stuff regularly, and considering selling that which does not “spark joy.” And then watch your PayPal account grow!
The benefit to this is two-fold: you get live a more enjoyable and rewarding lifestyle… and you get to cash in on your clutter! It’s truly amazing how quickly it can add up, and all from stuff you weren’t using.