A Little Extra Money Through eBay

For the most part my husband and I give away all of our used clothing to a donation center in North Carolina, but this time I decided to try to sell a few never worn or barely worn dresses and skirts on eBay. I’ve sold items on eBay once or twice before with mixed success, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try again. I sold five books and five articles of clothing for roughly $92. When you subtract the eBay fees I estimate an $80 profit, which certainly isn’t bad for items that would have otherwise been given away.

I wasn’t sure how to mail the items so I purchased padded envelopes from Staples. That turned out to be a huge rip-off, because a few days later while in Target, I found the same envelopes for 50 cents less. I’m still not certain if there is a cheaper way to pay for packaging. To be honest, I don’t want to purchase envelopes in bulk, because I simply don’t want the clutter hanging around the house, not to mention I don’t know how many more times I’ll sell items on eBay. Also, I find it difficult to know just how large an envelope I’ll need. Each book I mailed required a different size envelope, so I ended up buying individual envelopes based on the size of the item I was mailing.

I mailed the first few items via the post office. I drove to the post office at an off time of day, (when no one else was there), and asked the clerk to weigh each of the envelopes for me. With the weight in hand I was able to mail the rest of the items using USPS shipping labels through PayPal. I also started searching eBay for cheap postal scales and finally won an auction for a $3.00 postal scale. If I do continue to sell unwanted items through eBay I don’t want to ship items through the post office.

A couple of items didn’t sell and I’m wondering if I should try to list them again. I also realized that there are a few niche areas on eBay, for instance tall women’s clothes. I wish I’d known about this sooner, because I’ve given away tons of long pants and skirts to good will, that would have easily sold on eBay.

For the most part I’m sure we’ll continue to donate the majority of our unwanted household goods to charity, but it does feel good to recover costs while simultaneously removing clutter from our home.

6 thoughts on “A Little Extra Money Through eBay”

  1. I went through my closets over the weekend and am purging lots of items as well. Seeing that I am donating 5-6 bags of clothes to the salvation army, I wanted to recover some of my costs as well so I listed several items on ebay. I just found out the other day that you can get free shipping supplies from the postal service. You can order online at http://www.usps.com Hope this helps!

  2. eBay has been hit and miss for me. I plan to try it again this week, though!

    I think most of the free stuff on usps.com site is for priority or express packaging, which I’d never want to use for eBay stuff. Maybe someone can correct me if I’m wrong?

  3. “I think most of the free stuff on usps.com site is for priority or express packaging, which I’d never want to use for eBay stuff. Maybe someone can correct me if I’m wrong?”

    Yes, it is…. I ship most things priority when I’m selling on ebay. That way I don’t have to hassle with buying boxes or envelopes. They deliver my priority boxes/envelopes and will pick them up. Plus, I like using priority because I know exactly how much it will cost to ship with the flat rate boxes/envelopes.

  4. I’ve found that Paypal will often charge more than just going to the post office and shipping from there. Personally, I like to use the priority mail boxes. You can order them online from the post office for no charge.

  5. I’ll definitely check out priority mail, I just assumed it would be more expensive. Can you get tracking numbers when you ship priority?

  6. if you ship through paypal or Ship n Click (at the postoffice website) Delivery Confirmation service is free. Although that only tells you when the item arrives at the destination.


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