Successful eBay Sales and How to Convince a Spouse to Clean and Declutter

My husband finally decided to dig through the pile of computer equipment and hardware that is stacking up in the basement. While he still has a ways to go, (you should see how many cords are haphazardly falling in and around the storage solution downstairs), he did manage to dig out a couple of items we no longer need.

Six eBay sales later we earned roughly $250. eBay and PayPal captured nearly $30 in fees, but I’m still happy that we cleaned up some clutter and made a little cash in the process. We have at least two other items for sale that will hopefully net us another $50.

I found the bidding for my auction’s pretty interesting this time around. Before listing I placed watches on similar items just to see how much my auctions might earn. If the range was above $10 I listed the item. Item’s less than $10 will probably be shipped off to good will. Between the hassle of getting buyers to pay, dropping items off at the post office and fees from PayPal and eBay anything less than $10 doesn’t seem worth it.

This time around I measured and weighed items precisely so buyers could pay the exact price for shipping. I also offered multiple shipping services like UPS and USPS, though not one single buyer chose the higher UPS option.

I listed two identical items for sale which may have been a mistake. The first auction went for quite a bit, but the second auction sold for 20% less. I think a lot of people were watching the first auction because it received quite a few bids. Perhaps they were also watching the second auction, but didn’t have enough time to bid after the first auction ended. Next time around I need to end the auctions on different days or at least provide more time between their endings. In the big scheme of things I do think the combination of prices was just about average. The first auction sold for more than comparables, while the second sold for less. The average of the two was right in line with other auctions I watched.

I feel good about finding a second home for most of this stuff. We used much of this equipment when I was working from home, but now that I’m staying home with my son I don’t need much more than a simple laptop.

Now the question is how do I get my husband to finish the job of cleaning up the unwanted equipment in the basement? I don’t want to use the money as an incentive, because I know he’ll just buy more stuff that will ultimately end up next to the piles we already have downstairs, but I’m afraid if I don’t find a way for him to continue cleaning those other items will remain there indefinitely. Any ideas?

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