Declutering with Ebay Part 4

You don’t need to buy a “store” level membership.

Previous articles:

Ebay likes to give out free listings. There are generally two kinds of free listings they offer:

  1. Each month, you get 50 free listings.
  2. Some months, they will give out additional bonus listings like:
    1. 50 free auctions for 7 days
    2. 6 free vehicle listings
    3. 500 auction or fixed price listings for 7 days
    4. 500 fixed price listings for 7 days

So it’s possible to grow your listings into the hundreds, without buying the Ebay store product.  Of course, it’s not really possible to get into the hundreds like this: listing takes time.  I can usually do only five an hour, unless I’m listing a stack of similar items. Then I can do ten an hour.

To use up 500 free listings, I would need to work 10 hours a day without breaks.

It took me a couple months to get to a hundred listings, paying for few of them, thanks to these frequent discounts.  I’m still trying to get to 200 listings, but it actually gets harder because the products start to sell faster as  you have more items for sale.  (I keep hearing that once you hit 300, you’re starting to get a good flow.)

If you’re using Ebay to declutter, however, you may not ever get to 300 because you’re going to be disposing of items when they fail to sell. Unless you have an amazing hoard with a lot of popular items, or have “golden fingers” to pick perfectly, your items won’t sell that quickly.

Auctions are Great for Decluttering and Disposal

They are short.

If you don’t care about the money too much, you don’t need to do thorough price research. This saves time.

Ebay offers free auction listings every couple months.

Dehoarding

That’s what I’m doing with the Dehoarding Project. I’m getting rid of stuff that I had saved at my mom’s (and didn’t know was there), and also my father’s old stuff.  He had a huge hoard, and we got rid of a lot of it, but stuff remained.

The strategy for dehoarding someone else’s stuff is a little different than decluttering your own stuff.

Recognize that you don’t know the objects, and don’t really know their market value. Hoarded things may be old – I have stuff that goes back to WW2 – and its value is not always known. Some things are valuable and take time to sell. Other things are junk.  You’ll have to do a lot of research in preparation.

If they’re collectors, many objects may be valuable. If they’re hoarders, most objects won’t be valuable, but some will be.

Collectors may be organized, but hoarders are not. So you will spend more time organizing things than listing.  You will want to get similar things together into the same boxes or piles.  I find it easier to start off by making one box of categorized items at a time, rather than try to figure out all the different categories.

Jump on the Ebay Listing Discounts

Once you have things sorted, it’s easier to list. You should be waiting for one of these Ebay discounts to pop up.  Activate it, and then list all the time.  If you can do 15 or 20 listings a day, you can use up the 50-listing deals.  If you have a 500-listing discount, you need to make 100 listings a day, which is freaking difficult if not impossible for some kinds of objects.

I didn’t have everything sorted, so it took away from listing time in a big way.  Right now, I’m 36 listings into a 50-listing discount, and have two days left. I may not use all the listings.  This discount is worth $15!

Pricing Low, but Avoiding Risk

Auctions generally work best when you start them at 99 cents, but if the item is “long tail” or a unique item that isn’t popular, you shouldn’t price it that low.  Set the price low, but high enough to where you won’t lose money.

For example $2 or $3 for t-shirt instead of $1.  At $1, the packaging costs can eat the profit.

You can also add a dollar or two handling fee to cover materials.

Auction Timing

Auctions are a leisure activity for some people, so you want to catch them on the weekends, especially Sunday afternoon. Ebay offers two ways to time the auctions: you can set the start time, and you can pick an end time.

If you list on Saturday or Sunday, pick the 7-day auction.

If you list on Wednesday or Thursday, pick the 10-day auction. This will end the item on Saturday or Sunday.

If you list on Tuesday, pick the 5-day auction.

If you list on Monday or Friday, set the listing date to a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday, and pick a 5-day, 7-day, or 10-day auction.  You could also simply not list on Monday or Friday.

Anyway, we’ll see how this sale goes.

Author: John

I can be reached at johnk@riceball.com.

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