Decluttering with Ebay, Part 3

How to price low, but avoid using free shipping because it had hurt you.

This is the third in series. The previous blog posts were:

By the way I found more junk under the pile of stuff. I found a screwdriver, which I put back into the toolbag, and a USB charger, and a toggle switch.

The last step, which I didn’t get to in the previous article, is waiting for the sale.

Here’s the ugly truth: odds are most of your things aren’t going to sell immediately.

There is one way to get your stuff sold more quickly: price low.

Pricing for Decluttering

The pricing strategy for decluttering is simple: low.

Find out what the lowest price is, and try to match it, but don’t use free shipping. Beginners can be hurt by using free shipping, and I’ll explain this later. Here’s the way to find out the lower prices:

  1. Type in a search for your product.  I used the model number of my item.
  2. Click on “Sold listings” in the left column.
  3. Set the “Sort” dropdown in the upper right of the listing results to “Price + Shipping: Lowest first”
  4. Note what auctions are ending at, and what the “Buy It Now” items are selling at.

You can set the price based on this information. You can also figure out if your product will sell quickly.

The “sold listings” list the last three months of sales. So, if you see 12 sold, it means approximately one sold per week.  If there are 24, it means two per week. If there are 36, then it’s three a week, or one almost every other day.

If the number sold is 12 or less, do not use an auction. It might get only one bid.

There is a trade-off with auctions, though: if you get one bid, at least it is likely to sell.  With so few sales, you might have a long wait if you don’t give the deep discounts possible with auctions.

If you think the buyers for the product tend to need the product immediately, don’t use an auction. They want to “buy it now”.

How Long Does It Take?

Sometimes, things sell quickly, but most things are not that popular, and will take months, or maybe even years, to sell.

For decluttering purposes, we should try to reduce this time as much as possible.  Here are some techniques.

Lotting Up

If it can’t be reduced by pricing down, you should consider “lotting up”. This is where you combine several objects that didn’t sell, into one listing. You advertise the most popular item with a good brand, and add on the others.

You will need to re-weigh, and re-evaluate your shipping, but lotting things up works. The main problem is, you make a lot less money.

Auctions Starting at $1

Pretty much any auction should start at a dollar. You may end up making only a dollar… but at least you’ll be rid of the object, and probably get a positive feedback.

Selling So Cheap You Lose Money

You only want to do this if you are trying to build up an account.  Take an item that weighs less than 4 ounces, and sell it for $2.50 with free shipping.  The shipping will cost $2.77, so you lose a quarter dollar.

If it weighs more, set the price to the shipping cost, and give free shipping.

The item will sell almost immediately.  Savvy Ebay buyers are always looking for these cheap with free shipping items. They are sometimes pricing errors.

You don’t want to do this regularly, but if you have a lot of items in a single category, you might do this a couple times to juice up sales. Cassini, the Ebay search ranking algorithm, will notice that you have sales, and will boost your other listings to the first page of search results.

I learned this from a video by Ema Justanothereseller on YouTube.

Stay in One Category: it’s better for your decluttering.

Incidentally, it’s important to focus on selling through all your items in one Ebay category, if possible. By staying in one category, Ebay will boost your posts more, and help you sell faster.

It’s also a LOT EASIER to declutter when you don’t have to think about different things.  When you look at a bunch of different things, each thing looks so special. When you look at a lot of similar things, it just looks like a mess of similar things, and you start thinking, “hey, I have too many of these.”

I have five belts. It never felt like much, until I tried to cram them into a sock drawer. I used to have more.


Wow. It makes me want to get rid of a belt… though I know this will eventually all wear out.

I’m probably set for white socks for the next 10 or 20 years, too. I got a lot from Rosa. I have purchased maybe two bags of socks in ten years.

Author: John

I can be reached at

One thought on “Decluttering with Ebay, Part 3”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *