Buying & Selling Your Stuff

09/2018

I am an EBayaholic! And I don’t care who knows it!

EBay has become an addiction, it was a slow burn to where I am now and it all began on a family holiday to Devon circa 2002. I wanted some mosaic mirrors for a project I was faffing about with.  My brother in law said “I bet you’d get those on EBay” We looked and yes there they were! And cheap, like really cheap. I was making greeting cards at the time and the money I had saved by purchasing these on EBay, just put my profit margin up considerably.
 

So there you have it, the reason I became addicted is because I’d calculated my cost saving as, money in my hand, not as money I’d spent…. And that is dangerous! Remember if you spent money to save money, so it is still money spent.

That said it’s a perfect place to find stuff you do need, but in the process you are constantly seeing other things and stuff you didn’t know you wanted or needed! Actually, I am very good at not trawling through the things ending in 10 minutes, and I dread to think of the money I could have spent doing that over the years.
 
My vice and also my top tip is saved searches. I can find almost anything, it could take me 2 weeks or 2 years, but I won’t be beaten. Recently I was at a client’s for a wardrobe Declutter & Restyle, the client had an ASOS blouse that she absolutely loved, but it was worn out! She was hanging onto this blouse for dear life and seriously the actual cuffs where frayed to the point they were about to fall off literally and she would not throw it away. So I said, let me find you another one? To which she cried Noooo it’s 4 years old, it’s from Asos you can’t get it anymore, I LOVE IT, Billy Friars was wearing it on the Mummy Diaries and it looked amazing… and anyway I will wear it under a jumper – Err really!?
 
It took me between 3 and 4 months, and over this time I have found my client three of said blouses!! And; in all of the available colour ways. All looked new on arrival and they were 100 times better than the one she had.
 
So here is the thing, now think I want the blouse and I have left the search in… so that I can find it in my size! Am I mad?… yes probably. Do I have enough blouses?  Err yes I do, but now I want ‘that’ blouse – the same as Billy Friars has! Of course when I find it, I will stick to one item in, one item out, it’s my wardrobe rules!
 
 
When to buy on EBay

Most of what I buy, I won’t actually see on EBay initially. I will spot the item in shops or in a magazine feature, and at full price! But sometimes I will see a great dress, jeans, boots, whatever; on a real person, in the street, or on Instagram, or in a Magazine.

If I see the item on a person, I have no qualms about asking for the brand, most people will tell you readily where they got it, if it’s old….. You already know that won’t put me off!! I’ll just revert to saved search mode ☺
 

On Instagram, people are usually very happy to say where it’s from and often each item is tagged. Just hover over the item and a dot will appear, click this and all the stockists or designers pop up.

Do beware of fake goods or sellers from across the seas, who will send you a child size dress that looks nothing like the pictures. Honestly these sellers of rubbish are easy to spot these days and always check the feedback!
 

Selling on EBay and Depop

You need to set up your account first and also your PayPal account. This really is easier than you think; don’t be afraid, the app walks you through the set up.

Choose a good place to display your item and try to use the same place for every photo people like continuity.
 

Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t want to receive! Research the item before selling, you are quite likely to find the item already listed and you can chose the option to ‘sell one like this’ which will save you time on listing. I only use the EBay phone App, it’s so much faster. I can list in about 4 to 6 minutes.
 
Check the item over carefully and smell it,  any imperfections list them. Take lots of good images and in good light, don’t upload anything that has camera shake! Fill in all the category’s the more details you can add the better. I was in the top 10% of private sellers of clothing last year so it’s so worth it!

 
Selling at the Carboot

I am a massive fan of a carboot sale, they are a great way to get rid of stuff and the whole family can get involved.

How to Display: I don’t like using flimsy wallpaper type trestle tables, I have seen so many topple over and smash things or they collapse, it all hits the floor making everything filthy. So unless you have a strong trestle type table (which I don’t) I like to use a large tarpaulin with a few strong boxes on the corners to hold it in place. I have another light weight tarp to cover it all if the rain comes! Value shower curtains are also good to use as covers. (Get boxes at the supermarket) Tarpaulins are easy to hose down and store afterwards.
 
Clothes: I have a good strong dress rail – I invested in a commercial grade rail 20 years ago that has been SO useful over the years not just for car boots. Again make sure your clothing is clean and if possible press it if it’s all wrinkled, don’t expect to get top dollar for stuff you’ve had screwed up in a box for a year.
 
Price: Don’t bother to price everything. I would go through it the day before and have the figures in mind for things like clothes. Any expensive or large items you can make your own price list to use as a guide. It’s good to get the buyers interested to ask you “How Much”, that way you have engaged and the negotiations can begin.  Don’t drop your prices too soon for quality items. Also I say to people, I’m not ready to drop that low, come back later and ask me, they usually do and are willing to pay more or they miss out as someone else was prepared to pay!
 
Selling at clothes sales or bring and swaps

You will find this type of sale advertised online. There are a few sales dedicated to this type of sale, one that springs to mind is Fashion Reboot https://www.facebook.com/fashionreboot/ These are brilliant so check online to see if there is one near you!
 
Have a Garage Sale

This is great fun and very convenient way to sell as you don’t have to leave home. If you have a space outside your house or a garage, then I think this is an excellent way to sell your stuff. Yard sales are a big thing in the states and if you don’t mind the neighbours rummaging around your stuff then go for it!
 
Selling Quick Guide:

*Tarp and a good dress rail with a couple of bricks to secure the bottom. Boxes to hold down the edges and for display. Remember keep these items on the top when you pack the car so they are first out for setting up.
 
*Prices – don’t bother with the small stuff – just get it into your head
 
*Don’t forget your change and take drinks, food and a loo roll (you never know!)
 
* Choose a well-attended sale they often will pay a bit more.
 
Good luck selling xxx

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