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How to Turn your Clutter into Cash

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Selling unwanted items online is an excellent way of raising extra cash. Perhaps you want to raise funds to revamp your bathroom? It’s amazing what people will buy - there is probably a buyer for every item you can think of (well...within reason)! Selling at an online auction such as ebay can be a little daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively easy and can be potentially exciting, especially if you create a bidding war!

Here's a few tips on how to set up an ebay account (something I've used myself to make a little extra cash) and make your first sale...

Register for an ebay account
If you haven’t already got an account, setting one up is a relatively easy process, as step by step instructions are given. You will need to provide accurate information regarding your payment details both as a buyer and as a seller. Inaccuracies could delay any payments you receive.

It's likely you've already got a Paypal account but if you haven't you'll probably want to register for one too. Paypal is a safe and convenient payment option and most sellers and buyers use it. Setting up a paypal account is easy, you may need to supply verification during the setting up process.

Ensure you read the rules and regulations regarding items that are allowed to be sold. Selling items on the “banned” list will result in your account being deactivated.

List your item/s
Once you have decided what you are going to sell, it is time to create your listing. Before you do, research how much your item is worth. You can do this by using the search facility to view similar items for sale or look at completed listings for the final sold price. Remember to take the condition of your item into account too.

Decide whether you are going to sell your item as “buy it now” or send it to auction. Price your “buy it now" items at a price you would be prepared to accept or alternatively, start your auction price low to attract buyers. You have the option of putting a reserve price on items in the auction.

Be sure to write a detailed description of your item, using relevant keywords where they naturally fit to help you get higher up the search listings. The better your description, the more likely your item is to sell. Provide the answers to any questions potential buyers are likely to ask you, to save time.

Take good quality photographs

The better your photographs, the higher the price your item is likely to attract. Clearly photograph your item from all angles and be sure to highlight any flaws or imperfections. You can upload a surprising number of photographs free of charge. The more photos the better!

Think about postage and packaging
Whilst creating your listing, you will be asked if you want your items to be available to international buyers. This will increase your audience but it is important to increase your postage price accordingly.

You have different options for the distribution of your items - you could choose to use the postal system or find a courier service. If you are sending lots of items or bulky, large items, a courier may be the best option.

Package your items carefully, especially if they are fragile. You can buy most kinds of packaging materials on ebay at very reasonable prices. The plastic mailing bags are a great choice for posting clothes, shoes, books and bedding. Bubble wrap may be required to cushion more delicate items. Posting items promptly will impress customers and could lead to better feedback.

Although joining ebay is free, any items you sell will incur a fee, which is a percentage of the sale. It is important to factor in these fees when setting a selling price for your item. Ebay often has free listing offers available, so take advantage and list when these offers are on.

Finally make sure you give feedback to your buyers. Your feedback score is important for building your reputation as a seller. The more 5* feedback you have, the more likely you are to make cash from your clutter!

Have you ever used ebay or similar sites to make a little extra cash? What was your experience like?

Megan x
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