Sunday, April 15, 2012

Learning As I Go

Selling on e-bay is not as easy as it may sound.  I've already screwed up and this was my first weekend garage saleing!

Thanks to Jennifer and Chrissy for the tips.  I truly appreciate your help.  I've spent the last 2 weeks trying to learn how to research things and learn the ins adn outs of selling on ebay.  I went to a garage sale yesterday in a ritzy neighborhood and picked up a Gucci wallet for 50 cents.  I searched the completed listings to see what they were going for, then posted it with a starting price of $29.99.  A couple of hours later a lady emailed me and asked if I'd set it on a "Buy It Now" price for $65 and she'd purchase it immediately.  SOLD!!!  That was fun!!

Today I went to a flea market with Dwayne.  The plan was to look around at different things and then go home and research prices to see what's hot and what's not.  While there, a purse and matching wallet caught me eye.  It had a price of $10 on it and I gave him $7.  I did not know the name brand on it, I was just thinking it was a cute set and I should get $30-35 out of it for both the handbag and wallet.

When I got home and researched it, I found out Kate Spade was a popular name in handbags, and the bags by themselves w/o a wallet were selling for $70 and up!  Since I'd never heard the name, I googled how to tell if a handbag is fake.  I looked at a bunch of labels, read that her bags were made in many places over the years, such as USA, China, Taiwan, etc.  The labels looked real to me, so I listed the set at $60.  About an hour later I got an email from ebay basically threatening my life for trying to sell a FAKE handbag on their site.  I was warned in a page long email, and if I try to do it again, my account will be suspended.  GREAT...not so much fun.  So that has me feeling a little wary and I know to be a LOT more careful about buying things I don't know diddly squat about.

I also purchased the paper cutter that I posted about yesterday.  The lady at the garage sale (same ritzy was a neighborhood-wide sale) was asking $20.  Dwayne offered $10.  She said she couldn't take less than $15.  I wasn't willing to risk more than $10 on something that I thought looked cool, but wasn't sure if it was really worth anything.  So we started walking back to our car.  The lady yelled out that if we really wanted it we could have it for $10...she was just glad it was going to a "good home", she said.  I had to giggle inside, thinking "Yeah right lady, as soon as I get this baby home it's going up on auction!", lol.  I emailed my friend Kathleen who deals in antiques and she's guessing I can get $30-$40 for it.  I listed it at $29.99, 40 something people have looked at it, and 10 people have it on their "watch list", so I'll let you know what happens when the auction is over.

Dwayne had a collector's edition of The Hobbit that he let me sell, so it was free to me.  It brought $28 this wknd, and I sold some vintage pillow cases for a little (they're really not worth anything, which surprised me).  So I had 3 shipping labels to print out tonight.  We went to Office Depot today and bought labels...and I bought the wrong ones.  I realized I needed full sheet labels AFTER I hit print label on the ebay site, so they sucked $5.15 out of my paypal account, I had to void the label since I didn't have the right kind to print it out on, and I got a message back saying that once the post office verifies that I didn't actually use the label, they'll refund my $5.15 in about 2 weeks.  UGH. 

So's been a learning experience to say the least.  Some of it's been aggravating, but overall, I can see where I can make a little money on the side to supplement my income.  I made $100 this wknd.  If I can work my way up to $200 a week, that will be perfect.  I obviously still have a lot of learning to do and will continue to do searches, etc. for a couple of hours each night, so that my garage sale purchases on the wknds get better and better. 

If any of you sell on e-bay and have any tips for me, I'm all ears.  Thanks!!  :)


  1. Sounds like fun Tammy. Ya know, I've thought about selling on ebay before. I've heard of people going to storage buildings that are up for bidding and then turning a profit. Thats something you could look into also...

    Good Luck, I look forward to reading about it :)

  2. I suggest looking on site for free priority mail shipping supplies. I shipped a lot of things priority when I was doing a lot of ebay, and they will even print address labels with your return address on them. [free] They will ship free shipping boxes to you also, if you do priority. If you haven't poked around on the site to see what is available, check it out.

    Also, when you do ship, it is nice to put a note or pc of paper in with purchase thanking the buyer, your seller id, auction # etc. You have probably bought things, and know what I mean, bc ppl do that.

    Furthermore..this was interesting to me...there are buyers who will purchase a piece of pottery or whatever breakable item, just like something they have that broke. Then they can show pics of their broken one and get it replaced for free. Just saying that to help you be wary, and as careful as possible with everything. (and maybe don't deal in breakables!)

  3. Me AGAIN. It also matters when you list an item, how long it's up, and when it ends. I think it is desirable to have them end on a wkend.

    Keep us posted.

    I had mentioned a while back to think about picking something that you know & love, do you know what that might be? I was able to buy 'better'/popular labels for my daughter at sale prices, or good deals online, and then she wore them gently, and sometimes we even got paid for her to wear them, I made out so well. So that was one of the things I dealt with and it was something I enjoyed, y'know?

    I know I mentioned outlets n stuff that you might have in your area that the rest of us don' you have a Ballard Design [backroom/outlet..] near you? If it is an outlet, it might be worth checking into that. Cool stuff! Maybe they don't allow ebayers? Clearly furniture wouldn't be something to consider, but maybe other stuff. (I can give ya my wish list, haha.)
    Have fun. Chrissy

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