Thursday, September 30, 2010

Selling Online

No matter who you are, if you are looking for a great way to make some extra money from home or a full time income, selling online could be your answer. As I've previously posted, I am trying my hand at selling used books on, but I also sell on other online sites to make money from home. My best single item sale to date was a 100% Camel Hair jacket that I found at a local thrift store in brand new condition for $7 and sold it on eBay for $244.00! My husband was blown away! Here is a screen shot of my listing:

When you decide you want to sell online there a few questions you need to ask yourself.

  • How much money do I need/want to make?
  • How much time can I invest?
  • What kind of products can I offer?
I started selling on eBay in 2004 when my son was born. It was basically a hobby and I just used it as a way to get some extra money for the things that we no longer needed around the house, such as clothes and toys my son was out growing. I still worked a job outside the home, but it wasn't too long before I realized I could make a full time income selling online. If you are new to online selling you will probably be AMAZED at the money you can make selling simple, used products that you can find locally. So where are the best places to find these items?
  • Thrift stores
  • Garage sales
  • Yard sales
  • Craigslist
  • Clearance sales
  • Estate sales
  • Many stores in your area that you may already shop at such as Big Lots, CVS, Rite-Aid, Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, etc.
How do you know which products sell? Research is the very best thing you can do to find these highly profitable items. Use eBay's Advanced Search option to type in an item you are questioning and then check the results. I also closely follow Suzanne Wells, the eBay Coach on her blog at She is an expert on what to buy used to re-sell for a profit on eBay. I have learned so much from Suzanne! She has compiled a HUGE list of what to sell and where to find it.

The most important things to work on when selling any product:
  • Take the best picture you possibly can. Make sure your photo is clear, showing any imperfections the item might have. Take as many photos as necessary. You can use Auctiva or Photobucket to upload as many photos as you need to your eBay listing for free.
  • Give as many details as possible about the item. When someone is considering your item you have to understand that they need to get everything they can out of your listing. It's not like having a store where someone can come in and look at your products and see first hand what you are offering. Be as descriptive as possible.
  • Give actual measurements. If you leave the measurements out, especially on clothing, 9 times out of 10 you receive numerous e-mails asking for them anyway.
  • Provide excellent costumer service! From answering e-mails to packaging and feedback, your customer service should be above and beyond the rest. This will insure that you build trust with your customers and they will return in the future.
This is a very broad overview of the possibilites of online selling. It took me quit a few years to be able to generate the income I can now from online selling. I spend one day per week shopping the local thrift stores and I usually make a profit of $400-$500 per week.

If you are brand new to this and would like to leave a comment or question for me, please feel free. If you have been an active online seller please feel free to share your success. Send me your success story with a link to your listing and I will feature it on my blog. Thanks and happy sales =)


Katie said...

I used to sell our unwanted stuff on ebay, and my only tip is to be sure your customers are verified on Paypal, otherwise you could pay for it. I'm speaking from experience! :(

Now I am trying my hand at selling my photography and it's going well so far!

Thanks for your incredibly sweet comment on my blog!!

Tammy Jo said...

You're very welcome Katie, I really do love looking at your pictures. I only wish I could take photos like that!

It is true that eBay can be a risky place and I have also had some very unfortunate experiences. The best tip as a seller is to ALWAYS include delivery confirmation on every single item you sell. When there is a tracking number there is no way someone can come back and say they did not receive the product. The only thing Pay-Pal cares about is that tracking number. If you can prove it then you are safe. If not, you might pay for it and I have a couple of times! Lesson learned!

Thanks for the comment Katie!

Brenda said...

Thanks for the helpful info. I've only tried selling my crafts on ebay, and sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I never thought about shopping thrift stores. Thanks!