Work From Home Ideas: eBay

Let’s start with something easy, because I don’t have the mental capacity to get into something that requires more thinking right now…

Work from home idea number one is:  Selling your crap on eBay.

I was going to start with “Online Stores” and group eBay, Amazon, Listia, Craig’s List and Etsy all together, but since they are so different, I decided to split them up.

I realize that this isn’t horribly helpful.  The idea of opening up an online store has probably crossed your mind at some point in time, right?  Although I’ve purchased plenty of items from eBay, I’ve only sold a few items so far – so I’m far from an expert.  I have noticed that there are definitely items that sell a lot better than others – old textbooks are not in high demand, while baby clothes go like hot cakes.  It’s good to know what items are worth the work and which ones aren’t.

There are a few downsides to selling on eBay:

1.  It takes a while to figure out what actually sells.

2.  You need to have room to store your inventory.

3.  You need a place to take pictures.  The better the pictures, the more likely someone is going to take interest in your listing.  If your pictures look like crap, people aren’t going to click on them.  If people don’t click on them, you either don’t sell your item or you sell it for a lot lower than you wanted.  Look around eBay and note how the items with the most bidders are pictured.  I always hated seeing random clothes hanging from the back of a bathroom door or thrown on top of bedspread.  For small items, place them on top of a piece of white poster board – for large items, try to find a solid color wall that is painted in a light shade.  White backgrounds are usually the best.

Baby Clothes Box2

Baby Clothes Box2 (Photo credit: briandewitt)

4.  It’s a pain in the butt to ship out the items.

5.  It’s hard to figure out how much shipping should be.

6.  Figuring out a starting price is a gamble – should you put “free shipping” and then include the shipping in the starting price?  Or start the price lower and have shipping separate?

7.  Dealing with customers that don’t want to pay.

Selling on eBay can be a great way to make money from home, especially if you have a bunch of baby clothes to get rid of.  I, unfortunately, don’t have the time or the space to actually make this work currently.  But I keep thinking that I will in the near future, so I have a large container of baby clothes sitting in the middle of my living room floor.  And I’m pretty sure they will still be sitting there in another three months.

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