A dad who has made over £7,000 on eBay in the past five years has revealed how you can make thousands with YOUR old bric-a-brac.
Jamie Irwin, 31, from Northampton, has been selling his unwanted items on the market since the age of 13 alongside his brother, making a tasty profit.
These days, when he’s not busy running his own business, Straight Up Search, Jamie’s rigorous sales routine is to take a household inventory every few months, which leaves him with a number of electronic devices that have not been used recently. He then aims to sell each one for at least £25 per item.
But it wasn’t just electronics that brought Jamie extra cash – after he bought a collectible Guardians of the Galaxy comic book for £150 a few years ago, he later resold it after noticing an upward trend in this area of niche collectibles, making £280 from resale.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Jamie says: “Over the last five years eBay has helped me earn around £7,000 which as you can imagine has made a big difference.”
Here he shares his best tips and tricks for making maximum profit on the auction site…
It’s all in the packaging
In order to attract buyers, you must ensure that you have a good reputation as a seller and increase your star rating.
One way to achieve this is to ship the goods extremely quickly.
As soon as you receive payment, prepare the package for the next day to avoid keeping your buyer waiting.
You’re competing with Amazon, which can provide next-day delivery, so if you’re quick, you’re more likely to attract repeat customers.
And when sending things, make sure the packaging is not tired and use a new box if possible.
I find even personal touches like a handwritten note thanking them for their custom goes a long way, I had great feedback on the back of that.
Keywords are the key
I always watch what keywords are used in other ads, so for example if I’m selling an old Cartier watch, I’ll search for it on eBay and see which ads come up first.
The top of the search results are always the items with the longest and most descriptive titles, because the better your keywords, the higher your listing will rank.
You have 70 characters to play with in the ad title, so be sure to make full use of this real estate as I like to call it.
Make sure your description is as complete as possible and be sure to select the criteria people can filter by, whether it’s material, brand or size.
For example, if you’re selling a laptop, you’ll want to mention the brand, screen size, all the specs, and people get really lazy about that.
Including the brand alone increases exposure on eBay by 30%.
Product images are absolutely crucial when it comes to selling on eBay.
I actually bought myself a light box to make sure my product photos were really good quality and everything was polished, but there are other ways to make images look professional.
It’s important to capture every angle of your product to show its complete condition.
I would avoid using stock photos whenever possible, as you will attract extra attention by using your own unique photo, as it brings a level of authenticity to the listing.
This gives buyers the confidence to buy because they can see the actual condition of the item.
Select the best sellers (and ditch the worst)
The things that sell well tend to be textile products such as vintage designer clothes, as long as they are in good condition.
Electrical appliances are always a hit. If you have an old laptop lying around and still working, I have no doubt it will sell.
People are always on the lookout for budget laptops, especially now that they are working more from home.
Old baby-related items are still going as long as they’re in good condition, as new parents are often on a budget.
Things not worth selling include old books, as the return you get from the sale will often be less than the cost of postage.
Unbranded electronics are often a flop because people want to trust branded electricals.
Timing is everything
I usually go for seven-day auctions and list my items on a Sunday, which means I have them ready to ship the following Monday.
This means that the auction will also end on a Sunday – the theory being that more people will shop on a Sunday, lying on a sofa after finishing their roast.
If the auction is due to end in a few hours, they are much more likely to bid.
In my experience, three-day listings aren’t long enough to generate enough interest, and you’ll often find that your item sells for less than you’d hoped.
The longer the auction, the more likely you are to have spectators.
And it’s important to keep in mind that when you sell certain items, no one will buy a Christmas tree in January.
In January and February, for example, there is usually a baby boom, so now is the time to start selling your unwanted newborn items.
Likewise, gym equipment is in high demand for the new year, so selling an old set of dumbbells would be a wise move at this time.
The price is right
Getting the right price on eBay can be a bit of a minefield, but if you’re putting an item up for auction, make sure you have the absolute lowest price you’re willing to accept as a baseline.
There’s no point running an auction for Bose speakers at 99p, if it somehow slips through the net someone might get a good deal, but you’ll be the loser .
If you’re worried that an item won’t sell, try eBay’s easy listing feature, which reduces the cost of the item by ten percent if it hasn’t sold within a week.
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