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Make Money on eBay and other Websites

One person’s junk is another’s treasure and you could be sitting on plenty of gems at home. You can indeed turn your trash to cash almost overnight if you’re focused and diligent about diving into the work. It takes time to select the times for sale, clean and photograph them, whip up smart descriptions, and ultimately get them posted online. Be ready in advance to put in the time and you’ll benefit from the results. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Assess your possessions. Walk from room to room and ask yourself if it’s more important to hang on to things or to part with them to make some money. Go through each room several times to identify what you’re willing to sell. If you haven’t used it, looked at it or thought about it in a very long time, that item could be a candidate for sale.

If you’re hesitant to part ways, consider it financially rewarding recycling. You’re going to give someone else the pleasure of using the item you no longer way. And of course just think of the cash you’ll have to spend on other, more pressing things.

Think Big and Small. Don’t shy away from large items. Many people mistakenly think you couldn’t possibly sell a set of chairs or other bulky furniture online. Wrong! Even if you don’t want to get involved with shipping such items, you can indicate that it’s for local pick up only.

Simple things like clothing can be folded into padded envelopes and shipped off.

Set up an eBay account. More than 80 million active users shop on eBay buying and selling $2,040 worth of goods on the site every second, according to the company. If you’ve got lots of stuff to sell, you should be exposed to that audience. It takes just minutes to set up an account at (You should also set up a PayPal account since most buyers prefer it and you get your money instantly.)

Get Help. If you don’t have a computer or you’re just not comfortable online, ask a friend to help you sell in exchange for a percentage of the sales. Or seek professional help from a trained eBay trading assistant. They’ll photograph, post, promote, sell and ship your wares for a fee.

And eBay offers extensive online tips and training to help sellers get started. Among the selling 101 favorites:

Invest in Free Education: Watch demo and tutorials in the eBay University Learning Center. Decide what to sell, how much to charge and how to promote your wares by browsing Completed Listings on the site.

Start Pricing Low with No Reserve: Getting that first bid is critical since buyers are more likely to jump in if there are already bids on an auction. Reserve pricing often causes buyers to lose interest if they assume an item is overpriced. Many successful sellers set a low opening bid with no reserve to jumpstart bidding and increase their final selling price.

Words Matter Most: Include key words that buyers will search for, unique or descriptive attributes, and always check your spelling. Your item title is critical in helping users find your items, so use each character wisely and check your spelling. Use all 55 characters.

Be sure to describe your item in detail. A good description is concise, well organized, and easy to read. Create bold section headlines, bulleted lists, and be sure to include item style/type, brand, size, measurements, condition, and other attributes. Think about your listing from the buyer’s perspective, the more information you provide, the more likely buyers are to place a bid.

Priceless Photos. A picture is truly priceless when selling online. Use clear, well-lit photos from a variety of angles to accurately showcase your items. Use good lighting and an uncluttered background. Add additional photos to showcase details and unique features of your item.

Get Free Shipping Supplies: The United States Postal Service offers a variety of free shipping supplies, delivered directly to you within a few days. After you sell an item on eBay, you can pay for shipping and schedule free carrier pick-up all online and at no additional charge so you can save money, time, and a trip to the post office.

Go Beyond eBay. There’s plenty of money to be made from home elsewhere on and offline. Post on Craigslist where you can require local buyers to pick up their purchases from you directly.’s Marketplace is a great resource for selling online too.Have a tag sale. (The key to success is lots and lots of items at low prices it’s all about the volume. You must also work at promoting your sale as far and wide as possible to attract buyers.) Contact prospective buyers directly. In the case of the couple I worked with, we researched online to find prop shops, book dealers, vintage clothing stores and more. Email and call them to inquire about the value of your items and/or to solicit their interest in making purchases.

You must use caution when visiting these sites. Even though they contain a lot of legitimate information, they also lead to links to stuff that’s not legit. Be cautious about the sites and the ads you see and NEVER respond to check-cashing, wire transfer or Western Union related offers.