In the last month, one thing in particular has helped me to take minimalism to a new level: eBay.com. I have sold purses, old perfume, old jewelry, and even old books on eBay. Setting up an account is really simple.
Look through your closet, bathroom, dresser or wherever else you keep stuff. Look to see if there’s anything there that you don’t use. Clothes, shoes, beauty products, anything. And don’t rule something out just because it is used. I have sold five bottles of used perfume on eBay. My aunt has sold used shoes. If you are looking to sell, chances are that there’s someone looking to buy. If you don’t want it, put it on eBay and get some cash for it. And a little extra cash is always good.
Set Up Your Account and Set up Your Auction
It is really easy to become a seller on eBay. Within a few minutes, I had registered myself as a seller. It took a bit longer to set up my first auction. There are a few steps involved. The loading of the pictures took the longest. You’ll also want to write an interesting description for your item. Set a price, specify shipping, and publish your post. Simple. And it is even easier with the mobile app. I only use the mobile app now because it is so much faster and easier.
Make sure your PayPal account is linked to your eBay account. You can go in and transfer the money to your checking account. There is an initial probation period. During this time, eBay and PayPal are checking you out, making sure you’re not defrauding people. During this period, it takes about three weeks for funds to clear. Funds clear faster after probation.
As you sell, eBay and PayPal get paid, too. They each charge a small fee for their services.
While eBay has helped me to simplify and make some extra cash (enough to pay student loans last month!), there are some downsides. The first is the constant running to the post office. I actually went to the post office twice today. It takes time out of your day to drive to the post office, stand in line, buy postage, and drive back home. This is time that could be spent writing, doing yoga, or doing laundry.
Another downside is that listing things on eBay can take time. Depending on how much you want to list, you could spend hours putting stuff on eBay. I have gotten faster, but it still takes about 7-10 minutes per item.
There is also packaging to consider. I am constantly going to buy bubble envelopes, boxes, and bubble wrap. I am always scouring the house for a box or newspaper to ship things in. Shipping supplies also cost money. This has to be figured into the cost of the item and whatever you charge for shipping.
Overall, selling on eBay has been a very good thing for me. There are some drawbacks, but I feel that the positives outweigh the negatives. If you have things you don’t need and wouldn’t mind having a little extra cash, consider using eBay to help you simplify.