Friday, January 13, 2006

Setting Some Ebay Goals

LaLa and I talked a lot over the holidays about how we wanted to finish "clearing the clutter" this year. She went to town on her childhood bedroom while we were visiting her family (and boy, was THAT ever revealing) and I resolved to use ebay to both assist our clearing and increase our income at the same time.

We usually donate a fair amount of goods to charities throughout the year, and this year will be no different. But I wanted to put some effort into ebay as a way of generating cash up front this year. And yes, I know it takes time ;)

I made a goal to bring in $2500 in 2006 (ebay, craigslist, Amazon marketplace etc) which is basically a bit over $200 a month. I figure to do this, I'll need to list 10 items a week on ebay minimum.

The first week of the year I earned over $100 on 6 items. This past week, I took up Jane Dough's ebay challenge to help keep me motivated. My 10 ebay items are almost all clothing and I think I will try to auction like items concurrently (and see if ebay cross promotion really does it's job).

We already sold an old enamel-topped dinette set for $100 on craigslist. We were originally heartbroken to only get that much for it (we paid $400 8 years ago, it seats six, it was expandable and generally *awesome*) but we cheered up when we met the new owners. They are a nice couple who live in the more rural suburbs to the west of Boston and run a small farm of sorts. Ken's going to make a large kitchen island out of the table, to match the vintage stove they just bought and promised to send pictures when it's done. I am only waxing on because how else can I tell you that he offered to give me chickens should I want some in the future. How awesome is THAT? But I digress a little. Ahem. We have one more item planned for craigslist for the month.

I still have a few trade paperback comics left on Amazon, and I know my bookshelves need another pass. I plan on ebaying paperback books in groups, and higher value books I will do Amazon marketplace (they really like to take a bite out of your earnings).

The upshot is that I have met my monthly goal in one week. Things have slowed down this week so far, but we'll see how those auctions close out on Sunday. I wondered if I set my goal to low, but I have had a lot more time than usual to devote to ebay the past couple of weeks. If I am still cranking in February, I'll re-visit the $200/month goal.


  1. That is a pretty aggressive goal, but maybe you really have a lot of clutter! What will you do when you run out of things to sell?

  2. That's a good point...I think I like to think of my $2500 goal in small manageable chunks like $200/month, but I don't think I have 500 things to sell, so the 10 a week can't last me all year (though I DO have a lot...)

    I am trying to be aggressive so we can clear out our "back" bedroom and actually use the thing for something other than "storing stuff we will sell on the floor". Ikea is finally in the 'hood so I am anxious to go all HGTV on that room.

    Maybe 10 a week until it's all gone. And then of course, I will be self actualized and my life will change drastically.

  3. Good luck! Hmm.. I should try selling clothes. I guess I never buy clothes on eBay so I never think of selling mine on there either. How does the market for men's clothes compare to women's clothes?

  4. While I do wear a fair amount of men's clothing ;) I haven't sold much clothing of either type on ebay until this experiment. However, when I did lookup a few items that could be listed as both (using the ebay search during the selling process) I'd find many more auctions for the same item listed under men's than under women's. So I would interpret that to mean there is a successful market for men's clothing.

    Also, women are more difficult to fit than most men, so I'd think it would be easier for men to "shop" on ebay for clothing. And I bet you'd have good luck selling anything that was in good condition and of a well known brand name.

    Let us know if you try it!

    (I usually sell computer parts and electronics!)

  5. What are you selling? I keep hearing about people unloading some stuff on e-bay, but I look around my house and I think, "What kind of "stuff" does everyone else have, because all the stuff I have is JUNK!" LOL.

    What kinds of things have sold or are you selling off?

  6. MD, I have mostly clothes ending today but I rarely sell clothing. I chose to try selling a few brand name things that I no longer needed. You can see them here until they end tonight.

    Usually I sell older computer parts and electronics and gadgets. I am a bit of a recovering gadget addict, so I have plenty of things to sell ;)

    If you really just see junk, then maybe it's not worth selling on ebay, but you'd be surpised. If things are in good quality, try a search on ebay for "completed listings" to estimate what you could get for it.

    If it's useful to someone, but not worth the time to sell it on ebay, consider donating it. If it's truly junk, maybe it's destined for the trash ;)

    Good luck!

  7. I need to learn from your ebay selling acumen. I have a very bad success rate with it. May be I should choose better retail seasons. May be one of these days you can write some thing about ebay'ing tricks of the trade.


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