Thursday, June 18, 2009

eBay Tips for Parents and Kids

Hey Everybody,

As promised, here are some eBay tips for any of you who want to set up a virtual store! This is really a great idea for anyone who wants to ease in to a home business, and it is an excellent way to share the experience with your child. In fact, I think it is critical that if you do let your children take on eBay selling as a summer project, you are right there in the middle of it. While the Internet holds a great deal of promising ventures for our kids, it definitely has a dark side. We are wise--prudent, even--to hold our children's hands as they navigate its virtual streets.

My boys and I are in the process of setting up a store for their gently used items. Garage sales have not worked well for us. (Like our science projects, they never come out right!) We are giving this a go, but it will take us a few days to set things up. Keep that in mind: Even though it's the Internet, setting up a business will not be "instant." Below are a few tips from an interview I did with Stephen Beck of, first published in ParentLife magazine a couple of years ago. Today eBay has tons of helpful info on their website, too.

eBay is Easy!
“The wonderful thing about eBay,” says Stephen Beck, on the Web at, “is that you have millions of people walking through your store all day!” So how do you get started?

Find your goal. “Too many people want to replace their income within six months,” Stephen observes. “Realistically, earning an extra $300-$400 a month on eBay would be very easy.” Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur is do-able as long as you make patience and reasonable expectations part of the equation.

Start with your own stuff. When the Becks moved from Texas to Idaho, they sold everything they didn’t want to pack up. “Things that are shippable are better,” Stephen learned. “Books sell very well on eBay, as do name brands.” Once you’ve sorted through your stuff, visit garage and estate sales to find more items to sell.

Make it stand out. “eBay is run by keywords,” he explains. “If I was going to sell a ladies’ facial cream, I wouldn’t start off the description with adjectives. Start with the name of the cream.” And remember to take a photo of your item. “Make it pretty,” says Stephen, who advises propping your items up on a sheet draped across the couch. “Make it look professional.”

Specialize in a high-margin item. “The key to success on eBay is finding high-margin items that you sell over and over,” Stephen says. “You might have to find a wholesaler.” Working toward finding a good product to sell can cut down on burn-out from listing item after item and taking tons of pictures. With one good product, you can use the same description and picture and simply list it every day.

Encourage early bidding. “Bidding in the final few hours is pretty normal,” notes Stephen. “To encourage early bidding, don’t put a reserve on it.” Stephen believes a reserve tends to keep people from bidding because they don’t know what the reserve is. Make it easy for the bidders and you will get more early bids.


"eBay is Easy" Copyright 2007, Rebecca Ingram Powell. Adapted from ParentLife magazine, May 2007.


Chatty Kelly said...

My sister does ebay selling to supplement their family income. All of their "extras" such as vacations, arcade visits, etc., come from their ebay income.

Edie said...

I used to have a business selling mosaic supplies on ebay. I did pretty well but it wasn't enough to allow me to quit my day job so I had to give up the business when I had no time left to put into it.

Turned out to be God's perfect timing. :)

Jane In The Jungle said...

Thank you Thank you. Son number 2 has always wanted to do this but I was antsy.... now I see I didn't need to be!

My ADHD Me said...

AS CK said, I do sell lots of stuff on e-bay. When I realized people will buy ANYTHING I figured they MUST want some of my old stuff.

Another tip- BE HONEST. Write on the page that the shoe has a small scuff, but add that it isn't visible when you are wearing it,,,if it isn't.

Clothes sell great but require a lot of work as you heed to measure about 4-5 times per garment.

I work on it about 3 months, twice a year and do very well with it. Just be prepared to put in the time and it will be great.

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Great tips, girl! Thanks so much!

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