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What’s in YOUR closet?

2011 September 15
by Emily Hill

And in your basement, your garage, your cupboards and those storage bins that haven’t seen the light of day since 1999?

I don’t know about you, but I skipped spring cleaning this year. (I’m sure I had an awesome excuse like a three-week cruise in the Mediterranean and not something lame like I just didn’t want to do it.) For me, spring cleaning is more about decluttering and simplifying than it is about battling the dust bunnies behind my fridge. Due to the skipped spring—and possibly fall—cleaning, my home is twice as cluttered as it should be.

I am more than ready to find our myriad of treasures a new home…and make some money in the process. That’s where eBay comes in.

Long ago I had a “one in, one out” rule for my closet. If I bought a new pair of jeans or shoes, I had to sell a pair of jeans or shoes on eBay. Considering how easy it is to sell on eBay (even easier than it was 15 years ago when I started), this was a fab way to keep my closet updated without it getting out of control. Unfortunately I haven’t used that “one in, one out” rule in quite a while, so my closet looks like this:

find clothes in the closet to sell on ebay find clothes in the closet to sell on ebay


Actually, it looked a little worse.

Kidding. That’s my friend Scott. And you won’t find him in my closet (as far as I know) except in this photo (thanks to some awesome Photoshop skills).

But my closet really did look a little worse earlier. The photos above (sans Scott) were taken after I found a pile of new and gently used items perfect for selling on eBay. Oh, and you can’t see the pairs of shoes tucked under that bottom rack of clothes and under the shoe organizers. They’re everywhere!

Here’s a video I put together showing the treasures I found amidst the piles. It includes a couple selling tips and maybe even a cameo by Livi. (How do my kids know the moment I close my bedroom door?!?!)


For a great outline of what fashion sells well on eBay, check out their Fashion Selling Guide. You might even want to print out a page or two and keep it with you while treasure hunting in your closet!

I took oodles and oodles of notes during the eBay On Location workshops and have a wealth of selling tips and tricks to share with you. But if you can’t wait and want to get started right away, take a few minutes and browse eBay’s Seller Information Center. You’ll find both quick-start and in-depth eBay selling guides.

The wonderful thing is eBay has truly made it super easy to sell items on their site. I bet you could do it without even reading the tutorial because you all are super smart like that. A few important things I learned in Danna‘s (@powersellingmom) Selling 101 class to get you started:

  • Register for a PayPal account. This is the best and safest way to accept payments on eBay.
  • Use searchable keywords in your title to make it effective (e.g., “Hudson,” “long-sleeve,” “silk,” “women’s,” make, model number and condition).
  • Write a detailed description. Include searchable keywords, the item’s condition, your terms of service, etc. Keep it positive and friendly.
  • Take good photos. Natural light is best. Eliminate background “noise” by placing the item on white poster board or foam board, or use those as a backdrop.
  • Set a competitive price. You can research pricing by searching eBay for similar items. You can even search completed listings to see what’s sold and at what price (a green price means the item sold).
  • Know your shipping costs. You can package the item and use a scale to estimate weight. TIP: Don’t have a postal scale? Weigh yourself, then pick up your item and hope back on the scale!

My tip? Use USPS Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes whenever you can. I’ve been known to fit a pair of jeans and a hardcover book inside the envelope! (Use packing tape so the seal is extra tight.)

Who’s up for a challenge? While I’m decluttering and treasure hunting, I’d love for you to do the same…

Find at least three items you’d like to sell on eBay. Return to this post and leave a comment telling us what items you plan on selling.

If you end up listing the items, leave the URLs so we can check them out…perhaps someone here will want to bid on them!

***

I couldn’t end without giving you a sneak peek of eBay’s new “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” advertising campaign. Announced on the eBay Ink blog today, the campaign focuses on “mobile shoppers and shopping enthusiasts.” Hello, I’m both of those!

This ad will seriously make you laugh out loud…

Disclosure: As an eBay Parent Panel member, my eBay-related posts are sponsored by eBay. My opinions, thoughts, views and love of eBay are mine, all mine.

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18 Responses Post a comment
  1. September 15, 2011

    I’ve sold things on eBay before, but I don’t have the patience to keep it up.
    Kristina P.´s deep thought ~ Suffer The Little ChildrenMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I definitely go through phases. Right now we could use a little extra spending money, so I don’t mind spending a day photographing and listing.
    Emily´s deep thought ~ Wordless Wednesday: Happy birthday, sis!My Profile

    [Reply]

  2. September 15, 2011

    Get my jeans bin!
    Jill K´s deep thought ~ I Win at Parenting.My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    You have an entire bin?!?!
    Emily´s deep thought ~ Tribute to my Mommy ;)My Profile

    [Reply]

  3. September 16, 2011

    I love the one in one out rule. I need to implement that.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I need to re-implement it!

    [Reply]

  4. September 16, 2011

    Today i posted 7 or eight things in my eBay store located @ http://www.harveyfoonman.com
    After reading this post I now have the courage to open a clothing division. Definately want to add video.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Video is super helpful in listings!

    [Reply]

  5. October 2, 2011

    Haha… so funny! The tip about getting a PayPal account is such a good one. Totally forgot about that one, but it makes ebay life that much easier.
    Alicia @MommyDelicious´s deep thought ~ Find Treasures. Sell on eBay. Earn Money. Repeat.My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I don’t think you can eBay without it!
    Emily´s deep thought ~ Super simple steps for decluttering your homeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  6. Julie permalink
    February 20, 2012

    Hi! great site and i can appreciate it!
    do you charge for shipping? i have heard that free shipping is better but it really eats into my profits (i am a small seller right now and have never done clothing)
    thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I do charge for shipping but make it reasonable. If I were to do free shipping, I’d make sure that cost was incorporated into the selling price somehow…maybe with a slightly higher starting price. Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

  7. Melisa permalink
    February 1, 2013

    How do you know what to shacrge for postage. We just closed out antique shop, and I’m also going through my closet that extends out into my room. I know I could list a lot of these items on e bay but have anxiety about postage. Can you give some advice, especially on shoes in the original boxes.

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    The best way to figure postage is to measure the dimensions of the box and the weight and then go online to UPS and USPS to calculate shipping. Both sites will have calculators that will figure shipping costs. I prefer using flat rate boxes via USPS Priority Mail, but not everything fits in those. Shipping is one of the trickiest things for me!

    [Reply]

    heejinchang Reply:

    Thank you for putting your precious time for us in order to make our life easier!
    I am a new member of Ebay and selling part is still challening for me.
    I uploaded only one item posted by New Airbrush Luminess Home Care Tanning System T-100.
    Seems not many people are interested so far.
    However,yours is definately helpful and i will go thru my closet since im going to move soon to new home.
    One more question to ask you is that i know that i can order boxes up to 10 for free online but even if i go to USPS to pick up just boxes whether it is flat rate boxes or box do i get it for free?
    Thank you for your time!

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Yes, even if you go into your local post office, the Priority Mail supplies are free. I do it all the time!

    [Reply]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Out with the old, in with the new! | is this REALLY my life?
  2. What’s in YOUR closet? (part 2) | is this REALLY my life?

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