Selling everything I own on eBay – here is what I have learned.
I open up the dress one last time before I fold it back into the little plastic envelope. It hurts so much to see these dresses go. I bought them last year after moving to the UK and discovering all these amazing new brands. And now I had to say goodbye to my beloved Closet, Monsoon and ChiChi attire as I would not be able to
1. Take EVERYTHING with me to Dubai (only 23 kilo allowed on the plane)
2. Wear my dresses whenever I fancy since they are above knee and absolutely sleeveless (Big No-No)
So that is why I am currently running around with a long face selling my stuff on eBay.
I thought selling on eBay was the best way forward. We do not have endless seas of time which means that websites such as Gumtree are not our best option. Especially when it comes to clothing. The eBay auction system also means that your little dress might go for a bit more than the £5 you were going to sell it for anyway.
Even though selling on eBay might sound incredibly easy, there are some basic things you need to keep in mind… Yes indeed: I made the mistakes for you so you don’t have to make them anymore.
Those bloody listing restrictions…
I get that eBay restricts the amount of listings you can post – either at the same time or per month… But 20 is a bit on the low side. I was selling my grandmother’s vintage purses when I received an email that I would not be able to post more listings as I had already used ALL of my listings that month. Euhm no. That was literally impossible! I had 100 free listings per day! Or that was what my profile said! I took another look and there it was: black on white – 95 free listings left for today.
So I contacted customer service and it turned out that I only had 20 listings a month. “Would I be able to pay for more?” “No.” “How can I get more.” “You call customer service” “But you are customer service.” “Yes. Do you want to post more listings?” “Yes.” “Okay” And what followed were about 10-15 questions that had nothing to do with me or the products I was posting. They asked if I was a business, why I was posting, what I was posting, If I was going to become a business etc. Ultimately, I received 30 extra listings per month or 50 in total. Not what I was hoping for but not bad either.
TL;DR If you receive a message you do not have any listings left this month, you need to call customer service so they can harass you with loads of weird questions. You will then be able to post 50 listings.
Changing your PayPal address? Watch out! Contact customer services!
When I moved from Belgium to the UK, I did not think it was a big deal to keep using my Paypal. I mean online money is online money no matter where you are, right? WRONG! Apparently Paypal rules differ very much depending on what country you live in.
Example: Whether you will receive your money back from a seller when your package has been lost in the mail depends on the country the seller is registered in.
I have to admit that the Paypal account was a zombie account: I used it every now and again to pay online but did not receive any money as I had already registered another account in the UK. I started taking the first Paypal payments for my dresses and then I received the email. I had to prove that I lived in Belgium or they would close my account. My money was blocked. Nothing I could do. Wham Bam Thank you ma’m..
I must have called the Belgian and the UK Paypal offices numerous times with some agents being incredibly helpful – while others were just plain lazy. Ultimately everything got changed and my money would be transferred to my new account while my old account would be closed.
And that is the big fat problem.
With my old account closed and my listings – of which a large part were going to sell, closing the next day, I needed to come up with a solution. I called eBay to help me change my paypal email address. 30 minutes later I thought everything was in order for the payments to come in the next day.
10 minutes after my first listing of that day closed, the buyer went me a message to let me know she was unable to pay me via Paypal. I cursed. Loudly. I literally wanted to kill someone. Why? How is this possible? I did EVERYTHING the man said!
Turns out that changing your Paypal email address in eBay is not simple. It is actually rather hard. You need to change preferences in both Paypal and eBay and all the listings you have created BEFORE painstakingly changing your Paypal email address in eBay will STILL be paid into your OLD Paypal address. Yes you are reading this correctly. And guess what: there is nothing you can do about it except for sending all those poor buyers a message on the platform itself, explaining your problem and asking them to pay into the correct account.
Be sneaky: add some of your commission onto your shipping costs…
eBay asks 7% commission on the total price of the sale. This means that if you sell a pair of shoes for £5 + £5 P&P, you will have to pay £0.70 in commission. That’s a bit crazy, isn’t it? I mean the P&P is supposed to be money that you are never ever going to have in your own hands as it will be paid to the postal office – or to eBays OWN postal service…
This is why it could be handy to ask 30-50P more for delivery. I know it might not seem very nice for the buyer – but it is not nice of eBay to ask commission for the bloody P&P.
Also keep in mind that PayPal (hey – aren’t they like mother and daughter companies?) will ALSO take a cut of the money coming into your PayPal account…
Choosing the right parcel delivery service.
This was literally something that I needed to find out the hard way. I was paying royal mail a fortune to get my packages from A to B. Literally. They are/were so incredibly expensive that I lost the will to live – or at least the will to sell on eBay.
But then I started using Parcel2Go. This did not only save me a lot of money, it also saved me a shitload of time. I pay 30P per package extra and the courier comes to my door. That is so much better than having to take a 30 minute hike to the drop off point or the busy postal office. Oh and did I mention that the courier in my area is really cool?
Poundworld Plus is your friend.
I used to buy my stationary for sending off parcels in Poundland. But three weeks ago, when I started sending out my first few dresses, I noticed I was out of plastic envelopes. Shit. I put on my shoes and I went to Poundland. They had no plastic envelopes. So I walked another 10 minutes to yet another poundland. No plastic envelopes there either. Maybe I should try the poundland at ASDA? And yes: you guessed it – no plastic envelopes there either.
So why do I want these Poundland plastic envelopes? Well because they are good and because they are cheap. It is £1 for three large ones or £1 for 8 small ones. And that is super cheap when you consider that the ones in ASDA are £4 for the large ones and that at Ryman’s you can pay a staggering £5 for basically the same product.
I literally had no idea what to do and was just about to drag my feet to Ryman’s (I was so tired and frustrated that I did not want to walk all the way to ASDA again) when I decided to have a look in one of the shops I had not been to: Poundworld Plus.
Guess what. The mailing stationary that Poundland had thrown out was now for sale in Poundworld Plus. Jeebus Krist!
If you want to sell stuff on eBay there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Make sure you are sending money to the right paypal, make sure that you have more than 20 listings a month you can use, and keep in mind that eBay will also take 7% commission on your P&P.
As for keeping things cheap, you can use parcel2go to get great prices on postage, and the mailing stationary at Poundland and Poundworld plus are highly recommendable both for quality as for price.