You’ll know that July is the Money Month over on The High Tea Cast. So to ease your money worries and your overdraft woes, check back every Friday for a series of little hints on tips on how to make your moolah stretch further or work harder for you.

This week, it is the turn of eBay – and no, don’t all rush off and find yourself some bargains on there. This is not about fastest finger first on the bid button. Whilst you can pick up a bargain or two on the site (my top tips are skincare, premium nail polish and cute accessories) you’d be missing the point. eBay is a great place to sell your wares too, and whilst some think it is scary and overwhelming, using our handy guide to selling on eBay you’ll be raking in the ££ quicker than you can spend them. Honest.

Get prepared

This ain’t no Scout or Guides promise, but I can promise you that your eBay journey will run more smoothly and be more fruitful if you spend some time getting everything ready beforehand. Sounds simple, but there are a few things you need to think about before bunging your stuff online.

  • Make sure everything you are selling is clean, in good condition and if needs be in sealed containers. I am a big seller of clothes and shoes and give everything a little wash and iron beforehand. This helps with the next step, and ensures good feedback from buyers which is essential for future selling.
  • Get good pictures! I cannot stress this enough. Pictures and your description are the only things that are going to sell your items to buyers, and pictures are seriously important. Good light, good background and a number of different angles help.
  • Stock up on packaging. I buy my padded envelopes in bulk from eBay, or grey mailing bags if it is clothing. You want good packaging that doesn’t cost the earth, but more importantly you want it to hand when you are ready to post!
  • Spend time making a note of important features – where the item is from, is it rare, what are the leg measurements etc? You want your item to stand out from the crowd! You can keep a note of this in a word doc, ready to paste when you are ready.
  • Work out your postage costs. I charge a flat £3 which covers just about any clothes I sell. You may need to charge more – but don’t lose money on this!

Get technical

iSale Screenshot

There are a few things on the techy side of eBay selling that can help you maximise profits and minimise effort. And that is what we all want really isn’t it?
  • Use something like Turbolister to help list your items. It is free to use, and enables you to use templates for your items taking out much of the effort, You can build up your items over time and save them for when you are ready to sell. If you are on a Mac, sadly Turbolister isn’t available, but I invested $19 in iSale (pictured above) which does the same thing and has paid for itself a million times over.
  • Timing of your auctions is important. I always start and end mine on a Sunday evening, which is known as the best time to end auctions. If you use something like Turbolister, you can bulk upload everything a the right time, or if you are not going to be at your computer, you can schedule for 6p per item!
  • You can make your listing bold, add subtitles etc for extra cost, but I have never bothered and my auctions have always done well.
  • If you don’t have one already, set up a Paypal account. Although hated by almost everyone it is the quickest and easiest way to get paid, despite the fact they take a cut. Cheques, be gone!

Get selling

Once you have listed your items, that fun isn’t over – oh no. It is always best to keep an eye on things. There are a few things you need to do to keep your auctions flowing and to get the best price. Speaking of price…

  • Before you press list, you’ll need to decide a price. Generally speaking I start all my auctions at 99p (it is the cheapest to list, plus it encourages bidders) but for rare, brand new or with labels items I might do a Buy It Now – where it is a straight transaction, not an auction.
  • Once your auctions are running, watch out for questions from potential bidders, and try to answer as thoroughly as possible. I publish all Q&A’s on the auction, in order to give more info to other bidders.
  • People may contact you to end the listing early and sell to them. Approach with caution. Once you go outside of eBay’s rules, you won’t be protected.
eBay Parcels

Get sending

The final hurdle – what you have been waiting for – getting paid for your stuff. Don’t fall at the last moment – make sure no refunds are required!

  • Send invoices to all your buyers to encourage swift payment, or if buyers have purchased more than one item from you, to ensure they pay the right amount of postage.
  • Once they have paid, make sure you post swiftly – getting chased for items is boring and painful. I use scales at home to weigh, and then pay for postage via Paypal and print the label. All in my PJ’s. Take to the Post Office, and make sure you get proof of posting.
  • Reply to any postage enquiries quickly, and make sure your respond with positive feedback when it is left for you.
  • If items haven’t sold, hit relist! It costs nothing to relist and you have nothing to lose (I once relisted an item five times, and it sold for £10!)
And repeat the process again. If you have loads of items you may want to break it up into chunks, or it can drive you mad. But over a 3 month period of semi-consistent selling I made £500. Not bad, and certainly kept me in Lattes for a while!

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