I’m in baby step 2 of Dave Ramsey’s 7 steps to financial peace. This means I’m retiring all debt except mortgage debt (this is baby step 6). One of his ideas to retire debt quicker is to sell unnecessary items.
Probably Dave’s idea of what is unnecessary is different from mine but I spent several weeks thinking about what I owned and didn’t even use let alone need. Last weekend I decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at selling on Ebay.
Part of my thinking those weeks was about what venue was the best for me to enter. Options were garage sale, craigslist and ebay (at least those were the options I knew).
I ruled out a garage sale for several reasons. The first was price. I didn’t think I could get the best price with the local audience as compared to a national audience. Second, a garage sale would require more organization and time than I wanted to do now. I would have to gather enough things to make it worthwhile to hold, price each item or group, display in my garage and then spend a day off holding the sale. A garage sale has the advantage of no shipping and having the sale of many items done in one day.
Craigslist would be easier, but required coordination between the buyer and myself. I didn’t want to have to haggle for each sale. There is the same disadvantage of only having a local audience most likely compared to a national audience. The advantage is that the listing is free and immediate.
Lastly I considered Ebay. I had experience on this venue buying over the years and felt comfortable with transactions on Ebay. The downside of this method is I would have to package and ship any items sold. I would pay small fees to Ebay and Paypal for their hosting of the transactions. The advantages of being able to sell to a national audience, the anonymity and the free listings with no risk if the item didn’t sell swayed me to this venue. I decided to post the 5 free monthly listings and give it a whirl.
Process and Results
It took me a couple of hours to figure out the best option for posting my items and getting all 5 listed. The challenging part for me was the shipping options, but I figured it out. I would recommend “More Listing Choices” over “Keep it Simple” when selecting the listing form. Otherwise, you’re stuck with a flat rate for shipping in certain categories.
I listed the items on a Saturday with a 5 day auction and a 3 business days turnaround for shipping. The timing was important to ensure I could fulfill sales on the weekend. I listed 4 books and a Wii game I got for Christmas and never used (sadly I had asked for it, but that’s another post).
On Thursday, I received five emails from Ebay. Two items sold (one book and the Wii game) and three had not. The email has a link that will help generate the invoice for the buyer. Luckily, I had two prompt payers and shipped the packages yesterday.
Selling on Ebay was a positive experience and I have $36 more for paying down debt. What about the items that didn’t sell? I’m trying my hand at selling the 3 books and 3 exercise DVDs on Half.com. I’ll let you know in a later post how that goes.
Do you have items you can sell? Think about what you don’t need and how to turn it into money!