Selling unwanted household items can easily net you more than £1,000, an eBay expert has revealed.
Claire Seal is behind the My Frugal Year Instagram account, claiming she’s racked up 88,000 followers and paid off a massive £27,000 debt.
Now she shares her top tips for cutting costs, including selling all your unwanted items on second-hand sites like eBay.
She said: “Trying to sell what you no longer use is a great way to make a little extra money.
“Sometimes they can be quite surprising – I listed empty soap bottles from Aesop and they were selling for £10!”
Millions of households are looking for easy ways to make some extra money amid the high cost of living.
It’s a great way to deal with rising energy bills, rising fuel prices and rising prices at the supermarket.
And research by eBay shows that the average person has more than £1,100 worth of unwanted items lying around the house.
Old technology is one of the most profitable things to sell – a used laptop can fetch you £290 and a smartphone £153.
If you are cleaning the children’s bedroom, keep an eye on it. An old pushchair or pram can set you back £40 and you can expect to pocket around £11 from old baby books.
If you’ve ever tried to give up a new hobby too quickly – at least try and get some money back. Music equipment can set you back £137 and DJ equipment will set you back £68.
Elsewhere in the household, eBay estimates that the average seller can make £36 on clothes and shoes they no longer use, £22 on cookware, and £40 on photo frames.
Be sure to check fees before listing on any site – eBay lets you list up to 1,000 items per month for free, but takes a cut of the selling price.
Here are Claire’s top tips for making the most of your eBay listing.
Use the best keywords
eBay can be a real treasure trove of unexpected items – but you need to use the best keywords to give yourself the best chance of finding the good stuff.
When you search for an item on eBay, the results are filtered based on the title the seller gave to their listing.
This means that if you want buyers to find you, it’s critical to fill your listing title with plenty of searchable words that describe your item.
Clare says: “It’s always worth checking eBay for things you wouldn’t expect second hand, handy or unique – always worth checking out.”
You can set up a saved search to help buyers track down any special items they’re waiting for for sale.
People often find it worth the wait because it’s cheaper than buying at a traditional retailer.
Choose the correct category
When you create a listing to sell on eBay, you need to choose a category to save it.
Choosing the most appropriate category means that the right buyers have a higher chance of finding your listing.
Therefore, parents who sell children’s clothes – choose not only “fashion”, but also “children’s fashion”.
Knowing that old items are going to a buyer makes it easier to sell items that have appreciating value, Clare said.
Clare said; “There are things I’m sad to sell – certainly some of my children’s clothes.
“We had two lovely organic items that were in really good condition and I’m sad to see them go but happy to have another baby to wear them.”
Pictures are important
eBay shoppers want to see what they’re buying, so if you want to maximize your selling price, you need to include some great images.
Details without attached photos can confuse people – no matter how good the description.
Clare said: “If you want to sell clothes, I recommend hanging them up rather than folding them or putting them on the floor.”
Clare suggests using good lighting and a clear background. Be honest about any scratches and scuffs on an item, she adds.
“Take photos from many different angles and include close-ups if there’s a special detail.”
Be specific with your description
Once a buyer is interested, you need to win them over with a compelling statement.
Be clear about the product’s condition or risk negative feedback.
If you’re selling clothes, describe the fit or feel of the item.
Clare said: “One of my best sellers is The Gold Dress and Other Stories, which I originally bought on eBay.
“It had a boom in popularity and was off the market everywhere so when I resold it it was around £70.”
Timing can also be important, says Claire: “I find that listing an auction to close on a Sunday night often results in last minute bidding activity.
Be realistic about the price
When determining an asking price, don’t just pull a number out of thin air—do some research.
Search for similar items to see how much they got – searching by “completed listings” will give you the sold price.
Clare says you have to ask yourself: What am I paying for this item? But even then, you might be pleasantly surprised at some of the details.
Clare said: “I’m amazed at how much some of my items have sold for.
“The most amazing thing is the box that came out of the Dyson Air wrapper. I prefer to just keep mine in a drawer, so I popped the leather case on eBay and got it for £30.”
Elsewhere on eBay, a coin collector sold a Kew Gardens 50p for £210.
And one salesman has revealed how he made £1,500 reselling items from Poundland.