Sell, sell, sell
I have a problem. I have way too many books, DVDs and games. I’m moving in with my fiancé in a few months, and we’re combining all of our stuff into a one bedroom apartment, so it’s time to purge.
If you’re selling media items, forget ebay. Take them to the river. Otherwise known as amazon.com. Ebay still has its place, but I generally only look there for clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. If you’re a clotheshorse instead of a bookhorse or if you have an item that is particularly collectible, ebay will work well for you, and a lot of the tips I’ve listed below are still applicable.
Firstly, sign up for a seller account on amazon. You don’t need to start a totally new account, if you already have an account, I believe all you do to get started is click on the “your seller account” link on the sign in page. If any of you have issues with that, let me know. I’ve had an account for well over a year so I can’t remember.
It only takes a few minutes to sign up, and you’ll be up and selling usually within the same day. Best of all, unlike ebay, you don’t have to wait for a seller to submit payment. When you get the e-mail from amazon saying you have an order, they’ve already paid amazon. You’ll get paid by either amazon.com gift certificates (my mother does this to feed her book obsession) or direct deposit to your bank account. You can either ask for money as soon as you have it, or Amazon will automatically do this at least once a month. I usually keep money in there for a week or so in case I have to refund any of my customers. The main downside to selling with Amazon is that they do take a hefty cut of your profits, more than eBay would take. That said, if you sell a book on eBay, you’ll be lucky to get one bid. Usually I sell items within a few days after I’ve listed them, some within minutes after listing!
Here are a few tips for selling:
–If you have a lot of stuff to sell, buy your envelopes from overstock.com.
I just bought 100 #2 padded envelopes for $25, and that includes free shipping. If you have ever cried at the price of padded envelopes at Staples, you’ll realize how good this deal is!
–Check what an item is selling for before you list yours.
I often look at the lowest price and undercut it by one cent, then my item shows up at the top of the page as the lowest priced item, so it’s what buyers see first.
–Review your inventory often.
Even though a lot of items sell instantly, some items are slower sellers. Keep an eye on your inventory and adjust prices as need be. You may have to do the one cent trick, or you may see that an item that was selling for $2.00 is now selling for $4.00.
–Know what sells and what is just junk.
I’m listing everything I have to minimize moving items I won’t look at. But often you’ll see very popular movies, books and games selling for just one cent. You will make a dollar or so on the shipping, but that’s it. If it’s not worth it to you, then start a pile to either put up on a site like paper book swap or to give to a local charity.
–Pay very close attention when addressing your envelopes.
Unfortunately I just had to refund a couple customers because I put items in the wrong envelopes. Whe you’re just starting, you will probably sell a lot of stuff at once, so it can get confusing. Match up the packing slips and write the envelopes out one by one to avoid confusion.
–Ask the post office clerk the cheapest route to send your items.
Often it will be media mail, but the clerks at my post office are awesome and will tell me if it’s cheaper to send it first class. This depends on what zone you’re sending it to and how much the package weighs.
–If you belong to an online book club, take advantage of it!
I’ve mentioned previously about how awesome mypoints is. You get points by shopping online and looking at e-mails. Unlike other sites, it’s not a scam, and last year I got $75 in gift certificates for Barnes & Noble and Target. Mypoints will often give you a hefty amount of points if you join online book clubs like The Literary Guild and QPB. You often get a number of books upon joining for a very good price. Read them and sell them on amazon.com for almost a full profit! My enterprising mother joins book clubs that she has absolutely no interest in, then as soon as she gets the books, sells them! The one caveat is to read the membership agreement carefully. Make sure you don’t have to be a member for so long before you can quit. Most clubs just have a quota of books you must buy before you can quit, and that number is usually pretty reasonable.
–You’re probably not going to sell items for what you bought them for.
If you think that you should sell your items for what you bought them for, then this game is not going to work for you. Used media is like used cars. Their value depreciates. Some items you’ll be lucky if you get 10% of what you paid. But if you take the attitude that you’re not going to look at it again and that it’s just gathering dust on your shelf, then selling will work well for you.
My last tip is the most important:
–Use your selling money for the wedding!
As soon as I get my deposit from amazon, I instantly transfer it to my savings account, or if I have an impending wedding deposit, I use it towards that.
Do you have any tips for coming up with some extra cash for your wedding?
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