Learn how to make extra money for the holidays starting today! That sounds salesy, but it’s not. This is just a review of my personal experience.
Today is Halloween, and you know what that means….. in a few hours my children are going to be sugared-up adorable little monsters, and also…. the holidays are around the corner! If you’re like me, you’ve probably already started some shopping or at least brainstormed for gifts. The inevitable question is now looming: is there a way to pay for the holidays in cash without putting purchases on credit cards? My answer is yes! In fact, I have made almost $1,000 in the last 2 months with this one simple trick.
Right now I am saving up for the holidays, but you can use this money-making strategy to make extra money anytime of the year.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

How is this possible?

Sell your unused stuff on eBay.

OK stick with me… I used to have very blah feelings about selling stuff on eBay. Of course I always knew it was an option to make some extra money, but I never thought people would pay for my used stuff. I can tell you for certain based on my experience that people will definitely pay for your used stuff… shipping costs and all.

What exactly can you sell?

Stuff that is
  • gently used (not in terrible condition)
  • useful (maybe you don’t have a use for it, but someone else would)
  • collectable
  • rare or difficult-to-find (especially if you can offer international shipping because people outside of the US don’t have access to the same products and are willing to pay to ship things overseas)
To my surprise, I have had great success selling my used clothing. I never thought people would want to buy my used clothes and pay to ship them, but I have been proven completely incorrect. I have sold a lot of gently-used clothing items. The key here is that I only sell my quality, brand name clothing that is free of stains and visible wear. Obviously no one wants to pay for my $4 black T-shirt that I bought from Walmart. However, I am an ENORMOUS fan of Stitch Fix (I am raving-crazy-lunatic-level about it actually), and I have a crap load of cute, quality clothes. These brands sell really well on eBay because most Stitch Fix brands are exclusive and can’t be purchased from other retailers. Therefore people are eager to buy them used on eBay. Some other brands that sell easily are any of the designer brands (Michael Kors, Coach, etc.), LuLaRoe, trendy brands (Lucky, Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, etc.). OK so basically anything name brand.
I have also sold a lot of handmade goods (craft items primarily.) I love crafting, so I have a ton of stuff I’ve made that I don’t really have the space or a use for. Also name brand household decor (Yankee Candle, Partylite, Pottery Barn, etc.), electronics (graphing calculators, GPS units, digital cameras), designer purses, toys, books (particularly textbooks), and tools.

How to sell on eBay

  1. Take a read through the eBay policies and get informed about the cost to sell on eBay. (eBay will keep a percentage of your sale depending on the type of item and other factors. The fee is usually 10% but can vary slightly due to many factors. Read all the info here.)
  2. Take a walk around each room of your house and identify items that are in good shape that you don’t mind parting with.
  3. Check that the item is in good shape, and clean it up if necessary.
  4. Search for your item on eBay, and see if others are selling the same thing and what price it’s going for.
  5. Take quality pictures of your item. (See below for more on pictures.)
  6. Create a listing for your item by starting a new listing or clicking “Sell a similar item” on someone else’s listing (that’s the easier way). EBay allows small sellers to list up to 50 items per month for free. This means no listing fee for your first 50 listings per month. Listing fees are usually $0.35 each) You may need to create a Paypal account if you don’t already have one. (It’s free!)
  7. Decide on the price. You can list your item as Buy It Now which acts just like regular online retail – if someone wants to buy it, they click the button and pay immediately. You can also list your item as an auction lasting up to 7 days. This is the traditional way that most people think of when they think about selling on eBay. Buyers bid on your item over your selected period of time, and the highest bidder gets the item. The third option is to list your item for auction but include a Buy It Now price also. (If I list for auction, I always add a Buy It Now price.)
  8. List the item. You’ll get an email from eBay verifying your post is live. While you’re waiting for it to sell, pack it up to ship so you can ship as soon as you receive payment.
  9. Ship. I recommend buying your USPS shipping labels through eBay (They offer a discount so it’s cheaper than going to the post office, and will automatically link the paid item to the tracking number)
  10. Collect your money. (See Paypal tips below if you’re unsure how to do this.)

Tips for successful selling on eBay

  • Post lots of pictures.
  • Post quality pictures. (Use a plain background if possible; otherwise use a clean, neat background. People don’t want to buy stuff that looks like its coming from a scum house) Also: consider good lighting, and do not include grainy photos.
  • Be honest. (If your item has a flaw, let buyers know.)
  • Ship quickly and put tracking numbers on everything.
  • Don’t get greedy. (Price things to sell, not to sit and wait for the one person on earth who MIGHT pay a higher price.)
  • If you aren’t sure how to price something, list it as an auction vs. Buy It Now.
  • Stay away from selling large items (they are usually too costly to ship efficiently), make-up or beauty products, and medical devices/machines. (If you needed a prescription to get it, you cannot sell it.)

Paypal tips

  • Connect your Paypal account to your checking account so you can easily transfer over the money you’ve made on eBay.
  • Many retailers accept Paypal as an option at checkout, so you may not even need to move your money out of Paypal to use it (depending on how and where you plan to spend it).
  • You can request a Paypal debit card (easily do this online at the Paypal website) and use that to shop online (or in store) at places that don’t accept Paypal. I am mainly talking about Amazon which is one of the largest retailers that doesn’t accept Paypal.
  • If you’re saving, don’t transfer your money from Paypal. You can let your money sit and build in Paypal until you’re ready to use it for your holiday shopping or whatever occasion you’re saving for. In this way, it acts as a separate bank account and you aren’t tempted to spend it on other things. 😉
Because eBay offers free listings 50 times each month, there is nothing to lose by trying to sell your stuff to make extra money for the holidays. I hope these tips help to encourage you to give it a try and make some extra side money! I would love to hear about your success and your experience, so feel free to leave a comment letting me how how it goes!
Mom on!

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