How To Sell On eBay

No Credit Needed made over $1000 in 2005 selling baby clothes on eBay as a way to get out of debt. He’s sharing 15 tips he learned, but fear not, childless readers, most apply to selling any kind of item at the online auction site. For one,

Take a good picture! If you do nothing else, be sure to include a good, crisp picture of whatever article of clothing you are selling. I lay the outfits that I am selling down on the carpet in our sun-room and take two or three pictures of each outfit, making sure to capture any special appliqu

s or decals. Note: If the item has a “flaw”, be sure to show the flaw in the picture. You want to be honest!

Another rule we follow is to only sell and ship to confirmed U.S. Paypal addresses. This provides you with numerous protections in the event someone tries to scam you. If you ship to an unconfirmed or foreign address, the buyer can claim they never received the item, demand their money back through Paypal, and the company will frequently find in their favor. — BEN POPKEN

How To Sell Baby Clothes On eBay [No Credit Needed]


Edit Your Comment

  1. MostNutsEver says:

    Also, get a cute girl to pose with whatever you are selling.

  2. lonelymaytagguy says:

    Actually Ben, PayPal seller protection also extends to UK and Canadian confirmed addresses.

    Considering what he/she’s selling, I wouldn’t worry about confirmed addresses, though. It’s probably not worth bothering on a $15 sale in what I think is a low risk category.

    All-in-all it’s a good list of success on eBay tips.

  3. quantum-shaman says:

    Selling something like baby clothes is a great idea because there are always people with babies and who wants to pay full retail for something the kid is going to barf all over and grow out of in six weeks anyway? Using PayPal is fine for less expensive items, but their “pound of flesh” gets progressively heavier as the final value goes higher. I sell mostly antiques at the moment. On a $600 item, you’re going to find yourself shorn of a little over $40 just for the privilege of accepting money through PayPal. Never again!! On stuff like that, I require a check or money order.

  4. mopar_man says:

    Another rule we follow is to only sell and ship to confirmed U.S. Paypal addresses.

    Like the poster above said, there’s confirmation available for other countries.

    I absolutely hate sellers that are too lazy to ship outside of the US. Chances are, you’ll get more bids if you offer to ship worldwide or at least to Canada.

  5. star_ says:

    How much time was invested to make that $1000?

  6. grizzman says:

    I have a friend who got burned badly on a sale to Europe, so I can understand people not wanting to risk it.

    I’ve been selling on Ebay for 9 years off and on, and will ship anywhere regardless of country or whether they have a confirmed address in Paypal. I’ll take my chances for now, because the bigger your pool of buyers is, the more likely you are to get a higher amount for your item.

  7. quantum-shaman says:

    @star_: You could make it for a few hours’ of work but not with baby clothes!

  8. emax4 says:

    Don’t forget to check the past auctions as well. This will give you a good idea of your item(s) is/are worth even selling. I have a bunch of Star Wars figures that I wanted to sell on ebay, and checking the Completed Listings gave me a good idea as to whether or not is was worth my time listing the items. There were a few that didn’t sell of those that I decided to list, but more of them did sell after all. But the Completed Listings section will give you a good idea of what to start the item out at price wise, as well as whether or not to even list it as a reserve auction.

    Don’t forget to list a general shipping price but also add info for shipping outside the 48 states if the winning bidder lives in one of those areas.
    I always take multiple pictures of the items and upload them to a free hosting site (mine is Photobucket). This way people get a better idea of what they’re bidding on and can get a better view of the item all around instead of just a head shot of the item.

  9. thrillhouse says:


    You hit the nail on the head. Before I buy or sell anything on ebay, I check completed listings. YOu can learn a boatload about how to market specific products by simply looking at what was successful previously. Now I’m not advocating stealing someone else’s descriptions or pictures (which is heavily frowned upon). Rather learning about what this type of buyer is wanting/needing to see in a listing. Also, how many times did they have to list the item to sell it? Is that market saturated? Why should people bid on MY item?

  10. TPIRman says:

    @MostNutsEver: I wholeheartedly agree.

    But what happened to the picture of the aforementioned cute girl and her whimsical EOS 5D hat?

  11. othium says:

    The very first thing I bought in a thrift store was a figurine of a man standing next to a goat because I thought it looked like something my Mother used to collect before she passed away. Through a bit of research on the internet and after showing the item to a couple dealers, I was surprised to find out it was a Staffordshire figurine and I listed it on Ebay. It sold for $165. No small chunk of change to me. I have been hitting the thrift stores regularly now and have paid this month’s rent with my sales from last month. (Not every month is that good, but I seem to clear a couple hundred even on the slow months. The trick is as described above. Check the completed listings in the advanced search to find out if your item is worth the time to list it. I won’t buy an item for resale if I can’t at least double my money after listing fees and taxes.

    If you are thinking about selling on Ebay, take advantage of the great community on the discussion boards they have there. A wealth of information and experience is there and all you have to do is ask (politely of course.) I can’t even count how many times asking a simple question has saved me from losing some cash. (My favorite is the Pottery-Glass-Porcelain Board. They have experts there that can ID just about anything in that field.)

    Sorry I rambled so long. It’s one of my favorite jobs!

  12. Craig says:

    I’m not sure someone who only made $1,000 in a year on eBay is the best person to get advice from.

    Also, to the person who said they paid $40 to Paypal on a $600 sale…you may have paid $40 total in eBay and Paypal fees but Paypal only accounted for about $18 of that.

  13. quantum-shaman says:

    @Craig: I guess it depends on what you’re selling and how badly you need the money. A grand’s worth of baby clothes sure isn’t worth MY time unless I somehow had a big stash on hand. I came up with the down payment on my first house, thanks to eBay and the junk I already had laying around. BTW you’re right on the fee calc. Still, my PayPal threshold is about $300 now.

  14. Landru says:

    eBay is a great way to make money, but I’m sure that soon the IRS will require that the money you make from it be reported as taxable income.
    That will take a lot of the fun out of it.


    Too lazy to send stuff internationally? It usally means standing in line in the post office and filling out custom forms (and the buyer almost always asks you lie and declare a lower value for the item on the form). Hey man, your time is worth something. Not to mention a nigerian scam or two along the way. US only for me.

  15. NCN says:

    I made $1000 selling baby clothes (and about $1000 more selling other items) in 2005. These were clothes that my children had grown out of. As for the time involved, I’d estimate an hour or two to photograph the outfits, type up the listings, and get everything “set up” with eBay. After that, I’d simply check the auctions at the end of the day, print out shipping labels, and mail off the packages. Pretty easy way to make a few dollars, especially for someone looking to get rid of stuff that was just “lying around”.

  16. emax4 says:

    Some items I’ve profited from at a thrift store:

    Mac OS X Server for $5. I asked the clerk if they mispriced it thinking it was $15 or $50, but it was $5. I started the bidding at $10 with no reserve, and it sold for $75

    Mattel Handheld Football II game from 1978 or 1979. Purchased for $3 and was fully working. I played with it for a few weeks, put it up for auction at $10, sold for $35.

    Bough a 1982 issue of Electronic Games magazine at a flea market for $1 along with other magazines of the same genre and year. I held on to them for a while and decided to put one up on ebay. I started it out $5, then I get hit with a bunch of emails saying it was one of the rarer issues, and it ended up selling for $40. At the same time i put up a framed Star Wars poster for $10, but no bids. Sometimes certain markets get saturated, so it can be hit-or-miss at times.

    To find the Completed Listings, log in, then go to the site map, then look on the left column partways down and you’ll find the Completed Listings link.

  17. strathmeyer says:

    “If you ship to an unconfirmed or foreign address, the buyer can claim they never received the item, demand their money back through Paypal, and the company will frequently find in their favor.”

    So, what happens when you ship to a confirmed domestic address and the buyer claims they never received the item and demands their money back through Paypal? Does the company then only infrequently find in scammer’s favor?

  18. lonelymaytagguy says:

    @strathmeyer: There’s a couple details to be aware of but the essence is: If you ship to a confirmed address, and use online trackable proof of delivery (such as USPS delivery confirmation), then assuming the package shows as delivered, PayPal won’t do a chargeback for non-delivery.

  19. asherchang says:

    How does paypal ensure that the buyer gets what was promised, and not just that the buyer gets a packaged shipped to them?

  20. kim says:

    I sell media on Amazon and made beaucoup bux last fall — enough to send my son to Italy for 10 days even though I had just been laid-off. Amazon doesn’t allow you to sell indefinitely, but it’s WAY more simple than eBay. And my momma always says, simple is as simple does.

  21. @Landru: Actually, you’re already technically required to report profits from eBay. This doesn’t affect the vast majority of people who are selling old junk that they have lying around, however, as they are selling at a loss. If, on the other hand, you buy stuff cheap and resell at a profit, then you’re legally on the hook for taxes.

  22. shades_of_blue says:

    On large objects, I no longer ship outside of the US and Canada. I stopped doing this because I’ve had too many buyers not pay after they got the total with shipping charges. To ship a 3 pound object from the US to France was $34 and that was with a 2-week shipment time. UPS wanted over a $100 to ship the same object 3 day air, and quotes from USPS and DHL were all in the same ballpark too. For me, it’s just not worth the trouble dealing with buyers outside of North America.

    In contrast, my mother sells many watches [and other jewelry] to Italy all the time. Things like that people are willing to honor their commitments on. So don’t rule out Europe and Asia completely, just because I told you that there are too many deadbeats out there.

  23. jakegorzen says:

    I know this is a old blog, but there are numerous ways to ship other then ground and express. If you were to call fed ex and describe to them that you need a expidite route it will in many cases be alot cheaper, because when you expidite it doesnt go by “weight” of item/s it is a single price.
    Im a shipping supervisor for a co. and this has got me out of a sticky situation more then once.
    also to the comment about a customer claiming they didnt recieve a package and therefor “stealing”. Just check the box on your B.O.L that says “direct signiture required” that will reduce alot of stress also.

    have a good day