Another Way to Start Decluttering on Ebay

Set your expectations low. Most things you own won’t make money on Ebay, unless you’re a major collector.

Gather up 50 small items. Small means less than a pound, preferably really small, like a DVD or CD or small object.

Researching Marketability

Search for each one, and see what the prices are like. Then, in the left column, click “Sold Items” to see how many have sold. If there are a dozen listings, all at low prices, but none have sold, then, your’s probably will not sell.

If there are a lot of listings, but also a lot of sales, it’ll probably sell.

Do this for all the items, putting the items that can’t sell into a box.

Letting Go of the Unsellables

Once you have the box of unsellable items, you can donate them to a thrift shop, or list them as a giveaway on Craigslist or another website.


Repeat this process of gathering and researching until you have 50 items.  50 is a good goal because Ebay lets you list up to 50 items for free.

Register for Ebay

You need to set up the Ebay account. First, set up a PayPal account. Your money will be paid through PayPal. Second, create the Ebay account. Read all the instructions, and take it slow. It’ll take an hour or more.

Gather Boxes and Supplies

You need to find all the small , plain brown boxes. Gather them up. USPS accepts only brown cardboard shipping boxes. It’s OK to reuse old Amazon boxes or other similar boxes.

Gather all your fat tip markers. You need these to blot out the Amazon barcodes. You’ll also need some scissors, so find them. If you have a ruler or tape measure, find that as well. The tape measure is the best.

Take one of the boxes and use it to store all your ebay supplies.

You will need to spend some money to buy a scale if you don’t already have one. You need a postal scale, or a food scale that displays ounces. You can order them on ebay for around $12.

You can go to the dollar store and buy some clear packing and storage tape. While you are there, get a couple padded mailers as well. (If you have mailers hoarded, use those as well.)

List List List

Finally, sort your stuff by category, and then start photographing and listing the smallest items.  You can use the camera on your smartphone. If you have a point-and-shoot digital camera, that’s even better.

When you list, measure the weight of the item, packed, with the box or padded mailer.

For shipping, if the item is under a pound, choose “USPS First Class Package”.  If it’s over a pound, choose “USPS Parcel Select Ground”.

Ebay has a lot of advice about listing and titling. Read their instructions and follow their advice as best you can.

Building Up Your Feedback Rating

When you start out, your feedback rating will be zero. You need to increase that or buyers won’t trust you. There are a few ways to do this:

  • If you buy stuff on Ebay, the sellers will give you good feedback. The main thing to buy are mailing supplies. They give feedback immediately, and they generally have good prices.
  • Sell a bunch of your items at very low prices. If people are asking $5, price yours at $2. (Don’t do free shipping yet.)
  • Put a small note in the package asking for positive feedback. Just a small slip of paper is fine.

Before long you will have 10 or 20 feedback, and people will trust you. Ebay will trust you, and will show your ads to more people.

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