Gearing Up For the Holidays — How to Make the Most Money on Ebay

by Nindo Mom on October 19, 2011

You may have noticed that most retail stores now start displaying Christmas holiday merchandise about the same time as they put up the Halloween merchandise. If you’re like me, then you probably find this more than a little annoying. But the truth is, the stores wouldn’t display Christmas items this early if they didn’t believe it would increase their sales. And since these retailers spend plenty of money on market research to maximize their sales, it seems prudent to learn what we can from them.

All this aside, personal experience tells me that people really start their holiday buying in October. So, if you’re planning to sell some stuff on Ebay this holiday season,  now, in October, is the best time to start. (Of course, if you’re reading this in November, or even December, it’s certainly not too late to jump on the Ebay wagon–you just have a little less time to work with.)

In my experience, the best kinds of items to sell on Ebay around the holidays are brand new items that may be in limited supply in the retail stores. If you happen to have any new/unused items that were offered for sale LAST YEAR and are no longer in stores can be particularly valuable, especially when it comes to toys. This is because, although many kids will want the “latest and greatest” toys being pushed by the toy companies, many kids may also be yearning for the toys Santa DIDN’T bring last year. So if you’re able to offer some of these items on Ebay, you may have a good leg up on your competition.

Steps to Take Now to Sell the Most on Ebay this Holiday Season

Collect Everything Together

If you have items around your house that you want to sell on Ebay, collect them together in one place where you can find them easily, but where they’ll be out of your family’s way.  (You don’t want to have to hunt for these items after they sell, but you also don’t want your family members to be tripping over them as they go about their daily routine; this is inconvenient for your family, and possibly detrimental to your items!)

Also, gather together mailing supplies for these items. You can save a bit of cash, thereby increasing your profit, if you can come up with good shipping boxes for your items without having to buy them.

Remove Stickers

Carefully remove any price stickers affixed to product packaging; it’s one less thing for your buyers to worry about.

Take Photos

You’ll save lots of time by taking photos of all the items you’ll be selling on Ebay all at once. Obviously, this won’t be possible if you’re supplementing your stock as time goes on, but the premise remains: take as many photos in as big of batches as you can to save time. Also, make the photos as attractive as possible with regards to lighting, backdrops (can be a simple piece of plain-colored cloth) and product arrangement to improve the appeal of the items you’re selling

Keep Your Eyes Open

Watch the stores for deep discount sales on items you think will sell well. (If you end up not selling a few of these items by the time Christmas hits, you can always give the items as gifts to your own family, friends, and coworkers–and if you got them on a great sale, then at least you’ve saved a good bit of money on gifts!)

One year, I was able to sell several of those remote controlled Spygear cars on Ebay because they were hard to find in stores–but I was able to pick them up sporadically at one of my three local Target stores. As I recall, I made about $30/car profit–a nice amount to put towards my son’s holiday gifts that year. (In this case, I actually purchased the cars at full price and sell them for a good profit because they were in such high demand.)

Other excellent sources for purchasing good items at low prices include Ebay, Amazon, and local thrift stores.

Give Excellent Customer Service

Always package your items carefully once they’re sold: your buyers will be understandably upset if their item arrives broken because it wasn’t packed carefully enough. But packages that protect their precious contents well and that arrive quickly make buyers happy, which results in a good reputation for you–and no returns!

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