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Auction Selling Tips
By Monica Resinger
Selling items at auctions is a fun way to bring in extra income and reduce
clutter in your home. If you’re like me and peruse yard sales and thrift
stores, you can add even more to your income. Most of the time, you’ll get
an item up for auction than you would selling it at a yard sale. Sometimes
it is very surprising and exciting to see how much you get for an item!
I recently began selling at eBay and have learned quite a bit about auction
selling through trial and error. This article will teach you the most
important things I have learned so far.
1. Shipping and Handling: You'll need a good scale - mine is a modern
food-weighing one (not the old ones that you can barely balance anything on).
type can be found at your local Target, Big K or Wal-Mart. When you weigh an
item be sure to also weigh the box/package it will be shipped in or estimate
for it so you get a correct weighing and charge enough. I use U.S.P.S. and
they have a website where you can figure shipping here:
When figuring what to charge for shipping, we also add in other shipping
expenses like the cost of boxes, envelopes, shipping tape, etc. Some eBay
like to add these expenses into the price of the item.
2. Packaging items: This can be a personal preference, but we use newspaper
because we have lots of it. Just be sure the item is packed tightly in the
box with whatever packing material you are using. You can also use shredded
paper, packing peanuts, or bubble-wrap.
We purchased shipping boxes that are movie (VHS) size because we sell a lot
of movies and another common size box. These are great because you don't have
to wrap them with shipping paper - just tape the seals with shipping tape.
Here's where we get our boxes:
This site has a huge variety of different sized boxes for good prices. If
you plan to sell for a long time, I recommend you get a common size box for the
type of items you are selling because it will save you a lot of time and
We also use other type boxes such as cereal boxes depending on what we are
shipping. These type boxes aren't as strong so they're better for things like
clothing or things that can handle a 'push'.
You can ask your neighbors, friends and family to save boxes for you and be
sure to keep your eyes open at local businesses for sturdier boxes - a lot of
times you‘ll see them sitting outside by the dumpster free for the taking.
If you use Priority Shipping through the U.S.P.S., they will give you free
3. Postal Insurance: We have made it an option for customers to get this
and we have noted on each auction that we are not responsible for broken or
items. If something gets broken or lost then they can use their insurance if
they bought it. If they buy it, you just buy it at the post office when you
are shipping and they give you a receipt. If someone's item gets damaged you
can then send them the receipt so they can take it up with the post office.
4. Pictures. You will need pictures of the items you are selling so will
need to either invest in a digital camera or get pictures developed on disk.
People will not buy from you without pictures - I know from experience.
5. Payment Options. As far as online payment services, my personal
preference is Paypal especially now that they offer a debit card. When Paypal
used, you get instant payment and are able to instantly use that money with the
debit card. There is a fee involved with each transaction but it is very
nominal considering the gas, time and hassle saved from cashing or depositing
and money orders.
It is best to accept as many payment options as possible. This will help you
get more bids on your items. Don’t be afraid to accept checks. All the
checks I have received from our customers have been good with no problems at
I know it can be intimidating - I was feeling the same way when we were first
thinking about auction selling. But once you know the basics, the best way
to learn is to just do it!
©, 2001, Monica Resinger
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