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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 
more for 
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 
shipping supplies.

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.  

Paypal’s website:

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

Check out Monica's art on eBay here:
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