Money for Missionaries: Sell Your Stuff.

bobjudge @flickr(This is part of a series introducing the new personal finance guide for missionaries: Money for Missionaries: A Personal Finance Primer for Missionaries, aka M4M, now available from Amazon.)

As a missionary, once you’ve got your support raised, most of you will be relocating your family overseas.

Inevitably, you can’t (and won’t want to) take all your stuff with you.  You have 5 options:

  1. Store it.
  2. Take it with you.
  3. Give it away.
  4. Throw it away.
  5. Sell it.

Once you decide what to sell, you will have to decide how to sell it.

You can sell things at a local consignment store, at a garage sale, or you can sell it online.

To sell it online, there are 3 main options:

  1. Amazon.
  2. Craigslist.
  3. Ebay.

Instead of being exhaustive about all this, I want to challenge you to sell just one thing on Ebay.

(Now you know why there’s a Thundercats lunchbox in this post.)

Sell Just One Thing on Ebay Now.

Why?

You can learn forever about the optimal way to sell your stuff.  However, after a few basic steps, you will learn and earn a lot more if you just sell one thing.

After your first sale, you will be motivated to get rid of your stuff and get some cash.

How to decide what to sale on Ebay.

Here are a few guidelines to decide whether or not Ebay is the best place to sell an item.

  • Is it easy to ship?
  • Want to avoid strangers meeting you to check out the goods?
  • Do you need a large pool of potential buyers?

Here’s the best way to figure out if something is worth selling on Ebay.

  • Get an Ebay account if you don’t have one already.
  • Next to the Search box on Ebay, click on “Advanced.”

This will allow you to do a more advanced search.  After putting in a brief description of your item, click the box next to: “Completed Lisitings.”

You will then see all the items that match your description that have been listed in the past on Ebay.  Look through the items and find the item that is exactly the same as yours.

You can quickly see if your item is likely to sell, and you will also get an idea of about how much you could expect to get for it.

If you don’t find your item, or if it hasn’t sold, then you should definitely look at another option to get rid of your item.

If it has sold, but not for much, then it may not be worth your effort to sell it on Ebay.

If this is your first sale on Ebay, try an item that will get you $10-$30 so you can practice without much risk, and you can build a good reputation on Ebay.

Still looks like you should sell the item on Ebay?

Look at which listings got the best price.  Was the picture really good?  Were there certain details in the description that made the item at least appear more valuable to buyers?

After you’ve gathered some basic details, click on the link to sell an item.  It walks you through the process pretty painlessly.

Here are some tips to increase your odds of getting the best price:

  • Take a decent picture with even lighting.
  • Be sure to include any flaws in the description.
  • Start the listing on a Saturday night, and have it end 7 days later on Saturday night.
  • Start the bidding at 99 cents (even if you expect it to sale for hundreds).  This gets the most people watching and bidding.
  • Include free shipping, and ship with priority mail.  (This eliminates barriers for buyers, and it will get priced in into the bidding.)
  • Only accept paypal.
  • Do not offer returns (it’s not worth the hassle).
  • No international shipping.

Instead of trying to do your first Ebay sale perfectly, I urge you to just sale one thing on Ebay.

Get the experience under your belt – it could be the start of an avalanche!  It may be the start of getting some cash as you get rid of stuff so that you can move overseas.

Disclaimer: This site provides information only for entertainment and informational purposes.  We do the best we can to be accurate, but we are not professionals.  We are not tax, legal, or financial advisors, and we can not be held responsibility for any loss or harm you incur from reading this site.  Reading this site or signing up to receive emails does not form an advisor-client relationship.

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