How to make $1000 a week selling used clothing on ebay!

work at home mom

How to make a living selling used clothing on Ebay

Do you have a passion for fashion? Are you obsessed with clothes and your closet is bursting at the seams? Just admit it! You are a clothes hoarder! I am a self confessed hoarder of clothes and I’m going to show you how you can turn your obsession into profit! Learn how you can actually make a living selling used clothing!

I’ve been selling ebay on and off for over a decade and I have learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way, so many in fact I wrote an e-book about selling ( and few tricks on buying) on ebay here’s a link if you are interested.

http://amzn.to/1OGGgIR

Let’s just jump right in

1)Find your niche. Narrow your focus. This is a mistake I made in the early days and I’m sure a lot of other sellers do too. Are you selling baseball cards, shoes and watches?! Stop right there, re-direct your focus. This will save you time and money. I used to frantically be calculating postage or finding huge boxes for larger items. It got stressful and very confusing.  What do you know about? What products do you find yourself buying the most yourself? Stick with what you know and love because chances are you will know price points, stay focused, intrigued and which will allow you to be a lot more successful.

2) Decide how much you need to make and the time you can invest. If you only have a couple hours a week to dedicate to ebay then you most likely won’t be able to make $1000 a week or even a month, well unless you find the right niche. More on this later.

For me, my niche is women’s name brand clothing. I have always sold name brand clothing, because, well I love clothes, if I started selling baseball cards for example, I would get bored and burned out quickly since it’s not my specialty or my expertise and I would probably lose money simply because I wouldn’t know how much the cards are worth, which would be detrimental to buying and selling these items.

3)Buy low and sell high. How low can you go? This is the name of the game! If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this phrase… BUY LOW, SELL HIGH! This is something that you will understand and learn about more through trial and error. In my genre, name brand clothing, I try to find things at the lowest price to make the maximum profit. Some of the best places I’ve found for finding re-sale items are yard sales, thrift stores, rummage sales, etc. I’ve had the best luck with church rummage sales because you can usually get things for $1 or $2 a bag on the last day of the sale. Same goes for yard sales, on the last day people really just want to get rid of stuff so they are much more willing to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to tell the sellers that you are a reseller, I find that being upfront and honest about your intensions for the items can help…sometimes. You really just have to weigh the situation and know when to talk and when to keep it zipped. If you frequent a certain store chances are you will get to know the owner or workers and it will eventually come into the conversation. Sometimes this is a very good thing because once they know you are kind of in the same business they are more willing to negotiate. One thrift store owner I know gives me a deal and free items every time I go in. Like 50 an item. I recently went to a school rummage sale on the last day, it was a half hour before they closed. I saw a ton of good name brand clothes that I knew I could flip for a profit. I asked the sellers , “could you make me a deal if I bought a whole box? I’m an ebay reseller.” The lady running the show said, “absolutely! How about all of them for $20”! So I literally bought all of the clothes left, now keep in mind not all of these clothes were ones I was wanting, but I didn’t have time to sort through them, I had my two boys in the car and I figured I could sell some, give some away and donate the rest. Always be on the lookout for deals like this.

4)Know you market and your buyer. Who is your customer? What is your customer into? What are the current trends this customer would be interested in? Let’s take for example, teens. There will always be a market for teen girl clothing. Most teen girls love to buy clothing. Study what your customer would be buying. Research on google and ebay, look at all the current fashion magazines, research key words and think like your targeted customer. Study, learn and grow daily. Be a sponge and learn as much as you can about this industry. I also watch videos on youtube. Youtubers like Pickin’ Profits and Resale Rabbit are good examples of ebayers that know what to buy and how to sell.  Dedicate an hour a day to learning the business. Even if that is just reading a few blogs.

The good stuff: So how much can I make?

Let’s talk for a minute about money and unfortunately there will be some math involved in this equation, yes some math humor, I tried. I really hate math, not gonna lie, so I will try to simplify it as much as I can.

How much is your time worth? Only you can answer that question. One person’s time might be worth $10 while anothers time might be worth $100. If you spend one hour on this business how much do you need to make in order to make your time count in that one hour?

Let’s say you make $15 an hour at your full time office job. If you are selling on eBay you probably want to make close to this amount for your time. Now you have to calculate expenses, like how much it costs to buy the items, shipping costs and packaging supplies, as well as ebay and PayPal fees. So here’s a scenario to break things down for you a bit.

You buy a pair of jeans at a rummage sale for $1 you decide they are worth about $30 on eBay after doing a few minutes of research and seeing what other sellers have these jeans listed for you have your price point.

After the cost of the jeans is factored in you will be left with $29. Let’s say $1 for packaging supplies and then $5 for fees. So you are left with $23 so for me that is worth my time.

Now listing a pair of jeans only takes about five minutes so what if you could list 12 pairs of these same kind of jeans or items? Could you do this in one hour’s time? It’s very possible, especially if the jeans where nearly the same you can copy listings to save time.

So if all of the jeans you sold were sold for $30 12x $23= $276. So how’s that for an hour’s worth of work? In my opinion enough to quit your job and make a full time living with ebay. Just think about having five hours per week or even five hours per day.

$276 (one hours work)

$276 x 5 (one week) =$1,380 Could you find five hours a week for an extra $1,380?

My guess is yes!

What if you had an extra five hours a day? You could generate an extra $6,900 a month, probably enough at that point to quit your day job right?

The trick is finding the right items, finding them for the lowest price and consistently listing, the more listings you have going at all times, the more money you will generate.

My advice is start with 100 items on a buy it now auction. Even if you found $10 jeans and they all sold on a buy it now auction that is $1,000 generated (before fees and cost of items) even if you have 100 items that sell on a 3 day auction for the average price of $5 that’s still $500 generated. Can you list 100 this week to make an extra $500? Or even if you do 25 listings a week you would still make $500 extra a month (minus fees). That’s still not bad for a few hours worth of work right?

Even if you are an eBay newbie, this platform is so easy to learn, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about selling online. Even if your business outgrows ebay, this is the perfect and simplest platform I know of to get you started and teach you the ends and outs if the business. From sourcing items, to pricing, packaging, shipping, postage, marketing, etc. There are so many invaluable lessons I learned by starting on eBay over ten years ago. I was in my early twenties, 22 I think when I listed my first item. A college textbook, which sold for $53

I’m at the point in my life were I value my time more than money. It’s not that I don’t value money, it’s that I realize my work is worth more, I guess I value myself and my skills more, I’m older and wiser than I was in my twenties, and to be quit honest going through a divorce recently toughened me up and changed the way I work and value my time. When I was in my twenties I was ok with making $10 an hour at a 9 to 5…here’s the thing I learned over the years though.You have to find a way to work smarter not harder. I think a lot of us don’t learn this until we are older and we also decide to start making our money work hard for us rather than working so hard for our money. More on this subject later. This is something that Dave Ramsey teaches. I highly recommend his financial advice and books for anyone struggling in this department.

When deciding to go back to work as a mom, or really anyone going back to work, you really have to focus on the amount it costs you to work for that _ an hour, for me I just interviewed for a seemingly great job part time for supplemental income after realizing they start @$10 an hour, it wasn’t so appealing anymore. I can’t take a job making $10 an hour if I know I could make three times as much or more at home. Here are some factors that I factored in to decide if I could take this job or not.

The number one factor. Childcare. One son will be in school (in August) for summer I would have to pay for two. For one child in my area it’s still $100 a week. The job only pays $250 a week. So just after childcare I’m left with $50, now let’s think about things like gas, food, clothing and taxes.

I would actually be in the red about $100 a month I calculated by taking this jobChild Support. I would be losing about half of this income by taking this job.

All things considered I would be actually making around $4 an hour. Do you think I can make up the difference and bring in an extra $4 an hour? The answer is yes! And you can too!

I’m sorry but isn’t that sad? I wonder how many other moms are in this same dilemma, they want to work outside the home but can’t because they make more money staying home. I guess it is sad but true. This is actually the person I write for, the moms that are in this situation. But that’s ok, because there is hope. There are ways around this problem. Work at home! You can follow my work at home blog bringingmomshome.wordpress.com for more tips and advice.

Just a little food for thought for anyone thinking about going back to a “traditional” job.

More on this subject later, I really feel like this is an important topic!

 

 

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Frugal Finance Friday: Five Questions you should ask yourself before making any non-essential purchase!

girl looking confused on laptop

#1 Is this the lowest possible price?

Have I done my research, checked Ebay, Amazon, Half.com, and price scanners like shop savvy? A lot of times you can price match too. For example, Target will even price match online stores like Toys R Us and my go to price matching , site, go ole’ Amazon. If you are considering making a large purchase, it pays to check online. It only takes a few minutes and it could save you big! Here’s an example, when I worked for a company inside of Target I wanted a Galaxy S6 tablet but it was a little pricey, it was one sale for $199 but I still thought I could get it for less, and I was right! I did a quick search and saw that it was only $149.99 on Amazon. I went up to customer service and asked for a price match adjustment, easy, peasy! I saved $50 by just taking a few minutes to do some research.It seriously pays to do this for purchases like electronics, household items and even toys. Toys are expensive!!! With two boys ages five and 2 I buy a lot of toys. Have you seen the prices these days on some toys? Fifty dollars for a toy that will be played with a few weeks? I think not! Sorry bubs, I love you but that Batman robot is a no! My oldest son wants  Batman Robot toy so bad but I’m only going to get it if I can find it for half off or less.

#2 Can I get this free?

Have I checked Craigslist, asked  friends and family, church, facebook groups, or could I maybe even get it free through couponing? There are so many items you can get free if you just know where to look. Under the FREE section on Craigslist you can find things like, furniture, clothing, toys, wood, gardening supplies, all kinds of stuff. You can look for facebook groups in your area that have free items posted as well. If you learn the secrets of couponing you can get cosmetics, and beauty products and more. Here is a link to my best selling ebook Extreme Couponing 101: What the stores don’t want you to know.

http://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Couponing-101-What-stores-ebook/dp/B00FXNCS7W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1456045345&sr=8-2&keywords=extreme+couponing+101+ebook

#3 Will this purchase make me money?

If its something like a computer you need for business then the answer is yes! Are you a graphic designer and need Photoshop? Then the answer is yes. Are you a re-seller who found a killer deal on close-out designer shoes or clothing? Then….yes. If you just want the latest and newest handbag or shoes, think twice about making this purchase if you are trying to save money, are on a fiscal fast or are just try to do better budgeting. I’m an avid thrift store shopper and I re-sell on ebay so when I find an item I want, I have to question, why I want the item in the first place. Asking myself these questions kind of keeps me on track and makes me not just start buying stuff I like, I’ve been known to get a little shopping tunnel vision. Is that a real thing? Hmm, Is anyone else with me? You just go into a shopping vortex that kinda sucks you in? Oh wait, I think that’s called the mall. Maybe that’s why I don’t go in there anymore. Anyone? Ok, maybe it’s just me! lol

#4 Is this purchase going to save me money?

Maybe you are going to be using a device like Roku and ditching cable, then this purchase will be saving you money. Here’s a great deal on Roku Roku 3500R Streaming Stick .

http://amzn.to/1mPW8AK

I love the Roku. I bought a nice 46 in t.v that wasn’t a smart t.v so I needed to be able to stream movies and shows because I pay for Hulu and Netflix every month. I’m actually thinking about ditching cable still but I only pay $120 for three services, cable, high speed internet and home phone. There is also a device called the Magic Jack that will eliminate the cost of your monthly phone

 #5 Is the purchase going to last?

Is it something I will be using all the time? If so it needs to be quality and therefore that needs to be factored in as well. Here is an example of this and something I know a lot about.I go through laptops like crazy, they keep getting viruses. Probably mostly my fault because I am so bad about renewing the Anti-virus program once it expires. I have considered purchasing an Apple Mac, rather than buying another cheapie laptop. I know that I will probably have this for a good five years at least so I’m considering buying one used on ebay. They are about $1000 new but if I can find one for $500 or less I think I might get it instead of buying another $300 laptop that I will only get a year of use out of. If you think about it $300 x5 is $1500. And that’s about the average I’m spending on computers. If I buy the Mac it will save me $1000. I found one on ebay for used for $300 so I think this is for sure the route I’m going. Normally electronics are one thing I only buy new but since Mac’s are so reliable and well made I think I’m going to chance it this time.

 

Do you have questions you ask yourself before making a purchase? What do you do to control your spending if you are on a budget? And frankly, who isn’t these days? If you aren’t, you probably should be. Even people with millions tend to over-spend. Look at poor Kanye West these days! Sorry that’s the best example I had at the moment. I’m following the Principles Dave Ramsey teaches about finance, I like to call it, think like your grandma, so that’s what has prompted a lot of my finance driven posts.

Here are some great books of his about finance that are all best sellers.

http://amzn.to/1L0vSPF http://amzn.to/1L0vWPk

All of those money lessons that my mom taught me growing up I thought were crazy, the older I get, the more sense it makes. She lives on a no-credit system. She has great credit, just never uses it, she pays cash for everything, if she needs a couch she buys it used or at a yard sale. She says, if I can’t pay cash I don’t need it. Shifting my mind-set into this mode has helped me considerably. I always have money in my bank account and my bills going out every month are minimal now, believe me, that wasn’t always the case. My total monthly bills are about $1000, that doesn’t include food. I spend around $500 on food right now, but working on a plan to reduce that. I’ve been getting lazy with meal planning and haven’t been couponing as much after I had my second son. I’m going to be putting more effort into this area in the months to come after I get some important projects out of the way. 

More posts like this to come as well as youtube videos. See my new channel Mommies Frugal Finds, and my old channel mommas2monkeys

Frugal fashion: How to save hundreds per year!

 frugal fashion pic

 Don’t impulse buy If you see something you love in a store and can’t seem to live without it, but maybe the price tag just doesn’t sit well, do this. Take a pic of the item and brand. When you go home do some comparison shopping. Once you get home you might even forget about it and that will save you a whopping 100% buby not even buying it. Shop online if you would be willing to buy it used to save up to 80% off! I know I would. I like to compare prices. You can even use a price comparison app like shopsavvy to see if the item is cheaper online or you can even check out Amazon or websites like swap.com and threadup.com. So that $100 jacket from Macy’s could be $40 online…that’s a pretty big savings. Bonus: Look for for coupon codes at websites like retailmenot.com for percent off and free shipping codes. Also, re-set your browser to a website like swagbucks to make money back on items you purchase online. You can get free gift cards for Target, Starbucks and more!
Shop with a plan You make a list when you grocery shop. Why not shop with a plan when you shop for clothes? Go through your clothing and inventory what you have and what you need. Piece together outfits in your closet to see what you are lacking and what you have in excess. This will help you see what you really need. Then make a list to keep in your purse and check things off the list as you go.This will save you big and will allow you to buy only what you need.
Shop at consignment stores Consignment stores area a great way to find very gently used items for up to 80% off or more. Most of these stores only take the best items that are in style and in good used condition, clean, free of stains, rips and tears.
Yard Sales Don’t over look yard sales for clothing. You might be looking for something else like a bookshelf or lamp, but think outside of the box and look for clothing. $1 shirts and purses? Yes please! I’ve found all kinds of name brand items for pennies on the dollar. Tips: Shop early, the early bird get’s the worm right? This applies to yard sales too, beat the crowd and get first pick. Map your route to hit the most yard sales without wasting gas driving in circles. Negotiate, why not ask for a discount? Sometimes I will come across a box of boys clothing and instead of rooting through a huge box I might make an offer for the whole box. I might offer $20 or so depending on the brands, etc. I get it home, sort through it, take what my kids will use and sell or donate the rest.Also shop the last day of the sale, usually Sunday. By then people are more willing to negotiate, or want to unload free items just to get rid of the yard sale leftovers.
Learn how to sew. Sewing is not just for grandmas. I love to sew and I can honestly say this skill is invaluable. If you have a zipper that breaks you don’t have to throw out your favorite skirt or if you need to replace a button, no biggie. You can find that great designer piece that no one wants, that was once loved but maybe has a rip in the seam, why not repair and wear? You can also make clothing for your kids, make costumes, sew home decor items like curtains or make pillows. You can even make a business out of it by making custom items or doing alterations.
Ebay Ebay is an often overlooked place to buy clothes these days with so many online options I think a lot of us don’t think to use ebay anymore. I recently bought a pair of American Eagle jeans on here for $4.99. I’ve seen some amazing deals on clothing, if you aren’t squeamish about buying used it’s a great way to get designer clothing for at least 50% off or more.
Ross I love Ross! Ross is my go-to spot for last minute event dresses. I have been able to find super cute name brand dresses for as low as $8.99. I’ve seen tanks and summery tops for as low as $2.99. Be sure to have some time on your hands because you will need to sort though a lot of items to find the goldmine. Be sure to shop early for best selection. When swimsuits first come out now get them! By your summer stuff now for the best selection. When it’s 100 degrees outside you won’t be able to find shorts or swimwear and will probably end up over paying at another store, just to find what you need. Plan ahead!  Always check out the clearance sections of the store too. You can find some amazing deals for very little cash.
Craigslist Ever think to shop Craigslist for clothes? Craigslist is a good resource for all things used. I’ve seen bags of clothing sold as a lot of here for as low as $20-$30 or even kids clothing and shoes. It’s a great place to unload your unwanted clothing items too. Just group sizes together to get the most bang for your buck. I don’t know about you but I can’t spend time taking a bunch of individual pics. Sell as a lot! Takes far less time and I would rather get $30-$40 for my effort, than deal with phone calls and emails for $5 items. I don’t have time for that. I just fold the clothing up nicely, take a few pics from different angles and list. No fees and a time saver!
Thrift Stores I love thrift stores! Every time I go I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt. It’s so amazing what you can find, for basically pennies on the dollar. Here’s a tip: Never judge a book by it’s cover There’s a thrift store in my area that I would often drive by but never stopped in because from the looks of the outside, I didn’t think it was my kind of store. It looks old, cluttered and nothing outside looks appealing. Well, one day recently I decided to go in and I was blown away by the things I found! How about nice designer shirts for .50. Some of the shirts were a size up but I’m going to alter those (see where sewing skills come in handy?). I also found a brand new bed set with all the pillows for $30. I was able to negotiate and get it for $20, it’s doesn’t hurt to ask right? All they can say is no! I also found a set of old fashioned malt mugs for .50 each and some Toms glittery shoes for $1. That retail for $40. See my hauls on youtube. I have two channels mommas2monkeys and mommiesfrugalfinds. I do Dollar Tree and thrift hauls as well as money saving and money making tips and more.
Dollar Stores What?! I thought this was about saving on clothing you might be saying to yourself! It is. Here are some clothing items you can find at dollar stores. Socks, Slippers, Flip flops, Plain basic t-shirts (perfect for projects too) Nylons, Tights, Scarves, Bra and panties (some dollar stores like .99 stores) Leggings, gloves, hats, etc. Think outside the box. Stores like the .99 store even have jewelry.
Buy off season Buy when the price is right and the demand is low. I just bought my boys Teva’s for summer for $9.99 and $7.99 on ebay. This retails for around $50. I bought a size up for both. I’m just going to put them away for warmer days ahead. They will get a ton of use out of these this summer I’m sure. These are so versatile. I have one pair I’ve had for about 10 years and they still look new. And another that are more rugged for camping and hiking. If you buy quality items.you can get a lot of use out of your clothing and shoes.
There are so many ways to save on fashion. I recently discovered swap.com as well. I spent $45 and got two pairs of jeans four shirts and a pair of shoes, plus found a free shipping code for new customers. Not a bad deal in my opinion.
I also love to alter clothing, check out my test shops
Earthangelclothing.etsy.com
And
Endlesssummerfashion.etsy.com
For some inspiration. I also have another blog on just unicycle projects
Earthangelclothing.etsy.com
More fashion ideas to come.
I hope this helped give you some ideas of ways you can save hundreds on clothing every year! More articles like this to come as well as thrift, yard sale and ebay haul videos.