Have your children outgrown their school clothes from last year? If so, instead of having a garage sale, consider selling them on eBay. Depending on the brand of clothing, you could make much more money this way.

The Selling Season
July through September are the optimal selling time for fall clothing because parents are gearing up for their children going back to school. They are looking for high quality used outfits, jeans, dresses, long sleeve shirts, etc. If you can’t list every thing at once, save sweaters and holiday clothes for September or October; that is the optimal selling season for those items.

Items to Sell
I have found the best brand of kids’ clothes to sell on eBay include Gymboree, Gap, and Hanna Andersson. (See my article here about how to buy name brand kids’ clothes on the cheap.) Backpacks and lunch boxes that are still in good shape also sell well.

How to Get Started
If you don’t have one already, open up an eBay account. E-bay has an excellent tutorial about how to list your items for sale; if you have never done this before, follow the tutorial.

There are two basic formats for listing your items up for sale:

This is a great strategy if you just want the clothes out of the house and want to make money quickly. I would not recommend starting the auction at .99 cents; unfortunately, far too many auctions only increase a bit from this starting point. Instead, settle on a starting price a little lower than what you would like to earn for the item. For instance, if I have my son’s shirt up for sale that is in very good condition, I might want to make $6 from it. I will start the auction at $3.99. Most auctions run for 3 to 7 days; I always choose 7 days. The drawback to listing as an auction is that you may not get quite what you think the item is worth.

Fixed Price
You can choose to list your item for a fixed price. This strategy is good if you don’t care that it might take awhile to sell your item; you want to make sure to get what you think it is worth. Let’s take the shirt that I mentioned previously; I believe it is worth $6, so I will list it at a fixed price of $5.99. If someone wants to buy it, they will have to pay me that price. You can put fixed price auctions up for as few as 1 to 3 days, but I recommend choosing the full 30 days for maximum exposure. The drawback to this type of auction is that if you have your item priced too high, it won’t sell and you will still need to pay listing fees.

Read the second part of this series, Maximizing the Money You Can Earn

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