As your baby grows, you'll soon find that you have lots of clothes and equipment that are barely used but that you no longer need - eBay provides the perfect market place to sell these on and make back a bit of money to put towards new purchases. eBay can be pretty daunting if you haven't used it before, but it's not difficult to use once you get the hang of it.
eBay has two key selling mechanisms. Auctions allow you to post items with a reserve price, if bids don't reach your reserve then you don't have to sell. You can auction without a reserve too. Auctions stay open for a period of time that you can determine. The alternative is a more traditional 'Buy Now' mechanism which is more like a regular shop. You can nominate a single price and someone can buy at a fixed price.
As well as the purchase price, you must establish a shipping cost. You may sell really big items such as cots, stair gates or high chairs and state that they are for 'collection only', in which case people must pick them up from your home.
The cost of selling is low. There is an insertion fee based on the price and if you sell your item, an auction fee on top. The fees vary slightly depending on what you are selling with the auction fee generally being 10% of the sale price. You can also pay extra fees for more prominent listings and other added value services.
As a seller, everyone who buys from you is encouraged to review you in terms of how well you communicated with the buyer, how accurately you described the product, how efficiently you ship etc. The better your ratings, the more people will buy from you.
When it comes to selling, here are a few tips:-
There are few limits to what you can sell on eBay so make sure you read their terms just to make sure that you don't fall foul of any policies. After a few sales, you may even become addicted to selling online!
Children are an industry - you can easily lavish thousands on your baby in the first few weeks of their lives, and indeed in the run up to their arrival, but babies needn't cost the earth; there are ways in which you can economise, and you aren't a bad parent for doing so!
When it comes to buying certain items, particularly ones where safety is involved, you should buy new for each baby. For example, you should buy a brand new car seat for your baby because you don't know the history of a second hand one - has it been involved in an accident and could it be structurally weakened? When it comes to buying baby bottles, you can continue using ones from earlier children, just buy a new set of teats and you'll save yourself considerably on the cost of extra bottles.
When furnishing your nursery or buying other baby paraphernalia such as stair gates, pushchairs or toys, you can happily buy second hand or choose cheaper models. Pretty much every item sold in our shops has to pass safety standards in order to go on sale, so a cheap cot, pram or stair gate should theoretically be just as safe and sound as the most expensive ones. Indeed, the price of goods may not even reflect the quality of the furniture so much as the retail markup and fashion.
Shop online and use price comparison websites and you will save a king's ransom! The same furniture can vary in price enormously, although make sure you factor in the cost of taxes and delivery which can make cheap items suddenly appear rather expensive.
You can also buy second hand clothes, either at 'nearly new' sales organised locally or online at sites such as eBay. Clothes tend to be sold in bundles on eBay and you may find that you can fit out your baby for the first couple of years for very little money at all!
Your children are going to cost you a fortune over the coming years, and there's no shame in economising, especially while they are too young to have an opinion on pre-owned goods. Perhaps a frugal upringing will set them up with a valuable life skill!
As your baby grows into a toddler and on into a child, you'll eventually want to shift all the baby paraphernalia that you have amassed over the previous years. There are clearly no hard and fast rules to state what will and what won't sell well, but anecdotal evidence from other Mum's suggest that there are techniques to help improve your earnings in second hand markets.
Online market places include services such as eBay and Amazon who allow you to sell used goods through their websites. There are also local market places such as Gumtree, NetMums and more specialist sites focused on local communities. Clothes and branded toys tend to sell for better returns online than they do in direct markets such as garage sales or boot sales which in turn are good for disposing lower quality items that you have - either poorer condition or from less known brands. Clothes sell seasonally so don't sell as soon as your babies grow out of them, wait until the relevant season is about to start and then sell them. Online, clothes sell well in bundles rather than as single items.
Car seats and buggies tend not to sell well second hand at all. The safety requirements of car seats makes many parents wary of buying second hand. Also most parents buy the latest buggies for the arrival of their first child, and this will often suffice for further children. Double buggies on the other hand do hold a premium because by the second child, no one wants to buy a new double buggy as they are more expensive and mayonly be a stop gap for a short time!
If you have equipment that you simply can't sell, why not give it away instead? Freecycle offers the most comprehensive network for donating goods to others.
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