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!
What do you do with all the baby clothes and equipment once your baby grows out of them? So often, babies grow so quickly that their clothes are hardly worn. If you are like most families, the clothes will clog up drawers and wardrobes and get mixed up in clothes that fit and generally get in the way.
What to do? Do you keep them for posterity or sentimental reasons? Do you just throw them away? Do charity shops even want baby clothing?
Store them: If you are intending to have more children, then wash and iron the clothes. Pack them into bags labeled by age range and neatly store them in sealed bags. They store much better when ironed and will look nicer once they come out of storage. Don't worry if you have a different gender the next time round... babies really don't mind what they wear so you may as well get use out of the clothes than worry whether your next baby boy will appreciate flower fairy pyjamas. No one will see!
Friends and Family: There are bound to be friends and family who would be happy to take the clothes off your hands and there is no shame in offering, or accepting second hand clothing. Call it, "previously worn" or "previously loved" rather than old or second hand.
Nearly New Sales: The NCT run local sales all over the country. You have to buy a table to sell from or sometimes the local NCT group will arrange the selling and you simply offer a percentage of your takings. Schools and local groups also arrange sales so keep you eyes open and make use of these sales options. If you are embarrassed about selling, go to a nearby town where no one knows you!
Go to nct.org.uk for more info.
Maternity wards: Try your local hospital or maternity ward and see if they need any baby clothing. Often they are happy to receive baby grows, vests, blankets etc to hand over to new mums who forget or run out of clothing. Or, they may even know of local mums who would appreciate some extra clothes for their baby. The health visitor may also be able to take things off your hands to pass on to needy families.
Charity Shop: Check first before taking things to the charity shop as they may be well stocked for baby clothing so its worth calling first. They are usually quite happy to take nice quality clothes and toys.
Pre-Schools and infant schools - pre-schools may wish to take clothing or toys off your hands. So too might play groups, church creches for Sunday schools etc. They may have fairs and stall that will sell toys or may use them for the children.
Try not to throw them away and if you really think your clothing is mucky then use the huge clothing recycling bins so the fabric can be recycled.
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!
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