Thursday, June 25, 2009

5 Tips for Turning Closet Clutter into Cash on eBay by WhatDoISell

By Lisa Suttora, Founder and CEO of

Is the money for your next vacation or that long standing home improvement project as close as your overflowing closets? It can be when you get into the habit of turning your closet clutter into cash! Most of us have at least one closet in our home bulging with items we never use. And many people have multiple closets filled to the brim!

If you have never thought of transforming your unused items into money in the bank, consider this…

No matter how tired you may be of certain items, there is always someone else who will find value in them and be willing to pay for them!

Additionally, the market for pre-owned goods has grown dramatically over the past few years! Shoppers looking to “go green” are buying used goods where they once bought new. Other people are revisiting the way they spend their money, resulting in fueled demand for used goods.

So how can you get started turning your closet clutter into cash?

Selling your unwanted items on eBay can be a quick, easy and profitable process when you follow these five “closet clutter into cash” tips:

  1. The first thing we need to do is get all that clutter out of your closets and believe it or not, this is often the hardest step for people! The #1 deterrent of turning clutter into cash is thinking that you’re going to use the item again! Make your decisions quickly. The longer you ponder over whether or not you should sell an item, the more likely it is to end up back in the closet. Focus on what you’ll do with your new found cash and you’ll find yourself very motivated to part with your unused items.
  2. Do some quick pricing & selling format research. The biggest mistake people make when selling closet clutter is misjudging the value of their unused items. Don’t let your personal biases undervalue what you sell. That long since used, hand painted longhorn lamp your husband bought for his den may be an eyesore in your mind, but there may be someone else across the country searching for a lamp just like it! Conversely, don’t let your personal attachments overvalue your clutter either. While you may have fond memories of that black patent leather handbag you splurged on in the ‘90’s, it may not hold the same cache’ for today’s shoppers. Keep in mind that every item you sell adds up to more money in the bank! And market demand plays the biggest role in the final selling price of your item. To get an idea of what items similar to yours are selling for and whether they’ll sell better in auction format or as a fixed price listing - do your market research by using eBay’s Completed Items search filter.
  3. Gather your items all in one place and look for any logical or unusual ways you can group items together. Creative bundling can net you higher prices. For example, instead of selling your pre-schooler’s outgrown clothing one piece at a time, think about selling a “LOT” ( i.e., a group) of items. Sell all your matching “size 4 girl’s summer clothes” together and offer another mom a whole new summer wardrobe for her daughter! One savvy seller put together a set of eclectic brightly colored dishes and sold it as a “Fiesta Set”! Her lucky buyer was thrilled to purchase a fun and funky set of colorful dishes that dazzled guests at her next dinner gathering.
  4. Take a good photo. Just because your item came from the closet, does not mean you should photograph it there! A clear, close-up, well-lit photo (using natural lighting from a window) with a clean white background will really showcase your items and can significantly increase your final sales price. Your item photo is the first thing buyers notice when scrolling through the eBay search results.
  5. Give people a roadmap directly to your items. The majority of all online purchases begin with a keyword search. Yet a lot of people don’t think about the importance of keywords when selling items from around the home. When creating your eBay listing title, think about what keywords your buyers will use to find your products. Do some practice searches and see if the title keywords that you’re thinking of using bring up a list of sold items (use the Completed Items search filter again to find recent items sold on eBay). The right keywords will help to connect your item with the perfect buyer.

Finally, list simply and quickly. Once people get into selling their closet clutter and realize how much money they can make, their tendency is to want to create the perfect listing and squeeze every last dollar out of their unused items. This leads to over complicating the listing process which slows down your progress and your profits dramatically! Remember, any money you make on an item stored in your closet is a net positive cash flow. And time is money! So don’t prolong the process of listing, go for it! Get it listed quickly using eBay’s Sell Your Item Form or Turbo Lister (both free eBay listing tools). And enjoy the profits as they roll in!

When you resell your unused items on eBay you make money, other people save money and you recycle. It’s a win-win situation! Now that you know what to sell and how to sell it, there’s only one thing left to do…

Get started turning your closet clutter into cash today!

About the author: Lisa Suttora is an ecommerce expert, noted product trend authority and the Founder & CEO of eBay Certified Provider With 15 years of online & offline retail merchandising experience, Lisa brings a fresh approach to the topic of "what to sell and how to sell it."

Since 2004, has provided thousands of online sellers with the skills, knowledge and support they need to build a unique, thriving business on eBay.


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