How I Sell on Ebay Part 1 :: My Closet

This little nook at the back of our basement office is the space 
where I make my part-time income.

I have been selling on eBay since October 2000.

My very first sale was a set of coordinating Old Navy Baby footie pajamas.
I paid 50 cents for both of them and then sold them for $10!
(If you handed me 50 cents and I gave you back a $10 bill, 
you'd be happy, right?)

I was hooked!

Maybe you'd like to de-clutter and start making money 
to pay for life's little extras (like vacations, braces, a major appliance) you'd like or need,
so you can get out of or stay out of debt, like we did?

I also sell with etsy, Amazon and Craigslist, so my closet houses these things, as well, 
but for the sake of simplicity, I am only going to be sharing about eBay only, for now.

I am blessed to have this closet.
But maybe you have a place in the corner of a room
in a cabinet, under the bed boxes, the garage that you can store items to be sold?


(This prism is the pull for the light bulb overhead which is NOT attractive)

These are the labels I use for Priority Shipping
and Delivery Confirmation.

FedEx Shipping labels.

This is the right side of the closet.
It contains the items that are incoming, and haven't yet been photographed or listed.

Books to resell (homeschooling, cookbooks, decorating, etc.)
DVDs and CDs, too.

The top shelf holds vintage luggage, Creative Memories pages.
The basket on the left has vintage Christmas linens.
The basket on the right contains vintage Christmas baubles, ornaments and bulbs.
These will get listed in November.

Vintage glassware and silver.

On the floor are all my recycled packing supplies:
(L) Top bin: Peanuts
(L) Middle bin: Air Pillows
(L) Bottom bin: Bubble Wrap, Cardboard Flats, and Tissue Paper
(R) Bottom bin: Tubes and Flattened Boxes 

The left side of the closet contains items that have been listed
and are waiting to be sold and shipped.

The top shelf: vintage linens, fabrics and serveware.
Middle shelves: items that don't fit in the baskets.
Bottom bins: clothing and gift wrapping supplies.

Set of 5 Simply Shabby Chic pillows that I paid $4 for.

Which sold for: $76.99!

The Daisy-patterned glasses and tray below: I paid $4.50 for the set of 9 pieces.

They sold for $60.95!

Here are some other things I sell.


Vintage lingerie.
It sounds weird, I know, but these are highly sought after.

Here's a recent example of an auction's ending.
I hope I don't make some of you blush (sorry)!

See the SOLD price: $152.50!

So, you see--people really do buy ANYTHING!
(By the way, the undies cost 50 cents!)

Birdbath measuring tape holder.

This beautiful box was sent to me during this past Spring Supply Swap 
held at The Shabby Chic Cottage each spring.
My swapping partner, Kathy at Creative Home Expressions made it for me!

It holds the Thank You cards I enclose with each sale.

Lightweight scale and heavy duty scale.
Clear Tape from the Dollar Tree.
Priority tape from the USPS.

If you want to start selling online, here's how to start:
  • Find and clear out a place to start storing items you think you want to sell. Create a staging area for the items you are selling.
  • Start filling it with items you want to sell. Anything. You'd be surprised what another person's treasure looks like.
  • Pick up some FedEx/UPS/USPS Priority labels and Priority boxes.
  • Find a postal scale. You'll definitely need one to weigh packages.

I know you all will have many questions if this is something you are interested in doing.
PLEASE ask me anything, I will answer you in future posts.

For Part 2:: What I Sell, click here.
For Part 3::Packing and Shipping, click here.


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  1. I would love to learn to do this! I added you to my favorites so I won't miss the articles!

  2. You are so organized my friend! I am amazed. And the panties are hilarious and I can not believe someone spent that much. I'm sure they were lovely though ;) And to think, I just the other day donated my old lingerie to GW! I guess it might be considered vintage since we've been married 28 years and I've had them that long. Now I want them back,lol!!

  3. Great advice. YOu are very organized and that is so necessary for any business. I really enjoyed the information. Hugs, Marty

  4. So interested in this!
    And btw I got your last comment! It must be working! & Thanks for the sweet comments!

  5. Great ideas! So far we have only sold our own things we don't need any more on Ebay, but your post has got me thinking...

  6. Thanks for the information. i have vintage occasional sales a year but thought about getting on eBay also. Your information here has been an encouragment to GO FOR IT! I'll be following!


  7. Thanks so much for sharing. This is definitely something to think about. I've got a little stash of things I'd like to sell. Now maybe I should just start listing them. Do you only list certain things on ebay or craigslist or do you list the same things in multiple places?

  8. Wow, you are making such huge profits. Curious about where you are finding these things to sell. I sure should start doing something to help pay for the stuff I keep wanting since I started blogging.

  9. Excellent post, Leslie! You know I've tried this several times, and for some reason, my items just didn't sell on ebay. Perhaps I just listed them in the wrong category, maybe I shouldn't have had a starting price...I actually don't know what I did wrong. Some things sold, but I underestimated my shipping and made nothing. It seemed like I was putting in a lot of time toward selling online, and not making much money at all...then running to the post office, finding the right size box. Oh gosh -- I can't tell you all the problems I encountered, so I MUST have done it wrong. I look forward to following this post. Much appreciated!

  10. Fabulous post! I've often wanted to try it but knowing how disorganized I usually am I was always afraid to even start. Thanks for sharing this. I'll be watching for the rest of the series and maybe along the line I'll find some courage!

  11. HI, Leslie, OK, I'll let this one stay up. Good for you, glad you have found a way to make some extra $$. I've done some selling on Ebay myself, but the constant boxing & shipping things drives me crazy, so I couldn't do it full time.

    Can't believe those old Vanity Fair panties sold for so much! That is amazing.

  12. Dear Leslie: That was a great post! I'm utterly amazed. I DO have a lot of questions because I honestly would LOVE to do this. I don't know a thing about PAY PAL. Is that how you get paid?

    Secondly, when you charge, say, $10 for an item, how do you know how to charge for the postage? Or does the $10 INCLUDE the postage?
    This part would be VERY confusing to me.

    Please keep the articles coming because I'm , as I said, VERY, VERY interested in doing what you are doing.

    Congratulations, Leslie. You are SO KIND to share the information. Susan

  13. I have sold on ebay since 2000 also off and on. You have such great organization system. Maybe I would enjoy it more if I was as organized. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I have an ETSY shop and I have sold a few items but I am interested in selling on EBay also as it seems to be where you get better prices. I will be watching and reading you future posts!!

  15. Thank you! I am a new follower. I have been trying to sell on Etsy since DEC. with little success. I look forward to your tips about EBAY and think I might add or switch over (9nstead of becomeing discouraged!) Great to meet you!

  16. Very interesting, I can't wait to read the rest.

  17. Great organized space! So jealous! Can't believe you sold those panties for that much! Crazy!


  18. What a timely post. I am preparing to put my first item up for sale on ebay. I can't wait to read your upcoming posts.
    Thanks so much.

  19. Love this. My Ebay stuff is usually all over. I would love to have a set up like this. Thinking cap on about how to make this happen. Great post.

  20. ihave been toying with this as well just not sure how to get started

  21. you are so organized!!!!! I love this post!!! Thank you!!!

  22. I'm really looking forward to reading more of these posts. I've sold a bit here and there in the past, but hadn't thought of creating a staging area. I do think that would help me. It's going to be fun learning more from you!!

  23. I too sell on e-bay and though I am not quite as organized I have done very well though things have slowed down a bit due to everybody tightening their belt. The one thing I tell people is you have to treat it like a small is work but a great way to make a little money (or a lot) ...

  24. Excellent Post! The pictures were super helpful! I, too am an EBay seller, and I think the hardest part is just finding a place to store all of the goodies!

  25. This is a great post, thank you for sharing! Nice to meet you!

  26. I can't believe your so good at this, when i moved 3 months ago, i had the same idea, being in the interior design bus. so long, i have alot of great things!!! i went on ebay, did 3 ads lots of photos and didnt sell a thing. I need to talk to you about this!!!

  27. Really interesting. One of my son's friends has done this for years and has made lots of extra cash.

  28. Good for you being so organized with the Ebay stuff! I used to sell years ago on Ebay and did quite well but I needed your organization!!

  29. Excellent post. Can't wait to read the others.

  30. This is so enticing, Leslie! I did try my hand at this several years ago, but only had those really high prices on a few things. I had just gone back to work full-time as well, so I really couldn't devote much time to it. I'm glad to hear you do so well. I'm also glad to see that the box came in handy for you! : )

  31. Loving the Granny panties! Seriously, why would someone buy those? Nevermind, I don't want to know. My S-I-L does well on Ebay. I always see stuff that I think might sell, but never have the confidence to snatch it up and list it.My girl does need braces though....maybe I should give it a try.

  32. I LOVE THIS! I am really looking forward to reading more posts on this topic, Leslie. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but I am ALWAYS a timid starter at anything. I'm not proud of it, but I am.

    I grinned about the panties. Good golly... people really WILL buy anything.

    Thanks for this post.

  33. Wow, You are so organized! I sold a few things in the past on Ebay and might give it a try again. I am bowled over for how much those panties went for! Thanks for the info.
    Hugs, Sherry

  34. THank you, thank you, thank you!! I have been selling on ebay for years, but only periodically (when the seasons change and the kids outgrow the clothes). I have had success - but many of my friends have not. I could use a few of your tips. Cannot wait for your next few posts! Thanks!

  35. Leslie, I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for boldly (ha ha) becoming my very first follower. And for your encouraging comment- I'm so appreciative. :) I love your blog, and this post was so fascinating and inspiring! I was thinking about starting to sell through etsy, so I look forward to when you post about that (if you plan to)!

  36. Leslie,

    Thank you for another inspiring tutorial. I have sold on ebay and found it to be very profitable. Thank you for motivating me to get back to it.

    I bet there will be a flood of listings for vintage panties after this post! Everyone is cleaning out their mother's dresser drawers.

    I always leave your blog feeling very positive. Thank you for that.

    Your Friend,

  37. I'm dreaming of a closet like yours. :) I started ebay in 2000 too... I stopped selling when the economy slowed at about the same time ebay raised their fees (again). I really need to get back into it... thanks for the inspiration.

    Those panties are killing me!! :)

    XOXO Kate

  38. I had no idea you were so industrious! Like the Proverbs 31 woman. I am inspired....thanks! Lisa~

  39. That's really fantastic what you are doing. I have to admit that ebay scares me a bit but I have a whole bunch of stuff I'd love to sell. I guess I just have to do it!!

  40. What a fabulous post! It all looks very familiar. I used to sell the vintage lingerie(and collectibles) as well, but I never got over $100 for sheer VF panties! What an awesome ending. Some day I hope to return to it. It's a lot of work. Kudos to you for doing such a super job at it.

  41. Hi Leslie,
    Your closet looks great. Thanks so much for sharing. I have been getting ready to list stuff and this is just the motivation I need to get it done. You have some awesome ideas.

    :) Michelle

  42. I sold Longaberger baskets years ago on Ebay and made enough money to put hardwood floors in my home. I am trying to get up the drive and energy to do it again. It is wonderful in this recession and so many people needing/wanting to turn things into cash. I hope we all get out of debt:) Thank you for making it simple and doable.
    You hit on a timely matter.....keep it coming.

  43. Oh, and how do we find your "stuff" on ebay??

  44. Amazing resells!!!! Good to know folks are buying!

  45. Wow! I can't believe how awesome you are doing with ebaying. I have thought about it but I don't I have the time for that. I can't believe that you made so much on those panties! Great job!
    Bonnie :)

  46. The perfect post for where I'm at... THANK YOU! Have two closets organized full of vintage finds and extras... I've even started the staging n shipping area as you did- I'm just scared (and mocked by doubting family). Will try to get some listings up this fall after farm life eases. You are a great inspiration. I'm a new follower and look forward to more lessons. Best wishes for continued great sales!

  47. OK, I'm sooo into this! Can't wait for the next post! I actually have things that I bought with the intent to sell on ebay, but just never did.

  48. Oh Leslie I am so glad you are doing a series of posts about this...I have wanted to do this but feel like I need to know a little more about how to do it. Can't wait to read more.
    BTW, I love the scrabble letter tacks!!

  49. I used to sell full time on ebay, but it took up a large part of my house. I wasn't as organized as you. However, I've never stopped selling on ebay. I recently moved and sold out lots of stuff in my house on craigslist and ebay before having a yard sale. I've actually made it a practice to keep everything in good enough condition to resell right after being finished with it.

  50. Thank you! I've been thinking about doing this lately. My 13 yr. old son already started!

    I'd like to know how to weigh and ship items. Do you not take them to the post office?



  51. Great post! Ive never sold on ebay before and this post really has me interested. How do you decide between craigslist and ebay? Do you suggest selling kids clothes individually or as a lot? I'm trying to find ways to make more money all the time so this is just my type of thing. Thanks for sharing

  52. Great post, and as everyone noted, you are very organized. I used to sell regularly on ebay, but haven't in quite some time. I have a few boxes of things I really need to list. One of the things that has me dragging my feet is figuring out shipping costs on so many different items. I would welcome info on your system for that.

  53. Thank you for the great post. I went through an e-bay selling phase, but after a while I found it difficult to find things to sell and I wasn't nearly as organized as you.

    I hope you address how you keep track of your finances, including all the costs and fees etc. so you know how much profit you get on each item.

    Thanks again for a great post. I just found your blog tonight from The Stories of A to Z, and I'll definitely be back :)

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Thank you for sharing, you're a genius with those vintage items! Love your organized closet!

    I've been doing this for a while but not to the extetd you have with a full system and supplies. I buy from thrift and yard sales and sell on craigslist, etc.

    I bought a classic, authentic Coach purse 4 years ago, used it a few times, it ended up being too small for me. It was in mint condition and I sold it last week for $20 more than I paid for it and I got to enjoy it too. Sold it local, so no shipping.

    I'm so glad I found your several-part tutorial on how to sell like this on eBay. I've been looking for a way to make a little extra money from home.

    The key is to buy things you love and for a steal in case they don't sell.

  56. Fun post!
    I've used a digital kitchen scale for my Etsy sales.
    Usually the post office and my scale agree 100%.
    ~ Dana

  57. Where does one purchase vintage lingerie? Thrift store, maybe?

    And is there a big difference between selling on ebay and etsy? Is one better than the other?

    Thanks so much -- Heather

  58. Do you get your shipping supplies for free? Im really wanting to get into this to become a stay at home mom but I need to know the best way to get boxes and labels


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