My Top 4 Reselling Mistakes – and how to avoid them

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Today I have a guest post for you by Cora from The Mini Millionaire. Alongside the blog you can also find Cora on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube where she vlogs daily with her girlfriend Helen. Over to Cora…

This month I celebrate one full year of reselling on eBay. However, for me the concept of reselling is nothing new. In fact, I’ve been doing it for years. It started with me buying batch ends of Laura Ashley wallpaper at £2 a piece and selling them on eBay for £20+ due to the ever growing popularity of feature walls. Next I moved on to Lego and more specifically the dedicated third party Lego reselling site BrickLink. This allowed me to finish University and go on to set up my own company dedicated to reselling. However, that wasn’t enough which is how I ended up going back to eBay and Amazon FBA as another form of income. The truth is I’m 100% hooked on reselling and I love being able to share my experience with others.

eBay is without a doubt the easiest and most common website for reselling which is why today I want to share my top reselling mistakes – and how to avoid them. To allow you to start your reselling side hustle today!

Stock photographs

It can be so easy to take advantage of the many stock photos eBay has when selling your items. However, doing this is going to save you seconds when listing. Instead take advantage of the twelve free photographs and use this to show multiple angles of the product. People like to see exactly what they are buying which is why you’ll find that people will buy an item with a ‘real’ photo over one with a stock photo. Adding real photos and giving the buyer an accurate look at what they are buying is also going to help you in the long run when it comes to buyer’s expectations. If the item has a slight rip or some cosmetic damage featuring this in a photograph is likely to be recognised by the buyer and therefore reduce the chance of you receiving a return or negative feedback.

Not packing properly

I can not emphasise this enough. Whether you’re posting a book that you sold for one pound or a tea pot you sound for three hundred packing is super important!

After all, the last thing you want is for the item to arrive damaged leaving you with no alternative than to give the buyer a full refund. Instead spend the few extra pennies and minutes carefully packaging each item. If you’re afraid to drop the item from chest height to the floor, then you’ve not packed it well enough. Utilise free boxes and packing materials from your local shops and supermarkets, reuse materials and buy in bulk to keep costs down.

Skimping on the item description

Much like photographs listing your item with a personalised, detail description is important. I always make reference of what I would do in the buyers shoes. You’ve got someone who has listed the item with the stock photo and a one line description for £5 or someone who has listed the very same item with personalised photographs and a detailed description for £7 – which one would I buy.

Despite being super frugal I’d spend the extra £2. Why? Because I know what I’m getting.

Take the time and use the description space provided to answer every possible question a prospective buyer may have about your item. What does it come with? Is it still under warranty? Does it have the original packaging? What’s the cosmetic state like? How many times has it been used? What are the dimensions? The weight?

Charging too much, or too little on postage and packaging

This is no doubt a controversial one within the reselling community. Should you include shipping within the item and offer ‘free shipping’ or should you have the standard price for the item plus the real shipping cost. I always believed that nobody liked to pay shipping and therefore mentally people would be more willing to buy your item if the shipping was included within the price of the item and set as free. However, after many endless debates I decided to reduce some items and put the REAL shipping cost on top of the item as postage and packaging.

There’s a number of reasons for doing this but ultimately, I believe it helps when you actually go out and buy stock to resell. Lets say for example you’re buying a teddy for £1 and you’re planning on selling it for £9.99 with free postage and packaging. Sounds great right?

However, the postage and packaging you’re going to have to pay for that item is going to be £3.60. Suddenly, it’s actually only going to be sold for £6.39 before fees. Suddenly your profit margin doesn’t seem so great. Instead, knowing you’re going to be selling the item for £6.39 + postage helps you to adjust your mentality and decide what items are actually worth picking up.

Now I tell you to avoid charging too much or too little on postage and packaging for multiple reasons. One, if you over charge the buyer is going to work it out, get mad and want to leave you negative feedback. That negative feedback isn’t ever going to be worth the extra pound or so you made on the sale so if you notice a difference let them know and offer them a partial refund.

Two, if you under charge the buyer then it’s just the same as offering free postage where by the cost of posting the item is going to be eating into your profits and adjusting whether or not that item was a worth while investment.

Charging the correct postage and packaging when listing is simple. Firstly, invest in some heavy duty weighing scales for your parcels. Next do your research. We personally use Royal Mail for anything that can go as a large letter and the third party website Parcel2Go for anything that’s going as a parcel or international. We’re able to set fixed tariffs for each weight and dimensions to speed up the process and reduce mistakes when listing.

Ultimately remember to treat your customers as you wish to be treated and you won't go far wrong. Do your research and enjoy the educational journey of reselling. Be sure to let me know in the comments what your top tips are for reselling and the worst mistakes you’ve made in the past.

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3 Comments on “My Top 4 Reselling Mistakes – and how to avoid them”

  1. Hi Emma
    I noticed you mentioned about using Royal Mail for eBay international items. I have signed up to eBay own international postage scheme its soooo easy. They send you an central parcel depot and individual reconignition number to go on the parcel, you post it there and they post it on to the customer. Its called eBay Global Shipping Program.

    Regards
    Hilary

  2. We started reselling in January this year, our tips would be check and double check the postage, weigh after you have wrapped your item, I love your point about good wrapping, the items get thrown about And we have had a few that have arrived damage 😲
    ❤️ the post

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