My side hustle eBay business has now surpassed the four figure mark, I’ve made in excess of £1,000. Over the years my small marketing company acquired quite a lot of tech including a couple of iMacs, a MacBook, servers, printers, phone handsets and various storage devices.
When I closed the office down about 18 months ago I had a bit of an eBay fire sale of furniture more to get rid of it than anything else. In the adverts I stated that everything needed collecting and, partly for this reason as it somewhat limits the market, I only made a small amount of money.
The rest of it I took home and stored in my garage waiting for the day I’d get round to selling it properly. That day has arrived and, to be honest, I’m quite enjoying it. Another little interest for me in retirement!
I’ve made a few schoolboy errors with it, once sending a package to the wrong address which subsequently went missing costing me £150. I’ve also got the postage weights wrong from time to time costing me a few quid here and there.
My biggest mistake has been letting eBay take over with a standard advert for a common product. Instead of what I’m actually selling it pulls up an image of an equivalent new product and sometimes with tech products creates a spec that isn’t entirely accurate to the understandable annoyance of the buyer.
My home distribution hub
Learning from all these mistakes I now have a well-oiled machine with my pretend distribution hub in the garage where I’ve got scales, brown paper, bubble-wrap and tape ready to package up the items when they are sold.
I’ve also got a Hermes drop-off point a short walk away which means the process of paying for postage and printing labels is easy. Occasionally I’m tempted to give Royal Mail a go thinking they might be cheaper – they are often not even for small parcels – and it’s a lot more hassle.
With Hermes I can send large items weighing up to 15 kilos, which is pretty heavy, with ease and for less than a tenner. Being able to post all these items out widens my market and I’m getting better prices. I’ve been amazed by what I’ve been able to sell. My biggest success was an old MacBook Pro that I sold for £200 more than I’d been offered by Cex.
At the other end of the scale, a few years ago I bought a load of memory sticks branded with my company logo to send out as part of a direct mail campaign. There was a minimum order of 500, I think, and we used less than half so I’ve got a sack-full of hundreds of them going to waste.
I’ve packaged these up as pack of 10 and put them up for auction. I got £13.50 for the last lot I sold which is working out at more per stick than I paid for them in the first place. I know I’m not going to get rich on this but it’s kind of satisfying earning money out of something that would have otherwise been dumped.
I enjoy it when the flurry of bids come in as the auction ends and the fact you get paid via PayPal pretty much straightaway and will miss it when everything is finally gone. I’ll be looking around to see what next I can sell and have my eye on some of Mrs Jones rarely worn dresses!