Monday, January 29, 2007

The bottom line

I'm still deciding whether I love or hate eBay. Part of me thinks it's a wonderful tool to avoid having a garage sale. Then another part of me thinks it's a complete pain in the ass.

My first attempt at selling didn't go well, exactly, but it wasn't a complete flop either. Out of six pairs of shoes, I sold two. And even though both buyers were on the west coast, I didn't get hosed on shipping and was even able to send them two-day priority mail, earning me super-bonus seller power stars feedback ... or whatever.

But, oh, the hassle.

Taking the photo. Coloring and sizing the photo. Writing a description. Uploading the photo. Setting the initial bidding price. Waiting a week. Sending an invoice. Waiting for payment. Verifying payment. Depositing payment in my checking account. Finding a box. Packaging it. Stressing over getting to the post office. Mailing it. Paying eBay fees.

After all that. THAT. I made a total of about $14.

I know, say it with me: WOOPppisser!

Yeah, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the overhead, but somewhere inside was this oh-so-freeing feeling that came with the validation of making a little money on things I no longer use. Plus, it inspired me to organize my shoe rack, and I even purged a bunch of things that I had been holding onto for sentimental value. Like the disgusting pair of Adidas flip flops that I used as shower shoes in college and now require staples to remain intact. They are easily the most foul footwear on the planet, and I finally found the willpower to toss them in the trash where they've belonged at least since the new millennium. If not longer.

Okay, so eBay can't take all the credit for that. I've been watching a crapload of "What Not To Wear" marathons on TLC lately. And although I'm confident enough to say that Stacy and Clinton would never ambush me on the street (except maybe when I'm walking Toby in my bleach-stained pajama pants), I could stand to get rid of a few things in my wardrobe that no longer flatter me.

And being the sentimental type, it's not easy getting rid of clothes. But somewhere in between mourning the decision to part with my denim button-down that I haven't worn in at least six years and purging that cute polka-dot skirt I wore once to a Christmas party a million years ago, I got ruthless. I started pulling anything that I wouldn't wear today. Right this second. If I didn't make me want to put it on and go out into the world, it got pulled.

Then this amazing thing happened. I have room in my gigantic walk-in closet to (gasp!) walk!

And now I have a heaping pile of mostly designer clothes in the spare bedroom that need to go. So I'm going to spend 70 cents to list a few of them for a ridiculously low price on eBay and try again.

If all goes well, maybe I'll make another $14.

Then I'll be THAT much closer to getting these.

And if eBay can do that for me, then it'll be my new best friend.


ajandmac said...

it's funny how clothes simply accumulate.

my problem is t-shirts. people give them to you as gifts from weird places. you get them from every sport you're in. you win them at hockey games. you catch them at volleyball games. you buy stupid ones with weird sayings on them just to be cool. and you have one in almost every color.

and even though you have 5 million t-shirts, it's still REALLy hard to throw one away. it's like saying that part of your life means nothing to you anymore.

or maybe i'm too attached to my t-shirts. :)


ahhh! thats fantastic. i'm so battling an ebay addiction of my own. last week, it cost me $160. granted, i got awesome house things for when i finally get myself together & get into said house... but it's murder! i just cleaned out my closet & listed a few things too, hoping to recoup some of my mounting debt. even if it's only $14... i'll take it! i did the same thing you did though... i waited until i went absolutely insane & wanted to get rid of everything i wouldn't wear TODAY. horrible, isn't it? whatever i don't sell on ebay & is still in good condition i'm going to donate. <3

Karrie said...

Way to go! I've been in a purging mood lately too. I moved into a new apartment 7 months ago and I'm getting frustrated with not having room to fit all my stuff, so I've decided that stuff just needs to go. I've considered getting an E-Bay account to aid in the process, but I haven't yet made the plunge.

I always wait until I'm in a mood that will allow me to think rationally about the clothes in the closet, and then I have to go through and make sure that I get rid of at least two things. I've done that about three times in the past 2 months, and I kept them in a bag to donate to Salvation Army, and I refused to open the bag again so I wouldn't remember what I put in there, because if I couldn't remember it, then it didn't mean that much to me in the first place!

Ray said...

HA, I have the same problem with getting rid of stuff. But I think my situation is worse. I even have problems with getting rid of written pieces of paper that I used to scribble down junk or pieces of my sisters school work. Then I also have problems with throwing away old clothes I will never where. Blah, I wish I had organization down pack but I so don't. I guess I can blame that on my grandfather. He doesn't throw away anything! He even has 3 old televisions in his room. ;o) I guess that's where I got it from! Well I hope Ebay turns around for you so you can start making some big bucks.

Take care, Kelly.

P.S. I was thinking of selling some of my old stuff as well on Ebay. BUT, I have no idea how to go about it and I don't think I even really want to. Although, they do have this store where you can bring you stuff to sell on Ebay and they do all the work for you. But the clincher is that they get a percentage of your money and I'm NOT buying that! So I guess that's out of the question too.

Oh well!

*Marilynmonroe4u2nv from Xanga.*

Marina said...

Aldo sucks.

Maria said...

You just basically voiced all my ebay-related concerns.

A few months ago I took some clothes to a consignment store, after my friend found out I did that she told me I should have just used e-bay instead and saved myself some money.

The consignment store rules were pretty strict: We would split the profits 50/50, she chooses the price at which to list items at (usually 1/3 of what it is worth new),I would have to leave my things there for 3 months, after 30 days she can mark them down to a sale price and after 3 months if I didn't come pick my things up they would be her property.

After my friend talked to me for a bit I decided she was probably right and I was just giving away money. Then on Friday the consignment store sent me a check for 104.00 dollars and I decided it probably was worth it- just for saving me some time and frustration.

Janice said...

I've never had an encounter with ebay, but I'm not sure how I'd feel. $14 sounds pretty good though. :)

ashley said...

i love what not to wear! i've been watching it for many years now, and even though i'm sure they'd never pick me, (being that i am a college student and i don't go to class in sweatpants and hoodies daily) i wish they would. it would be so amazing to have $5000 to buy new clothes.

some of my clothes i still have from high school, and sadly still wear, although they are the best. my closet is jammed, and i have more clothes than anyone really needs.

oh well, $14 is $14 when all you eat is noodles and pb&j sandwiches... :)

The Plainsman said...

Well, I tend to save stuff, too, but after a slow start, have had good luck with eBay. It all gets down to a good enough title to reach the target buyer AND by including key words of the general description in the short title as well, to reach trollers. Then you as a writer can spin your yarn about the stuff down below. How you met Norman Mailer in this suit, or visited the local pizza shop those Jordache(?)jeans.

The ebay type stores are avioded like the plague by many seasoned eBay buyers, as they charge exhorbitant shipping/handling and often do not accurately describe items, especially collectibles. They are ok if one wants to only sell one or two items without bother, but at a lower net return.

Although I am not a "pay pal" friends say it works well to expidite and guarantd payment, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm very tempted to buy myself a pair.
: )

You should check your local library for books on selling on eBay. My (tiny) local library has a huge section about being successful on eBay. Maybe you'll be able to make $16 if you check them out.

Good luck!

Emale said...


Adifferentkindofbeautiful said...

Do you have a myspace?

Kristin said...

It's $14 you didn't have before :) (I'm trying to find the silver lining in all of that hassle)

Kelly said...

I do have a Myspace. Here's the link:

Hannah said...

You just toootaly earned cool points because you watch "What Not To Wear." I LOVE that show.

Come to think of it, I've been on a big TLC and HGTV kick lately. Hmmm...