This holiday season, many families are having financial difficulties and are unable to purchase gifts for their children. Sometimes even just making ends meet to pay the bills can be a struggle. Many single parents, especially single mothers know this all too well.
Sometimes the other parent is not involved and doesn’t pay or doesn’t have the means to pay their child support payments. Sometimes a single parent family can go from receiving child support to receiving very little to none at all. I speak of this from experience. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to a single parents is to learn to budget and make ends meet without the need for the monthly child support payment. If you are receiving it, than great. However, if you are like me and you have difficulties coparenting with the other parent OR where the other parent is NOT involved at all, you could get stuck financially. My ex husband does not have a consistent record with child support payments and so I have created different income streams to offset what he is supposed to pay. When I do get it, I consider it a bonus for my daughter because then I can get her extra clothes, shoes, school supplies and put it towards her college fund.
I personally have provided myself with many income streams, but one of the ways that has helped me a lot this Christmas has been selling things on eBay. her holidays. As a single mother, I understand that sometimes you can struggle just trying to pay the bills and make ends meet.
That’s where stories such as eBay’s moneymaker series comes in and can teach you so much about how to make the best use of selling items on eBay. In the widget below are some of the items that I’m currently selling on eBay with active auctions right now. Since I started selling my items a few months ago, I made $513 and $410.56 have been made in December as of today, December 22. My ex husband’s child support is based upon minimum wage, so he pays just $250. So do the math, I made $410.56 so far in December and as of today, he has not paid his $250 child support. So I’m actually ahead by $160.56.
So what items am I selling?
I sold an elliptical machine, clothes, Video Games, DVD’s, and Books. These are all items that were hanging around my house and I still have more to list. My 4 month old is outgrowing his clothes so much that I’m about to list many of 0 to 3 months and newborn outfits. I would definitely say my best selling items are video games, DVD’s and books.
- Sell in Lots or Groups for smaller, cheaper priced items OR similar items – I use this if I’m selling books written by the same author or the same theme. I plan on listing some NBA Video games for successive years, so rather than selling one game for one year, I’m selling three games from years 06, 07 and 08. In my listing below I have three random Disney DVD’s for auction.
The benefits of selling groups or lots is that you can save on shipping and packing costs this way and it creates a better value for the customer because they may pay a higher price with the perceived value of receiving more items in the auction.
- Offer free shipping or more than one shipping option – this Christmas many of the items I had up for auction I gave buyers the choice of either getting it economy, parcel or media mail for FREE and then if they wanted it faster, they could pay for upgraded shipping. That way in the listings, it looks like I’m offering free shipping and buyers would be able to select their shipping preference. As an added extra in your account settings, you can allow buyers to edit the final price, if they want to negotiate shipping due to shipping rate differences.
The Convenience of eBay selling for Single Parents
I find eBay to be convenient for me as a single parent. I don’t have a lot of free time between working, picking up and dropping off kids and then managing the household. I’m also a blogger and a freelance writer and so at other times besides work and family, I’m blogging or writing. With eBay I can schedule auctions at my most convenient times. I can set up auctions, schedule them and prepare shipping at my convenience. Printing labels via eBay and Paypal also make it convenient for me. With USPS FREE package pickup and their automated postal center, I don’t have to worry about making it to the post office within their hours of operation. Also, payment is sent to Paypal and you can easily transfer funds to your bank account OR sign up for the Paypal Mastercard Debit Card for quicker access to your money.
Tips for preparing your items for shipping
When I list an item is usually have it packed and ready to send prior to the end of the auction. As soon as it gets listed, I have it packed in the box but not sealed. Then I place one of my business cards for my website and will wrap the item in tissue with my company sticker and packed in wrapping and bubble wrap as necessary. I also add a post it note that includes the ebay item ID number on it. As soon as the item is sold, I can easily send it off for shipping.
Once you’ve exhausted everything in your house, you may be in the market to buy and then re-sell items. I have had luck with selling small items that are easy to ship. Items such as video games, cell phones, blue ray DVDs and older books. I have visited my local pawn shops and bought Xbox 360 Kinect video games for sometimes $1, $5 and $10 and then auctioned them on eBay for $30.00.
Disclaimer: Dallas Single Mom IS an eBay Parent Panel Ambassador. What that means is that I do get compensated for blog posts about my opinions on the eBay selling process. What that also means is that my opinions are 100% true.