How Jenny Earned $15,000 on eBay

Today's guest blogger Jenny Newcomer is a busy mom of 2 and the founder of LobotoME {eco-friendly organizational products} – For more information visit at or Jenny's blog —

ebay_jennyAs an entrepreneur and mother of two young kids—and with college tuition of about $100,000 looming down the road—I realized last year that I needed to pay off the remainder of my own student loans, which have lingered like a bunch of forgotten junk in the basement.

Did I say forgotten junk? Right after the holidays in early 2009, a bell went off in my head. As I began the post-holiday cleanup, I realized how much STUFF we owned. Bags, shoes, DVDs, books, iPods, old laptops, old kayaks, skis that didn't fit, bikes that we no longer used, etc.

And I decided to sell it. All of it. And here's how I did it—and made $15,000.

  1. Gather the goods. Go through your house, basement, attic, garage and make an inventory of items you could sell (smaller items can be gathered into a pile as you go). The majority of the items I sold were clothes, handbags, shoes and sporting goods. Also consider tools, small appliances, craft supplies, kids toys, etc.
  2. Take pix. Assuming you already have eBay and PayPal accounts (and know how to use a computer), the next step is to take digital pictures of your first 10 items. The better the picture and description, the better the price. Ebay charges if you upload more than one image, but I suggest adding at least one additional picture as buyers like to see different angles and details.
  3. Keep records. While taking pictures, jot down the size, measurements, materials, and any additional details of the item you are listing. Then, get an accurate estimate on shipping costs online at or Generally, I ship things via Priority Mail flat rate boxes (as its easy to figure out what to charge). For example, a large handbag fits in a large flat rate box for $12.95.
  4. Set your price. Anytime I list an item, I search eBay first for successful sales on similar items. This allows me to set a fair opening price (and also get good ideas for describing my item).
  5. Sell it! Log on to and click on the Sell an Item tab and list the items, one by one. Once I got into the rhythm, I could post 10 items in an hour. Also, be sure to check your ebay account frequently for messages, bidding questions, etc. Once the bidding has ended and the buyer has paid for the item, promptly ship it.

Here is the key part: Resist the temptation to use the money that you just earned to buy MORE crap! Transfer the money immediately from your PayPal account to your bank account and send a check off to pay off your debt or stash it in savings.

Here, some related links that I found helpful from Ramit Sethi and the folks on 43things.

Jenny Newcomer is a busy mom of 2 and the founder of LobotoME {eco-friendly organizational products}- visit or Jenny's blog —