Resell or Recycle your unsold ebay items

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So...It happens to the best of us Sellers.

You meticulously clean, sort, measure, photograph and list your fabulous Ebay one-of-a-kind treasure (ya know, the one that is going to make you squeal when it gets lots of  bids, with the price going up, up, up...). But, to your shock , the item does not sell. It gets watchers, but no one bids. After 7 days. No one at all. You feel a little let down, somewhat discouraged. How could you have been so wrong?

Take heart, there is life yet in that Ebay dud! Here are 6 tips to give you hope:

1) First of all, you can just REVIEW & RELIST YOUR ITEM immediately. Not everyone who sees your item this week is interested, and the person who will really bid on it to win it is on vacation this week. Sometimes, it's just plain timing. So your first choice is to rewrite your listing, make adjustments and relist. Then, if it sells the second time, ebay will give you a small credit towards the listing fee. If you really believe in the item's value, and it doesn't sell the second time, try another way of selling it like the options listed below. I have relisted an item I knew could sell, in a different category, and the second time it closed, one week later,  it sold for 3 times more than the starting bid. Go figure!

2) Second choice is to RELIST YOUR ITEM IN A DIFFERENT MONTH.  For example, you list a really nice vintage pie plate in February, and it doesn't sell. Well, is it a tradition to make pies in February? You would probably have better luck in the Fall, when the weather cools down and lots of people get cozy and homey and bake for the holidays. So tuck that pie plate away, then relist it in November, described as "a great, vintage pie plate to make your traditional homemade pumpkin pie in this year!"  Another great reason to hold on to an item are the end of the year holidays: Christmas & Hannukah. I hold on to anything I find during the year that I think will end the auction higher if it is listed at Christmastime. One time, I bought a corkscrew at a sale for $0.50, took it home, cleaned it up and, itching to list in, put it away in a drawer for 9 months. That year, I sold the same beautiful sterling silver and ivory corkscrew a week before Christmas to a collector who, I think, bought it as a gift for himself. At over $500 closing bid, I can only imagine that the feel of the holiday season helped raise the final bid just a little.

3) SEARCH E-BAY FOR RECENTLY SOLD IDENTICAL ITEMS and review the listings for items that sold successfully. Did you start yours too high? Misspell the manufacturer or style in the title? Do other recent auctions give more historical detail, more in depth manufacturer information, or simply use a qualifyer or code you did not know? Learn from other Sellers, they are excellent teachers.  Did you make the fatal flaw of accidentally listing it in the wrong category? I have done that before. Did the auction close at a not-so-customer friendly time, like Tuesday morning at 3am? Was the shipping fee accidentally too high? Did you omit info that would close the sale, like the measurements, condition, color or history of the item? These all add to the "value" of your listing, and can make or break an auction. Edit your auction, follow recent Seller's lead and relist.

4) HAVE A CO-OP YARD SALE for all your Ebay friends. Just give it up and move on. Two or three times per year,  friends get together and have a combined yard sale. You would be surprised how much we are selling was originally listed on Ebay and ended flat. However, we usually at least make our original money back, clean out our Ebay closets and have fun teasing our families that we're doing it to "make room for more ebay merchandize!" in our homes.

5) JOIN A FREECYCLE GROUP AND DONATE your Ebay duds by offering them to others for free pick up. Most cities have an online Freecycle group that you can join, post offers to and see what others may have to offer you. Shelves for your Ebay closet at home or bubble wrap are two things I have received through Freecycle sites.

6) MAKE A DONATION TO YOUR LOCAL SHELTER, church Thrift Shop or Recycle Center. Avoid large, national chain donation centers, if you want to really make a difference and support your local community, choosing instead the local Senior Center or Rape & Abuse Crisis Center that is having it's annual rummage sale soon. All of your bric a brac, video games, costume jewelry etc will be resold for a good cause, you'll be doing a good deed, and it's tax deductible. Ask for your tax receipt when you drop off your Ebay unsold goods.

The point is, sometimes we buy things to resell on Ebay and our instincts are a little off that day. So, it's a numbers game, right? Try new ways to improve your odds, and, if at the end of everything you wind up giving your items to charity, look at it this way: You have done a good thing, you kept trash out of the landfill, cleaned up your clutter, made a donation, supported your local charity and got a tax write off.  What's wrong with that?  I've donated lots of Ebayed stuff to charities, crisis centers and yard sales. Anything to make room in my home for more Ebay merchandise, right? I'm out there right now looking for another $500 corkscrew!

Happy Selling, ebayers!

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