Folks like Dave Ramsey have made successful careers teaching on the subject of biblical stewardship and how it relates to our finances and many of us have heard sermons on the Parable of the Talents many times over the years.
I don’t have any unique insight into the subject of biblical stewardship, but I do think one thing is clear: if you have stuff sitting around your house that you aren’t using, you are wasting a resource.
You should probably either sell it, or give it to someone who needs it.
These items are prime material for listing on eBay. In last month’s article I explained how you can get a good estimate of how much you can expect to get for an item you are thinking about listing on eBay. If some items don’t seem like they would be worth offering in an online auction, consider a garage sale, donating them or giving them to friends and family members.
Start out listing a few items to get a feel for the system. In the beginning don’t take a pile of 50 items and list them all at once. You’ll be under a lot of pressure to keep up with your auctions and get everything shipped in a timely manner. This could result in some of your buyers giving you a poor rating and “negative feedback.”
Just as in the real world, you need to guard your reputation on eBay. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” On eBay, if you end up with a poor rating, you will learn first hand the relationship between your reputation and the ability to earn a little gold and silver!
Once you’re getting comfortable with selling on eBay, list as many items as you feel you can handle. However, unless you’re a hoarder like we see featured on those reality TV shows, you’ll probably run out of stuff to sell before too long.
If you enjoy the eBay experience you need to find merchandise to sell. The level of commitment you want to make to your fledgling business will determine your next steps. Today we’ll assume you’d like to sell a few items a week on eBay, but don’t have much left at home you want to list.
First, consider making the garage sale rounds on the weekend. Google “garage sales nashville” and you’ll get several sources that list upcoming garage sales. Make a list of the ones that look promising, then head out early—as early as possible—on Saturday morning to see what you can find.
Remember that you need to buy items at a low enough price that you can reasonably expect to sell them at a profit on eBay. In other words, drive a hard bargain and don’t be afraid to walk away if you think the profit margin would be too narrow.
Second, check out the thrift stores. Usually items here are too expensive to sell at a profit on eBay. However, many thrift stores have a “half price” day once a month. That’s when you want to shop.
However, it might be a good idea to visit the thrift store before “half price day” and see what they have. Make some notes, or better yet take some pictures with your cell phone, then go home and research eBay and see what kind of prices you could expect from the items you’ve found at the thrift store.
It will take patience. Most of what you find won’t be worth listing on eBay. However, you’ll get better at spotting the hot items as you get more experience.