Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Kick the Tires

You gotta kick the tires.  Ok, so this probably goes without saying.  But maybe if I would have done a little more tire kickin' I wouldn't have had such a rough go of things last week.  What do I mean by kickin' the tires?  And what can we learn?  Here you go.

1.  When you're at a yard sale, see if what you are about to buy actually works or has the necessary pieces and parts.  The first step with this is to actually ask the seller if it works, has all the pieces, etc.  My cousin almost bought a wagon this weekend that was BROKEN.  And I can't tell you how many times I've asked a seller to go back in the house and see if she can't find those Pat Pat rocket action figures.

2.  Test your electronic toys BEFORE you sell them.  I am so bad about this.  I always assume it works, but sometimes it just doesn't.  At least if you know, you can be up front with your descriptions and there will be no surprises when your package arrives.  Though I must say, in all my glorious laziness, sometimes my listings say, "This toy may or may not work with batteries.  I don't know though, I haven't tested it!"

3.  Don't feel the need to send your toys with batteries.  You can if you want to, of course, but remember it makes your package heavier to ship (especially D batteries).  It is enough to tell your perspective buyers that the item has been tested, it works, and will require batteries.

4.  If you kick the tires and find something doesn't work or a battery compartment is corroded, don't despair.  Sandpaper is your friend and that is often all it takes to reestablish a working connection.

5.  If you are selling clothes, dress ups, etc., examine your item closely in natural light.  Look for rips, stains, tears.  How many times have I sold something only to find a missed stain when I'm packaging it up?

Do you have any kickin' the tires stories or tips to share?  Please do so in the comments!


  1. i sold an infant piano that when packing up realized one of the keys poped up and then didn't work. I threw in an extra infant toy i had on hand and immediately emailed the buyer. They were greatful for the quick notice and appreciated the "extra" for the inconvenience. I offered a refund if they decided upon receipt that they no longer wanted it, but never heard anything else about so I assume all is well!

  2. I listed a box of "legos" recently and didn't realize until i was shipping them that they were actually mega bloks. I emailed the buyer and luckily we were able to amicably cancel the transaction before the item shipped.

    @ Coupon Tipster

  3. @Amy - Legos = Mega Bloks = BIG no-no. Lego collectors mean BUSINESS :)

    I swear by Dreft stain remover.I tell all of my friends and family that it gets everything out, even set in stains. I even use it on my older sons athletic gear and it takes out blood, mud and grass stains completely. Works on those camouflaged water spots too. Only ever had one person disagree with me - try it!

  4. This is something I've actually been wondering about. I ask sellers if something works if there aren't batteries for me to test it and they always say yes. People must just say yes if they don't know because I've now bought everal toys that don't work after I bring them home and try them. Or I test the toy and think it works and then bring it home and realize that an important button doesn't work. So now what? Do people buy toys that don't work or should I just sell the accessories? For example I have a Go Diego Go talking treehouse with all the parts and pieces but it doesn't talk and a My Little Pony castle with some accessories that doesn't light up or make sounds. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  5. Bought plenty of stuff off craigslist only to discover later that items were not all in condition as described just because I was in a hurry

  6. The good news is, sometimes you can sell those non kicked tires items for parts. When my laptop die, it was beyond repair (for my budget), so I took out the hard drive and sold it for parts, even with a nonworking monitor. I've also sold old Nintendo systems for parts. I don't always intend to sell something for parts, but it can be done if you end up with something. If all else fails, give the nonworking item away on Freecycle. Maybe someone out there can fix it and pass it on. Love your blog!

  7. Hi - I noticed you hadn't been posting much lately and I wanted to let you know that I have missed your posts!!!

    I get your email feed and have to say that your blog is one of the most useful I've read. Thanks to you - I own a postage scale (after years of running to the post office after EVERY Sale!) and I had the courage to ship something with a custom's from.

    You have taught me a lot and helped me get better at what I already did (yard sale and resale wise).

    Plus I love the way you make over thrift store finds. I do the same but with garage sale finds. Our thrift stores are nasty 90% of the time.

    You have a great blog and I really enjoy it. Maybe yard sale season has ended for you (as it has for us) but beyond the yard sale buying, I really enjoy your selling tips and secrets. :)

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