Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Making A Dollar At Home

At a time where everyone is stuck in their home with limited mobility, it can be even more challenging to figure out how to make a few dollars. Well, just like you, there are millions of others looking for new things to do at home. Whether it is a puzzle, old video game or Polly pocket set, there is a market for everything. The best way to get rid of these items (and possibly make some money) will take some time, but it will be very worthwhile and give you something to pass the time. There is a process behind turning toys into cash, and it is one that I find very soothing and I hope you do as well.

Step 1:

First, it will be important to gather all unwanted items into a central location. Currently during the quarantine, many thrift stores have paused their donations. This means it’s the perfect time to turn your donations into a couple of dollars. So, after you have cleared out some closet space, it is time to see what you’ve got. I would recommend separating clothing from puzzles, and board games from old toys.

Step 2:

Download the eBay app and make an account. eBay is 100% free to use the platform, and it is available on nearly any device. What makes eBay so powerful at a time like this is that it creates one single shopping location for individuals around the world. I have shipped items to Italy and Brazil all within the past week. All I have to do is print off the label from home, tape it to the box and drop it off in the mail slot.

Step 3:

Grab a puzzle that you want to get rid of, and pull up the eBay app. After opening the app and going to the search tab, you will see a camera icon at the top right of the screen (next to the shopping cart). This nifty tool will allow you to scan the barcode of the item so you can see if others are selling it, what the price is and how many are currently available. If no results come up, I would recommend typing the item name manually to see results.

Step 4:

What you will now research is the price that the other items are selling at. This is one of the most crucial steps! You will be able to do this by two very simple steps. Once the exact item is found and you’re looking at other listings, click the filter tab. Within the filter tabs there are lots of options, but it is only important to click on the “Sold Items” tab and the “Completed Items” tab. What this shows is the exact price that others are purchasing the item for, so you know exactly what to price yours at.

*You could have a $200 rare puzzle and sell it for $12, so make sure you check*

Step 5:

When you have found the item online at a price it is sold at, you simply just need to press the button “Sell one like this”. This allows you to use all of the information the other seller used (assuming it is all correct), then provide your own photos for your listing. If all puzzles have sold for $20 and there are many on the market still, putting yours for $12 is not a bad idea at all. So, take some pictures with a nice background and make sure your item description is exactly what they will receive.

Step 6:

Be patient, and look at what other sellers are doing to get rid of stuff while at home. The presentation of your images is very important, and may be the deciding factor in someone choosing your listing over another one. The more time you spend listing, the more items that will sell. It may take a couple of days, and some items may never sell, but it is all part of the learning experience.

Step 7:

When an item sells, eBay has made it very easy to print off labels from home so you do not need to enter the USPS. If the item’s weight is under 16 oz, the maximum it will be to ship is $6 and any lower weight will be cheaper. Simply print the label, put the item in the box and tape the label to the outside and you’re set.

Safety precautions are also important to keep in mind. If someone inquires about one of your listed items, respond to the question just as you would in person. If they for some reason ask for personal information, never give them that information. As for shipping, eBay has made it entirely possible for you to drop off items without human encounter if you are worried. It is simple to print off a label, and drop it off at any USPS location. As for prohibited listing, be sure to stay away from listing any essential items (hand sanitizer, masks, etc) on eBay for the time being. This could result in an account ban, and nobody wants that.

Overall, this process is just like working from home. Anyone can create their own eBay page and get rid of unwanted items, all while making a few bucks doing it as long as you follow safety precautions. There is so much to learn within eBay, YouTube videos or online tutorials are sure to be a great help as well.

Chace Prothe

Peer Financial Counselor I


About Powercat Financial

Director of PFC

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