eBayeBay is a wonderful site, and I was a regular (some would say obsessive) user of it for several years. Unsurprisingly, the main items I bought and sold on there were cameras and books.

This all ended rather abruptly when I packed everything up and shipped it all – myself included – back to Australia (actually I travelled via aeroplane, but you get the idea). There was simply no room to sort through everything and dispose of it accordingly.

The other night my dad mentioned that he had a few items to sell as my parents are doing a little home renovation. I suggested that I could use my account as everything was already set up, and my interest was re-discovered.

This morning’s routine was quite simple : open each box (I still have a number of things in storage, ready for their new home), and take out anything I didn’t really want to keep. These items formed a large pile; the sorting phase is next (rubbish, saleable, charity). Then the fun really begins.

If you’re thinking of embarking upon a similar journey, here are a few things to keep in mind :

  • Decide whether you want to keep something or not; sort the pile later. If you try sorting as you go you’ll end up putting a lot of things back in the cupboard / on the shelf, telling yourself ‘nobody would buy that’.
  • Once you have the items you wish to sell, begin with the cheapest ones first. If something goes wrong, you’re less likely to lose sleep over a damaged book than a damaged car. This also gives you a chance to establish some credibility (via positive feedback – assuming you sell goods as advertised, pack them well and ship them on time) before you get around to selling the larger items.
  • If you have thousands of books in the house but really can’t bring yourself to get rid of them (I can definitely relate to that), start by putting all of the duplicates in a pile. Once you see all of these together, everything else becomes a little easier.
  • When you’re sorting your ‘unwanted items’ pile into rubbish/saleable/charity (I’m including recycling in the rubbish category here), consider the approximate cost of postage. For small, heavy, inexpensive items you may be better off simply giving them to a friend, donating them to charity or holding a garage sale.
  • Don’t feel too bad if you’re tempted to buy something occasionally. After all, that’s what the site is all about. My personal rationalisation – if I buy one book for every 10 that I sell, I’m still a long way in front; and will have a smaller, better book collection to show for it.

Tomorrow the auctions begin. Looking forward to it.