Organizing for Ebay: Too Much Clutter Can Cost You Sales

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this, “I made a sale on Ebay, but when I went to package it, I couldn’t find the item anywhere.” Disorganization like this will cost you sales, not only because you will have unhappy customers (and you’ll be risking negative feedback), but also because spending too much time searching for items lost in clutter reduces productive work time for you.

Here are a few easy ways to get organized for Ebay. You’ll have to figure out as you go along what works best for you, but here are some basics to get started:

Set up a shipping station
Make a space for your mailing supplies. In my office I have an extra desk set up in the corner of the room. My postal scale is on one corner, with plenty of room for any size package to sit squarely on the scale for accurate weighing.

Scissors, rolls of packing tape, and stapler are kept in the desk drawers. My printer is on a nearby stand, with extra packages of paper and address labels stored on the shelf underneath. I keep one box of packing peanuts in handy reach, and store any extras in a large cardboard box in a closet. A selection of bubble wrap and an assortment of priority boxes are near the scale too. Any extras are stored in the closet.

Group items according to stage in the listing process
You’ll find yourself more organized and able to accomplish a lot more in a work period if you start grouping items according to where they are in the listing process.

Some people use large plastic bins to separate their items; some use cardboard boxes; some have enough room to place everything on metal or wood shelves.

Label each container accordingly: To be photographed; ready to list; ready to ship, etc. When you find yourself with some time to work, you can take items from one bin and get them either photographed, listed, or packaged, one right after another. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done when you break it up into separate tasks like this.

File, don’t pile
Don’t scatter piles of Ebay paperwork on your desk, on the dining room table or kitchen counter, etc. It’s too easy to lose important records that way.

Set up a few file folders with basic categories, such as: Invoices, PayPal, Shipping, Receipts, Vendors, etc.-whatever works for you. Drop your papers into these folders and, even if you aren’t completely entering them into your bookkeeping program every day, at least they will be gathered together, in one convenient place, and you’ll be able to find them easily when you are ready to work on your books.

Don’t purchase large amounts of inventory unless you have ample storage room
It’s easy to get caught up with Ebay and want to buy “everything” to resell. Try to resist the temptation. You do not want to have boxes of inventory stacked everywhere in your house. It makes a lot of extra clutter to move around, clean around, and have to stare at every day. Instead, pick out an area that will be your inventory storage space, and restrict yourself to that. Don’t be one of those people who can’t keep their car in the garage at night because the garage is packed to the rafters with boxes and bags of stuff to sell on Ebay. Limit your inventory to that which will not overflow the space you’ve assigned to it.

Have a clear-the-clutter day
If you find yourself starting to bog down mentally, take time to have a clear-the-clutter day. No matter how organized we try to be, when we’re busy selling, things are bound to get a little disorganized. Take an hour or two, or a few, and clean and reorganize your Ebay area. Clear and straighten what’s on your desk. Reorganize your bins, boxes, and supplies. Empty the trash. Clean the windows. Sweep or vacuum the floor.

You’ll find that doing this will “clear the cobwebs”, and you’ll be able to get back to work renewed and refreshed.

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