The Closet Chronicles: Adventures on eBay

So in order to raise money for my brand-new wardrobe, I’m selling the clothes that no longer fit my life on eBay. It sounds so simple, right? People talk about it all the time. You’ve heard it over and over again: “Oh, I sold it on eBay.” “Oh, I bought it on eBay.”

Yeah, right. For an INFP (see Myers-Brigg personality test) like me, the only part of my personality profile that actually likes eBay is the introverted part. Hey, selling stuff face-to-face is not something I do well. I HATE yard sales — both going to them and putting them on. But online? Yeah, I can do that.

But, and this is a big but, there’s the rest of it to contend with: setting up an eBay account. Setting up a PayPal account. Connecting the two. Taking photos of the things I’m selling — well, okay, as a former journalist, I can handle this part. Downloading said photos to computer. Measuring clothing. Describing each item accurately. Pricing the items. And once they sell, packaging, weighing, purchasing the right amount of postage, and taking packages to the Post Office.

The ladies at the Post Office nearest my home have been great, I must say. It turns out that there are now a million bazillion different ways to categorize and send something through the USPS. And about the same number of different envelopes, boxes, etc., to pack items in. The key is packing the item in the correct container. As it turns out, this is trickier than it sounds.

Turns out, Priority Mail is not the same as First Class Mail. Who knew? Certainly not me. And it turns out that the padded flat rate envelope is not the same thing as the plain flat rate envelope — even though both of them say “Flat Rate Envelope” in red letters — all caps mind you — right on the front. The problem? The padded flat rate envelope costs more to mail than the plain flat rate envelope.

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It took me about three tries to get that one right. Also, it’s not possible to send something First Class if it weigh over 13 ounces. So, eBay purchase number one: a digital postal scale. Another caveat: it’s not allowed to send something First Class in a post-office supplied Priority Mail envelope. So, eBay purchase number two: plastic mailing envelopes for sending items that weigh under 13 ounces.

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So now I’m all set. I have a mini-home office. My supplies are my cell phone camera, a computer and printer, a small digital postal scale, packing tape, scissors, and a tape measure. It’s not a simple as it sounds. But it is doable.

 

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