Day 317 Ebayers Block

I seem to be suffering from ebayers block at the moment. I know what the cause is and I was hoping if I share it with you maybe you would have some good advice for me on how to overcome it.

Here are a list of my symptoms…

  1. Lack of enthusiasm for writing descriptions and uploading photos.
  2. Not being sure what starting price to set.
  3. Fear of not realising a good price for the items that are going up for auction. Taking into account the original price paid and the lack of use some items received.
  4. Fear that the items won’t sell and I will have wasted the money on insertion fees.
  5. Not wanting to deal with postage and handling.
  6. Fear that I will regret selling at least one of these items.

Now that I have listed the symptoms I think I have worked out the cure..


I have a feeling that no matter what the outcome I will just be glad to be rid of the stuff even if I practically give it away. The guilt burden from those few items alone has been gnawing at me for some time now and it is time I put myself out of my misery and set a good example for my readers.

I will still be happy to receive any advice you have on the subject even though I appear to have made a decision. Someone please call me out on this before the end of the week to make sure I followed through on my resolution.


I listed this item on Freecycle today lets hope it is gone by tomorrow if not I will have to decide what to do with it. I is made for American power supply and the battery needs replacing.


5 things I am grateful for today

  1. Finding the charger for my camera within a hour of discovering it wasn’t where it should have been.
  2. Being bored – It is a strange thing to be grateful for but it means I am getting back to normal after the last three weeks of madness and need something useful to do.
  3. My new blog layout gives me room to put a bigger photo.
  4. The red chicken curry with bamboo shoots I made for dinner turned out really nice even if I say so myself.
  5. Liam was firing on all four cylinders today- He is starting to realise how silly some of the things were that he believed to be true. He has suddenly realised how important it is to score 12 on his PTA tests and is starting to employ strategies to help him remember the correct answers. The problem is that he has also realised how boring it is being stuck in hospital and is getting obnoxious about it. All good signs but this could mean trouble!
Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Disposing of this weeks mission yields In a post a couple of weeks ago that asked a range of question about your clutter issues and my blog. One of the readers asked for more information on how to get rid of the clutter that […]
  • Life moves on I received the following comment from Kimberley to one of last week's posts ~ Who Are You Now. Kinberley wrote: "Your post should be titled, “Isn’t this how clutter begins?”  We […]
  • Positive attitude to decluttering Here is a great comment from Kimberley that I didn't want anyone to miss... "Selling vs. Donating….. When we acquire an item, there was an obvious need for us to do so, real or […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I do have an opinion on this, which is — just give it away. I picked up this attitude when I used to read the American decluttering/cleaning website called Flylady. She advised we just give our stuff to the Goodwill or other charity instead of burdening ourselves with starting a new project/hobby/part-time career of trying to earn back some money on the items we no longer want. For me, the thought of getting onto eBay and going through all the motions it requires to sell stuff, then mail it to someone, just kills the pleasure I get in decluttering. It would be a real impediment in getting stuff out of my house.

    It’s hard to face the fact that I may have wasted money on these items, but wasting my time in a pursuit that I hate won’t put that right. And I’ll think long and hard before buying stuff in the future that may just add to the clutter cycle. So I say — lesson learned, money has been lost, move on and try to do better in future. But that’s just me — I do know I’m missing out on a chance to make some “easy” money here, but I just don’t want to bring that new activity into my life. And on that note, I was actually about to head out to the Goodwill with three bags, and to the kids’ school with two bags (they’re having a rummage sale) when I saw this post!

    • I agree. It’s not easy money if you have to take pics, list, pack, ship, leave feedback… I would only do that for items that would surely bring serious money in. I don’t know if you have those flea markets where you can rent a table? I did that this summer and made over 800 euros in one day. Anything that didn’t sell went to a charity shop, including some nice clothing with tags still on. I’m doing it one again and then going back to just donating everything, as I dislike selling.
      If you enjoy eBaying or have nothing better to do, then it’s a different story. If you hate it, don’t make yourself do it.
      I remind myself that the money was wasted when I bought the item, not when I get rid of it.
      Generally I can’t get rid of my junk fast enough. I hate to have bags and things lying around -which is another reason I love to just take it to a charity shop! (Now to just get this last fleamarket event over with and good riddens to the last of my junk!)

      • Cat’s Meow I love this line from you “I remind myself that the money was wasted when I bought the item, not when I get rid of it”. That is soooo true, and really was a light bulb moment when I read it just now. Thank you!

      • Hi Cat’s Meow,
        There is a flea market just up the street from my house but I don’t have a lot of items to sell and the ones I do want to get rid of on ebay are odd things that will only appeal to a small group of people looking for a specific thing so a big audience like ebay is the way to go. I used to do flea markets and garage sales and they were a great way to cash in on unwanted stuff but I would prefer to just give that stuff away to charity. Once these items are gone I will be able to give ebay the flick for a while. Thanks for your great comment.

    • Hi Eve,
      I have to say I agree with what you are saying here. Placing ebay auctions can be a real bother. The head games we play in these situations can in fact stall the decluttering process and I must say I have chosen to give a lot to charity myself for this very reason. Using the strategy of the harder the lesson the better learned it could be when it comes to wasting money is a good deterrent for the future.

    • Interesting perspective, calling selling a new hobby. I’ll have to think about that.

  2. I have symptoms 1 – 5! I haven’t posted anything on eBay since my hubby passed away two years ago, and he did most of it then. I purchased a website to host my photos, and even made a template, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten in the past few weeks. Guess #6 for me would be that I’m simply afraid I can’t do it by myself, although I know people do all the time. There is a lot to the process, and I’m nervous about making huge blunders. Of course I’m coming off a big move, the flu, and a few other things . . . and am sure timing is part of it for me. I’m going to give myself a bit longer, then I’m facing all these fears head-on! I wish you complete success in getting your items listed and sold. And if you have any tips for me, I’m all ears!

    I’m so thrilled to hear how well your son is getting along. That is incredible news! I pray he continues to improve daily. ♥

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      one thing about it is that you don’t need to do it until you are comfortable with it. I will keep you posted as to how these auctions go and let you know if I thought is was worth the effort or not and any tips I picked up along the way.

      As for Liam, he is home this afternoon for a few hours and his complaining neurons are working at 200% capacity. He hasn’t stopped whining about wanting to get out of that boring hospital for the entire hour since we picked him up. I understand his feelings but he just has to deal with the fact that he has a bit more recovery yet before he can get home. He has scored 12 out of 12 on his PTA testing the last 2 day and just needs to do it again tomorrow to be able to begin more rehab exercises.

  3. 99 cent listings (starting price) are free so if it doesn’t sell-you aren’t out any money!
    That motivates me 🙂

    • Hi Jana,
      unfortunately for me that don’t make those ebay deals here in Australia. That is the problem with a small population there is less competition so less deals.

  4. I was going to say exactly what everyone else has said. If you are having a block about it, maybe it’s time to just start giving it all away. Do you have Craig’s List in Australia? Maybe a different venue from e-bay would help you jumpstart.

    Good good news about Liam, but yeah, it may mean trouble for the nurses 🙂

    • Hi Willow,
      there are only a few things that I want to sell but they are odd items that can’t really be donated to charity because of one reason or another. I will check out Craig’s List though just to see if it would be better for me. Thanks for the advice.

      Read the reply to Betty Jo’s comment for an update on the new ever complaining Liam. 🙂

  5. You could just “white knuckle it” as Dr Phil would say, but I wouldn’t condemn you for just not bothering to even try.

    Ebay is sooooooooooo overated. I tried to sell a bunch of stuff a few months into my decluttering journey, thinking it would be a great way to pass things on to people who want them, if nothing else. How disallusioned I was. Of the nine items I tried to sell, only five sold, even though I used reserves of 1 cent. Of those that sold I lost money on four of them because the postage calculated by ebay doesn’t include packaging and registered post. When I tried to sell something heavy with a fixed postage cost, so that the actual cost to me of posting it would be covered, my auction got cancelled because ebay believed the postage was excessive. When I complained and set out the costs as per the amounts quoted on the Australia Post website, they refunded the 30c listing cost but not the 69c cost of adding photos. They then made me do a tutorial before I was allowed to sell anything again.

    As a result of all this, I now have two rules about what I put on ebay:
    1. It has to be something that will sell – if I can’t find an auction for a similar item where someone has bid, I don’t bother
    2. It has to be something that will sell for at least $40 – we place so much value on money, we need to place value on our time. You would never accept a job working for someone else paying you the hourly rate you achieve by selling things on ebay, so why accept that job from yourself?

    I now take the view that I read in a decluttering book, similar to Cat’s Meow’s comment above – trying to sell things is just a way of proving to yourself that the things you bought have value and you didn’t make a mistake buying it in the first place. So for most things now, I accept that I made a mistake, or at the very least, have got all the value out of something that I am going to get, and give them away for free.

    • Hi Isabella,
      that is a very interesting experience you have had with ebay. Wow I can’t believe they cancelled your listing because of the postage price and then made you do a tutorial. That blows me away. I will make sure I am careful to not do anything to annoy them. 😆

  6. For me it’s about connections. Some stuff I’m not “connected” to and so it goes to the op-shop or to freecycle (and that’s a pain too, sometimes – waiting for people to come around). Sometimes, however, I am “connected” to the item – I just don’t need “me” to own it anymore. And I know that while not many people will want it, someone out there will. I don’t care what price I get – sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, but usually I just cover my costs. I get satisfaction from finding the item a good home. I don’t do it when I don’t feel like it – I have a little trunk with “to be eBayed sometime” stuff it in. When I am in the mood – i pull out a few items and have a go. The pile gets whittled down that way. What I don’t do now that I used to do is actually buy stuff to eBay! Sometimes I still get tempted (perfectly good academic gown for $10.00 anyone – I know where I can get you one…) but now I just say (firmly) to myself – “that’s for other people to do now, not you anymore.”

    • Hi Calico ginger,
      you and I do things much the same here I just don’t put them in a trunk. I avoid these items until I get tired of trying to overlook them and then force myself to do something about it. Now is the time I did something again.

  7. I flip flop around on this issue, and mostly sell on Craigslist, which is free and the buyer has to pick up at my house. Most of the time, in fact, once someone wants the item, I just leave it on the front porch and ask them to put the money under the mat. I have never been cheated, and this cuts down on the inconvenience of having to be home when someone wants to drop by. It was you, Colleen, who got me back into selling after a long period of inactivity, and I have made over $800 since June 1, although, again, mostly from CL, not Ebay.

    My tips are to always check completed auctions to see what price my item has fetched when others are selling the same/similar. I have a minimum amount that it’s worth to me – $10 on Ebay. Make sure you know your shipping costs, exactly, and tack on at least 50 cents more to cover the fee that Paypal charges. I don’t worry too much about the Ebay fees. The insertion costs are cheap, and you don’t get charged a final value fee unless your items sells. Right now in the US, there’s no insertion fee. Writing is not a struggle for me, so composing an ad is not difficult. I do not sell clothes. I tell myself (and stick with it) that if the item doesn’t sell, then out if goes free.

    I have a pair of fancy patent leather shoes for sale on Ebay right now. They were $40, but Audra outgrew them quickly. I’m hoping to recoop at least $10 (plus the fees). The auction ends tomorrow, and 5 people are watching it, so surely one of them will come through for me.

    • hi Cindy,
      that is a very sound approach and I hope you have good luck selling those shoes.

      • They sold for $9.99.

        Another reason that Ebaying works for me is that I save packing, so I never have to buy / find packaging, and my daughters’ school is a couple of blocks from a post office that is never terribly busy. Since I pass by it at least twice every day, if it is occassionally busy, I just come back later.

        • Hi Cindy,
          as you know I make all my own packaging or use recycled boxes so no cost there and like you I wait until things sell before I bother to box them up. I am lucky to have a little local post office quite near my house that isn’t usually busy and the manager and I are on first name basis which is kind of nice.

          Good for you making a few bucks out of something you no longer need.

  8. I keep the things to be Ebayed in the same location where they lived before I decided that they should be sold; otherwise I get a nasty build up of junk just around my desk. Also I never bother to package something prior to it being sold. No point in possibly making extra work for myself.

  9. I usually just donate items to Goodwill but for “special things” I really cared about (ex poinsettia china cups), I have this need to “find them a good home” ! Those are the things I would put on ebay figuring they will be better loved if someone bids for them!! I was very disappointed when I searched for what my “good wedding china” would bring and not even wanted it! That went to goodwill-I know someone could use a set of dishes

    • G’day JessieJack,
      thought I would use a little Australian there just for the fun of it.
      I usually follow this method as well reserving eBay for those items that I know will sell easily and well or for items that are not right to donate for one reason or another. In my case I have several electronic items that I brought back from the USA that I now want to move on and because they are 120v and we run 240v they are not suitable to donate but the components of some will appeal to robotics enthusiasts. so I think eBay is the way to go for them.

  10. You might want to try Bonanzle. I think their fees are less.

  11. The red chicken curry with bamboo shoots sounds yummy!


  1. […] on Day 317 – I do have an opinion on this, which is… Read […]