I’m well and truly in decluttering mode. My three boxes for “Sell”, “Donate” and “Dump” items are overflowing (see my last decluttering post). It is so satisfying to see all manner of tat safely encased in those boxes.

When you’re super busy (or a bit lazy like me) selling old stuff can seem like too much hassle.  eBay is the UK’s most popular auction site and I’ve used it to sell clothes, shoes, shelving, a sofa, a much-loved classic car and even an entire kitchen. But there are also lots of great things I’ve spent time and effort listing and ended up not selling, or worse….selling for 99p.

At the request of some readers, I thought it might be useful for a quick guide on how to sell on eBay or, more importantly, how to get as much cash for your junk as possible. So here are five tricks that can speed up the process and make it much more worth your while.

Research, Research, Research

Check out similar items listed on the site to get ideas about how to describe the item, what keywords to use in the title and what amounts the items are selling for. There is a great website called www.get4it.co.uk where you can search for an item and see the average selling price. It’s such a great way to work out whether it is worth listing or not.

Timing is key

Don’t list items to finish at ridiculous times. eBay gets most traffic in the evenings (between 6-9pm), and Sunday evening is best. If you list items on a Thursday evening for a 10 day auction, the item will be live for two weekends maximising the amount of people who could view it and then it will finish on Sunday evening. Also, think about the seasonality of the item – listing summer clothing, garden furniture, outdoor toys in early summer should hopefully mean more demand.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

A good selection of photos and an honest, friendly description with as many helpful details as you can make a real difference to the amount of bids you receive. Give bidders confidence that you are a genuine eBayer.

Get the price right

Choosing between setting a minimum bid, buy it now or reserve price depends on the item, what you feel it is worth, what people with similar items are doing and whether you like to live dangerously! The general rule of thumb is the lower the minimum bid price, the more interest you’ll get – but it’s a risky strategy and you might end up selling something for pennies.  Be sure to cover postage costs but keep them keen. Check the Royal Mail’s website for accurate costs, and be creative reusing old packaging you’ve got handy to keep costs down.

Go mobile

If you’ve got a smart phone and haven’t already tried the eBay app, it is worth downloading. You can’t do anything too complicated but for a straightforward listing it is a great time-saving option.

Hope these tips help! For more help, there is good advice on eBay, the Mumsnet forum and MoneySavingExpert forum too.