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Homeschooling on a budget? Buying and selling used is where it’s at! Learn how to successfully sell a used homeschool curriculum on eBay.
I’m always surprised to learn how many people don’t sell their used homeschool curriculum on eBay. We’re balling on a budget, so buying and selling used has been part of my shopping process every year, and I check eBay first!
Are you homeschooling on a budget? One great way to stretch your homeschool dollar is by reselling used textbooks and supplies at the end of the year. (Purchasing used for the upcoming year saves a ton, too!)
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need an eBay account. It’s simple to set up.
I recommend downloading the eBay app. I prefer this option because I use my phone to take pictures, so the whole listing process is quick and painless from start to finish. I can do everything from taking photos to printing my shipping label right from my phone.
You can also quickly scan barcodes using your phone, which makes listing items for sale super simple. Scanning the barcode on the back of your books will often pull up descriptions automatically.
Spring is the best time to sell your used homeschool curriculum. You’ll know it’s time to list your items for sale when you start getting all those curriculum catalogs in the mail. Spring and summer are busy selling seasons since most people are planning for next year.
I’ve never been one to hang onto a ton of curriculum clutter, mainly because we’ve always homeschooled in small spaces and never had extra storage or a designated school room. My kids also have a considerable age gap, so it never made a lot of sense to keep a curriculum for six or seven years.
So, when you start getting those catalogs in the mail, gather your unused curriculum, declutter, and create some space on your bookshelf for next year’s purchases.
First, search for the items you plan to sell.
Monitor similar items for sale from other sellers to see how they do. You can check the starting bid price, the current number of bids, and choose to “watch” any item.
Be sure to see what other retailers are charging and price your curriculum accordingly. How bad do you want to get rid of it? Price low to sell! You don’t want to go through the work of listing an item only to have it remain in your pile of homeschool clutter.
You can also start at a higher rate and drop the price later if you find your item just isn’t selling.
When listing your items for sale, you can select auction pricing or buy-it-now pricing. Other than what their names imply, there are a few things to consider about both options.
Auction pricing allows you to start low, hopefully grabbing attention from buyers. The risk with an auction is possibly settling for a lower price than what you would prefer. You can set a reserve price, but buyers see that, and it takes the excitement right out of your listing. I’ve never sold anything that had a reserve price.
That’s one big reason I prefer the buy-it-now selling feature. It’s a no-fuss option. Buyers also have the choice to offer a lower price if you select “or best offer” when listing. You have the right to refuse or accept the offer. There’s still flexibility, but less risk of losing money.
When shipping used homeschool curriculum be sure to select media mail pricing. It takes longer, but it’s way cheaper! You can send books, DVDs, and CDs through Media Mail if they weigh less than 70 pounds. So basically, all the items that are usually part of a curriculum set can be sent through media mail.
Offer lower shipping costs, or better yet, offer free shipping. That’s a great selling tool, especially, for items you know won’t cost much to ship.
It’s eBay. You don’t have to be a photographer to successfully sell used homeschool curriculum; still, you want to use common sense. Your images don’t have to be perfect but try these tips for optimum results:
Describe your curriculum in detail. Don’t go overboard but be sure to disclose damage no matter how small. You’d be surprised what people will buy. I’ve sold books with writing, missing pages, and lessons.
On the other hand, buyers are quick to leave a negative review if they receive a book with a crease on the front cover they didn’t know about first. Just include a quick note about anything your buyer should know, and be honest about the condition of your items upfront.
As you’re watching other items, be sure to notice when they do sell. This is the best time to list your similar items.
For example, let’s say you have a set of Saxon Math to sell and you’ve been watching a particular listing that has had a lot of bidding action. Once that auction is over, guess what? All those other bidders missed out! Now is the best time to list your item for sale, as BUY IT NOW.
List your items at the same price as the closed auction items sold for because the handful of people who were trying to win that set that sold will immediately look for another one at that price range and discover your new listing. Easy peasy!
Now that you’re items have sold, it’s time to pack it all up, and put it car to drive around with it for three weeks.
Wait, not. That’s me. Not you.
Don’t be like me. Print your shipping labels from home and leave your packages on your front doorstep or in your mailbox. I forget how easy it is to skip the post office!
Ship your items promptly to gain positive feedback from buyers.
To increase your chances of selling, you can also post your used curriculum online in other places, including:
Do you sell used homeschool curriculum at the end of the year or hang onto it for dear life?
Featured photo by Esranur Kalay
Adrienne Bolton is a freelance writer and veteran homeschool mom. She began homeschooling in 2009 to meet the needs of her oldest son who struggled with the public school setting. Her boys have had different experiences with homeschooling, but both have thrived in spite of her. Her oldest son transitioned from public school after fourth grade and her youngest is 100% homegrown, having never stepped foot in a traditional classroom. Now with one son in college and one working his way through high school, she is proof anyone can do this. She writes with humor and heart, peppered with occasional snark and sarcasm. When she is not writing or working you can find her with a good book in hand, snuggling her massive Pitbull fur baby, or making something yummy in the kitchen. She loves to cook, bake, and be outdoors in the sunshine. The beach is her happy place and she's a true flip-flop wearing Florida girl. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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