Here are some considerations when selling postcards from a
member of the TPCC:
Selling Postcards on eBay Booklet
To print a copy of this booklet, click print on your computer tool bar.
Selling Postcards On The Internet
The prospect of trying to sell unwanted postcards to others seems
difficult regardless of the method used.
Selling all the postcards not wanted to a dealer is the easiest and least
Selling postcards to fellow collectors at club meetings will take
Selling postcards to others at postcard shows is labor intensive,
expensive, and may not result in much profit after seller expenses.
Selling cards on the internet will require constant attention to detail
but will result in the best return.
So, if you want a profit when selling postcards, if you would like to
sell off the postcards you do not want in this lifetime, if you do not like the
idea of possibly loosing money while selling postcards, then the internet may be
Postcards On The Internet
An excellent method to use to learn about selling postcards on the internet
is to observe what others are doing. Here is a collection of postcard seller
links. Visit as many as you have time to visit to see how others are doing what
you hope to do.
Here is a list of postcard dealers at eBay. Check them out. They can be an
excellent source of knowledge as you enter this hobby business.
Computer Skills Needed
This is a minimum set of computer skills needed to pursue the hobby business
of selling postcards on the internet through eBay. They are entered in no
certain order. But all are essential to participation in the computer work for a
If you find a skill listed which you do not understand, then seek help from
others or from online tutorials.
1. Typing skills slightly better than hunt and peck.
2. Search the internet with Google.
3. Open email program like Outlook Express. Update it from time to time..
4. Reply to email messages.
5. Print messages.
6. Use drafts in Outlook Express
6. Paste text from drafts into messages.
7. Create and send new email.
8. Create shortcuts and favorites on desktop.
9. Follow hyperlinks. Use back button to return.
10. Use refresh button.
11. Scan a postcard image and save to a folder.
12. Download Turbo Lister Program and open it.
13. Follow online tutorials.
14. Access online banking account.
15. Access My eBay account.
16. Access PayPal account.
17. Use WSFTP if you plan to send pictures to a memory other than eBay.
Determine how you will organize the items you plan to
sell so you can match pictures with listings with the actual item.
PC numbers work great for me. Each postcard has a PC
number. Starting with PC001, I now have pictures up to about PC2800.
When a listing is typed, the title of the item starts
with the PC number. The item PC number in the title helps to locate the item
when it sells and needs to be sent.
When the description is written for the title, a scan
is made of the postcard (s) so a picture can be added to the listing.
The picture file number is the PC number. So a scan of
postcard PC001 will be pc001.jpg I also have folders for each 100 postcard scans
to make finding them easier. See a list of my scans for postcards numbered PC100
through PC199 HERE.
The cards are the filed in numerical order. How
original that is.
When an item sells, a record is made of the sold PC
number. About a month after the item is sold, a different item is listed with
the PC number. The PC numbers get recycled over time. The same boxes can be used
to store the postcards. When a new card is added to the store, it is put in the
numerical order box for ease of location when it sells. And on and on.
Now all of this takes time, and effort. You may find a
system which works better for you. Well have at it. Develop a system that works
for you. The important details are to have as many items in your store as
possible, don't sell the same item more than once, replace pictures and
descriptions as postcards sell, and be able to find and send an item when
payment is made.
For security reasons, your personal finances need to be kept separate from
your hobby business finances. Do this by establishing a bank account near where
you live. Find one that
offers online banking, free checking, debit card, and banking by mail. Do not
tie this new account to your personal account. Do not use it as a backup to any
personal account. It should be independent of all other accounts you may have.
When you find a bank which offers these features, and most do these days,
gather up $100. Go to the bank. Set up your hobby business account. Use your
name. Do not use a business name, ever.
Why online banking? With a computer connected to the internet you will be
able to access your account to track deposits and withdrawals from eBay and
Why free checking? This is obvious.
Why banking by mail? You will not want to run to the bank to deposit every
check you receive. But you do need to promptly deposit checks you receive. Now
that PayPal is used by most buyers, you may not receive many checks. But when
you do, then stamp the back of the check with the "Deposit Only"
rubber stamp, fill out a deposit slip, and drop it all in the mail every few
Listing Program From eBay
Insist on learning Turbo Lister from eBay. It is an invaluable time saver when
listing and relisting items. Here is the link to the download. It may seem
daunting at forst but stick with it and you will be pleased you took the time to
learn about it and happy to use it.
Single postcards or small groups of postcards can be sent in a business
envelope with a stiffener. Mark "Please Do Not
Bend" on the envelope front or affix a label.
Have a postal scale handy.
Print the postal rates for first class then tack it up where you can see it
Use priority mail envelopes when you have 100 or more postcards to send. The
flat rate is $4.05 regardless of where the item is going in the USA, and
regardless of what the weight it. Pretty much what ever you can fit into the
envelope is OK.
Be sure to have a few flat rate envelopes on hand.
If you have several hundred postcards to send to the same address, mixtures
and the like, then you want to investigate the flat rate boxes offered by the
post office. For $8.10 you can really get quite a bit of material in a flat rate
box. There are three sizes. Keep a few of each size on hand. Plus, be sure to
have a stock of $4.05 stamps as well.
You will need to speak with your route letter carrier to let them know you
will be sending items from your home from time to time.
Try to mail every paid order out the next day after payment is received.
That is only efficient business. Getting behind is painful.
Sequence of Events
This is a flow chart to offer suggestions on steps to follow to become a
seller of postcards at eBay on the internet. Expect to modify this list as your
need requires. Follow the links you find if they seem interesting to you.
eBay Quick Start
Here is a checklist which will aid you in getting an eBay hobby business up
and running. Please consider this my personal advice. It is worth more than the
nothing you have paid to use it. Ask advice of others who have an eBay account
to make sure these are the right things to do for you.
David U. Larson
1. Realize that this will be a time consuming activity which can not be
successful unless you have adequate time on a DAILY basis to answer email
questions, put things up for auction, and fill orders promptly. Don't believe
the TV hype promo commercials about making big money right from the first day.
Learning any new skill takes time.
2. Set up a separate debit account at a bank which has the ability to give
you free checking, free debit card, and online banking. Deposit $100 in it. Be
sure to ask for the debit card. A lot of times the bank worker will need
to be told this more than once for it to sink in. You definately need the debit
card. Do not use a credit card you may already have. You will need to record the
pin number when you get the card.
3. Download the eBay Turbo Lister FREE listing program. Here is the URL:
Spend time to go through the help section to learn how to use this great
listing tool. It needs to be your friend.
4. Determine what you want to sell. Determine what the minimum price is that
you can sell each item so you will not have sellers remorse.
5. Start accumulating the items you plan to sell. Make sure you have a place
where organized storage will not be disturbed. Finding items in a hurry is
important to fill orders promptly.
6. Print post office rates for the class of mail you plan to send. If you
plan to use USPS Priority Mail, then go to this suite to order FREE shipping
materials. Here is the URL for shipping materials:
Set up an account there and order a beginning supply of the sort of
packaging you will need. Make sure you have an accurate weight scale for the
weight you expect your items to ship at.
7. Make sure you have a computer connected to the internet available to you.
You will also need a scanner, possibly a digital camera, and a printer.
8. Go to the office supply store and buy pens, pencils, file folders,
mailing envelopes, bubble wrap, peanuts, boxes, and any other sort of item you
think you will need.
9. Buy a supply of postage of the denominations you expect to need. Meet
with your route carrier to tell that person you plan to be sending items by
mail. Make arrangements for the carrier to pick up USPS Priority Mail if you
plan to use that method. Consider getting a larger mail box for the front of
10. Write a short paragraph about yourself to be used in the ME page of your
listings. See what others have done along these lines. Be sure to stress that
this is a hobby for you and not a business regardless of if it is or not.
11. Consider setting up a web page or even a separate web site for your
merchandise. Then look into FrontPage software. This will take effort. Perhaps
this is something to consider for a year from now. But begin thinking about it
12. Make sure you have computer skills needed to answer and generate email,
print, scan, down load programs, and save pictures.
13. Establish a place where you can store the images you generate. This
might be at a memory space which is yours through your internet provider. Or it
may be at a web site that you create.
14. Down load a WS_FTP95 LE Program. It's the FREE version. This
program may be needed to send your photographs to your memory. If you only need
one picture per item you sell, then this will not be necessary. You may need to
google this. Here is a URL which works for now:
15. From a pay phone without giving your name, call the office of the
licensing department for the town where you live. Find out if you need a
business license to do this eBay hobby stuff from your home. Stress the word
hobby in the telephone conversation. Then do what you feel is right.
Get some sort of bookkeeping set up to record expenses and receipts.
16. When you have received your debit card, go online to sign up for PayPal.
http://www.paypal.com Use the debit card as
your account number. Have your checks handy. You will need those numbers for the
day when you will want money sent from your PayPal account to your checking
account. You may never do this but it is part of the process.
17. Log on to eBay and set up an account with the PayPal numbers and debit
account you have. http://www.ebay.com Set up
the ME page. Read the tutorials about anything you do not understand.
18. Start taking pictures or scanning and then saving them to a folder for
eBay images, to your web site or to your ISP account.
19. Open the Turbo Lister Program to set up all the standard terms you plan
to follow for your account.
20. Establish a numbering system so you can identify each item you plan to
sell. This is the number you assign so you can quickly find each item when it
sells. Some call it a lot number.
21. Determine what you plan to use as a selling model. For example, listing
on what day and what time to close on what day and what time, how many items
will you plan to have listed all the time. Will you want to move unsold items to
an ebay store? Probably yes so you can build an inventory.
22. List one item with the default settings. Look over the ad before
submitting it. Do this by clicking Preview. See if everything came out as you
expected. When you are pleased with the result, then submit it with Turbo
23. Somewhere along the way you will need to make a payment to eBay in your
sellers account. Use your PayPal balance to do this. Go to your sellers page and
click on my account. There will be a PayPal box there for you to send money into
your paypal account. You may not need to do this very often since buyers will be
putting money in that account every time they buy something.
24. Answer emails as they come in about the item you have for sale. But do
not answer email messages which request you to update your account. These are
phishing emails and can be a problem for you. Report these emails to the
authorities by clicking forward, then entering the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com and also firstname.lastname@example.org
25. Enter more items in your Turbo Lister program to be submitted later.
26. When you feel ready, submit more items. Determine how many you plan to
list at one time. Then try to hold to that number for a while. Twenty seems
ambitious enough to start with.
27. When an item sells, you will be given an email notice that the person
has paid for the item through PayPal. Send the item that day or the next day.
28. If there are items that didn't sell, you may want to relist them once.
If they still do not sell, then move them to your eBay store. Read the tutorial
about eBay stores. It might not be profitable until you have a hundred things to
put in it. But you will loose listing detail if you do not move items over
within I think 30 days. So you will want to open the store right away.
29. Develop a rhythm. Listing certain times. Preparing items for listing.
Answering emails. Submitting items for sale. Packing. Sending out items.
30. Review what sells and what does not sell by visiting eBay advanced
search completed listings. Look over your items to verify that the price you
start them at is within range of what they will sell for. Continue to modify
your practices to refine the selling experience. This will never end.
31. Prepare to receive bogus emails requesting your password for eBay and
PayPal. Never enter this information in response to an email.
Questions answered depending on my ability to answer them. email@example.com
When selling on eBay, expect a rash of emails
attempting to get your password. Expect emails which look like they are from
eBay and from PayPal.
The emails will say something like your
verification of account information is required or your account will be frozen.
Or that if you do not respond, your account will be removed from the list of
All of this is garbage. The people who do this have
nothing better to do than try to steal from you. Consider it like shoplifting.
So the best procedure to follow is to NEVER give
out your confidential information in response to any email of any kind.
NEVER give out your confidential information to
anyone on the telephone.
When you do receive a suspicious email, and every
one will seem suspicious eventually, do the following:
Click on the Forward button in your top tool bar.
Enter this email address to send the email to:
Shortly thereafter you will receive an email
telling you want to do. Here is a copy of that email currently in use:
You may have received a message attempting to solicit a transaction
outside of eBay or a message sent in an attempt to obtain your account
password or other sensitive information.
We recommend that you ignore all offers received through email that ask
you to complete a transaction outside of eBay. Please make sure that you
are the confirmed winning bidder on a listing before sending money to
anyone and make certain that you are dealing with the actual seller and
not someone else. eBay only recognizes the seller and the winning bidder
that appear on the listing page at the end of the listing.
Do not use instant cash wire transfer services such as Western Union and
MoneyGram when paying someone you don't know and decline sending payment
in cases where these are the only methods of payment offered by the
seller. Generally, if payment is sent using an instant cash wire
transfer service and the item is not delivered as promised, no recourse
is available for recovering funds. More information on the benefits and
risks of individual payment methods can be found at:
More information on Spoof and Phishing emails:
Messages known as "spoof" or "phishing" emails are sent by
in an attempt to obtain your account password or other sensitive
information such as credit card numbers. If you receive an email about
your account that appears to be from eBay, check My Messages in My eBay.
If the same email is not in My Messages, it's fake. Do not respond to
To learn more, take the Spoof Tutorial at:
Additionally, you can help protect yourself from fake eBay and PayPal
Web sites by downloading the eBay Toolbar with Account Guard. The eBay
Toolbar with Account Guard is free and offers the following benefits:
1. An indicator that shows when you are on an eBay or PayPal Web site or
a known spoof (or "phishing") site.
2. Buttons to report fake eBay Web sites to us.
3. A password notification feature that warns you when you may be
entering your eBay password on an unverified site.
To learn more about the eBay Toolbar with Account Guard go to
www.ebay.com, and click on the "eBay
Toolbar" link at the bottom of the
Then some time later you will receive a
confirmation email telling you the message you received was not from ebay or
paypal. Here is a sample of what it will look like:
Thank you for contacting us about a potential fraudulent (spoof) email
or Web site. We will investigate this situation immediately and inform
you of the results in a separate email. If you are reporting an email or
a Web site that is asking for personal financial information, it is best
to assume it is fake until you receive a response from us.
In order to reply as quickly as possible, we are sending you an
automated response about the following topics:
1. IDENTIFYING FAKE EMAILS AND WEB SITES
2. USING EBAY TOOLBAR WITH ACCOUNT GUARD
3. PROTECTING YOUR ACCOUNT AND INTERNET SECURITY
Please submit other questions or concerns through our Contact Us System,
which can be accessed by clicking on the "help" button on the top of
eBay page. This allows us to dedicate our resources appropriately.
1. IDENTIFYING FAKE EMAILS AND WEB SITES
The best defense against fake emails and Web sites is learning how to
spot them. You can learn more about fake emails and Web sites through
our Spoof Tutorial at the following Web page:
You can also use My Messages (located at the top of the My eBay page) to
detect Phishing emails. If an email from eBay affects your eBay account
or asks for personal information, it's now in My Messages. Any email
sent to your registered eBay email address from eBay that concerns your
account or requests personal information will now appear in My Messages.
2. USING EBAY TOOLBAR WITH ACCOUNT GUARD
One of the best tools to protect yourself from fraudulent (spoof) Web
sites is eBay Toolbar with Account Guard. The Account Guard feature
indicates when you are on an eBay or PayPal Web site and warns you if
you are on a known spoof site. To learn more about eBay Toolbar with
Account Guard open a new browser and type www.ebay.com/ebay_toolbar
the address bar.
3. PROTECTING YOUR ACCOUNT AND INTERNET SECURITY
We recommend that you keep your browser, operating system, and virus
protection software up to date. Check for updates at the "Windows
Update" link on www.microsoft.com
and scan your computer for viruses
If you think your personal information has been compromised in any way,
you should take immediate steps to change your eBay, PayPal, and email
passwords. You should also contact your bank to see if there has been
any suspicious activity on your account. You can find more information
about protecting your identity at the following help page:
Thank you again for sending us your report. We appreciate your efforts
to keep eBay and PayPal safe.
eBay Trust & Safety Team
You will want to develop a paragraph about yourself. See what others have
done by visiting the me page for sellers.
Items not to sell at first:
anything of interest to young people
play station stuff
no worldwide sales at first
Items that would be good to sell at first:
historic newspapers and magazines
wooden objects that will not break
rubber objects for the same reason
stamps for collectors
household kitchen items
small car parts
moror cycle anything
Well you get the idea from this list.
Selling Tips For eBay
Here are random thoughts about selling on eBay which were not mentioned on
previous pages of this website.
Consider including postage in the bid amount for a single card to any
address in the world.
Do not have a huge postage amount in the listing. This will be seen as a
scam by buyers and they will not bid. Shipping should be just shipping, not most
of the profit from the item.
Do not use threatening language in boiler plate. Nothing like if you don't
pay, I will cut off your ear.
Do not enter negative feedback. Just swallow hard and move on.
Do not bother with buyers who have not paid after one month. Just wait a
week after a one month notice then relist.
Do not try to get final value fees back from eBay for a non performing
(nonpaying) bidder. It is a waste of time.
Refund the full amount without question when an item is returned.
Enter feedback for every transaction even if the buyer did not enter
feedback for you.
Check PayPal daily to see if a payment was made but no email was received.
On large orders send a bonus item.
Automatically combine shipping when a buyer pays for several items at the
Expect to encounter various problems from time to time. Approach each
problem with a positive attitude.
Make sure the minimum bid you enter will be enough so you will not have
sellers remorse if you get only one bid.
Hold back offering expensive items you might want to sell until you have a
feedback of at least 50. That way buyers will not be reluctant to bid a
Visit the seller soapbox forum now and then to see what other sellers are
Encourage others to buy and sell on eBay to grow the community.
Become familiar with Global Priority Mail flat rate envelopes for orders
going to foreign countries. They are a bargain depending on weight.
Be sure to include shipping for each item in the listing notice to minimize
email questions about shipping.
List of other online selling venues in no particular order. Note all of them
are dot coms.
Here are my thoughts on Do's and Don'ts for selling on eBay
Select from these lists as you see fit:
-send out items the day after payment is received
-print postage on eBay or PayPal
-include a thank you note with each order
-give complete description with all features noted
-answer all emails
-organize stock in an easy to find location
-use a lot number system for small items
-research the value of an item to find a good starting price
-find a niche for your specialty
-use several pictures
-tell your postal worker about your plan to sell on ebay
-use turbolister program right from the start
-accumulate shipping supplies
-use an accurate scale. One to 5 pounds. One to 20 pounds.
-notify buyers when the item is sent
-leave feedback for all transactions
-keep the better stuff for sale later
-learn about IRS form Schedule C
-request a PayPal debit card
-buy a book about selling on ebay
-ask for feedback
-put dryer sheet in with order
-put music on listing
-threaten a non paying bidder
-contact a non paying bidder
-expect everything to sell right away
-lower price so you have seller remorse
-ignore email questions
-send dusty dirty items out
-take pictures with clutter in the background
-sell items you do not have control over
-sell any large difficult to ship items
-sell worldwide anything that needs a box to ship
-expect every item to reach the buyer
-expect every buyer to be honest
-call ebay customer service for anything
-sell expensive items at first
-sell for others
-go away on vacation with items for sale
-expect watchers to be buyers
-sell breakable items online
-start auction items at 99 cents
_expect huge fast sales
David U. Larson