A Quick Checklist before Sending Your eBay Item to the Buyer

By Marsha Collier

Before you pack, give your eBay item the once-over. Here’s a checklist of what to consider about your item before you call it a wrap (gotta love Hollywood lingo):

  • Is your item as you described it? If the item has been dented or torn somehow in the time since you offered it for sale on eBay, email the winning bidder immediately and come clean. And if you sell an item with its original box or container, don’t just check the item; make sure that the box is in the same good condition as the item inside.

    Collectors place a high value on original boxes, so make sure that the box lives up to what you described in your listing. Pack to protect it as well.

  • Is the item dirty or dusty, or does it smell of smoke? Some buyers may complain if the item they receive is dirty or smelly, especially from cigarette smoke. Make sure that the item is fresh and clean, even if it’s used or vintage. If something’s dirty, check to make sure that you know how to clean it properly (you want to take the dirt off, not the paint), and then give it a spritz with an appropriate cleaner or just soap and water.

    If you can’t get rid of the smell or the dirt, say so in your item description. Let the buyer decide whether the item is desirable, aromas and all.

If the item has a faint smell of smoke or is a bit musty, a product called Febreze may help. Just get a plastic bag, give your item a spritz, and keep it in the bag for a short while. This is not recommended for cardboard; spray the Febreze on a folded paper towel and put the towel in a big, open plastic bag so it doesn’t come into physical contact with the item.

And, as with any solvent or cleaning agent, read the label before you spray. Or, if you’re in a rush to mail the package, cut a 2-x-2-inch piece of sheet fabric softener and place it in an open plastic bag enclosed with the product.

When the item’s ready to go, you’re ready to pack it.