One savvy student has earnt £30,0000 selling her old clothes on eBay, after she started putting her clothes up for auction when she was a teenager.
While her friends scrimp and save their way through university, Laura Rose splurges on three holidays a year thanks to her eBay earnings.
The third-year student, who is studying business management at the University of East Anglia, started flogging her old clothes when she was still in sixth form.
But she soon became hooked – and found she could make a hefty profit getting rid of her unwanted garments.
Laura, 21, originally from Dartford, said: "I started off by selling a few things that didn't really fit me anymore.
"I only made around £20, but I got a bit of a buzz from it – and I soon became addicted.
"At first it was just a good way to make a bit of pocket money – I could see my unwanted clothes and buy something new instead.
"I started looking for other things I could sell too – I started selling my own things, then began raiding my family and friends' closets too.
"After that I started bidding on items from other sellers, then selling them on at a profit."
Before long, entrepreneurial Laura was making enough money to afford luxury holidays around the world at least three times a year – jetting off to Lanzarote, Venice, Spain, France and Amsterdam.
Her bedroom is piled high with thousands of pounds of stock, and parcels packaged up and ready to post.
She said: "It does take a lot of time and effort to make a success out of it, but it's just a matter of perseverance.
"It took me around six months to start making a substantial profit rather than just pocket money – it didn't happen overnight.
"I enjoy doing it though – if it was a chore it wouldn't be a success.
"I've always had that money making spirit – when I was a kid I started charging my mum to do the ironing, I've always been a bit of an entrepreneur.
"I think maybe my friends do get a bit jealous of all the money I make – but they can see how much time and effort I put into it, so I don't think they envy it.
"I'm not the sort of person to rub it in their face."
But even though Laura now rakes in the big bucks from her eBay business, she said she still loves a bargain and always hunts around for the cheapest deals.
Laura's top ten tips for making money on eBay
• Sell your items in auction format starting at 99p or less. We all get excited by a good deal. Your 20p Topshop dress will attract attention from day one and by the time the auction ends they'll be so determined to outbid other buyers, they've forgotten why they wanted the dress in the first place.
• Don't waste time selling products or clothing in poor condition as it's very unlikely to sell and if it does you may even get complaints or negative feedback.
• Include key words in your title and take advantage of the full character limit.
• Take a photo of your product in good lighting with a plain background. For clothing, try to wear the item yourself and take a photo or ask a friend to help. This gives buyers a much better idea of how it will look and hugely increases your chances of selling…unless it's something that's really ugly!
• Make sure your items end at peak viewing times – around 7pm is perfect. If it ends at 2pm most people will be hard at work, not thinking about your high-waisted jeans. Then just sit back and watch the manic last-minute bids roll in!
• Building a good seller standard will place your items higher up in search results. This depends on a number of things such as your feedback percentage, number of sales, quick postage, sell-through rate and response time to messages.
• Offer free postage to increase visibility. I keep mentioning visibility because this is the most important thing. Making your listing look great is no good if no-one can see it.
• Keep organised this is particularly important if you want to sell a lot of stuff. You don't want to end up listing something you've already sold and disappointing a buyer.
• Post on time! As customers we expect more and more these days so make sure you post when you say you will or sooner, or you'll end up with lots of angry messages from keyboard warriors!
• Most importantly, stick with it! Don't give up the first time something doesn't sell for what you'd hope for. It's a really competitive market and buyers have so much choice, so don't get disheartened!Suggest a correction