A mum who quit work to look after her two children full time has revealed how she's now making Sh65,000 per month from home.
Savvy Natalie Reynolds lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, Ollie, and two daughters Mimi, 4, and Sofia, just a year and 8 months.
Her money-making idea came to her during a spring clean, when she said she discovered she could make a fortune by selling her kids' unwanted clutter online.
“It wasn't until I became a mother that I realised how quickly things could mount up around the house. It became overwhelming,” Natalie said.
"Having previously sold a few items on eBay, I decided to declutter the house in my spare time to make some extra cash.”
And in just one month, Natalie couldn't believe her luck.
The 36-year-old had already managed to bag Sh65,000 in sales on eBay, shifting toys and household items that were going to waste.
She sold a second-hand hoverboard for Sh12,747, a microscooter for Sh6,503 and a small Sylvanian family set for Sh2,601.
“After I saw the money-making potential, I knew that other mums would be in a similar position.
“So, I decided to turn my Instagram account into a means to motivate fellow parents, sharing selling tips and tricks on how to make the most out of unused items around the household by listing them on eBay.”
However, Natalie admits that like many parents, she does have a sentimental attachment to her children’s toys - and will only sell items that have lost their novelty.
“l sometimes struggle when it comes to selling them. We have a Woody toy from about 20 years ago that was my sister’s and then my mum gave him to the girls. He got taken everywhere, and Mimi and Sofia have become really attached to him.
“He has dinner with us every evening and it brings back so many memories – I’d love the girls to feel the same when they hand him down to their children.
“I keep a small box of keepsakes which is enough. I believe it’s much more important to be able to afford to make new memories."
When it comes to selling online, her biggest tip is to set a target.
“The way I managed to get used to the idea of selling items in the playroom was by visualising a family trip to Disneyland with the girls.
“I just had to keep telling myself that the memories we’d make there would outweigh some of the old memories we had from toys the girls no longer play with."
When it comes to making the most cash to help reach that goal, she said be as descriptive as possible.
“Be specific with your descriptions. Rather than listing it as ‘toy car’, list the brand, the colour and the condition.
“Aim for 10-day auctions. This gives people as long as possible to see and bid on your items.
“Also, don't be afraid to allow offers as this will allow you to negotiate with buyers.
“Think strategically. Big brands like Disney naturally sell well. I've made Sh65,000 in one month from selling toys on eBay!
“Also, think about what’s happening at the time – around the release of the new Toy Story 4, children will most likely be asking their parents for new Buzz or Woody toys, so it’s a great time to cash in on the toys your children will no longer be playing with.
“Don't forget to keep a record of how much you’re making so you can track progress and stay motivated.
“And look for opportunities. Your children’s discarded toys could be another child’s new best friend if you can let go of the memories. That box of teddies in the corner that your children have grown out of, but you can’t leave behind, could be a big money-maker, especially with original toys and classic characters such as Paddington Bear!”
The research, carried out to mark the launch of Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4, suggests it could be parents' own sentimental attachment to their children’s toys, that prevents them from being cleared out.
Nikin Patel, at eBay explained, "At eBay we see a huge market for pre-loved toys. We understand that many parents not only find it hard to let go of toys their children have loved, but also what to do with them when they’re no longer played with. By listing unused toys on eBay we can guarantee that, just like Buzz and Woody, they’ll be off on their next adventure in no time.
“These toys can be given new homes, make new children happy, and even help you make a bit of extra cash.”