In today's difficult economic times, finding additional ways to add some extra income into your household budget has become a necessity for many people. One of the popular and time-tested ways to quickly add a supplemental income stream is selling some of your unwanted items on the online auction site eBay.

The internet has gradually changed the way that people do nearly everything, especially including the way we make some of our major purchases. With today's technology, nearly anyone with a computer and access to the internet can buy or sell items online. Specifically, online auctions have gained increased worldwide popularity, with 'eBay' becoming a household name. Almost anything that you could imagine may be bought and sold through eBay auctions, from priceless works of art, to things as mundane (but necessary) as oven mitts.

eBay has made getting started buying and selling a quick and easy process and even a beginner can be selling items online within a matter of minutes. The first step is to sign up and create an eBay account before you can begin buying or selling. Each member can create his or her own unique eBay ID, such as' BuyMyStuff123'.

Next, I would recommend heading over to and setting up an account there as well. By attaching PayPal to your eBay account (which eBay can do for you automatically), you will be able to send and receive money instantly over the internet and will make getting paid for the items that you sell quick and easy. The funds from your eBay sale will be deposited into your PayPal account after the item sells. You may choose to then transfer the money to your bank account, or you can keep them in your PayPal account in order pay for sales incurred on eBay costs or any future purchases that you might make.

Utilizing PayPal basically eliminates the hassle of having buyers send you a personal check or other form of payment through the mail.

You will now be ready to begin selling!

Begin the process by clicking on the 'Sell' link located at the top of your eBay page. In a step by step, (mostly) automated process, you will then be promted to enter information about the item that you will be selling.

You will need to write a title, something like '1960's Busweiser Coaster Set' and then a thorough description of the item's physical condition. Next you will be asked to upload a picture of the item to give potential buyers a visual reference to what they will be bidding on.

After this, you need to select the type of auction that you will be running. A standard auction, reserve price auction or a 'Buy It Now' format which would allow you set a firm price and allow someone to bypass the bidding process and agree to purchase the item at your stated asking price.

Next, set the starting price, auction duration, shipping details, shipping costs and payment options.

Your auction should now be up and running. You will be charged an upfront listing fee which is payable to eBay whether the item actually sells or not. If the item does sell, eBay will charge you an additional 'Final Value Fee' based upon the amount that the item actually sells for. The total for these two fees may end up being somewhere around 10% of the items final sale price.

eBay will automatically send the buyer an invoice detailing your preferred payment options and soon after (usually within 7 days) you should receive your payment.

Soon you will find just how simple it can be to make money on eBay! It is usually best to start with unused items that you might have around the house. Many people then begin to hunt for new items to sell at weekend garage sales and flea markets.