As a stay-at-home-mom, I’m always looking for new ways to make extra money or savvy ways to save money.
I feel it’s very important for everyone to have a side hustle, especially stay-at-home-moms. I’ve always had a side job for many reasons, but hands down the easiest and most profitable extra income source I’ve EVER had was flipping toys and children’s items on eBay! Here are some other easy and fun side hustle ideas, whether you’re a mom, college student, or for basically anyone who wants to earn extra cash.
I consistently made over $1000/month just from flipping toys 10-12 hours per week on the Internet and it’s honestly the EASIEST online job out there, in my opinion. At the time I was also reselling vintage items and books, so making $1700-$2000/mo total working 20-25 hours/week.
Even if you start out slow (which I did also!), its low cost, fun to do, an easy way to make quick money, your kids can help you AND as an added bonus, your kids can play with the toys them briefly until they get listed. Yes, that meant he occasionally talked me into letting him keep something. 🙂
This post specifically focuses on children’s items because it’s easier than vintage items and any parent can do it!
BONUS: FREE Making Money Online eBooks for eBay, Amazon, Etc!
Why I’m Not Currently Selling Toys on eBay
So maybe you’re wondering why I’m currently blogging (and making nothing!) but sharing with others how I made an easy $1000/mo on eBay. Here are the honest reasons:
- It’s easier to tell others how to do it BECAUSE I’m not currently doing it (otherwise I’d keep my tricks to myself)
- My kids are older and don’t play with toys
- We’ve always lived on one income (my husbands) so what I do is extra and not needed
- I stopped selling on eBay cold turkey to take the extra accounting classes I needed to sit for the CPA exam. (The CPA path got derailed because of 2 family emergencies, feel free to read more about them on the About Us page).
- Because I have a supportive spouse, I’m focusing on exactly what I want–which is blogging–and within a year, plan to start an online retail shop on either eBay, Amazon or Etsy (or all 3 😉
Examples of My eBay Successes
Here’s just a small handful of examples to show you the types of things I was selling, and how much they sold for.
- Purchasing 6 Tonka trucks at Costco for $16.99 and reselling them for $50-$60 each. They were a hot sold out everywhere item that year.
- Buying a huge bin of Harry Potter Lego’s at a garage sale for $20, splitting them up into lots (with my son’s help!) and reselling the sets for a total of $145.
- Buying American Girl look-a-like dolls at a deep discount store (that were made by the same manufacturer) for $17.99 each and reselling on eBay for over $50 each. You can read more about this here.
- Buying items for my kids from consignment shops and then after they were done using them, reselling them online for a higher price.
- Finding children’s books at garage sales for $.10-$.25 each and reselling in lots online for $1.00 each. For example, buying 20 books for $2-$5 total but reselling in a lot for $20.
- Maternity items also sell super well! I bought a huge amount of maternity clothes at a garage sale for $40 and resold them in a lot for $160! Side note: I could’ve possibly sold the clothes for higher by separating them into outfits. I chose not to do this since I had such a high volume of items to list and clothing was not my niche’. Another maternity item was a Medela breast pump with accessories I bought at a consignment shop for $50 and resold for over $100.
**Basically whenever I left the house, I’d be scouring sources to find items to resell!**
Where to Find Children’s Items to Flip
So now that you’re ready to get started, where should you go to find these items? Here’s exactly where I had the best luck finding children’s items to flip!
- Garage sales– popular brand name toys, books, crafts, vintage toys and home school items did especially well. Even if there aren’t garage sales online, there are still school-wide fundraiser sales, garage sales hosted by youth teams, church sales, estate sales and book sales at the library.
- At Goodwill or used goods stores
- Consignment shops– I commonly bought my son’s clothes at consignment stores when he was little up until middle school. Every time I’d go to buy something or drop something off, I’d quickly look for potential items to resell. I had better luck finding items at consignment shops than Goodwill.
- Costco or other popular retailers– Using the Tonka truck example above, who knows when there’ll be a hot item your store has in stock that’s sold out elsewhere around the country?
- Discount stores– This is where I found the “smashed box” American Girl look-a-like dolls mentioned above. If you didn’t read about that story above, here’s your second chance.
- Buy items in bulk on eBay and then resell individually or in small more specific lots. This is easier to do when you get more experience! You have to be able to spot the hidden gems in the lot the seller clearly doesn’t know about to have it be worth the price.
- Sell your own kids items
Where to Get Shipping Supplies and Who to Ship Through
I almost always shipped Priority Mail in the flat rate boxes. You can get the boxes and packing tape for free from the post office or even order online and have your mail carrier drop them off at your house.
If the item is too big for a flat rate box, get free boxes from stores and check FedEx rates before automatically shipping with USPS Parcel Post.
- The cheapest way to ship books is Media Mail through USPS, but you’ll need your own boxes or mailers.
The night before you plan to ship, pay for shipping costs online at www.usps.com and print off your shipping labels.
Schedule a mail carrier pick up for the next day and you can avoid the Post Office entirely!
How to Get Started Selling on eBay
Selling on eBay is super easy! You can honestly even just do it from your phone to start, however taking a LOT of high quality photos with a well thought-out title is critical!
My suggestion is to start with reselling a few of your own kids items first and see how that goes! And then add-on more items as you feel comfortable.
Right before the holidays is the BEST time to sell on eBay and you’ll most likely get the highest prices. Sales for children’s items slow down a lot in the month of January.
To set up your eBay account, here’s more information from eBay.
TIP! If you’re starting to sell and have a rating of zero, your sales might be a little lower at first. I suggest putting a little bio about yourself at the top of your post to put potential buyers at ease and know you’re a real person and parent!
At What Point is This a Business and Not Just Hobby Income?
Once you make over a $1000 or so (talk to your accountant and go off of THEIR opinion on this), basically consider yourself a business. Yes, that means you’ll need to register as a business and pay taxes on your profit!
Happy selling and good luck! 🙂