Have you wondered how to sell on ebay successfully but haven’t known where to start? The absolute best way to sell on ebay for beginners is by looking in your own closets and cupboards.
As a stay-at-home-mom, I’m always looking for new ways to make extra money or savvy ways to save money. I first started selling online with eBay and have been since 2002!
I feel it’s very important for everyone to have a side hustle, whether you already have a job or are a sahm. 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 reselling finds and flipping them on eBay! Here are some of our 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 first I started with selling our own items around the house, then it was reselling garage sale items and thrift store finds.
What to Sell on ebay to Make Money
If you aren’t sure what to sell on ebay to make money, honestly, look no further than your own home! It won’t cost you any money, it’ll help you learn about selling on ebay as a beginner and you can start purchasing items to flip for profit as you feel more comfortable.
This is honestly the absolute best way to learn how to sell on ebay for beginners.
If you’re already past this point and have dabbled on ebay and are ready to get more ebay selling tips for flipping items for profit, ask yourself, what products do you KNOW?
Kids items were easy for me because I had two kids and had a good idea on what new prices were, and with a quick cell phone check you can find out how much similar items are selling for online. But if you were to ask my husband, his response would be music equipment or fishing gear haha.
Once I started taking ebay selling seriously, I was making $1000/mo just reselling children’s items part-time each week within 6 months, and within a year I was making $1700-$2000/month once I also started selling used books and vintage finds.
Not bad for a 20-25 hr/week fun side hustle idea! And while ebay started many many years ago and Amazon seems to have taken over the world, it is still definitely worth selling on ebay in 2018! Selling used items on ebay, especially children’s items, has a much better market on eBay instead of Amazon selling.
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! Toys are super easy items to flip since kids change quickly and outgrow items fast. Many parents have no problem at all buying used children’s items online to save themselves money.
While I’m no longer reselling on ebay as a regular weekly job and have since switched to blogging, selling online on ebay is, in my opinion, still the quickest and easiest way to start selling online. Side note, if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to start a money making blog, I have a post about that too! You can also read my latest blogging income report here.
I’m still selling on ebay for friends and family by word-of-mouth. Later this fall I’m starting to help family friends sell 0ver 200 vintage original Barbies in their boxes starting with Barbie 1! I can’t wait!
How Do I Start Selling on eBay?
Selling on eBay is super easy! You can honestly even just do it from your phone to start. To set up your eBay account is free and eBay itself as an easy to follow tutorial on how to set up your eBay account.
I highly recommend you take action TODAY and just get your free ebay account set up! Getting started is the hardest part and setting up your account will help you move forward with your new online mini business.
Although you can totally just sell things on ebay from your phone, taking a LOT of high-quality photos with a well thought-out title is critical! What can you do to set yourself apart from other sellers?
You can also search by completed items, research your competition and see what type of titles and what kind of photos others were taking to make those top sales?
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. Start scouring consignment shops, look for thrift store items to resell or go to a community garage sale.
How to Ship on eBay
Once you’ve received confirmation of payment from your buyer, it’s your responsibility to ship the items promptly to the purchaser. I always tried to ship the eBay items within 24 hours, at the latest it should be within 48 hours. In today’s world, people expect to receive their items FAST.
The EASIEST way to ship smaller items is with Priority Flat Rate boxes from the Post Office.
MASTER TIP: You can order Priority flat rate boxes from the USPS website for FREE and your mail carrier will deliver them directly to your house. How cool is that??
The way the Priority Flat Rate boxes work is you can literally stuff it as full as will fit and it ships for a set price, regardless of weight.
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!
So yes, you heard it correctly, you can do EVERYTHING from home from getting free supplies to shipping your items without leaving your house.
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!**
Kids Items: Best Things to Flip on eBay
So now that you’re ready to get started, where should you find the best items to flip on ebay? Here’s exactly where I had the best luck finding children’s items for flipping items online!
- Garage sales– popular brand name toys, books, crafts, vintage toys and homeschool 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.
- Reselling thrift store finds
- 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
Selling on eBay During Christmas
Right before the holidays is the BEST time to sell on eBay and you’ll most likely get the highest prices. From October through December is when you’ll have the most success selling on eBay during Christmas and the holidays.
Back to school shopping in August is also a great time for selling kids clothes. Buying and reselling shoes is super popular for kids items if they’re in great condition too, kids grow out of their shoes too dang fast!
Sales for children’s items slow down a lot in the month of January after everyone put themselves on a post-holiday spending freeze.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to sell on ebay, selling on ebay during Christmas is the absolute best time to get started! You’ll see more bids for higher prices on your items.
MASTER 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!
Flipping on eBay Resources
While this post covers the basics of selling on ebay for beginners, since I don’t yet have my detailed course ready, I highly recommend Flea Market Flipper if you need more of a strategy guide to help you get started.
Flea Market Flipper started selling on ebay like me many, many years ago, Melissa started selling toys and kids items just like me, and her husband, Rob, flips larger items full-time and even made over $133,000 last year! Crazy! I love knowing there’s a market for people wanting to sell on ebay part-time as a side hustle but there’s enough of a market out there to turn ebay selling into a full-time job too.
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), you basically should 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! Please post your ebay successes and stories below, we’d LOVE to hear them!
Be sure to read about how I made $1500 last month with my new lifestyle and mom blog!