The good news is, yes, you can make money on eBay.
The not so good news? It’s never going to be a fortune unless you are prepared to become a drop-shipper for someone else or a treasure hunter.
But, if you just need to bring in a little cash from time to time, eBay is a great place to be.
So, how exactly do you make money on eBay?
Have an eBay pile
Whenever you finish a game, or get sick of a CD or decide that the gift that Aunt Grace gave you for your birthday is just really not your thing, put it in your eBay pile. That way, when it comes time to list a few things for sale, you will have ready items to list.
If you really don’t have any treasures laying around – which is possible, given some of today’s minimalist lifestyle choices – you can offer to sell someone else’s stuff on eBay for a part of their profit.
When eBaying for family or friends, agree to a rate up front. 50 percent of the sale price after fees is a fair amount, considering that you will be clearing their house of clutter, doing all the computer work and sending their no longer prizes possessions off to their new homes.
A side point – keep the boxes from everything of value that you buy. On eBay, items in their original box go for much more than those without a box.
Finding items to resell – Gumtree and car boot sales
You may also choose to invest in seeking out treasures and reselling them on eBay for a profit. If this is the route you wish to take, you can sometimes find goods on Gumtree that people are trying to get rid of quickly that can be sold on eBay for more than you pick them up. Car boot sales, yard sales, and clearance racks may also be rich sources of goods that can be onsold.
On Gumtree, you can save searches for specific items that you know can be sold on eBay, and receive an email notification when someone puts one up for sale. Having said that, sellers on Gumtree are unlikely to box something up and send it to you, so you will be on the lookout for items close to home. Occasionally one will come up that you can buy and list for a healthy profit.
This report at bigcommerce says that it is possible to make $1200+ in monthly sales by doing this, however, it would take commitment to sound business practices, great customer service, self-discipline, consistency, and passion to achieve this.
And to do it effectively, you need to know your market.
Find a Speciality
If you have a passion, you can turn it into real money on eBay. You will need to know your market and keep a sharp eye out for items in your day-to-day life that you know you will be able to make a profit on.
You should also know when something in your niche isn’t going to be valuable. To that end, you need to be familiar with eBay’s advanced search.
eBay’s advanced search
Understanding how to navigate eBay’s advanced search is going to be integral to making money. It allows you to see what price specific items sell for, how rare they are and how much you can expect to make. Ensure you tick the Sold Listings box to use this function effectively.
You can also find out from the advanced search when it is not worth your while to sell something.
When NOT to use eBay
There are a number of items that don’t sell at good prices on eBay. Books are one such thing – because they can be heavy, the cost of postage and handling can outweigh any profit that you gain from selling. Records, too, don’t seem to perform well on eBay.
Having to purchase packaging materials to send your eBay goods off to their new owners can be more expensive than any profit you might make from selling the goods. So, its good to keep all the bits and pieces of packaging you receive around things you buy so that when you are ready to sell, you already have packaging for your goods. Amazon boxes, jiffy bags, bubble wrap – keep them all. Sure, it gets a bit messy and sure, it can seem a little over-zealous, but if you can save money on the packaging as well, why wouldn’t you?
Computer Skills make it Easier to eBay
Knowing how to manipulate photos and graphics, write good copy, utilizing snippets of text over and over again, and responding to eBay via your phone are all skills that will assist you in your venture, as will data mining skills (starting with the eBay advanced search as mentioned above, but also outside of eBay and on general search engines). Being able to craft a great ad is a bonus, as is being able to upload it to eBay easily and quickly.
Where to Start?
It is definitely possible to supplement your income on eBay and even to make a living if you are prepared to invest the time and effort in learning how to use the system most effectively.
Perhaps the best place to start is to look around your own home – what do you have that might be of value to someone else but that has lived out its usefulness for you?
Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and discover that in amongst your trash, there are treasures waiting to be discovered.