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Posted on Jul 9, 2017 in Making Money | 20 comments

How To Make Money With Ebay

How To Make Money With Ebay

Are you trying to figure out what you can sell on eBay to make money? Tim Martin is a former Power Seller on eBay that made as much as $30,000 in one year just selling part time. In this post, Tim share’s with you what items made the most money and how he discovered them.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Are you walking past a small fortune, whenever you go to a thrift or yard sale and not even realize it?  

Ten years ago, I was an eBay Power Seller.  I had a little thriving business selling, believe it or not, women’s clothing.  It all started by happenstance.  When eBay first started, I was selling baseball cards of players that I didn’t collect and in turn, would purchase Ken Griffey, Jr. cards to add to my collection.

One day, someone gave my daughter a new Sponge Bob T-shirt.  It was much too large for her, so out of the blue, I decided to look it up on eBay to see if it could sell.  I was blown away from what I discovered.  I immediately listed it, took a few blurry pictures.  

Remember how bad digital cameras were back then?  I added those pictures to my listing and that yellow shirt sold for far more than what the price tag was for.  

I still sold, bought and traded my baseball cards on eBay.  But, I also dove head first into the world of fashion.  I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy.  So, what would I know about fashion?  As it turned out, I knew nothing, but I quickly absorbed massive amounts of information.  

 I also made the mistake of buying everything that was name brand.  Huge mistake, because I had quickly acquired $1000 of “inventory” that would not sell.

And, with clothes at that time being only a couple of dollars or less, you can imagine the amount of worthless clothing that I had.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all worthless, as half still sold.  But, after that, I took my time to study this market.


After researching this market, I decided that denim is where I would have the bulk of my sales.  However, as before, not all denim will sell or net you a profit.  There’s always a learning curve and it smacked me hard.  More on that a little later.  

There are many facets to the denim market that I never knew.  Demographics, styles, sizes, fabrics, the way that denim is made, finishes, etc….  

I also learned that Levi’s 577 sizes 10, would net a higher profit margin than an Abercrombie & Fitch size 4.  

I studied and absorbed all that I could within the denim market, learning about all, but targeting soccer moms with disposable income.  That was where my bread and butter was.  

I kept my eyes open for the possibilities of other clothing, such as plus size girls, husky boys, and men’s denim as well.  Also, the more upscale women’s clothing, such as Lilly Pulitzer, St. John (Marie Gray), Bluefish and so forth.  

As my little hobby grew, I turned it into a real business, by getting a business license, so I could deduct my travel around my area, other expenses and also be in compliance with the IRS.  

One day while researching Levi’s, one word literally jumped out from the screen and smacked me hard.  

Vintage. Levi’s, if one was fortunate enough to find some could give you that small fortune that I mentioned at the very start of this post.  Vintage Big E Levi’s, depending on condition and era was selling for thousands of dollars!  

Fortune with Big E Levi’s shined on me four times.  I didn’t make thousands of dollars, but I would always take a return on investment of over 10,000% any day!  

I wondered, if vintage Levi’s were selling for this kind of money, was there other vintage clothing that was selling as well, that I should be looking for?  That answer came in the form of a really cool Ralph Lauren jacket that I had picked up months prior but hadn’t researched yet.  

I figured that I could get $50 for it because it looked like a high school letterman jacket.  Little did I know that what I had was a vintage Ralph Lauren P-Wing jacket.  I paid $5 for the jacket and sold it for close to $1000, for an ROI of almost 20,000%.  

Indeed, vintage was the ticket and always worth picking up when it could be found.  But, finding quality vintage clothing is difficult and if I had been concentrating on vintage full time, I would starve.  So, vintage became a little offshoot of my women’s denim sales.  

I no longer sell clothing, or anything on eBay these days, as life shined on me, with a wonderful wife and a great job.  

How to make money with eBay.

Ready to start your eBay business? Here are some tips to get you started.


Sell whatever you can.

Start by selling things that you have lying around the house. You don’t want to spend a bunch of money while your getting started and learning the process, so sell what you already have.

You may be surprised at the things you can sell for good money.

Let’s say that your TV and your vacuum broke, instead of throwing them away, try selling the parts on eBay.

I paid good money for a used tv remote on eBay because it was no longer available from the manufacturer and it was the only way you could change the input on the tv. That used remote allowed me to keep my tv fully functional without buying a new one.

How about that broken sweeper? Individual vacuum parts can sell for as much money as a new vacuum! I’m not kidding, check it out for yourself.

Look for free stuff on Craigslist or Facebook groups to sell.

Yard sale leftovers should be easy to come by, once the sale is over most people just want to get rid of everything cheap and sometimes free.

I know one person who buys large lots of clothes for cheap and then takes awesome photographs of each piece of clothing and makes ten times the money she paid for it by selling it on eBay.

Littlest Pet Shops

Another profitable item to look for is the Littlest Pet Shops. These toys can bring $50 to $200 a piece if you know what to look for. The Comic Con Cat has sold for $200 brand new in the box.

Why do these toys sell for so much? Hasbro releases a limited number of each pet and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Currently, there are over 3,000 different pets.


Another way to increase bids on clothing items is to purchase a mannequin. A part-time eBay seller that makes over $800 a month selling clothes swears by this leg form, she says that jeans and pants look 10 times better in her ads because of it.For tops and dresses, an

For tops and dresses, an expandable dress form will make the clothing look far better than it would on a hanger.


A cheap white sheet pinned to the wall makes a great backdrop for your photos.


Fotofuze is an online program that gives your photos a professional background in seconds. It’s a free site that enhances product photography.

Minimize your shipping costs.

  • Ship in a first class bubble envelope if possible. You’re allowed up to 13 ounces in one.
  • Have the buyer pay the shipping but make sure you keep an eye on what the competition is charging.
  • Use shipping from home and print your labels on your computer. You will pay about 20% less than what the post office charges. To do this, you need a scale. This is the one I use.
  • Search Craigslist or Facebook yard sale sites for FREE packing material. You would be surprised at the people who give away bubble wrap and peanuts.

Ebay Store

If you want to be taken seriously as an eBay seller you need an eBay store. A store will bring you more traffic and give you more credibility. If you have 100% positive feedback you can even charge up to 20% more than your competitors that don’t have a store.

More Information

You can find more information on how to sell on eBay by reading eBay Seller Secrets. This easy-to-read book is loaded with tips to increase your sales. You’ll learn how to:eBay seller secrets

  • write your listings
  • take great pictures
  • promote and market your product
  • ship your product cost effectively
  • set up an Ebay store
  • provide great customer service
  • do the accounting
  • troubleshoot common problems

If you want fast and easy tips to sell more and make more money with eBay, then this is the book for you. You can find other legitimate ways to make money from home and help your family by reading my blog. For the most up to date work at home job listings follow me on Facebook. If your desire is to work from home I wish all the best to you in your endeavor.

Have you made money with eBay? Let us know in the comments what you sold.



  1. This is interesting
    It’s great to have a means to let go of things you don’t need anymore while making some cash out of them
    Nice review

    N’Graffi Blog

  2. That’s so crazy to hear! Good on you for targeting that niche. I wish there were more thrift shops here in Germany 🙁

  3. Wow! This is great information. I’d never heard of FotoFuze until I read this. That is a really cool site. Thank you for this informative post. I have lots of things that I’ve gathered from cleaning out closets and drawers this summer, and now I know what to do with all that stuff!

  4. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is a really useful post, my husband has been selling collectables and board games it seems a good market

  6. This is awesome!! I love yard sales and resale shops so I think I could totally make some finds and sell them. I also love DIY projects so I think I could use that to my advantage!

  7. I’ve truthfully never thought much about using ebay to make money but the tips are helpful- you make it sound easy and practical

  8. These are great tips. It’s been quite a while since I’ve used Ebay, but I used to sell items on there all the time!

  9. Great post… I had actually forgotten about Ebay. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. excellent post!

    you can actually ship first class up to 16 oz (really 15.9 oz) if you buy via eBay or Paypal.

  11. Wow this was super helpful. I used to sell my clothes on ebay years ago and did ok but this will definitely help if I decide to have a go at it again

  12. Awesome ways to make some extra cash! I never would have thought that kids toys are worth so much.

  13. Some great ideas on how to make some money. I never really use ebay anymore after having amazon but I need to reconsider now.

  14. I do know that so many people have made good money with Ebay. I just don’t think I would have the kind of patience required to be able to do that. Great ideas here though.

  15. I have never tried ebay for all this as I had no idea about it. Thanks for sharing all the information. It is helpful.

  16. Great post to make eBay another method of earning online.The inventory keeping part gers to be difficult for me.Otherwise it’s a great way to get started .

  17. Learn about eBay power sellers. There are research sites, where you can understand what is selling well.

    Also, pick up some niche, that you are or can become an expert at and can see whether you can arbitrage by buying for less (on eBay or outside of it) and selling for more.

    • Thanks for the tips Dealman, I’ll check it out.

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