Are you trying to figure out how to make money on eBay? Tim Martin is a former Power Seller on eBay that made as much as $30,000 in one year selling part-time. In this post, Tim share’s with you what items made the most money and how he discovered them.
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 by 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.
How To Make Money On eBay Selling Denim
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.
Levi’s Is One Of The Best Selling Items On eBay
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 On eBay With Your Own Business
What to sell on eBay.
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 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.
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.
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:
- 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 on 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 on eBay? Let us know in the comments what you sold.