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How to Make Money on eBay: 9 Pickers With Purpose

Updated on June 30, 2014

Know What Treasure Looks Like

Certain shirts, like Columbia's Performance Fishing Gear with Omni-Freeze fabric, can fetch decent profits. This shirt cost $1.50 at a local thrift shop and sold for $19.99.
Certain shirts, like Columbia's Performance Fishing Gear with Omni-Freeze fabric, can fetch decent profits. This shirt cost $1.50 at a local thrift shop and sold for $19.99. | Source

Do You Want to Become an eBay Success? Watch and Learn from Those Who Know

Are you looking for a new way to make a couple extra bucks on the side?

Who isn't, am I right?

Learning how to make money on eBay--without losing your shirt--takes time and experience. A great way to develop your picking-and-selling muscle is to learn from successful sellers who share their experiences on YouTube.

A couple of months ago, I didn't know much about valuable clothing, collectibles, or household items. Ok, maybe I still don't know much, but I know enough to pick up a profitable thrift store haul.

In spite of a few mistakes here and there--flops are inevitable and part of the learning process--I'm gaining more experience each day. I'm confident that one day this hobby will become a fruitful family business, as it has for many other sellers on eBay.

Enough about me.

The point: if you want to make money on eBay, whether it's with the goal of supplementing your income or developing a home-based business, an online community of experienced people can help you get there.

All you have to do is take the time to listen and absorb.

I'll share several of my favorite YouTube pickers to provide some inspiration, or at least to give you a little swat-on-the-butt to help get you on your way.

Making Money with Mad Maine

Mad Maine

Look at Mad Maine's about page on YouTube to see her motto: "Be ferocious AND kind--and stay classy". It's evident that Mad Maine lives by her motto in her life and in her business. Her Scandinavian accent is a delight to listen to, and her global knowledge of collectibles is fascinating.

Mad Maine's real-life name is Kay. She rents an antique booth near Maine's picturesque Atlantic coast.

EBay is one of Kay's selling outlets, but her heart is in the local antique mall. She has quite a gift for finding the most unique and interesting objects, presenting each one to her viewers with a story of its background and worth. She's also an avid bibliophile and offers tips on picking the most valuable volumes.

A Shirt NWT (New With Tags) is Always a Nice Find!


Take a Ride With Bonafide

Bonafide Hustler

BONAFIDE HUSTLER! is a spicy Texan who has been buying and selling on eBay, Amazon, and in his local antique booth for years. He's a mountain bike expert and offers useful information on sporting goods and remote-control cars.

But that's not all! Tune in now and you'll see that BH has a wide range of knowledge about what sells on eBay and what doesn't.

Many of his videos are ride-alongs: he takes you on picking journeys to garage sales around his hometown of Austin. A stop at a Starbucks is always part of the trip, and a necessary reward for hard work and perseverance.

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Do Your Research and Become a Successful Picker

Help From Harts Pickers

Harts Pickers

Harts Pickers sells a variety of items on eBay. Ronnie is the man behind the name, and over time he has developed quite an eye for valuable clothing.

His videos are mainly "haul videos", showing you the items he and his wife have picked up during their local thrift store combings. Every so often he'll pepper in a sales video to show you how they've done.

Over the past month, I've made a number of clothing sales thanks to Ronnie's videos!

Like panning for gold, finding valuable garb in the thrift stores is not an easy task. But it sure is exciting to generate 20 or 30 bucks from a shirt that cost you a dollar!

Enter The Paper Castle!

The Paper Castle

Heather from The Paper Castle is the real deal. She discusses family matters and yard sale stories as if you're sitting there in her living room. Her treasure-hunting tales are both valuable and entertaining.

Over the years, Heather's experiences on eBay have taught her quite a bit about collectibles, including what sells and what doesn't.

Many viewers ask Heather how she knows so much about picking valuable items from garage and estate sales. She credits hours of dedicated research for her success.

After all, if finding valuable items at yard sales and thrift stores were easy, everyone would be doing it. Hard work and determination are the keys to making it work.

Suzanne Wells: eBay Coach

Suzanne Wells vlogs on YouTube under the username eBayCoach. She creates video tutorials for both new and experienced eBay sellers.

Her ebook, What to Buy at Thrift Stores to Sell on eBay, is a popular guide to buying items at thrift stores that you can resell for a profit.

She is also one of the moderators of a closed group on Facebook called Pinterest Exchange Marketing Group. This group provides a way for eBay sellers to promote each other's listings using Pinterest.

It's simple to join if you're an eBay seller and have active accounts on Facebook and Pinterest.

See Ann Save

See Ann Save hosts a couponing website as well as an eBay store. Ann has been selling on eBay for years. She offers practical advice on details that are often overlooked by newbies as well as experienced sellers.

Ann has a personal, down-to-earth way about her that makes her suggestions easy to follow. She recently presented a series titled "eMay", where she shared useful tips for successful selling practices, including photo tips, organizing tools, and picking advice.

See Ann Save's eMay: eBay Tips and Tricks

Rakin' With Raiken Profit

Kindle Guides to Selling on eBay

There are many cheap eBay guides for Kindle available. Most of these guides may be also be borrowed for free if you're an Amazon Prime member.

Raiken Profit

Raiken Profit is a positive, upbeat presence on the YouTube picking scene.

He has a generous spirit and friendly demeanor, making his videos a joy to watch. Steve also has a new blog on how to make money on eBay. His favorite outlets are eBay and Craigslist.

Like Ronnie from Harts Pickers, Steve offers valuable advice on how to pick and sell clothing on eBay. He has a passion for the business side as well, teaching his viewers how to improve customer service and hone their craft.

Steve also buys and sells bikes locally. He admits that his bicycle knowledge is limited, but making a hundred bucks or more on a bike flip often requires little more than a bucket of soapy water and an ad on Craigslist.

Chill With Jarran and Kelcey


Jarran of Jarranslife is the stereotypical Southern California guy: he has the accent, the long blond hair, the perpetual beaming smile, and the adorable girlfriend who records it all on an iPhone (which always loses its battery power somewhere in the middle of a take).

Watch just one vid and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Jarran calls himself the Rookie Picker, but watch his haul videos and you'll see that he's earned his stripes.

His mantra is "scan, scan, scan", referring to a scanner app that you can download for either iPhone or Android.

I guess this means I should trade in my Tracfone for a smartphone.

Take a Lesson from the College Picker

The College Picker

CP is from my neck of the woods. This Tampa picker is an expert in electronics, video games, and sports equipment. But that's not all: he has quite a bit of experience and can spot a winner anywhere. He'll even buy the shoes off someone's feet.

That's probably easier to do here in Florida than in other parts of the country, but still . . .

As we speak, the College Picker is on a cross-country road trip with his buddy (they even stopped in Austin to visit the Bonafide Hustler on the way).

In order to fund the expedition, they're picking from thrift stores, flea markets, and other treasure troves. And, of course, sharing their picks with faithful subscribers. Genius!

Score on Vintage Finds Using Cherry's Tips

The Cherry Vintage

Would you believe there are people who pay good money for those acid-washed jeans we used to wear in the 80s?

Did you know that certain pieces of costume jewelry from years gone are actually valuable?

Cherry has a passion for vintage clothing and accessories as well as other timeless collectibles. She will take you on a trip back in time as you learn about the fashions of yore, how to spot these money-making finds, and how to present them in ways that will generate a profit.

Throwing My Hat into the Picker Video Ring

Want to Make Some Extra Cash? Watch and Learn

This sample of vlogging eBayers is by no means exhaustive.

I have developed quite a list of subscriptions on my YouTube account, but this should be enough to get you started. More and more kind and generous sellers use YouTube to share their experiences and pay the good will forward.

They don't view eBay as a competitive sport, but rather as a community effort.

Are you intrigued? Do you want to earn a little side cash for date nights? Or would you like to establish a work-from-home business for your family?

Whatever your goals are, listen to the wisdom of these popular YouTube pickers. Do the research, and before you know it you'll be making money on eBay!

Mahalo nui loa, Joe!

(Please don't ask me to pronounce that.)

This Hub is dedicated to my friend Joe. You probably know him as Hawaiian Odysseus.

And if you don't, follow that link now because you're missing out.

Joe is a crazy-good writer and an all-around great guy who continues to inspire and cheer me on.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Maggie.L, it takes a lot of work and research. I put eBay on the back burner after my baby was born in April because unless you have really good thrift stores and yard sales in your area, being a reseller requires quite a bit of time and effort. Even if you do have a lot of opportunity to pick up quality items, it is time consuming to put the listings together and get orders shipped. It's definitely worth it, though, especially when you can empty your house of items you no longer need or want. Thank you for your comment!

    • Maggie.L profile image

      Maggie.L 3 years ago from UK

      Thanks for sharing a whole load of resources for learning how to trade on ebay. I did try it a while back but didn't find I was making much. I think I'll go back now and give it another go.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, chloesdad! Good luck!

    • chloesdad profile image

      Jeff M 3 years ago from Newington NH

      Thank you for this hub! Hopefully I can use your inspiration to find some good stuff to sell!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, Lisa Keating!

    • profile image

      LisaKeating 3 years ago

      I watch videos of 8 of these folks! Nice hub.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, Pro-Hubber!

    • Pro-Hubber profile image

      Pro-Hubber 4 years ago from Florida

      A very useful and informative hub. Thank you very much for sharing

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Ah, I see. I don't seem to have that problem so far, thankfully.

    • Vista15 profile image

      Tiana Dreymor 4 years ago from Columbus, OH

      The last time I tried eBay, I didn't get any LOOKERS. I think they have so many restrictions, they didn't get posted where they should have.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I know what you mean, Vista. That's why I think it's important to choose a niche that doesn't require expensive shipping. Everything I ship goes by either First Class mail or flat rate Priority. Then I offer free shipping on all of my items and make up the cost of shipping in the price. It draws more customers and (supposedly) gets your listings better standing. I bet your son did well selling those items. Thanks for your comment!

    • Vista15 profile image

      Tiana Dreymor 4 years ago from Columbus, OH

      I've tried it and failed... and failed... and failed... the shipping is killing you. And they take a percentage of that, too. NOT FAIR.

      My son was here for 4 months a couple years ago and he made a killing on eBay with what he had... but he ran out. Bikes. Bike parts. Model cars. He finally sold his 1958 Schwinn Bike for gas to get back to Minnesota.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thanks, B! It's really quite fun. Just look around your house for things you want to get rid of, look them up on eBay and see if they're going for anything. Once you make a few bucks off those items that were only collecting dust anyway, you'll be hooked!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting, and bookmarked for close study. Maybe I'll give Ebay selling a try.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Great advice, Richard! I love the book idea. You're right: it definitely takes time to learn what people are looking for, what works and what doesn't. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    • Richard-Bivins profile image

      Richard Bivins 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Always good to learn from those that are actually earning. I've been selling since 2002 and mostly had to teach myself. I started by selling books that I picked up from thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets. But not just any books, I had kept a list of the top 100 NY Times best sellers and you would be amazed at how often I could find a book for a quarter and sell it for $10 or more. My best advice to those wanting to earn from selling on eBay is to do what we writers do that want to earn from Adsense. In order to earn from Adsense you have to write on topics that people are searching for. Well to earn on eBay you have to sell products that people are searching for: Top selling books, Name Brand clothes. Once you get the hang of it then you can branch out into more niche markets like collectables and antiques or whatever suits you. Just my opinion though.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, duffsmom! I'm glad it inspired you. Watch a few of those videos and you'll really get the itch!

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      This article was really inspiring and made me want to sell. Well done. Some really good info here.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thanks, Wayne!

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      A lot of good information here Liz. I haven't used eBay in forever, and this will be a great resource when needed.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Joe, you crack me up. Your comments are always as colorful as your hubs.

      You've been such an encouragement. I appreciate you more than you know. And I hope your predictions are right!

      RPM--I love it!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you for the comment, teaches12345. Congrats to your friend on becoming a Top Seller. I'm looking forward to reaching that milestone!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Billy, you're welcome :) Like you, Joe is a wise and kind soul. I'm fortunate to be close internet buddies with you both.

      You have a lot on your plate, my friend. Full time eBayer is not in the cards at this moment for you. But if you want to sell a book or two that you have lying around the house collecting dust, I'm here to help you.

      Thanks, Papa Bear!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Liz!

      I feel halfway between giddy and crying. It's like I'm channeling Sally Field during her famous Oscar acceptance speech. Ha-ha! Oh, Liz, I am thrilled and honored! Thank you so much for you Hub mention and your very kind words. And it also made me feel so good to read Bill's message to you. Mahalo nui loa! And, yes, you are going to learn how to pronounce that, especially when you start selling fish, kalua pig, poi, and seaweed on eBay to those crazy-hungry Hawaiians back home. Seriously, Liz, I predict that you and Bruce have a HUGE future ahead of you with the eBay hustling lifestyle you've just begun. I'm doing my part by blessing you with those good thoughts and energy. You're an awesome young woman, and I am so very proud of you for paying forward this hub tribute to these amazing YouTubers! Aloha, my friend!

      Ladies and gentlemen, don't touch that dial! Stay dunedin to this channel for the next exciting episode of the RPM* Show...

      *Radcliff Picks Mercilessly

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      My friend has been on eBay for years and made top seller last year in her category. It can be a nice supplement If done right, as you suggest. Thanks for the advice.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great resource, Lizzy, and I'm glad you mentioned Joe. He is one of a kind and I have you to thank for introducing me to this quality man.

      As for ebay....I need more time. If I'm going to do this then I have to invest the time, and so far I don't know how to do that. :)

      Thanks Dunedin! You are appreciated.