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How to find things to sell on ebay

Updated on September 4, 2014
Power Puff Girls figurines selling for $19.99 each set.  I have already sold 32 of these.
Power Puff Girls figurines selling for $19.99 each set. I have already sold 32 of these. | Source

A quick search on ebay will reveal millions of listings at prices that may be cheaper then home, leaving you wonder how some sellers can do it! Although ebay does not have the overheads of a regular shop, selling on ebay still involves some listing, selling and receiving fees so how do you manage to put a winning product on the market? There are many ways to find things to sell on ebay and I will explore a few of them here.

Ferrero Panda figurines sold for $5.99
Ferrero Panda figurines sold for $5.99 | Source
Tweety figurines selling for $9.99.  I have sold 8 of these sets.
Tweety figurines selling for $9.99. I have sold 8 of these sets. | Source
  • Make it! - Many of the things sold on ebay and etsy are handmade. You can turn your crafts into cash. Ideas range from clothing to bookmarks to stockings, wreaths etc. If you can make it, you can sell it!
  • Get rid of it!- All of us have unwanted gifts, clothes we outgrew or discarded, toys we don't need, ornaments we are bored of etc. Why not take the chance selling them. With 50 free listings per month on ebay you won't be out of cash if your items do not sell.
  • Hunt it! - Bargain hunt. Find deals at yard sales, car boot sales, thrift stores, charity shops or wherever you may come across something of significant value at a cheap price. It is surprising how very often you can buy stuff and resell at 500 percent profit on ebay! How is happen? Well for one thing, people are ready to pay for quality and rare items so keep an eye for those when bargain hunting.
  • Vintage it is! - Vintage items sell to collectors. Look around your (or your parent's) attic and basement and you may come up with loads of out of production vintage or collectible items. Many vintage items are collectibles especially if they are hard to find. Examples may include, old postcards, old coins, old toy figurines etc etc.
  • Bulk it!- I have noticed many resellers on ebay. They buy in bulk off ebay or other sources and resell each piece separately for a profit. Many people are unwilling to wait for an item to arrive from China and would prefer paying a bit extra to purchase it from their own country. So if you stock up, you could still resell for a profit. Eg: purchase 1k toothbrushes and resell them in groups of 5.
  • Dropship it!- Many ebay sellers do not even have an actual sample of the item they are selling. They are simply middlemen. Find a dropship company that sells for example mobile phones. Place an auction on ebay for the mobile phones the dropship company sells. When the mobile sells and the client pays you, place the order with the dropshipper and they send the mobile to your client. As an ebay seller you never even touch or own the product and the auction is at no risk to you!
  • Weird works! - Weird shaped items sell on ebay for lots of money. Perhaps a weird coloured stone or an abnormal shaped shell. Look around nature and see if you can find something unique and particular and it will get snapped up by collectors worldwide.
  • Buy it! - I have seen items that are sold locally very inexpensively selling very expensively on ebay. Why? Simply because that item is unavailable in that country. Take food. Certain brands of food are not available in your country. You may want to purchase these products but simply cannot find at your local stores. As a result, you may be ready to pay twice or three times the amount you would buy them for in their country of origin. This holds especially true with chocolate. I have seen some particular brands of Italian chocolates going for very high prices on ebay! Who knows how many other food products could be explored!

A lot of vintage key chains up for sale on ebay.
A lot of vintage key chains up for sale on ebay. | Source

Everything sells on ebay. Even the items you would least expect to! Over the years I have sold many "useless" items, from toy figurines found in chocolate surprises to used clothing to craft materials. Even if you do not make much profit on ebay (although a good profit is entirely possible), you will have the satisfaction of knowing that unneeded items have found a good new home and are being reused!

If you are interested in starting to sell on ebay, you may wish to check out my other hub on How to Become a Top Rated Ebay Seller.

Have you ever sold anything on ebay?

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great ideas, i have stamps, coins and postcards, gonna put them on ebay.., what are my cost?

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 3 years ago from Europe

      I have figured that ANYTHING sells on ebay if you are willing to leave it there long enough. Have you had any luck in the past few months dahoglund and lisavanvorst?

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Great informative article. However items you think would sell like paintings, prints etc. are not that easy. My husband has been trying to sell Jack Levine prints with no luck.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I'm an Amazon seller, but I should look into ebay as well. Thanks for the information.

    • Reginald Boswell profile image

      Reginald Boswell 4 years ago from Alabama

      Very interesting "50 free listings per month."

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 4 years ago from Europe

      Yes when you are used to working and having your own life, changing to a SAHM is quite a shock and you feel the need to do something besides changing diapers. Thats for your story CraftytotheCore.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Hi Kikalina! What great tips! I used to have a lot of fun selling on eBay when my children were small. I had worked in a professional office for so long, that staying home with my children was a hard concept for me. I loved being with them, but wanted to do my own thing as well. I started selling stuff they outgrew. And then, I found some vendors where I could buy stuff that no one else had, and I started a little boutique. It did very well! When my children got older though, I closed up my boutique. I had to focus on their needs. I still miss those days. It was a lot of fun! Congratulations on being so successful!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

      It probably would but people are willing to pay more for original hand made cards rather then mass printed.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      You have great introduction here. I can make greeting cards and want to sell them at ebay but how much should I sell each of the cards? If I include shipping cost, won't it cost more than store bought cards? Furthermore, I am from Malaysia.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

      Ty Pamela Kinnaird W. Hope you manage to start out on ebay :)

      Ty for the vote SMD2012

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This is a nice introduction to ebay for me. I haven't looked at it yet, but will.

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 6 years ago

      Wow, I have never tried eBay because I thought it was just for people who sold collectibles from Gramma's attic. This really opened my eyes to the possibilities! Thank you for this great content. Voting up and bookmarking for future reference.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      KDF thanks for dropping by and your comments! Sometimes we need to get rid of the things we don't need to make space for the things we do need. Throwing good items may seem like a real waste and I for one do not manage to discard good items. Selling them, even for a nominal price makes me feel I have disposed of them the proper way.

    • KDF profile image

      KDF 6 years ago from Central Illinois

      Thanks for the infomation. You are right, you can sell almost anything on ebay. I'm surprised on some of the things that I find no use for but feel really good when I know that something I have no use for can be readily used and valuable to somebody else.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Ty for your visit Brett. Thanks for sharing too! Yes bulk buying and reselling can work out well if you do have storage space and patience because items may take a while to sell.

      giogatore. I do agree that the buyers tend to have it better off on ebay then the sellers especially since I feel the ebay buyer protection favours the buyer.

      peoplepower73 - You probably would do really well selling on ebay. You should give it a shot. Remember the first 50 listings per month are free so you can try it out at no cost!

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      I do woodcarving and scroll art. I was thinking about sell it on etsy, but I never thought about ebay. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for SHARING.

    • giocatore profile image

      giocatore 6 years ago

      I worked very hard as an eBay seller for a year or two. I concluded that the people who do well on eBay are usually the buyers. I am now a happy buyer. I may be unusual, but in my experience, it is quite difficult to find a steady supply of things to sell for a decent profit. Once you obtain an item, you have to hope that the bidders are going to put a reasonable value on your item, and too often they're just looking for ridiculously good deals, as I am now as a happy buyer. Cheers.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Up and useful, you give some great tips! The bulk it one can work very well and normally makes a good profit.

      Thanks, SOCIALLY SHARED.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Ty hoteltravel and Perspycacious . One must also keep in mind that some of the items on ebay may be stolen and the seller may not care what they sell for because whatever they get is pure profit! On another note, many online sellers are from Asia which have lower overheads but are selling at European and US prices!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      After HubPages my next venture is ebay. Give us an idea of other online sellers and some advantages/disadvantages of the others you can mention, please.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      I have always believed in the expression - 'If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is'. But e-commerce has turned this notion upside down. Thanks for revealing the secrets behind ebay's unbelievably low prices.

    • profile image

      rajeev_raju 6 years ago

      Nice hub...... All the tips are Good and helpful for those who can gain something by selling the things on ebay.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      I think when you find your niche on ebay and set up some auctions, you will find it pretty easy to figure what will sell and what not! Ty for dropping by Xenonlit.

    • Xenonlit profile image

      Xenonlit 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. Many of us find Ebay to be confusing or have heard the horror stories about getting set up there. It's not so bad. My niece does very well with Ebay.

      Voted up and useful.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      You may even think in the terms of food, many people are willing to pay extra for a particular brand of chocolate or whatever they cannot buy from home!

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 6 years ago from Mexico

      Oh! I would have never thought of that. I guess the possibilities are much more than I can come up with! Thanks again for the ideas and suggestions; there are certainly many local handmade and artistic key chains around here that cannot be found somewhere else. You have been very useful and kind. Cheers!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Just to give you one idea, I am doing very well selling keychains that local shops seem to give out as advertisments. It is amazing how many people collect keychains from all over the world.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 6 years ago from Mexico

      Well that is great, congratulations for being a successful seller. Thanks for your valuable tips, I will think about what is difficult to find and light, available in Mexico and on demand in the rest of the world…. It is a tough one but it could be fantastic for my income if it does work. Thanks again.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Well while its easier to sell in the USA due to lower shipping costs, it is still entirely possible to sell from outside of the USA. I am based in Europe and am a top rated power seller, selling to European and USA customers. I tend to sell items that are hard to find elsewhere are are low in weight so as to keep shipping rates as low as possible. I also sell gently used branded clothing that I pick up for next to nothing. I also sell collectable items which I find from yard sales and car boot sales.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 6 years ago from Mexico

      Good tips, although many of them apply only to the USA.