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Simple ways to supply your eBay side hustle.

Updated on January 25, 2020

How do I get items to sell?

Whether you sell on eBay, craigslist, or at your local flea market. This is a question we have all had to ask ourselves. The fact is this question is a relatively easy one to answer. There are a number of ways and places to get items to sell. Look around your home, like all of us you’re sure to have items you don't use or want anymore. Friends and family may also be a sure fire way to accumulate inventory. Garage/Yard sales can be an excellent source of cheap items. Many individuals may sell items far cheaper than what they are worth. Ether because they no longer want said item or because they simply have no idea of its true value. Sometimes buying highly sought after items at retail price can be an option. Items like fast food promotional toys can be in this list. These are Just a few ways that we will cover.

There's no place like home.....

Home is a great place to start, especially if you are just starting out your eBay adventure. We all have items lying around our home that we no longer use. These items are a great option when it comes to eBay. In some cases, the items don’t even need to be in working condition. I personally have sold many inoperable items like old laptops and cellphones. These are good for people who are simply in need of parts. But when looking for items you are only limited by your own imagination. Try selling Clothes, dishes, small appliances, or pet supplies. The list goes on and on, you are only limited by your imagination.

Friend's and Family

When I started selling on eBay the first sale was "Garbage". I mean this literally. I was taking out the trash and passed my neighbor’s apartment. On his porch with his trash was a set of house speakers he was throwing out. I simply asked him if I could have them, after I got permission I quickly listed them. And wouldn't you know it they sold.......... For $35. Not bad for selling "Garbage".

I then simply asked friends if there were things I could have that they ether didn't need or want anymore. This may be hard for you. However, it is a good place to get items for little or no money. Doing this alone I was able to acquire laptops, bag phones, and other items that sold quickly.

Work can give you more than just a paycheck.

Remember the "Garbage"? Well one of my biggest sellers once again was trash. At a shop I worked for we had Silica Gel Packets in some of our components once we used the components we threw out the Silica. I did a bit of research and found that silica sells. After getting permission to take these packs home I had a steady supply of gel packs. (NOTE: I can't stress this enough it is very important that you get permission before taking anything from your place of work. Yes, even "Garbage") What sort of items you may be able to acquire is based on the type of industry you work in and what your place of employment will allow you to have if anything. The main thing is to be creative and use your imagination, remember almost anything will sell. Will working at a fast food restaurant I once was given permission to take a unopened sleeve of Spiderman cups home. These cups sold to a man in Brazil.

If you’re interested in learning more about Silica Gel Click Here to see "Silica gel, and where to get it."

Burger King is king.

Another good place to go for items is your local fast food restaurant. Don't believe me? Go to eBay and search for promotional toys. These are items you will be paying full price for however they are highly sought after and will bring in more than you may think. If your persistent or know someone who works at one of these fast food chains, you should have no problem acquiring full sets of these toys. As long as you can be assured of getting a hold of one or more "Full Sets", you may want to do what is known as a presale. This is nothing more than selling a full set before you have the full set in hand. Once you have all the toys then you’ll ship to your customer. The reason this is a good idea is simple my experience shows that you will get the highest prices for these toys in the first two weeks. After that the market will be saturated with sets for sale which will drive down the price across the board. Other possible items you could sell are window clings after a promotion is over say for “Star Wars”. The window clings are typically thrown out. If you have built a relationship with a manager, they may be willing to give these to you.

Higher risk items.

There are other high risk ways to get items to sell. No I'm not suggesting you go out on a theft spree. I'm talking about drop shippers, and buying more expensive items for resale. Now the reason for me saying "High Risk" is because of the higher risk both financially and logistically.


Buying higher end products such as TV's, Computers, Home theater systems, and other consumer electronics are just some examples of this. And will obviously cost more leaving you less room for error. If you're more expensive items do not sell, you’re out more funds versus if you were to buy something say, from a garage sale. There are however options for buying high end electronics and other items at drastically reduced prices. Sites such as,, and specialize in liquidation pricing on bulk lots. However, doing so can leave you with product that you may not be able to move and once again you’re out more money than you may be able to afford.

Drop Shippers

If you’re already a seller online. You have most certainly heard of this practice. However just in case you haven't here is the basic idea.


You list an item online without having the item on hand. Once the item sells and you have been payed. You contact your drop shipper with your customer’s information. This info includes what was sold and the address to ship the item to. You then pay the drop shipper for the item and any other fees like shipping and or a service charge. Your profit is the amount payed to you from your customer less your cost of purchase and any other fees associated with said purchase.

This practice can be a good one if you don’t want to buy items outright for resale. It allows you to have auctions running without the risk of losing money if the item does not sell. The problem with this option is there are very few good drop shippers, and the ones there are will likely be used by many of your competition. If you do happen to find a good shipper another issue that I have personally had to deal with is supplier mistakes. If say during shipping an item is broken, or the wrong item gets shipped. The added time spent dealing with both your shipper and customer to resolve the issue can easily get you negative feedback.

The best way to get a good drop shipper that won’t be used by your competition is to work with local suppliers. This may not be possible but if you do have a local manufacturer you may be able to work out a drop shipping relationship. There is no harm in asking.


So as you can see there are many ways to get inventory for resale. Here are the suggestions I've given thus far.

1) Start at Home. (Try Selling Items you no longer need or want.)

2) Ask Around. (Friends, Relatives, etc.)

3) Fast Food Restaurants

4) Work (NOTICE: Make sure you ask your boss or supervisor before taking anything from your place of work.)

5) Liquidation Websites

6) Drop Shippers

If you are intrested in learning more. Here are some books on the subject that might intrest you.

I've only given you a few suggestions, I'm sure that you can come up with many more. Let us know. Everyone likes good ideas.


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