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How to Make Extra Money on Ebay

Updated on May 6, 2017
jimmyglaughlin profile image

I am a novice seller on Ebay, but I have been very successful in a short amount of time, These techniques are tried and true.

I DO NOT work for Ebay! This is NOT a paid advertisement or anything like that.

— Me-Jim Laughlin
Ebay worked for me, maybe for you too.
Ebay worked for me, maybe for you too. | Source

I have been visiting Ebay.com for years, but have never actually bought or sold anything until this year. I always just flipped through items, just because I was interested in how it worked and I had always heard of people making money on Ebay. I wasn't sure if I trusted it.

I have in the past used Craig's List to buy and sell items and found it to be quite useful on the local level. Being able to show up at a sellers' house and see the item to purchase is very nice, or vice versa. Craig's List has some issues like scammers and such. Buyer and seller beware but keep vigilant and you should not run into any issues. But meeting face to face to buy and sell is a major plus to avoid those issues. With Ebay, all buying and selling of items are done online.

But Ebay does offer buying and selling assurances and very rarely does scamming happen and if it does Ebay will take care of the situation. They will even ban buyers or sellers for life if warranted. In fact, I see people on Craig's List wanting to buy Ebay accounts to get back on Ebay after being banned. Whatever you do, don't get involved with that.

So, this year, I became unemployed and started writing a lot. But, just starting with writing doesn't pay the bills. And the lack of jobs out there, caused me to think of other ways to make some money. Believe me, a lot of different online ideas have been going through my head. But, I started really researching Ebay further and thought it was time for me to give it a try.

This year, during our annual spring cleaning ritual, I came across some more valuable items in our house. Of course, Ebay was fresh on my mind and figured there was no time like the present to sell the items I had hidden around my house. Now, any other year I may have given these items to friends or donated them, but with needing every bit of cash, Ebay was the only choice for me.

First thing first, was to do a little research on the items I was selling. I went to Ebay.com and looked up each item one a time. They have options to see what is selling now or what has recently sold. These are great tools to see what price you should start at. Also, I read about these items, the ones that sold and the ones not selling. Was there a difference in the wording of the products or the description? I took note of the prices and descriptions and worked up prices for my items. I started a little high with my prices, hoping for the best.

Also, when pricing items, take into the consideration the condition of the item. Used and new items will not sell for the same price. Used items with dents and dings will sell for less than used in great condition.

Before I could move on, the one big thing I noticed about items that had sold, where they had great descriptions and seemed to have well-taken pictures of the items for sale. I knew I had to take pictures of my items.

So, I set up a little studio on my dining table. My wife thought it was a little obtrusive, but I assured her it was only temporary. I am by no means a professional photographer but by looking at the pictures taken by other Ebay sellers I got an idea how to make it work.

Never mail out an item you sold until it is paid for and you are notified by Ebay it is OK to mail the item.

An example picture of an item I sold on Ebay.
An example picture of an item I sold on Ebay.

The picture above is an example of an a item i sold on Ebay. You will notice, it is definitely not professional and no where near perfect. I used a cardboard box and a pillowcase propped on it as the backdrop. I would suggest making your pictures of better quality, if you can, but this seemed to work great for me, all my items sold fairly quickly.

To make Ebay work for you, it is the combination of things that will sell your item. Informative and thorough descriptions, good pictures, great title and last but not least, the right price. Doing your research prior to listing items on Ebay is the key to success. Do these things and hopefully the money will start rolling in!

A few other things to note. The best way to get paid is through Paypal, so sign up for an account before using Ebay. It is very secure and they let you know every step of the way, and when it is OK to ship items. The communication from Ebay and Paypal is great and really puts your mind at ease.

Also, if your buyers have any questions, Ebay will let you know, Respond quickly to make the buying decisions easier for them. NEVER sell to a buyer outside of Ebay, it is against Ebay's policies and is most likely a scam!

Decide whether you will pay for shipping or they will. If I pay for shipping I will raise the price of the item slightly to at least cover part of the shipping.

Another, very important point! When you are describing your items for sale on Ebay, it is essential you are honest. Be as detailed as you possibly can and read every instruction along the way. If the item is used, mark it used. If it has dings or scratches, let the buyer know in the description. Be open and honest, buyers will pick up on this and trust you more! As a buyer or seller, trust is important.

And of note, Ebay and Paypal are not free. They have fees, that can be paid after the buyer pays, so no money has to leave our pocket, but it will come from the money you make. See Ebay or Paypal for details on that.

So, after all is said and done, I put in about 3 to 4 hours worth of my time to make $400 on Ebay. Not a bad deal at all, plus I cleared out some stuff that was sitting around my house collecting dust. My house is a little cleaner and my wife is happy! I also learned how to make Ebay profitable for me and recommend it highly. I will be using Ebay for future buying and selling of items. I will still use Craig's List too, but Ebay has me hooked for now.

Share your experiences with Ebay, good or bad, below, please. Let us hear of any bad experiences, especially!

What do you think of Ebay?

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a good hub for people new to eBay or thinking of giving it a try. I have bought quite a few thing on eBay and also sold a car and a number of smaller items. It works well and is reasonably safe especially if you use Paypal. Good hub, voted up.

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for your kind words. Everyone can use a few extra bucks here and there and Ebay offers the chance to sell items you may not have been able to sell other wise.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Jimmy, great job on this article! I've been selling on eBay for a few years, but it's always good to get fresh perspective and be able to learn new things. Congratulations on doing such a fine job not only selling your item but in the equally--if not more--challenging aspect of writing about it. Good to meet you via HubPages! Aloha!

      Joe

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thelma, thanks for your feedback. Ebay is a great tool for anyone looking to buy or sell items.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 4 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Jimmy I have been selling on eBay for years and have never had a problem. I work at it full time and have made quite a bit of extra money with eBay. All of your suggestions in your hub are right on target. I hope you will continue with your selling and if I can ever be of help to you, just let me know.

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      I just wish I had more to sell, a little cash goes a long way!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Glad that you found a way to earn some money and clear the house of some unwanted things, too. I've sold a number of things on eBay and had satisfactory results. Plus, there's a lot less clutter around here. You have the right approach with taking good pictures and describing the item completely, dings and all. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you, very penny counts and I'm going to keep at it!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Way to go Jimmy! I've been selling on Ebay for over 15 years. Not as much recently, but it's a great way to make extra money and/or earn an income. The site has changed a lot over the years. A lot more competition, so the more rare your item is the more money in your pocket. Luckily I've only had one bad experience. I bought a $5.00 item years ago and I never received it. That's a darn good record for 15 years of being a member. Good luck with selling!

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you! Good luck, search your house well, lol.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 4 years ago from Maine

      Another excellent hub! You have inspired me! I had to cut down to half time due to my new diagnosis of breast cancer and having chemo. Money is tight at the present time in our household and I was thinking about selling some items on ebay. I'm going to start tomorrow. Thank you!

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      I use Ebay and Craigs list.

    • profile image

      jsbst18 4 years ago

      No platform is great, but I since I don't sell used things, I sometimes use Amazon. Do you have a better platform?

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image
      Author

      Jim Laughlin 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Interesting. What is your platform of choice?

    • profile image

      jsbst18 4 years ago

      It is nice to make extra money for getting rid of household junk, but I can't stand eBay. I always had issues when I either bought or sold on that platform.