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Where to Find Toys to Resell on eBay

Updated on February 20, 2016
This pile of toys on the grass may look like a mess, but it could be worth money!
This pile of toys on the grass may look like a mess, but it could be worth money! | Source

EBay has long been one of the top sources for individual sellers of all ranks to turn to for a little extra cash. Some sellers even go pro, making a living off the merchandise they sell on eBay! But getting started can be difficult.

Focusing on toys for eBay sales gives you a specific category with broad potential. The places to find your merchandise are numerous. Both your investment cost and your profit can fall in a wide range. Further, when reselling toys there is always the future possibility of narrowing your focus to become on an expect on a specific brand name or time period or style. But best of all, I've personally found toy sales on eBay to be one of the most consistently successful and fun ways of making money at home.

A toy chest can easily become a treasure chest. You just need the map telling you where to find the X that marks the spot. Read on for several suggestions of where you can find toys for selling online.

"Ebay Yard Sale" advertisement as opposed to "Garage Sale" sign.
"Ebay Yard Sale" advertisement as opposed to "Garage Sale" sign. | Source

Garage Sales

Perhaps the most common and the most obvious option for finding children's toys, whether modern or vintage or even antique, is the garage sale. A garage (or yard) sale is the prime example of one man’s trash equaling another’s treasure. And it’s positively amazing how little some people know about what they’re selling for a dollar - which isn’t to say someone is less intelligent than you are just because you happen to know that their $3 video game is worth $15 on eBay. You can’t research every item you come across, nor can you store a toy value encyclopedia in your head. Just prepare the best you can!

But in the meantime, you’ll make the garage sale host happy by buying up their items and you’ll be pleased when you get to turn around and resell your treasure for double your money.

Tip: You will want to make sure you’re up and at the sales when they start, which is typically at 9:00 AM. The early bird most definitely gets the worm. Remember that there are hundreds of other eBayers like yourself out searching for the pot of gold.

Jumbled tables are a common yard sale sight, so be sure to look carefully.
Jumbled tables are a common yard sale sight, so be sure to look carefully. | Source


The good thing about auctions? They’re not just work, but entertainment. They’re a social event in which you chat with your neighbor and ogle the merchandise while eating microwave popcorn and cheap hotdogs.

The bad thing? You need a little more spendable income than a garage sale requires. Many of the items being sold individually (as opposed to in "box lots") will have to be passed on, at least by you, as the price goes too high for practical resale.

Tip: Don't always pass up the little guys for the big boys. What this means is while your instinct may be to hit up the auctions that advertise well and appear popular, these will also have greater competition. Whereas a smaller or just-starting-up auction house might surprise you with the merchandise they pull out - and with less people prepared to bid against you!

Auctions are sometimes as much a social event as a place of business.
Auctions are sometimes as much a social event as a place of business. | Source

eBay Itself!

Sometimes new or casual sellers on eBay haven't done thorough research on the value of their own toys. They may even list it improperly, such as a selecting the wrong category or leaving out vital keywords from the title, thus resulting in less potential buyers finding the toy's listing. It’s your job to find them anyway

Tip: Consider potential misspellings. A title typo is an enemy to the seller and a best friend to you as the buyer. Think about someone accidentally writing "angle" in place of "angel", for example, or "scramble" instead of "scrabble."

Then there is the concept of purchasing toy "lots." A seller bunches items such as DVDs or stuffed animals or games together, which typically means a lower total asking price than had the items been listed individually. Furthermore there simply isn't space in the eBay title to insert all the related keywords. But you can take the time to example any photographs and descriptions while doing your own research. You never know when you'll find a highly collectible Care Bear in a lot of old child's teddies or a rare anime DVD in a set of cartoons.

Spend a fun Saturday browsing a flea market for deals that you can later profit from on eBay.
Spend a fun Saturday browsing a flea market for deals that you can later profit from on eBay. | Source

Flea Markets

Flea markets are a bit trickier, but you'll still be able to find a few good items or lots for resale on eBay. As with the rest of this article, we're focusing on toys, but I've found under-priced marbles, buttons, and more at flea markets. Which I then turned around and listed on eBay, of course!

The reason a flea market might be a bit tougher to score a deal at is because, well, the people running the booth are dealers usually. They know the value of what they're selling and will generally have the going rate as the price, possibly more. You'll not find a cheap price on toys new in the box or vintage Barbies or other high-end items sold individually, but there are a few tricks to help you uncover hidden treasure at a flea market.

Know your rare modern toys, first of all. Most sellers at a flea market will be aware of the prices antique games or old-fashioned marbles fetch. But they might pass up a Yu-Gi-Oh launcher, for example, which looks bulky and too modern and uninteresting to be worth more than a few bucks - but oh boy is it!

Second, look for lots just like on eBay or at auctions. Maybe someone is selling a bunch of old Happy Meal toys at a quarter apiece and would like to make you a deal for buying the whole lot, which you can then sell for a dollar each on eBay. Magazines, comic books, and un-boxed action figures frequently have low prices and box lots at flea markets as well.


Toy Stores

Now you're a big player in the game. You're ready for toy stores. You will need research, some luck, and preferably a smartphone to master purchasing new toys to resell online. October-December is the prime time for reselling toys purchased in stores as you hit the Christmas season.

If you're lucky you'll score a few finds of the hit toy for your particular year. I remember standing in line at five in the morning to purchase a single Zhu Zhu a few years ago, but then getting to resell it for forty dollars. This is just an example of a resale of a hot toy. It's work and discomfort and a rarity.

But year round you can still find clearance toys at Toys R Us or Walmart for resale on eBay. Just bring along your smartphone and keep your eye out for toys and games and electronics that seem reasonably priced and like they're low in stock. (If there are five or more left on the shelf, chances are it's not in high-demand.)

Sometimes just because it got overlooked in the stockroom at a store, resulting in overstock and discounted pricing, doesn't mean it won't sell on eBay!

Whatever you find to be the greatest source of toy merchandise for eBay resale, just remember to stay pleasant and affable. After all, the best part of selling toys on eBay is the fun! You're reliving the very best part of childhood: play. Take joy in the toys and hopefully they'll bring you profit.


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    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      This is a great hub for the beginning Ebay seller. Lots of great ideas on where to find toys to resell. You make a good point with a Smartphone idea. I don't have one but I see a lot of people at yard sales lately that have Smartphones and look things up with them while standing in someone's front yard! I am trying to break into the Ebay market myself but am at the point right now where I just sell what I have found in my house after a recent move. Great stuff in here. Thank you!

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 3 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Smartphones are indispensable to an eBay seller! It can get a little weird looking stuff up in someone's yard/garage though - in that case it's nice to pretend you're just texting a friend to see if they're interested in the item you're secretly looking up on eBay. It makes it less awkward for everyone involved.

      Good luck to you on eBay!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Amanda, great ideas and suggestions here. I hadn't considered children's toys. have sold a few things on eBay such as books from opportunity/ second-hand shops and sold them for a profit, especially if you look for books that are signed by the author. I picked up one on snooker signed by the author Eddie Charlton for $2.00 and sold it for $25.00. With some books etc the extra cost of postage makes it unviable to sell online however unless it is a real bargain. Good hub, voted up.

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 2 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Thanks for your comment, Jodah! I've often thought of selling books because I know a few nearby real life auctions that have cheap box lots of books - but I hear they do better on Amazon? I only sell on eBay right now, personally. That's great to hear that you can still do well with books there too though!

      I imagine if one was an expert in knowing which style of books to keep an eye out for at second-hand shops and garage sales then you could do great with finding profitable books! I bet most people selling them at sales don't realize the online value and just throw them in the box with the rest of the standard paperback thrillers and romances. Great idea!

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