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Making Money as a Reseller on EBay with Resale

Updated on March 24, 2014

Ebay as a Tool

Ebay is one of the most popular online marketplaces in the world. Millions of transactions take place on Ebay every day, and thousands of people sell on Ebay as a primary source of income. Thousands more sell on Ebay to create a secondary stream of income. You can be one of those people. You can use Ebay as a way to generate income.

Creating an Ebay account is easy and free. With a standard account you get 50 free listings per month. This is why I decided to sell online using Ebay rather than Amazon. Both platforms are great and each have their advantages, but Amazon does not grant you free listings. They charge you $1 as a listing fee per item. I chose Ebay because I didn't want to lose money listing items if they didn't sell.

In order to successfully sell on Ebay, you will also need a Paypal account. It is also easy and free to sign up for Paypal.

Once you have an Ebay account and a Paypal account, you are ready to start selling!

Where to Find Products

In order to sell on Ebay, you need products. You need items that will sell. This is actually a lot harder than it seems.

You can start by selling some of the items you have around your house, but when you run out of those, you will need to find ways to get new items.

I find items to sell on Ebay by going to garage sales. I love garage sales because you can find interesting items and get them for a great price. Many people don't know the value of the items, or really need the money, so are willing to let go of their items for bargain basement prices. I have even surprised myself by the amazing deals that I've gotten at garage sales. The best deal I got was when I bought a Nintendo Game and Watch system (A handheld nintendo game that predates Game Boy, and even predates the original NES) that had its original box for two bucks. I sold it to my boyfriend's friend (who collected video game stuff) for $160. I made $158 in less than two hours. I actually could have sold it on Ebay for about $300, but decided to be nice and let my boyfriend's friend get it at a great price.

There are other ways to find awesome items to sell on Ebay. You can go to Swap Meets, Flea Markets, Auctions, Thrift Stores, Goodwill stores, and you can even find items on Craigslist. The best deals vary by location. In my area, Craigslist is oversaturated and over-priced, so I rarely find good deals utilizing it. However, in some areas it may not be as well established, and you might be able to get better deals. I also do not frequent Swap Meets in my area, as they tend to be overly commercialized. Most of the swap meet vendors are selling brand new cheap import items such as toys, t-shirts, or cosmetics. These are not items that I can reselll on Ebay for a profit.

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What To Sell

People collect all sorts of things. There are so many things that have value that you can decide what you want to sell. Pick something that interests you, learn as much as you can about that type of item, and specialize in it. I tend to focus on toys and games. I also like antiques, and I'm trying to learn more about these items so that I can make a profit by buying and selling antiques as well. You could also focus on clothing, baby items, art, Kitchenware, pet supplies, collectibles, knick-knacks...the sky's the limit. If you focus on something that interests you, you will have a lot more fun making money.

Outside of making your hunt more enjoyable, the main point of specializing in something is to learn the value of the items. Although many items have value, the opposite is also true. Many many many items have absolutely no value. Also, many owners assign a higher value to items than they should. I am skeptical whenever anyone tells me what an item sells for on Ebay. I've been told numerous times by an owner that a particular item is worth $20, $40 or even more on Ebay. Most of the time, they are greatly over estimating the value of their items.

The main thing to look for when purchasing items is condition. I prefer to buy items that are unused and still in their original packaging. Those are worth the most money. Next, I look for items that are used, but still have their original packaging. Those items also have more value. Last, I will look for items that are in good condition, regardless of the packaging. I have passed up on Star Wars and Star Trek toys (items that generally have a little value) because they are dirty, missing parts, or in some way not complete. Condition matters when selling on Ebay.

The second thing that I look for is the date. One of the items that I specialize in is trading cards (Pokémon, Yu Gi Oh, Battletech, Magic, etc). The older cards tend to have more value, because people can't get them in stores. People are also very interested in "vintage" items at the moment. Things that you can market as vintage tend to have more value on Ebay than newer items.

One thing to remember is that markets change. In the 1990s, sports trading cards were hugely valuable. However, the value has dropped dramatically since then, and now they are hardly worth anything. This can happen to any item at any time. Anything can drastically drop in value at anytime, in the same way that no one knows what the next big thing will be.

Jim Bean Decanters
Jim Bean Decanters

What to Buy Items For

It is difficult to determine how much money to spend on an item. When I don't know the value of an item, but I think it could be worth something, I won't spend more than a few dollars on it. This is because I've made a few mistakes in the past. I bought a pair of beautiful Jim Bean Whiskey Decanters for $15 each. They looked like a unique vintage set so I took a chance on them for $30. The pair together doesn't even sell for 10 bucks on Ebay. I haven't been able to move them. I took a $30 gamble, and I lost. From that point, I decided that if I don't know the value, I won't spend more than a few dollars. This way, if I take a gamble and lose, I only lose a few dollars, which I can handle. I can't handle losing $30 on one deal.

If you know the value of items, it is best to buy them for about 50% of the Ebay value. You don't want to pay much more, because you will also pay fees to Ebay when an item sells, and if you spend too much on the item, you won't make any money after you pay ebay fees (Ebay also charges fees on shipping, so you will need to consider that in your cost as well). You are in this to make a profit, always remember that.

A smart way to determine value on the go is to download the Ebay app on your smartphone. I have looked up numerous items on Ebay while at a garage sale to determine whether it would be worth it to purchase. You will want to look at the "completed listings" portion of ebay to ensure that the items sells, and sells well. If the item sold for $9.99 one time in the last month, and didn't sell for a similar price numerous other times in the same time period, the item is NOT worth it. Once you get the hang of it, you will learn to decide on the fly whether an item is worth the purchase or not.

Vintage Budweiser Clock, bought for $5 at a garage sale, sold for $50 on Ebay
Vintage Budweiser Clock, bought for $5 at a garage sale, sold for $50 on Ebay
Robotech Cards - bought with a bunch of other cards for $5, sold these alone for $15
Robotech Cards - bought with a bunch of other cards for $5, sold these alone for $15

How to Price your Items on Ebay

Once you obtain the items, you need to list them for sale on E-bay. It is sometimes difficult to determine how to price a particular item, so the best way to determine a fair price is to see what it has sold for recently. You will want to look at the price that it sold for, and what it didn't sell for.

You also want to check the condition of the recently sold items. If your item is in better condition than those that recently sold, you can probably start the auction at a higher price. However, the opposite is also true, if your item is in worse condition, then you will have to lower the price.

Pricing is something that takes a little bit of experience to get the hang of doing. You will price some items too high, and they won't sell. E-bay allows you to relist any item up to three times for free (without taking from your 50 free monthly listings) so you have the opportunity to reprice items that aren't selling. You will also make the mistake of pricing items too low. I bought a bag of cards for five bucks, and there were nine decks of Robotech cards in the bag. I had no idea what they were, and couldn't find them anywhere on Ebay, so I started the bidding at $9.99 and put a "Buy It Now" price of 15.99. The cards sold within five minutes. I then had three separate E-bay users message me about the cards, asking if I had any more. I learned that those cards are worth way more than fifteen bucks! Fortunately E-bay doesn't require you to place a "Buy It Now" option on your auctions, so if there is an item that you can't determine the value of, you can just have an open auction and see how far it goes.

Get Started Now!

Selling on E-bay is a fun and easy way to create a second stream of income. If you have an eye for something and love getting a good deal, it might be a great option for you.

What are you waiting for? Get started today!!!

Some of my Other Great Deals

New in Package Vintage Furby (from the 90s) bought for $2, sold on Ebay for $19.99
New in Package Vintage Furby (from the 90s) bought for $2, sold on Ebay for $19.99
Digimon trading cards, bought for $2, sold for $25
Digimon trading cards, bought for $2, sold for $25

Some of my Terrible Buys

Huge lot of Beanie Babies, bought for about $1 a piece ($70 total). Not the original Beanies, so they don't sell well on E-Bay
Huge lot of Beanie Babies, bought for about $1 a piece ($70 total). Not the original Beanies, so they don't sell well on E-Bay
NEW Pokemon cards (from 2014, 2013) bought for a little less than $1 a piece, but they sell in stores for the same amount
NEW Pokemon cards (from 2014, 2013) bought for a little less than $1 a piece, but they sell in stores for the same amount

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