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Selling Perfume on Ebay to Make Extra Money

Updated on January 8, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Making Extra Money

Right before Christmas, I was in need of some extra money. Bills were due, Christmas presents needed buying, and I needed cash. I had successfully sold some shoes and a handbag on ebay, but I needed more items that were going to make more than just a few dollars. On a whim, I put up some designer perfume that I never wore. Not only did it sell, but it had multiple bids and sold for way more than I thought it would. I proceeded to sell the rest of my stash of perfumes, netting several hundred dollars.

Selling used perfumes on ebay can be a great way to earn a little extra cash. Not only will people pay for your used perfumes, they may pay more than you'd imagine, simply because a brand new bottle may be too expensive. It's much cheaper to buy a half full bottle of designer perfume than a new bottle at the department store.

Ideally, you'll have a bathroom cabinet full of inventory. That stinky perfume that your inlaws got you for your birthday but that makes you gag? List it! Your ex-husband's have used cologne that he didn't take with him when he moved out? List it! That trendy perfume you bought that seems so yesterday now? List it! While there are certain perfumes that do better on ebay, I've listed everything from expensive designer perfume to cheap body spray. If you price it right, there will be a demand for it. Here's some things to consider:

Pricing: Be competitive. You may have paid $100 for your perfume new, but if it's used, you should start the bidding lower. Check other ebay listings to get an idea of what the same perfume in the same size is going for brand new and then price yours accordingly. You can't price your perfume the same as a brand new, never opened bottle. On the other hand, it's found money. It was just collecting dust in your cabinet before so anything you get for it now is bonus!

Know the Market: Research the other ebay listings to see what's selling well. Certain designer perfumes sell better than others and will always attract bids. If you have those perfumes, your perfume will most likely sell. If you have a lesser known perfume, you may have to relist it a time or two before it sells.

No fakin': Ebay consumes are savvy and they will know if you try to fake them out. So, don't even think of selling fake perfume and representing it as the real thing. Not only will ebay get mad, your customers will, too! If you have a perfume of sketchy origin, do a little research to make sure it's the real deal before you list it.

Listing: Many of the leading perfumes are already in ebay's database of products so you don't even have to enter too much info - ebay will fill out the description for you. For obscure perfumes, you will have to enter the info yourself, but it takes only moments. Be sure to include a picture. When you sell used perfumes, you want to accurately represent the condition of the bottle - full, half full, 1/4 full, so that people know what they are getting.

Packaging: Selling is the easy part. Getting it to your buyer in one piece is the hard part. I put my perfumes in a ziploc bag as protection in the event of a worst case scenario - bottle leakage or breakage. Next, I wrap it in bubblewrap. I used a lot of bubblewrap because most perfume bottles are glass and you do not want breakage. Then, I pack that inside a box that is also filled with bubble cushioning, newspapers, or other padded materials. I treat the perfume as if it were an egg and protect it accordingly.

Shipping: Make sure you charge enough for shipping. Perfumes can be heavy so go to to get an idea of what it might cost to ship. Alternatively, USPS has small flat rate priority boxes that are perfect for shipping perfumes. For one flat fee, you can ship it no matter what it weighs, as long as it fits in the box. You can print postage directly from Paypal, which is hooked to your ebay account so your buyer's shipping address is right there. Then, all you need to do is drop it off at the post office!

One note of caution: After your success, you may think of buying used or new perfumes to resell on ebay. Just be careful! It can be hard to get a good price for designer perfumes, even at wholesale. Keep an eye on sales at stores or outlet malls. You could buy more inventory off ebay, but bids can be competitive. You don't want to pay too much and then not be able to resell it at a good profit. You also need to watch out for fakes. So, take your time and start with your own perfume collection first.

Selling used perfumes can make you some extra money in a short amount of time. This really works best if you have an existing collection of perfumes just laying around collecting dust. If you do, clean off those bottles, post your listing, and enjoy the sweet smell of success!


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      Amy 4 years ago

      You cannot ship fragrances via Priority Mail. They must ship ground only.

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      Anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great article! One thing you might not be aware of is that it is illegal to ship perfume via Priority Mail (or any other type of air mail). Perfumes may only be shipped via ground transportation (aka Parcel Post). Found this out when I went to the post office to ship perfume.