• Thriller83

    Posts: 71

    Oct 19, 2008 12:11 AM GMT
    So I’ve been thinking about opening up an eBay account to sell some of my stuff and make a little money on the side. I know a lot of people sell stuff on eBay on a regular basis and basically make decent money on regular basis. I thought I’d do a little research to see what the most popular selling items on eBay are and see what I can come up with. Has anyone ever made serious cash doing this or am I just setting myself up for disappointment??
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    Oct 19, 2008 6:00 AM GMT
    Selling some of your stuff to clean house and starting a side business are two very different things! I've done some of both.

    Sold a few dozen records a few years ago -lps - and learned that jazz and pop from the 50s-on in excellent condition are worth the effort. Especially jazz. Sold all of it to Germany and Japan.

    Sold some very good old clothes - and at least managed maybe 25% on a few things, which is nice when it's cashmere/Armani etc.

    Later happened into a chance to buy some very high-end sunglasses and did some real business for a while, a good sideline that netted me several thousand bucks.

    You can sell almost anything on eBay - have you used eBay yourself as a buyer? It is good to understand the way things really work. You don't need to pay for some eBay seminar if you take some time to figure it out.

    One thing I will recommend if you decide to sell: if you have anything that would be appealing to an international customer, consider selling to Europe, Japan, Australia, South America ... with the dollar so low, I was selling Italian sunglasses to Italians, and they were still getting a great price, even with $22 priority international shipping.

    If you just want to know what to sell, or anything about pricing, etc, just use eBay for your research. It's easy enough to search items and see what's up.

    The emphasis shifts from year to year - at the start it was mostly collectibles, then quickly included anything you would see at a good garage sale. Now the majority of the stuff is sold by full-time sellers. I buy my printer ink on eBay, books, cds, electronics ... it can be great. But treat your buyers honorably!
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    Oct 19, 2008 1:32 PM GMT
    my brother and his wife have made good $$ selling old baby stuff (clothing, toys, books...) that my niece has outgrown. She's now seven, but when she was a baby she would quickly outgrow her clothes and toys.
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    Oct 19, 2008 2:02 PM GMT
    Everyone will have their own story, so take this for what it's worth. I think professional sellers on eBay are on the wane. There was a time a few years ago where a lot of mom and pops were making enough money to do it as their exclusive source of income.

    I think that's not so much the case anymore. There are some people who have really made this a business and have it down to a very efficient process. Those are the ones who make it. For people who don't have an interest in taking it to that level, they eventually see how labor intensive it gets to be and go back to doing something else.

    I have a relative who did eBay selling full time for about three years. The first year made a little bit of money. The second year, the money was looking pretty good and the future looked bright. The third year, things slowed down, it was getting harder and harder to find sources of product that could supply enough, and the time spent on it was growing so much that outside help had to be hired. And then sales kind of dried up.

    And from what I hear, that's a pretty typical life cycle of an aspiring pro eBay seller.
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    Oct 20, 2008 3:29 AM GMT
    I thin you're right GC - and it does depend on product, product, product. if you have what people want and can clear a good margin, it's worth it. The people who sell $2 postcards? I can't imagine what their hourly earnings are! (Even 50 or more a week of them ... still small change. But then they don't require much packaging.)

    I don't see getting into it at a big level. On the other hand, I published a book last year and listed it before Xmas 07 (signed copies inscribed to whoever was to receive it). I primarily did this hoping buyers would see it, go find it on Amazon or B&N and buy it there. Even so, I averaged a copy sold every day from about the 1st of Nov until mid-Dec. Planning to do it again today - for me this is a break even, done only for visibility and promotion.

    But if you have good product, and especially if it's small enough to mail easily without lots of elaborate packaging, you can do all right - but you need to figure what your profit margin is against all those variables Global mentions.