So you decided to take the plunge and start your eBay side hustle…
Now the first big obstacle that you will face is trying to make money on eBay is what to sell.
What to sell on eBay seems a little like finding a needle in haystack at first. You most likely have this feeling that you want to get everything right….
Well I am here to tell you…
You are going to make mistakes and you shouldnt niche down too soon.
Take time learning how eBay works and what sells before you start printing business cards.
The first thing that we sold on eBay back in the early 2000’s was an old phone and then a PS2.
I made a whopping 15 dollars on the phone and lost money on the PS2… because I didnt take into account shipping and fees.
Take time to understand what sells and what is most profitable.
Table of Contents
- What to sell on eBay?
- First items to sell on eBay
- Here are some of the Top Selling Categories on eBay:
- What not to sell on eBay?
- What are you going to sell on eBay?
What to sell on eBay?
Remember you can sell literally almost any on eBay. There are few exceptions but in reality its almost limitless.
First items to sell on eBay
Start with items around your house. Spend a day going through closets, attics, junk drawers and garages looking for stuff that you don’t use anymore.
Most eBay side hustles begin with selling items in their house. This allows you to figure out eBays platform and begin to understand the fees associated with selling.
Another bonus with selling items that are yours, is its all “profit”. I say that loosely because at some point you bought it, but just consider it a sunk cost and a quick win.
Plus you begin getting feedback which is key on eBay.
After getting your feet wet, you are eventually going to want to niche down.
Here are some of the Top Selling Categories on eBay:
Whether we are talking new or used, clothing is always a big seller on eBay. Even though fashion trends tend to change from year to year you will always find people who love certain styles.
A great place to find these items is at Goodwill or yard sales. Remember these clothes are not for you. When shopping I tend to pull up eBay to see the price of recently sold clothes so I have an idea of profit.
Over time, you will just begin to know what works and doesnt sell.
Another reason these are great sellers on eBay is clothes arent breakable, so you don’t have to worry about special shipping materials. This lowers your overhead and increases your profit.
Electronic Accessories or Parts
Electronics is one of the bestselling categories on eBay. Everyone you know probably owns a smartphone or two!
Whether you niche down on cell phone cases or power adapters, these are big sellers.
If that is not really your thing, think about electronic parts.
Don’t just sell broken items… tear them down to their key components and sell those!
In most cases selling the screen and battery alone is worth more then selling as one.
Search craigslist or local pawnshops for broken devices and break them down to make profits.
Books, Books, and Books
Yes… books are still a real thing and they are a great niche.
I absolutely love technology and I love reading articles on my phone to computer but when it comes to a book… there is just something different about holding a physical book in your hand.
Selling books is not an easy niche to get into but there can be a ton of profit if you can find 1st edition books.
Don’t try to be a book retailer. Amazon will always win. Look for rare books at used book stores that you can flip for huge profits.
Along these same lines are textbooks…
Students are always trying to find a better deal on college textbooks. If you live near a college, you could pick up used ones at the end of the semester and then flip them on eBay for bigger profits.
Household and Kitchen collector items
You know exactly what I am talking about…
Coca-Cola cups or Rooster stuff…
There is a huge market for these collectable items.
Collectors love one of a kind or branded items. These can be lunch boxes
Video games are one of those odd categories in which the newest games are teh ones that you want to avoid unless somehow you stumble upon a crazy deal. Even then new games depreciate in price rather quickly.
The games that you want to look for are older games from Atari, NES, SNES and any other system from the late 80s or earlier. Most of the time you find these games at flea markets, yard sales and can flip them for 4 or 5 times the amount you paid for them.
The category that you choose for selling is critical in determining how successful your eBay side hustle will be. It’s important to learn the policies that eBay has and to deliver an amazing customer service in order to have a high seller rating.
Are you good with a cricket machine?
If so, you can sell your products here. That includes mugs, plates, shirts, etc. Customized items are big sellers. Most people lean towards starting an Etsy side hustle, but there is no reason that you can’t list items in both places. That will allow you to grow your exposure and your potential
Take time to research before investing your money into a niche or product. Look at sold listings to give you an idea on how much an item is truly worth and make sure everything you buy you can flip for a profit.
Learn from your mistakes and continue to find out what sells best on eBay.
What not to sell on eBay?
So now that you have an idea of what to sell on eBay… here are a couple things that you should avoid.
Don’t chase what’s trending on eBay…
Every once you an a while you might hit gold, but more likely then not you are going to bust. Trending items have TONS of competition and slim margins which doesnt allow you to scale your eBay side hustle.
One Christmas I tried to beat the trend. Researched Top 10 Christmas toys and bought in bulk 10 Elmos….
This was after the tickle me elmo craze…
Everything pointed to a big seller.
The problem is, it was a huge seller… but the stores never had a limited supply, so I had to basically sell them at cost and lost money on shipping.
Phones and Computers
I know… there is money to be made there. I 100% agree…
However, where there is money to be made there are scammers galore.
Here is how a typical scam goes:
A buyer wins an auction and pays you. You ship with signature confirmation and the item is delivered. The scammer will strip out all valuable parts and then complain that the item is not as advertised and return it to you. Under eBay’s policies they will get a full refund and your stuck with a shell of a phone.
Like I said there is money to be had, but too many headaches for my taste. This goes the same with laptops.
Similar to the eBay scam that goes on with phones, eBay scammers will claim that the card, baseball, etc is a fake. eBay will return their money and your left with nothing. In some cases they will send you a fake ball or card back and keep the original.
Yeah…. That’s a real thing on eBay.
People will buy a box not knowing what is inside it. Check out this video of a vlogger buying some of those boxes…
Honestly, almost 100% of the time the mystery box does not equal the price that the buyer receives. So inevitably they are going to complain and kill your feedback. There is no reason to ruin your eBay rating with mystery boxes.
Nope. Nope. Nope.
Just don’t do it. It’s against eBay’s policies and will get your account banned. This includes dead or alive. Sorry you will need to get your taxidermy raccoon somewhere else.
Money or Coupons
Yes. I know. You bought your (fill in the blank) coupon here. For every seller that sells coupons that are real, there are a ton of frauds. So much so that eBay actually limits how many coupons you can sell.
According to their policies you are only allowed to sell up to $100 or 25 valid unexpired coupons per month.
With that being said, it would be extremely difficult to scale up your business making 100 dollars a month or so.
Here is the whole list of prohibited or restricted items
The category or niche that you decide is completely up to you. Understanding what to sell on eBay to make real money is critical towards your success. Pick a category that you can become an expert in and that has high margins.
Research… Research… Research before plopping down a ton of money on a particular niche.
Take it slow and scale up as you find niches that are profitable for you.