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What to Sell On eBay?

This is a common question about eBay. A variation is "What are the most profitable items to sell on eBay?"

A simple answer is. . . sell products you can find easily that will give you good profits. But, there are more ways to answer this question. . .

Maybe your answer to the question "what to sell on eBay" is what are familiar with and passionate about.

Take me for example. I sell mostly used toy trains and toys. I sell these items on eBay because:

  • I've learned how to get people to call me on the phone and offer them to me.
  • I've learned how - and where - to run ads.
  • I've learned how to walk into someone's home and negotiate to purchase the trains.
  • I've learned the values of different trains and toys.

Now, I didn't learn all these things just so I could find profitable items to sell on eBay. I started learning how to buy and sell toy trains long before eBay came along. I learned because I was interested in buying trains for my collection, and found I could get good deals by buying from the public rather than dealers and other collectors. I also made money to subsidize my collection by selling items I found that I didn't want.

More on buying antiques to resell on eBay.

Your answer to what to sell on eBay may come from knowledge.

For example, one of my friends is now buying and selling early CDs with "targets" on their labels. Few people are aware of this market so he can buy the CDs for the price of regular CDs in used record stores, pawn shops, thrift stores and such.


Early "target" CD

He knows collectors will pay premium prices for them on eBay. He's buying them for a few dollars - he almost never pays more than $5.00 for one, and then selling them on eBay for between $10 and $50 with a few of the rarities bringing much higher prices.

I don't know how much he makes doing this, but he goes out searching the shops frequently and has been doing this for a few years now. Meaning he's happy with his results.

What to sell on eBay can also be answered by your skills.

There is a guy on eBay who buys and sells used toy train transformers. (The government won't allow larger, more powerful transformers to be made anymore which means if you want a big transformer you have to buy a used one.) He buys them used for under $100. Then after cleaning and servicing them, he sells them with a guarantee on eBay for higher prices.

There are quite a few people on eBay buying beat up old trains and restoring them. Once the trains been repainted and mechanically serviced they are sold on eBay.

These examples are people who have built part-time jobs for themselves. They are basically selling their labor and using eBay to make the sale. I think they are also retired and looking for something to do they enjoy that will supplement their pensions.

What to sell on eBay might be best answered by who you know.

There's a guy selling VW beetle parts online. (I'm talking about old style beetles.) VW stopped selling these in the U.S. in 1979, but they continued to make them in Brazil and sell them in South America and Mexico until a few years ago. This means there are still parts in the dealerships.

The guy selling parts works for a VW dealership in Mexico. When he sells a part, he buys it with his employee discount, then ships it to the buyer.

Now, I doubt he's making a lot of money, but he has no risk.

Another example of knowing people is eBay consignment. While we've all heard or seen the eBay consignment stores, the majority of consignment sales are done by people working in their own homes selling items for their friends and coworkers.

I've done a lot of consignment sales over the years, and almost all of them came from people I knew or referrals. Actually, thinking back, maybe everything I've sold on consignment fits that pattern.

More on who you know.

What to sell on eBay might be best answered by where you live.

The example of the Mexican selling VW parts is partly due to where he lives. I know someone here in Arizona whose office is within walking distance of the Nordstrom's clear out place. Nordstrom's sells all their returned merchandise at the Last Chance store.

She stops in most days to see what's new. She buys slightly or gently used items for a fraction of their retail price. Then lists them on eBay. Granted she knows what she's looking at. I've been the Last Chance twice and would have no clue what to look at, much less buy.

I mentioned earlier that people also ask is "What are the most profitable items to sell on eBay?" This is a poor question because it asks nothing about the person doing the selling. It's product focused, and can be copied by anyone. Don't look to compete based on price, compete based on your strengths.

The people who ask this question are the ones who go on to waste their money buying wholesale lists and memberships.

Terry

here's a list of eBay product sourcing articles.


Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

Ted at his desk.

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