Ebay, so it's a "friggin goldmine"

I hear many people say that.

How is it so?

How do people make several hundred dollars a month?

I know a lot is from collectibles and stuff, but how do you know what is valuable and what isn’t?

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

My husband has some 50’s-60’s toys hidden from me; GI Joe with the landing capsule, a spy briefcase with camera and guns, etc. I know I could sell those puppies on e-bay if I can ever find where he hid them.

You need to pick something you know a lot about and enjoy (so researching won’t be a chore). I happen to know a lot and enjoy reading about designer shoes. I also monitor what’s selling on ebay so when I see a shoe I know is “hot” marked down somewhere, I can buy it and list it for higher.

But, here’s the thing. If you took all the time I spent perusing fashion magazines, fashion forums, style.com, ebay, store sales, etc. and compared it to the money I’ve made off ebay, my hourly earnings would be pretty low. But it’s worth it for me 'cause I’d be doing those things even if I wasn’t selling on ebay.

I have a friend who sells clothes on e-bay. Secondhand clothes that she gets from thrift stores, cleans and repairs. She says her profits were enough to convince her to quit her real job. She still puts in a lot of hours, but she’s in control.

But yeah, I do wonder. I’ve looked for books on e-bay, and the ones I find are so cheap, I wonder how the seller makes any profit at all.

Mining gold is backbreaking work.

An eBay business is a lot of work, too. You need to take photos of the stuff you’re selling, categorize it, write auction descriptions and list the stuff. Then you need to invoice, collect payments, package, and ship. You need to find stuff to sell, too. Some people (like me) spend their Saturdays at rummage sales and yard sales, picking up interesting or collectible items to resell, and going to auctions and other venues.

Doing it part time, I make about $400 a month. I could make more at it full time, but my day job gives me benefits like a retirement plan and health insurance.

I know two people who make crazy amount of money eBaying any old piece of crap they can lay their hands on. Thing is, both of them are stealing from their respective workplaces with each sale – they both send all their sales out through their company’s shipping departments. This puts a serious boost on the profitability of any eBay business. Just better not ever get caught.

I have a sax playing friend who makes money by buying used saxes off Craigslist and then selling them on eBay. He gets rid of any dents, replaces mouthpieces, etc., when necessary. Most of the sellers on Craigslist are just trying to get rid of things that take up space, whereas eBay buyers are looking for usuable instruments.

He makes 2 - 3 times what he originally pays for a sax. He averages about 4 sales per month, needed to supplement his regular income.

Selling remade/repainted model horses is big business on eBay too. It’s a sideline of mine, and has been supporting me pretty much thru some tough times. It’s not uncommon for a model horse that’s been reposed- cut up, reposed with a heat gun, and put back together with epoxy putty, then repainted, to bring several hundred dollars.

In 2004, I raised over $1200 in like 3-4 weeks doing this and financed a trip to Florida :D.

Has anyone here used the services where you take it to the Ebay store and they do all the work for you for a fee? I don’t think I’d have the patience to do all the work myself, but if I could make a few bucks by dropping it off, I’d give it a try.

My best friend’s daughter and her husband run an e-bay store in Kansas City. They have had to turn business away, they’re so busy.

I’ve only been doing it for a month or so, but I have done very well so far. I started out just selling some old stuff I was planning to get rid of, and then figured out how to market some things in the “mature audiences” category (like taking candy from a baby), and that’s how the ball got rolling.

I made a spreadsheet so that I can keep track of my inventory (clothes, mostly, and undies and lingerie type of stuff), and how much each item cost me and a column for how much is spent on postage and packing supplies. Then I have a running total of my actual profit after all of that. It’s pretty cool.

I use two different names, one for my regular stuff and one for the other stuff. It’s not effortless, but the profit is completely worth my time and energy. And it is exciting to watch the auctions as people try to outbid each other.

To hijack this post:

I’m in the process of a move & have a lot of what I think is good/interesting stuff. What is your opinion on the saleability on eBay of:

good quality, gently used higher end plus size clothing
full sets of fine china
ditto sterling silver flatware
books - lots of film, lots out of print
full sets of glassware/crystal
old record albums (not in the best of shape, but some interesting pieces)



I’m not really sure about that stuff. You should go on eBay and see how other people are doing with similar items. I stay away from anything heavy, just out of laziness with packaging and mailing. I did look into old records though, and they weren’t going for as much as I thought they would.

It’s really all about research. Know the value of what you are selling, price it accordingly.

Jeez, that takes balls! I worry about getting caught printing off something person or making a couple of copies. :eek:

My husband’s cousin’s wife makes a killing on eBay. She lives in the DC area, and exclusively sells high-end clothing that she finds at thrift and consignment stores (I’m talking Chanel suits and Prada shoes). Before she had their second child, she did all the work herself. Now, she uses a service to handle the sales. She can clear over $500 in a week, easy.

How do they make money selling all those jeans so cheaply? ON any given day, you’ll see tons of Levi Premium, Seven For All Mankind, Lucky Brand, and others that normally retail for at least $100, being auctioned off for half that. Where do the Ebay sellers get their stock?

My best freind makes her living primarily through Ebay. She is involved in a specific colectables market. Between ebay and coventions she does a good business. She buys in bulk at the conventions and sells peicemail through ebay. It is alot of work. The profit margins are not spectacular so you need to stay on top of things. It is easy to loose your shirt quickly if you aren’t as knowledgable as you think.

Yes I am curious about this too…

I don’t really wear jeans so I’ve never looked at the jeans auctions but I bet they’re selling last years jeans they’ve purchased at a discounter. I’ve got a Last Call (Neiman Marcus’ outlet store) near me and I can find insane bargins there. I could get many of those brands but they’d be the less popular styles from last year.

Although I sometimes wonder if any pro shoplifting rings use ebay. It seems like an easy way to resell for maximum profitl


Also – you ever known someone that worked at “The Gap” or some such place? You might be dealing with someone who is able to work the employee discount to their advantage and/or the QUOTE employee discount UNQUOTE.