Want to know how to make money on eBay? Owning your own business has never been easier, thanks to websites like online retailer eBay. There are plenty of ways that you can use eBay to make money, whether you’re just looking for a little spare income or you are looking to make enough capital to start a real business, something that you can learn more about with this great Udemy course on turning your ideas and experience into real income.
Virtually any individual who has purchased products online has used eBay at some point. However, those who only see eBay as an auction site for secondhand products is missing out on the world of potential that eBay offers to those who want to begin selling merchandise. No matter what you have to sell, you can set up shop on eBay and in many cases begin seeing profits fast. It’s no surprise why so many millions of people have taken advantage of this easy to use system to boost their own profits.
Before You Get Started
Before you begin to sell items on eBay, it’s a great idea to become familiar with the site. Even if you have used it already, there are bound to be features that you are as of yet unfamiliar with, so take an hour or two to navigate the system more fully.
One thing to take note of if you have not sold through eBay before is the many features offered to sellers, such as the ability to design your own store. If you will be offering multiple items for sell, designing a store is a great idea, as visibility for one piece of merchandise that you have to offer can lead to sales of other pieces of merchandise.
You should also become familiar with the special features that eBay offers, such as the ability to print shipping labels for use with shipping your merchandise. Decide early on if you want to use this feature, or if this is something that you will be taking care of through other means.
Also become familiar with eBay’s returns system, and make note of the fact that as an eBay seller, you will have the option to create your own returns and exchanges policy. Do remember that offering returns and exchanges on items gives potential buyers a little more incentive to make purchases from you, so do not dismiss it outright. Take the time to develop a returns and exchanges policy for your eBay store that will protect you, but that will still seem fair to your customers.
eBay Applications for Sellers
In addition to the basic features offered to sellers on the site, eBay offers an incredible number of applications to sellers to help them boost their efficiency and to better analyze how well their sales are doing on the site. One of the most crucial applications is eBay’s listing analytics application, which will allow you to judge the efficiency of each of your listings in gaining user attention and sales.
This application can help you to determine whether or not you need to alter your listings in order to improve your potential sales – for example, by changing the headline and choosing a better photograph.
Other applications can help you to build better keywords for your titles and headlines, which will draw more users into your store. (This is the same principle that marketers use to attract user attention to their websites, in fact. You can learn more about it in this Udemy course on keyword research and immediately begin applying this principle to your sales on eBay, or any other site.)
Coming Up With Ideas
Once you have become more familiar with the site, as well as the full suite of options and features available to users, you will have a better idea of whether or not eBay is the right website for you when it comes to buying and selling merchandise. If you think that you are ready to start selling on eBay, the first thing you need to do is come up with an idea for an item that you are interested in selling.
One of the great things about this site is that virtually everything can be sold through its system, from collectible coins and money to vehicles. And it’s not only high-end items that are sold through eBay either – many buyers purchase grocery items and goods for the home through eBay.
What you have to do as a potential seller is determine what it is that you want to sell. Perhaps you already have something in mind, or you already own your own business and are simply looking to supplement your income and expand your reach. That will make things easier. However, if you only know that you want to sell but aren’t sure what your merchandise should be, there are some things that you have to consider.
What do you already have some expertise in? Do you have any collectibles of your own that you are knowledgeable about? Or is there a collectible that you are interested in learning about for the purposes of selling? You can try brainstorming at this point to see which direction – or directions – you might like to go in.
However, do keep in mind that while you certainly have the option of selling whatever you like through your site – nobody is stopping you from selling both vintage clothing and sports memorabilia – try not to spread yourself too thin, especially if you are relatively new to this type of selling.
Once you’ve chosen a few options, consider learning more about them. Udemy is a great resource for courses that can teach you more about different subjects, which can help you become a more knowledgeable –and therefore a more profitable – seller.
Selling Clothing Through eBay
One place where many sellers begin is right in their very own closets. Most people have old clothes, shoes, and accessories that they no longer wear, or that they would be willing to part with for a little extra cash. The benefit of this is that it requires no startup capital, apart from doing a little bit of laundering or dry cleaning in order to ensure that the clothing is ready for someone else to wear as soon as they buy it.
If you would like to make some easy money with clothing that you already own, start by examining the things that you would like to sell. Ensure that they are not stained or ripped. If there are some problems, try fixing them on your own. Most stains can be taken care of, and with some basic sewing skills you can repair most minor problems, such as busted seams, broken zippers, and hems that have come undone.
A few minor issues can generally be overlooked, but do keep in mind that being honest about these minor issues will ensure that you don’t end up having to make multiple returns on merchandise, or receive poor feedback.
In addition to selling one’s own clothing, shoes, and accessories, many sellers scout out incredible deals at local secondhand shops. To do this properly, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of what items are popular, and what styles are currently “in”. Remember, you are only getting a “deal” on an item if it is particularly rare and particularly desirable among buyers.
Auctions are the preferred method of selling for these types of items. Be sure to set a base price that is reasonable and fair, and that will get you a good deal on the item while still allowing room for potential buyers to bid and drive up the price of the item.
If you have several items of the same size and same general style, you may also consider selling these items bundled together. Not only will buyers be more willing to purchase this kind of bundle at a higher price, but selling items as a bundle can help to ensure that you move items as quickly as possible from your store, and that you will get money into your bank account even faster.
Selling Vintage Clothing
In addition to the secondhand clothing that they have laying around in their closet, many buyers may also consider selling vintage clothing. Vintage clothing is especially popular at the moment, as it falls in line with current fashion trends.
Your first step in selling vintage clothing is learning more about it. From the most popular designers of each decade to the clothing styles themselves, there is quite a bit to learn about vintage clothing. First and foremost, what counts as vintage?
As time goes on, more clothing from more decades falls under the vintage category. For the most part, anything made prior to 1980 could be considered vintage, though the most valuable items tend to hail from the 1940s, the 1950s, and the 1960s. When it comes to the 1970s and 1980s, some of the more popular clothing items are collectible pieces such as concert T-shirts – especially for very popular bands – so be on the lookout for these as well. Women’s wear is generally more valuable than men’s clothing as well, so keep this in mind as you check out your options.
Once you’ve decided to sell vintage clothing items, your first step is learning how to find them at great prices. While you can easily go to stores that specialize in these types of items, the prices for them will be high and you will be unlikely to turn a profit by attempting to sell them online.
Instead, head to the aforementioned secondhand stores, which often have vintage items come in that are put on sale at the same low prices as any other used clothing items. While it’s rare that you’ll find a true vintage gem this way, it is possible. Another option is to head to garage sales and estate sales in your area, where you can find great items at low prices.
Here’s another thing to consider – while there are some vintage clothing pieces that are still in great shape, the majority of clothing items that you come across will be damaged in some way. This is to be expected, as fabric is sensitive to water damage, fading, and damage from insects or simple wear and tear. However, just because a clothing item is damaged doesn’t mean you can’t sell it.
You have two options with these types of items. The first is to sell the item as it is, albeit at a lower price than you would be able to fetch otherwise. The other option is to restore the item yourself – a task which can actually be fairly easy if you have intermediate sewing skills and a little bit of patience.
There are also many eBay sellers who transform vintage clothing pieces into more modern items, so consider this as a possibility as well. If you have a 1950s dress with a damaged top, you could easily transform the item into a full, beautiful skirt. Not only does this easily get rid of the damage, but the new look can be more modern, and as such could attract even more buyers than the full dress option.
Selling Handmade Clothing Through eBay
If you sew your own clothing or costume pieces, you can easily set up a bustling enterprise through the eBay market. While it will take advanced sewing skills to accomplish this, it can be more than worth it, especially considering the relatively low investment of materials compared to the high price that many buyers are willing to pay for hand-made merchandise.
There are many different types of clothing that you can choose to create. Most tend to stick to their own designs, and to specialty types of clothing that are not typically made by mainstream clothing manufacturers. Remember – when it comes to this type of selling, you don’t want a huge amount of competition, especially not from the big guys in the business.
If you are interested in producing children’s clothing and would like help getting started, check out this course on sewing boutique children’s clothing right here on Udemy. This is one great option that is readily sought after by buyers, and that will allow you to be incredibly creative with the products that you create and sell.
Formal dresses and gowns are another option. While they take a little more time and effort, they can also go at big prices, so if you already have the ability to sew these kinds of items and you have the time to devote to this kind of business, it is definitely something you shouldn’t count out.
And last but not least, costumes. Costumes aren’t just for Halloween anymore – people wear them for many different occasions, from costume parties and masquerade balls throughout the year to various conventions. Here’s a look at just some of the costumes that have proven to be big sellers on eBay:
- Steampunk: Combining the aesthetics of the 19th century with the innovation of the future, Steampunk is a clothing style that mixes bustles, Victorian gowns, and formal men’s suits with leather, goggles, and gears.
- Anime: Cosplay is a big hobby among fans of anime, who regularly dress up as their favorite characters. From crime-fighting schoolgirls to monster-fighting special agents, there are a plethora of anime costume options.
- Television: TV show favorites such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Supernatural have captivated the attention of fans. Iconic costumes such as Sherlock’s elegant black trench coat and the 4th Doctor’s multicolored scarf are big sellers. Even though “costume” versions are made and sold by large manufacturers, the majority of fans tend to prefer handmade, tailored and more “realistic” options for cosplay events.
If you do decide to make costumes, here’s one more thing to consider. If you have any other crafting skills – and most skilled sewers do – think about making props and jewelry to go along with these costumes. From Harry Potter’s Firebolt broomstick to an elegant Steampunk necklace made entirely of gears, there are many sellers out there looking for items just like these. The scarcity of these items also means that if you are an exceptionally skilled crafter, you can make a nice profit off of these types of eBay sales.
Creating Listings for Clothing on eBay
One final note if you decide to sell any type of clothing item on eBay – it is important that you optimize your listing to get the maximum number of views, especially if you are attempting to sell the item at auction rather than using the Buy It Now option.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to be honest about the quality of the clothing that you are selling. Be sure to write an accurate and honest description of the clothing item for the listing, but do keep it positive and be sure to play up the best qualities of the piece, such as the material or the style.
Be sure that you have an accurate size for the clothing piece as well. Modern clothing items should be easy enough to get a size for, unless the tag has been removed. In that case, you may have to compare the item to other clothing pieces to get a good idea of its size.
With vintage clothing items, remember that sizes have changed over the years. Listing it with the original size will likely end up in a return, as the buyer will find that the clothing item is too small. There are many conversion charts available online that will help you to convert the size to modern measurements.
As for any clothing or costume items that you make, remember to compare the actual measurements of the clothing item to finished clothing pieces. You can also include the measurements of the clothing in the listing, which will make it easy for buyers to determine whether the item is a good fit for them.
And finally, the most important thing that you can do to ensure that your items sell is to take a quality photograph of the clothing item. Remember that buyers like to see how the item will look while being worn. If you are uncomfortable modeling an item yourself, consider purchasing an inexpensive mannequin or dress form to show off the clothing item. You can also check out this Udemy course on taking better photographs in order to ensure that you have the best possible pictures for your listing.
Selling Antiques, Furniture, and Much More on eBay
If clothing is not the most interesting option for you, you can also consider selling antiques, furniture, and other various knick-knacks. As is the case with clothing, one of the best places to begin searching for items is right inside your very own home. You can reduce your clutter easily just by looking around your home to see what you aren’t using.
Even old appliances can be worth a pretty penny on eBay, especially if it is something that is particularly rare or hard to find. But don’t discount old furniture, either. With larger items, one thing you may want to keep in mind is that shipping costs can be high, so remember to include your location, and consider limiting buyers for the item to those who you can easily arrange transport of the item to.
There are also plenty of resources for buying and repurposing items for sale. Garage sales are an incredible place to find great deals on items, as most sellers are looking to get rid of items at relatively low prices. As is the case with clothing, estate sales are also a good place to find merchandise.
Many antique or older items that you find may not be in the best condition. But hold on before you set out to refinish them or to make repairs – some antique items may actually lose their value if they are not handled properly, so it is important for you to ensure that you are taking the proper steps when it comes to this kind of repurposing.
Not only that, but keep in mind that many buyers seek out antique items for their “shabby chic” qualities, and aren’t necessarily looking for a slick and perfectly finished table or bookshelf for their room. In many cases – at least, when it comes to true antique furniture – you may be better off by selling it as it is.
However, you can repurpose older furniture or antiques without any real value easily to create something new and interesting. Once you’ve done a little research and ensured that you aren’t doing any harm by repurposing an item, there are many ways that you can approach altering it or changing it for the better.
The easiest way is to sand it down and to clean it up with a fresh stain, or a coat of paint. You can also consider replacing the hardware of the item. Particularly crafty sellers may consider options such as creating a mosaic tile pattern on the surface of the piece, or painting it with an attractive stencil or design. This is especially appealing with children’s furniture.
Selling Art on eBay
Many sellers, especially artists, choose to sell their art on eBay. If you are a hobbyist painter, this could be an incredible option for you when it comes to making a little money on eBay. However, you don’t have to be an artist to sell art on the site.
Just as you can find clothing, handbags, furniture, and other items at secondhand shops, garage sales, and estate sales, you can also find incredible art pieces – often at very low prices. What might not fetch a big price in a physical location due to low demand could actually fetch a high price through the eBay buyer’s marketplace, as you are expanding the reach of the item and exposing it to people who are looking specifically for that type of item.
Whenever you sell any type of art on eBay, it is a good idea to be as informed as possible about the item so you know how to list it on the site and to be as accurate as possible. Little things like accidentally listing an acrylic painting as a watercolor painting can put a buyer off.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many buyers prefer to purchase art pieces that come framed, so if you have a canvas painting, a print, or a photograph that you would like to sell on the site, keep in mind that your listing may get better traction if you choose to have it framed prior to putting it on eBay. This can be a great way to get a little more attention and to sell the item faster. (Not only that, but a framed piece of art will generally fetch a higher price.)
Selling Merchandise from Wholesale Suppliers
Another option that many would-be sellers don’t think about is making connection with wholesale suppliers to sell their merchandise. This can be one of the more intimidating options for eBay sellers, as it does require a bit of an investment.
To sell wholesale merchandise, an individual must first contact and establish a working relationship with a company that is selling goods in bulk. Think carefully about the types of wholesale items that you would like to sell – you don’t want to crowd the market with items if there are already a hundred other sellers on the site that are attempting to move the same thing. However, don’t be intimidated if you’re not the only one on the site, either. The middle ground is a good place to be when it comes to this kind of eBay selling.
It is also a good idea to sell an item that you already know a little bit about, so you are better able to answer any buyer questions about the product and so you can write better, more accurate product descriptions before listing the item.
Remember to do your research before you commit to the purchase of any items in bulk. Look at all the product listings on eBay to see what prices these products are selling at, and ensure that the wholesale price you are able to get on the items is enough to ensure that you are making a worthwhile profit off of these goods.
Another option similar to a wholesale supplier is a liquidator. There are many different product liquidators online that are attempting to sell off large amounts of merchandise quickly and for very low prices. If you believe that you have the time, patience, and the know-how to sell these types of products, then you may consider making this an option. Do keep in mind that if you purchase through a liquidator, you will not have access to a constant supply of these same items, so be prepared to move and sell only the product that you purchase.
There are many types of products available through liquidators, from clothing to building supplies. If you can manage to get your hands on designer clothing pieces at liquidation prices, this can be a great way to build up your reputation as a seller of quality merchandise for great prices. Not only that, but buyers who are searching for these specific designer pieces may be willing to pay quite a bit more money than you would be able to get otherwise, so it can be well worth the investment.
Other Places to Search for Items to Sell
We’ve already mentioned secondhand shops, estate sales, garage sales, and even your own home – however, these are by no means the only places that you can shop for quality merchandise that you can sell on eBay.
One place where you can search is on Craigslist. The majority of Craigslist sellers are simply trying to move items out of their home, and as such prices are very low. In many cases, you can even get items for free, so long as you are willing to pick the item up and perhaps do a little bit of restoration to make it more appealing to buyers.
You can also check out local crafters and artists for a way to get unique, quality merchandise that nobody else on the site will be selling. Not only will you be supporting a local artist, but if you have the know-how you can make big money by putting your marketing skills to use to move these products.
Keep in mind that the same marketing skills that businesses use can easily be put to work for you to help move products on eBay, so consider checking out a basic Udemy course on social media marketing to learn more about how you can get a bigger audience for the products that you are selling, whatever those products may be.
More Ways to Boost Your Profits
So you have a store set up, and you’re beginning to sale – but perhaps your sales aren’t what you want them to be just yet, or you’re finding that there just isn’t enough buzz for your products. Don’t throw in the towel just yet – there are plenty of things that you can do to boost your profits and start making a lot more money off the site.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Check your photographs – do they really look professional, or are they obviously amateur? Or, even if your photographs look great, perhaps you just aren’t including enough of them to give buyers a full view of your product. Include more, great-looking photos to boost your sales.
- Are you upselling? This can be intimidating for new sellers, but it really works. If you have multiple products on sale and they’re very similar, consider including a link to another of your items that the person viewing your product may be interested in.
- What are you telling the customer? A lively, fun presentation that is also informative could be your key to generating customer interest. If you’re negative about a product, or even if you’re just too dull, expect sales to plummet.
- Make friends. If you know other eBay sellers with similar items – but you’re not in direct competition – consider exchanging links to each other’s products to generate interest.
- Make it easy to buy your products. If you don’t sell or ship internationally, you’re narrowing down your audience – likewise, not taking certain types of payment will turn plenty of potential buyers away. It only takes a little bit more effort to ensure that buying your products is easy, and there will be plenty of benefits.
Becoming a Part of the eBay Affiliate Program
Did you know that you can easily learn how make money with eBay without ever selling a single item? Millions of people have done just that by becoming a part of the eBay affiliate program, which allows users to set up their own websites, complete with domain names, and advertising eBay product listings.
With the eBay affiliate program, buyers can earn money off of the millions of items available through the eBay marketplace, all with just a few simple steps and a little marketing and effort on your part. And it’s not just pennies on the dollar you’re earning, as is the case with many other affiliate programs on the web. Each time one of your links sends an individual to eBay and they end up purchasing or bidding on an item, you end up with $20 in your account – and if you play it smart, you can end up with quite a bit of money. Here are a few easy steps you can take to get started with this great program.
- To get started, simply head to the eBay affiliate program section of the eBay website, where you will be able to join quickly and easily. You will also have to sign up for Commission Junction. However, it is completely free to do so.
- Build your sites. Most people use WordPress in order to begin directing people to their sites. This is free, although you may consider paying in order to get your own domain name. Build multiple sites to drive even more traffic to eBay.
- Get people clicking. Use your site to post reviews of products, to write how-to guides, or anything else that you can think of. Learn how to do keyword research and how to use SEO techniques to increase traffic to your site. This great Udemy course can teach you practical, effective SEO skills in just an hour.
- You can also direct traffic to your site through paid searches. Google AdWords is one of the best resources for paid traffic on the web. This Google AdWords course on Udemy will walk you through the basics and get you the traffic you want in no time.
There is quite a bit more to it, of course, and quite a few tips and tricks that can start earning you big money. People have made millions of dollars just by focusing their attention on the eBay affiliate network, and it’s actually relatively easy to utilize this system so long as you are fully aware of the ins and outs of making money this way. Udemy offers a great guide to making money as an eBay affiliate, and if you are really interested in this business model it could be of great benefit to you to check it out and learn more. And if you find that this model works for you, you can use Commission Junction – and many other affiliate network programs – to boost your earnings even further.
No matter what method you choose to sell products on eBay, there is one thing that is pretty much universal – it doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s up to you how much time and effort you choose to put in it. If you already have a hobby, such as coin collecting, selling this type of merchandise on eBay should be a natural transition for you, so make the eBay selling system work for you.
Check out this Udemy course on the art of making money by flipping merchandise if the idea of repurposing products appeals to you the most. And if you already have your eBay store set up and ready to go, an Udemy course that goes into more detail on selling on eBay could be ideal for boosting your sales efforts – and your income.