Author Topic: EBAY side hustle  (Read 13934 times)

Markywalberg

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EBAY side hustle
« on: March 19, 2017, 08:44:44 PM »
Hello, Mustachians's just asking for some advice here i recently started selling my clothing that i didnt want anymore on ebay to make some side cash and it sold for more then i expected so i started buying clothing lots on ebay and then selling that but I only really make maybe $30 bucks a month off of that if im lucky. Im wondering if anyone has a decent side hustle on ebay with clothing or other stuff that might bring in a little more per month and might be a little more sustainable? I might make $30 a month but for the most part it seems  kinda random since I only make money off of the few items that go for more then i expect.

ChpBstrd

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 11:40:38 AM »
I've thought about this too. In theory, things sell for less in a small market than in a large market. E.g. that toaster that only brings $2 at a yard sale brings $6 on ebay because there is a larger audience of people looking for toasters there. We'll call this the markets spread

The trick would be to find things with a markets spread so big they justify the time and shipping costs.

How to execute on this theory? Probably 1,000 ways to do it.

One way would be to buy a junk car / motorcycle and sell the parts. People with a broke-down ride will pay extra for the convenience, and unlike the salvage yard, you have a national audience.

Another is to find antiques, art, or other rare objects for sale in small markets like yard sales or CL that you can resale on ebay.

A third way is to offer to sell all your friends' stuff for a 20-25% cut. Word will spread. There were some such shops in my town but they went under due to the costs of expensive prime real estate. A sole entrepreneur working from home could make it profitable if they could develop a referral network. Also, local advertising is cheap.

Ocinfo

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 11:52:28 AM »
I use to sell on eBay a good amount (250+ sales) between 10 and 15 years ago. Focused on computer parts and kits but it eventually became unprofitable due to fees. It gets hard to achieve a spread when you're paying 15%+ to eBay and PayPal plus shipping costs. There are also many that sell directly from China that undercut on price.

There might be some items such as collectibles and antiques that you can get for cheap in LCOL areas that are worth a lot more in HCOL areas. If you're selling more commodity items then expect a single digit profit percentage and then you'll need to sell volume to make it worthwhile.


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Markywalberg

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 04:03:58 PM »
Ya I think with cloths  you either make a small profit or break even is what im seeing which is why im hoping to maybe start selling other stuff but im not sure what items have better margins and can turnover fast?

Cheap_Freedom

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 05:07:18 PM »
There are a few things you have to have to make money on Ebay in my opinion.

1. You have to know something about your target market - I've personally been working in a gun store for over ten years. I've been buying and selling gun stuff for my boss for a long time.

2. You have to have a good reliable source for items you can mark up - I'm lucky. I tell my boss I want to buy stuff from him and sell it on Ebay. He says OK because I buy stuff that sits on the shelves forever and won't move in New Mexico but sells very well online. He also gives me a hefty discount.

3. Do the math - I buy 10 round magazines for $10.73 from my boss including tax. I sell them on ebay anywhere from $25-$35 shipped. So I make roughly $10-18 per magazine. It takes me 15-20 minutes to list each item. Seems worth it to me.

My boss is generous but sometimes he doesn't have any items he's willing to sell me for my side hustle.

I've thought about putting up a wanted ad in Craigslist to get more cheap merchandise, but people have been held up in Albuquerque at Craigslist meet ups so I'm hesitant.

I've tried garage saleling for cheap merchandise, but I usually don't find stuff I know how to sell and I really don't enjoy garage sales.

I hope it helps, I'm sure you can find something out there to sell on Ebay.

Also don't confine yourself to Ebay. I know you can sell stuff on Etsy if it's at least 20 years old.

aperture

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 06:36:59 AM »
I go to estate sales and pick up random crap for cheap and resell on eBay.  Last year I cleared a few thousand doing this mostly on weekends, though some of the sales were some items I had around the house.  I go to two or three estate sales per week and hit any garage sales on the way.  It takes me a a few hours on Saturday morning with one of my kids in tow and listing will take a couple more hours.  I have ~100 items in my store and sell 1-2 items/week. Average item sells for $25 and was purchased for $2. I charge shipping to my customers, so I clear about $20 on each.  There are occasional items that I hit big $s with.  Those are the ones that keep my hand in the game. 
My goals for the eBay sales are (1) teach my kids about business (2) side hustle to pay for some vacation time (3) profitable work that I can grow once I quit my day job (if I want).

These guys taught me everything about how to do it: http://www.scavengerlife.com/

Best wishes, aperture.

gex

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 02:40:23 PM »
I go to estate sales and pick up random crap for cheap and resell on eBay.  Last year I cleared a few thousand doing this mostly on weekends, though some of the sales were some items I had around the house.  I go to two or three estate sales per week and hit any garage sales on the way.  It takes me a a few hours on Saturday morning with one of my kids in tow and listing will take a couple more hours.  I have ~100 items in my store and sell 1-2 items/week. Average item sells for $25 and was purchased for $2. I charge shipping to my customers, so I clear about $20 on each.  There are occasional items that I hit big $s with.  Those are the ones that keep my hand in the game. 
My goals for the eBay sales are (1) teach my kids about business (2) side hustle to pay for some vacation time (3) profitable work that I can grow once I quit my day job (if I want).

These guys taught me everything about how to do it: http://www.scavengerlife.com/

Best wishes, aperture.

Very cool, I've wanted to get into this. If you don't mind asking, are there certain items you focus on? Sporting goods, electronics, antiques, or anything and everything?

aperture

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 09:36:09 PM »
Very cool, I've wanted to get into this. If you don't mind asking, are there certain items you focus on? Sporting goods, electronics, antiques, or anything and everything?

I look for what the owner of the house valued and then look for good useable items related to that.  I was at a motorcycle enthusiast's house and bought a leather jacket, at a Bob Marley collectors house I found a tour book from 1977 that was in mint condition.  I have bought collectible Irish china, hiking boots, waders, hunting gear, coffee cups, trivets, coffee grinders, purses... lots of stuff.  I buy when the price is low and the condition is mint.  I do not want to list something that is not perfect because no one wants to buy a chipped or faded anything. I try to get stuff that is small to make shipping cheap.  I try to stay away from clothes (except shoes and jackets) because they do not interest me. 

I like that when I walk into an estate sale, I have no idea what I will pick up.  Each house is a riddle that I have to solve to find value where the 50 people that walked through before me did not see it, or didn't care.  Best wishes, aperture.

gex

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 06:39:37 AM »
Very cool, I've wanted to get into this. If you don't mind asking, are there certain items you focus on? Sporting goods, electronics, antiques, or anything and everything?

I look for what the owner of the house valued and then look for good useable items related to that.  I was at a motorcycle enthusiast's house and bought a leather jacket, at a Bob Marley collectors house I found a tour book from 1977 that was in mint condition.  I have bought collectible Irish china, hiking boots, waders, hunting gear, coffee cups, trivets, coffee grinders, purses... lots of stuff.  I buy when the price is low and the condition is mint.  I do not want to list something that is not perfect because no one wants to buy a chipped or faded anything. I try to get stuff that is small to make shipping cheap.  I try to stay away from clothes (except shoes and jackets) because they do not interest me. 

I like that when I walk into an estate sale, I have no idea what I will pick up.  Each house is a riddle that I have to solve to find value where the 50 people that walked through before me did not see it, or didn't care.  Best wishes, aperture.

Wow, thank you for this great information. Sounds like you've really got this down! It all makes sense. I'm thinking this might be a fun hobby to get into with the Mini Money Mustaches. A fun Saturday morning routine for dad and the kids.


aperture

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 07:51:02 PM »
Wow, thank you for this great information. Sounds like you've really got this down! It all makes sense. I'm thinking this might be a fun hobby to get into with the Mini Money Mustaches. A fun Saturday morning routine for dad and the kids.

This is exactly what I do with my 14 yo son on Saturday mornings when it is not LAX season.  We like Saturdays because they are usually 50% off days with most estate sellers, so we are often looking at rock bottom prices.  When I happen to go to an estate sale on a day when everything is not 50% off, I usually just get frustrated that everything is so expensive (LOL).  I find myself outraged that the seller is asking $15 for something that costs $70 new - I want it to be $7.50 before I even think of buying.  Actually, $7.50 is more than I usually want to pay for any item.

ChpBstrd

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 08:03:32 PM »
Wow, thank you for this great information. Sounds like you've really got this down! It all makes sense. I'm thinking this might be a fun hobby to get into with the Mini Money Mustaches. A fun Saturday morning routine for dad and the kids.

This is exactly what I do with my 14 yo son on Saturday mornings when it is not LAX season.  We like Saturdays because they are usually 50% off days with most estate sellers, so we are often looking at rock bottom prices.  When I happen to go to an estate sale on a day when everything is not 50% off, I usually just get frustrated that everything is so expensive (LOL).  I find myself outraged that the seller is asking $15 for something that costs $70 new - I want it to be $7.50 before I even think of buying.  Actually, $7.50 is more than I usually want to pay for any item.

In my area, "estate sale" means "don't bother". They will literally sell stuff for retail prices, and they move the same stuff from house to house. Then everybody goes bananas over 50% off - woo hoo, you just bought a 1979 waffle iron for $80 instead of $160! Might as well be a flea market. The only bargains are at yard sales run by individuals, and there is a swarm of people trying to be first to these on Friday mornings.

Roadrunner53

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 09:44:46 AM »
I have sold on ebay for years but it has all been a hodgepodge of things. Hubs tools, clothing and just about anything that I have not needed or wanted anymore. Right now I have a set of electric hair curlers, a stainless steel thermos and a stainless steel jug for soup. Have not listed them yet. For a while I was canibalizing things. My Keurig coffee maker broke so rather than sell a broken one, I sold the water jug, the metal plate the cup sits on and whatever else I could take off. I sold it all within about 2 days. The one thing I forgot to do was cut off the cord to sell. My dryer broke so I took off the control panel which was not the reason it broke and sold that. My Mom's gas stove broke and I sold the gas burner things the pots and pans rest on. Got good money for all of this stuff too. Parts are good to sell! Knobs off of appliances are good sellers sometimes.

Go to a thrift store or Goodwill store, tag sales and find stuff to resell. Find free stuff on Craigslist. People put stuff out at the end of their driveways that you can take too.

The biggest trouble I find is shipping. Everything is a different size and requires a different size box.

Do go onto the USPS site and get the free shipping boxes and shipping envelopes. When shipping book, always use Media Mail. Very slow shipping but cheap.

A friend of mine and I discussed ebay years ago and he said his perfect item would be small and cost little to ship. Something that could be shipped over and over again. Good idea but he still has not found 'it'.

Cadman

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 11:12:38 AM »
Estate Sales can be a goldmine, but the key is to get to know the people that run the sales. Buy from them, show up to their sales, haggle on 'groups' of items (they want to move as much merch as they can), talk to them and 'get in the know'. Without exception, there is always an unlisted pre-sale for a small group of buyers, often scheduled during estate setup/marking. These people aren't paying retail, and they're helping clear inventory that would otherwise have to be priced or moved out due to space constraints.

With USPS shipping moving to dimensional pricing, shipping costs are up. If it's large, fragile or bulky I generally avoid listing it.

Roadrunner53

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2019, 11:44:35 AM »
What is dimensional pricing?

Cadman

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2019, 12:26:03 PM »
What is dimensional pricing?

Some info: https://shippingeasy.com/blog/2019-dimensional-weight-changes/

This is how UPS and FedEx generally charged for shipping making USPS advantageous for medium and large size, light weight packages. Now I'm finding FedEx to be almost always cheaper. At least they haven't done away with 1st Class.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2019, 10:45:30 PM »
We bought a vehicle from a guy who made a full-time living selling on eBay. There are two large national labs in New Mexico and he primarily bought surplus items from those and other government sources.

Smokystache

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2019, 08:44:56 AM »
I'm a Nick Loper/Side Hustle Nation fan. Here's a recent podcast episode about buying items and clothing and selling them on ebay and other sites: https://www.sidehustlenation.com/thrifting-for-profit/

They talk about the good, bad, ugly, and recent changes to some of the platforms.

hodedofome

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2019, 06:15:16 PM »
I make $3-4K a month on my Amazon side hustle. Online Arbitrage. I buy from other sites and sell it higher on Amazon. Been doing it since 2016 and I work about 5 hours a week on it now. I put in a lot more hours in the beginning but have it pretty automated these days.

MishMash

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2020, 10:24:13 AM »
I do it, based off of estate sales, yard sales and flea markets.  I focus on the small and easy to ship things.  Name brand vintage costume jewelry is huge, I sold a pin I purchased for 1 last week for 60 this week and it cost under 3 to ship.  Vintage graphics are also big.  Old WW2 posters, political flyers, travel posters etc.  Vintage fly fishing stuff goes well if you live in an inland area and can get your hands on it.  Car parts are another big one, especially if you can find vintage muscle parts.  I've only had that happen twice but I made a grand on a 25 dollar investment.

Car Jack

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2020, 11:44:55 AM »
So be ready for costs.  Besides what everyone knows.....that if a buyer complains, they win and get their money back and get to keep your thing, if paypal is involved, expect a 1099 k and then you'll need to document everything if you don't want to pay all taxes on the sale price total you've raked in (including paying tax on the amount you spent for shipping).

A couple years ago, my son sold a bunch of old Legos to help while looking for a summer job.  Being the research geek he is, he found lots of $20 figurines and rare pieces to kits that people wanted.  Did you know every single lego piece is numbered and you can find every kit that piece was used in?  Anyways, he raked in thousands of dollars.  Come tax time, he got the dreaded 1099 k which documented every month's payments he took in.  With tax accountant help, he did fine, but that cost him $300 to sort out.

If you're selling by craigslist with cash, you won't run into these problems, but good luck on eBay.

trygeek

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2020, 10:25:25 AM »
So I do this randomly In the last month I have sold some Doc Martens boots, two fencing masks, a brine lacrosse helmet, and a lot of printer ink. So as you can see I just go by what I think I can make money on. I will sell whatever as long as I can get it sold and it will sell for a decent price.

MissPeach

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2020, 04:00:24 PM »
I didn't realize they sent 1099s. I have sold random things I don't want anymore for years there. With the fees I doubt I could make real money though on any sort of consistent basis. I've never received any but I probably didn't sell enough to trigger their system. Casual selling of probably won't get you  1099.

Any yes, they are very pro buyer now so if there is an issue be prepared to lose the dispute. Really CYA there. I used to be on another forum of people selling their personal items and many were scammed on the returns and such. There were things like people shipping back as a return an empty box and paypal/ebay will still side with the buyer because they have tracking number.

Cadman

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2020, 08:30:00 AM »
Apparently, PayPal only sends out 1099's if you gross over $20k/year AND have over 200 sales transactions.

Word on the street is that eBay is working to move away from PayPal and offer their own payment service. I'm told this has started to roll out already with some of the bigger sellers. How this will affect the bottom line, it's too early to say.

ashleyinchs

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2020, 12:45:37 PM »
My sister has had luck with Poshmark and Mercari.
I signed up to sell on Mercari this week. Trying to declutter AND make some cash!

bendixso123

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Re: EBAY side hustle
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2020, 09:16:36 AM »
Back in college, I knew a photographer who was able to grow his photography business by selling items on Ebay.

It worked well for him because he truly understood his target market, which items had high value, and how to jazz up his listings to get people to pay a little extra to buy from him.

I believe he acquired most of his items on Ebay, purchasing lots of camera equipment and basically speculating on which ones were likely to contain high value items he could mark up.

Of course that strategy had an unintended side effect. He had piles and piles of junk in his apartment, and it had some value, but not enough for him to bother selling it.

Which is why he hired me, a young college kid excited about getting into business for myself. I helped him liquidate those items so he could focus on selling the higher ticket stuff.

Anyway, he eventually moved up market and decided to focus solely on the photography business. I'm not sure what he's up to now, but it seemed to work well for him.