Making Extra Cash: Reselling on Ebay and Etsy

This week I’ll be posting every day about ways to make extra cash!

There are a LOT of ways to make more money, and I definitely don’t have all of them (if I did, I’d have a lot more money! :-))  But there are also a lot of scams out there, so it’s hard to know what’s legit and what’s not.

Today I’m talking about one of the ways I make extra cash, and that’s through RE-SELLING things on eBay and Etsy.


When eBay was first created, the success story was people going to garage sales, finding cool lamps and other antiques, and finding just the right buyer on eBay, who was willing to pay hundreds for it.

That still goes on, but eBay has expanded to other kinds of products.  You can buy anything on eBay.  Literally almost anything.

Which also means you can sell literally almost anything on eBay.

When you’re looking for something to sell, here are my tips for getting started:

Sell something you can’t get anywhere else
For example, I sell a lot of stuff sold at Ikea and Trader Joe’s because I live close to there, and you can’t shop for that stuff online (Ikea is online, but I only sell the items you can’t buy online).  If people don’t have access to things close to them, they can be willing to pay more than it’s worth for it.

Sell something that weighs less than 1 pound when shipped
I personally find that items sell better when I list them for free shipping.  So therefore I want to keep my shipping cost REALLY low.  The USPS has a huge jump in price from First Class Mail (less than 1 pound) to Priority Mail (more than 1 pound).  When you ship the item through eBay, you get a shipping discount, but for First Class it’s usually about $3.50 and with Priority Mail it starts at $7.50ish.  Yeah, big difference!  You’ll do better on items that are less than a pound, even when you add the box and bubble wrap you’ll ship it in.  One of my best “investments” has been this postal scale I bought last year for less than $20 that allows me to figure out exactly what my item weighs.  Word of warning: if you say your item weighs 7 ounces, and buy the shipping for 7 ounces, but then you ship it and the post office weighs it and it’s 8 ounces, it’s possible they may return it to you for proper shipping amount.

my best investment!

Sell something you can either buy once it sells, or return if it doesn’t sell
The biggest risk is being stuck spending more than you make.  The best items to sell, I have found, are either items I can run to the store for once they sell or items that I can return to the store if they don’t sell.  Obviously, I don’t really want to run to the store all the time, so my preference is to buy things I can return.  I save the “run to the store” stuff on items I can get a big price margin on.  I usually try to keep 5-6 of each item I sell in my inventory, but if you’re just starting out you may want to only buy 1-2 of each thing to keep your overhead costs low.

Shop before you sell
Before you list an item, look for it on eBay.  What is it going for?  You’ll want your cost to be this price or lower.  Look for how other people are describing the item, etc.  You can also use this method to look for items to sell!

Price it right
Choose your price.  Essentially eBay will charge you $0.35 per item plus 10% of the final value fee (the price your buyers pay).  Most of the time, the $0.35 fee is waived because you get your first 60 items free or whatever).  Your buyers will pay via PayPal, and Paypal takes $0.35 plus 2%.  So plan on having about 13% of the final value cost go somewhere else.  It’s up to you how much to price it for, but like I said, look at what’s being charged by others.

You sell something for $20.00
Ebay takes $2.00
PayPal takes $0.75
Shipping costs you $3.50
The item costs $6.00
You profit 7.75!

Feedback is important!
People with a better feedback rating sell more often!  If someone is brand new to eBay, they will have a “0” next to their name, meaning no positive ratings yet.  If I have the choice to buy something from someone with a 0 next to their name, or from someone with a “1500” next to their name, even if it costs a little bit more, I’ll do it!  It’s worth not taking the risk on a newbie.  For that reason, if you’re in this for the long game, you may want to price your items lower than you’d like so that you can get your numbers up at the beginning.  Also, you can earn positive ratings from sellers when you buy something on eBay, so keep that in mind too (although spending money is definitely the opposite of making money!).

How to Do It
Register for an eBay account if you don’t already have one.  This is a legit site and you are fine giving them your email address, name, address, phone number, bank account routing info so they can pay you, etc.
List your item by clicking in the upper right hand corner, OR go to the same item from another seller and click “Have one to sell?”
List your title, description, etc. and method of shipping.  By default, you’ll have the chance to ship globally, I always unclick that because it’s not worth it for me.

About Etsy
I listed Etsy on here as well because Etsy, the site you can buy hand-crafted goods, also sells craft supplies, party supplies, and a few other random things besides hand-crafted.  You may find luck on this site selling things!  The pricing structure is similar, $0.20 plus 3.5% goes to Etsy. Etsy pays you directly so you will not need to pay a portion to PayPal like you do with eBay.

Trust them
Ebay and Etsy are legit sites.  They will need you to create an account, providing your name, email, address, phone, credit card (for paying your fees) and banking info (for receiving your payment).  You should always be careful giving your info online, especially financial, but I promise these are tried-and-true sites that keep your data safe.

Have questions?  You must!  You’re welcome to use the Contact Page to ask, but my best advice is to get started!  Do you have anything (lightweight) around the house that you want to sell?  Books?  DVDs?  Clothes that are in great condition (especially name brand stuff!)  The possibilities are endless!

Good luck!  Best wishes!

Check back tomorrow for a REALLLLLLY good money making method, one of my favorites!

Filed under: Making Money, Online, December 2017