I’ve been selling on eBay since July of last year, and I’ve been really happy with how simple the process is. I immediately began making sales and have used the revenue generated from eBay to fuel my dropshipping and affiliate marketing businesses.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make some extra cash, eBay is a great way to go. In this post, I thought I’d break down the basics of getting started selling on eBay, and why you should consider it as you start or build your online business.
What are the Benefits of Selling on eBay?
Low Selling Fees – Fees will total 13%, about 20-25% lower than if you were to sell on Amazon with FBA. This increases the money that you get to take home – who doesn’t love that?
Discounted Shipping – You will get at 5% off when you print eBay shipping labels. This may not sound like a lot, but it quickly adds up. Plus, eBay makes shipping super easy, even if you have the post office.
Get Money for Your Unwanted/Unused Stuff – eBay is the largest marketplace for selling the stuff that’s been sitting around your house or apartment that you need to get rid of. Before throwing it out or donating it, see if it has value on eBay. You never know how much money could by lying around your house, locked up in things you don’t use.
Gain Experience Selling Online – eBay is the best starting place for those who are new to selling online. In my experience, making money on eBay quick and easy, and requires little experience to be good at. The experiences I gained selling on eBay have helped me succeed in my other business ventures.
I’m sure there are other benefits as well, but these are the top 4 that come to mind. Now onto my methodology and how I make money with eBay.
The method I use to sell on eBay is called arbitrage. I find products that are selling for more on eBay than they are on other websites or stores, then resell them. This works because the majority of consumers are too lazy to search 10 different websites to save a few dollars. The average consumer is also not typically willing to barter or negotiate with a seller on a lower price. Most people shop on sites that they feel comfortable on; many like shopping on Amazon, many like shopping on eBay.
Because of this laziness by the majority of consumers, you can put in a little extra work than most and generate a nice, steady side income.
I’ve seen a few eBay sellers on YouTube who promote and teach dropshipping on to eBay. They will advocate listing products from Walmart or Home Depot or Best Buy on your eBay account, then just ordering the product from the retailer and shipping it directly to the customer when you receive an order.
Out of sheer interest, I gave this method a try.
I made a decent number of sales but ultimately gave up on the dropshipping method because of how stressful it was. Not being in control of the logistics of the products I was sending to customers wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. Plus, I knew the customer would be getting a Walmart logoed box, see the price on Walmart.com, and never buy from me again.
There was one particular experience where I listed a product that ended up being discontinued on Walmart’s website. A customer ordered it, and I realized I couldn’t get it from Walmart or any other website. I even tried to order it from another eBay buyer who had listed the same product – and they were out of stock. The customer wasn’t happy, and I felt bad about the situation. I ended up shipping a similar product at a discount to this customer, and luckily they weren’t too hard on me when leaving a review.
To go along with the lack of control over logistics, profit margins when dropshipping from other retailers are slim. I averaged a 5% profit margin when dropshipping, compared with closer to 30% when doing arbitrage. The math is simply in favor of arbitrage.
Plus, it’s against eBay’s terms of service to dropship from a retailer. So there’s that.
Long story short, I recommend just doing plain and simple arbitrage. Go to a garage sale, thrift shop, or your basement. Use apps like Mercari, Offer Up, or Poshmark. Barter with people using Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and score some good deals. Do a little research, find a product that will have a decent profit, and list it. The time it takes to ship the item is minimal and you get the satisfaction of being in control of the situation.
Your buyer will thank you, and your stress levels will be a lot lower. Not to mention you’ll generate more income for your business!
Now, let’s get into the details of selling on eBay.
First, you’ll need a selling account. Head over to ebay.com and create your free account. Then click here to list your first item.
Once you have an eBay selling account, download their app. This will make it super simple for you to research products to sell and list them in seconds.
Next, you’ll need some products to sell. Start by looking around your home; gather up some items that you don’t use but think could be worth something. Examples include clothing, shoes, toys, jewelry, watches, books, or anything of value that is unopened. eBay buyers are also known for loving old, antique, one-of-a-kind products – so if you have any of those, grab em.
As mentioned earlier, I also recommend using Mercari, Offer Up, and Poshmark. All are apps you can download for your phone. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist have also been good resources for me in the past, and are worth looking into.
How do you know if something is selling on eBay?
Pretty simple. Look up the product on eBay, then filter by “Sold Items”. First, look and see if the product you want to sell has sold within the last 30 days; if so – go for it!
How do you know whether you’ll make a profit?
That’s where the fee calculator comes in. I personally use finalfeecalc.com, it’s a free profit calculator that will factor in your eBay selling fees and PayPal merchant fees. Together, your selling fees will total 13%, before shipping.
To get an estimate as to how much your shipping will cost, I recommend using eBay’s Shipping Calculator.
I aim to have a 20-30% profit margin on all the products I list, but your target ROI is up to you.
And that’s the basic process! To recap, first look up the product on eBay and see if it has sold recently; if it has, look at the price. The price that the item was most recently sold at is a great indicator of what your price should be. Then, use a fee calculator and eBay’s shipping calculator and determine your costs. Simply subtract the costs from the selling price to get your profit margin.
I know I’ve thrown a lot of information at you in this post. Look forward to a YouTube video in the near future in which I’ll walk through this entire process.
Also stay tuned for future blog posts on shipping tips, creating great titles for your listings, more product sourcing tips and tricks, and lots of other great content on selling on eBay. Remember to check us out on Facebook and Instagram, and share this with someone who is looking into selling online.