Saturday, September 15, 2007

eBay, Baby!

I'm unemployed, but not totally without income. I'm an eBay seller.

I've been selling stuff on eBay since 2003. I started out selling only on, but soon started selling on eBay as well. Since then, I've made more than 800 transactions (at least 90% of them sales) and have a 100% feedback rating that I work hard to keep.

I sell anything and everything. The first thing I listed, and sold, was a Star Wars toy with a couple of pieces missing. I was pretty much hooked after that. I've sold clothing, shoes, china, knick-knacks, lots of book, lots of compact discs, some Playstation games, some gaming systems, Tupperware, Corelle dishes and a lot of other things I can't even begin to remember. Some of these items were new, but most were used. Some were from our own household and others were bought cheap with the intent to sell them on eBay.

I've had some surprising successes. A set of 6 juice glasses in a specific pattern that I bought for a dollar and sold for $27. An airtight, watertight, dust-tight case for photo equipment that we bought (not knowing what it was exactly) for $5 and sold for more than $200. The CD from my own collection that I didn't realize was a rare import; I didn't like it so I sold it for $25 dollars. The dozen or so pieces of Harley-Davidson women's clothing that I bought for 25¢ each then sold, down to the last piece, for at least $7 each. A digital carpenter's level Shane bought for $20, thinking he'd make a few bucks on it; it ended up selling for around $180.

Naturally, there have been just as many items that didn't sell for us even when we were SURE they would. No problem. We never pay much for anything, and if it won't sell on eBay, it might sell in a garage sale. If not, then it can be given away to someone who needs/wants it, or donated to a thrift store.

On a good month, I can do $200-$300 in sales. That's before eBay and PayPal fees. At this point, that's not nearly enough to consider it anything more than a profitable hobby. But everywhere you look, you see "Power Sellers" who ARE making a living this way. It may be an avenue for me to pursue, although it will require some money to get it going: for at least one more computer; a source of merchandise that is larger than what I'm able to get on my own, such as auctions or freight salvage; a place to store large quantities of merchandise; and possibly even hiring someone to help me with packaging and shipping.

My parents were retailers, so maybe this kind of thing is in my blood. It's something for me to think about, anyway.

Anyone else selling on eBay?


Sheila said...

FYI - You might check the names in this post.

Annie Jones said...

Thanks for catching that, Sheila.

Shelli said...

No, but we are buying. I just got my cell phone off of eBay and my husband is an addict. As I type this, he is surfing eBay. He buys his ties and sport coats there and has gotten some awesome deals. As I said we bought my phone on there and also some accessories for it. He is always look, look, looking for something.

Would you do me a favor? Would you please go over to Mel's and wish her a happy birthday? She is 47 and is wishing for at least 47 comments. She didn't ask me to, but I am trying to help her get them. I want to make her smile.

Annie Jones said...

Shelli: We buy on eBay, too. Just not nearly as often as we sell. It's a great place to shop...if you're careful. LOL!

Becky..Absent Minded Housewife said...

I love selling on Ebay! I remember my first sale...a saloon gal costume I'd made for myself. I put it up on Ebay to see what would happen. Oh, it sold...for around 150 bucks even if it was gently worn. I was HOOKED. What Ebay does for me is points people to my costume site, which is awesome in many ways.

I've been selling black fairy wings on Ebay every halloween season. They are my biggest seller by far and I make good profit on them.

Bluepaintred said...

my dad gave me two big apple boxes full of old records about four years ago. he told me to sell them on eBay, but so far i am too scared and unsure of the fees and the shipping and ..just all that goes into selling something!

Annie Jones said...

Becky: I think you have great products to sell. Most people can't sew these days, so you definitely have a marketable skill.

Blue: What kind of records? My dad deals in collectible records; maybe I can ask him if there's a market for the ones you have.