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Team member Keith is also an eBay seller. So I’ve asked him to share his experience!
Keith: Thanks Daraius!
One of the best parts about selling on eBay is it requires very little time and money to get started. You’d be surprised to see what folks pay for items just lying around the house.
I’ll share tips for folks looking to to sell on eBay to make money and earn miles & points!
Reselling on eBay for Miles and Points
I started on eBay as a teenager in 2002. At first, I was using the auction site to purchase video games and accessories.
But I quickly realized I could use the platform to resell items, both new and used. Over the years, I’ve used eBay to sell just about anything that could make me a profit, including concert tickets, gift cards, sewing machines, apparel, cell phones, computers…the list goes on!
When I first started selling on eBay, I used my parents’ bank account. But over the years, I learned my part-time eBay selling makes me eligible to apply for small business cards.
Besides lucrative sign-up bonuses, small business cards also help me separate my personal and eBay selling expenses. This makes it much easier to track my profits. And using certain cards to earn bonus miles and points for business expenses is an added benefit to making a profit!
Plus, many small business cards do NOT appear on your personal credit report. So it’s a great way to get new cards and avoid Chase’s strict application rules.
Although selling on eBay is just a side activity for me, I consistently make a profit. Even though it’s not huge, it’s been big enough for banks to approve me for their cards.
Also, I don’t have a formal corporation. I simply apply for small business cards as a sole proprietor using my Social Security number.
You can check out this previous post with the best cards for eBay sellers.
5 Tips for Selling on eBay
The aspect I like most about selling on eBay is the flexibility. You can do it from home and make your own schedule. Your selling goals will determine how much time you’ll dedicate to the activity.
That said, if you’re just starting out, I’d recommend spending time reviewing some of the eBay guides like:
Here are a handful of tips and tricks I’ve learned from my ~15 years of selling.
1. Start Slowly
Unlike a traditional brick and mortar retail store, selling on eBay doesn’t require you to have a huge inventory of items.
This means you can start off listing 1 or 2 items. Perhaps an old cell phone, which you were thinking of turning in for your next upgrade.
I’ve found that cell phones tend to sell quickly when they’re priced correctly. And you often get more money selling a used phone on eBay compared to the credit a cellphone store offers for a trade-in.
Once you get the hang of the listing and shipping process, you can expand to other merchandise.
2. Find Deals on Products to Resell
Team member Meghan shared how she earned ~$1,000 using AMEX Offers to purchase products for resale. Buying popular items for a discount to resell at a higher price is a great way to stay active on eBay.
One strategy I use to find resale deals is researching launch dates of new products, especially around the holidays.
In the past, I’ve sold new video game consoles, like PlayStations and Xboxes, for double the price I paid. And this did NOT require waiting on long lines in stores to get the inventory.
You can typically pre-order items in advance of their in-store launch to be the first to get them. Or use websites like Now in Stock to track inventory of sites like Amazon and Walmart.
Or you might have a niche in a certain category to help you discover deals. For example, I have friends who are car enthusiasts. They use their expertise with auto parts to find reselling opportunities.
3. Research the Competition
In my experience, any product you plan to sell is likely already for sale on eBay. So a quick search can help you see how many similar items are for sale. It also helps figure out your listing price.
For example, I recently purchased 4 limited-edition lipstick kits, which were designed by a famous celebrity. I had a feeling they would sell out quickly, and they did!
Before selling them on eBay, I searched other listings to find out what others were selling for. Pricing my listings just slightly below the competition helped me sell my inventory quickly!
4. Calculate the Fees
eBay is an amazing platform for sellers because it’s used by folks around the world. But it comes at a cost!
It depends on the product, but typically it’s free to list your item for sale. Then, you pay a fee based on a set percentage of your sales price.
So it’s important to consider the fees you’ll pay after you sell an item. eBay has a fee calculator, which is helpful.
For example, you’ll pay a 10% fee to eBay when you sell a cell phone. So a $100 sale means you’ll get $90.
But PayPal will also deduct a fee because they act as the payment processor. They charge 2.9% of the sales price plus $0.30. In this example, you would pay $3.20 to PayPal ($100 sale price X 2.9% + $0.30).
After fees your $100 sale nets you ~$87. So do the math when you’re determining your listing price to see if you’ll make a profit after fees!
5. Build a History of Positive Feedback
Like any consumer business, it’s important to build a strong reputation!
eBay has a terrific feedback system that allows buyers to leave reviews for sellers. And they can also rate your shipping speed, listing accuracy, and other metrics.
Having a history of positive reviews can increase your sales. Because buyers are more likely to purchase an item from an experienced seller with a good history, even if it means paying slightly more for a product.
The easiest way to get positive reviews is by being honest in your listings. If you’re selling a used item with wear and tear, be sure to highlight that in the description.
I’ve been very fortunate to never have an item returned by a buyer because of a listing discrepancy (knock on wood)!
Team member Keith is an active eBay seller. He likes that the side activity makes him eligible to apply for small business cards, which offer lucrative sign-up bonuses and help separate personal and eBay seller expenses.
Selling on eBay is very flexible and does NOT require a lot of time or money to get started. You can start with used items around the house to get the hang of the listing and shipping process.
But to expand your eBay business, you’ll want to stay on top of deals. Like how team member Meghan used an AMEX Offer to profit ~$1,000! One tip is to buy new products around the holidays, which can potentially sell out, like video games or toys.
Remember, it’s important to do the math on seller fees. Because your time is valuable, so you’ll want to ensure you’re earning a profit if this is a side business!
Do you sell on eBay? I’d love to hear your tips!