Back in my day, students weren’t all trust fund babies. Hell, we were so poor, we thought homeless people were overpaid. Some of us only survived by sprouting leaves and photosynthesising. Fortunately, I found my way ahead of the pack by using eBay. For four months, eBay paid my rent. And whilst it’s no longer the profit machine it used to be, there’s still ways to make money on eBay:
What is eBay
Yeah, stop sniggering. I have to explain this, because there are people who don’t spend half their lives online like a comatose slug.
eBay began as a website for people to auction their stuff. It’s free to set up an account, and other users can start bids on stuff you want to sell. There’s feedback reports on different sellers, so you can decide who to trust. Over the past few years, eBay has become more businesslike. There are now whole companies that work by buying and selling on eBay.
But there’s still room for you to make a buck! So sign up for an account, and follow these steps:
1. No Matter How Nonsensical It Is, Sell It
No matter how trivial, bizarre, or utterly useless it is, someone will probably want it. I kid you not. I have seen empty toy boxes sell for over $15. eBay is the ultimate way to clear out your cupboards. It pays better than the Karang Guni man, and accepts a wider range of
junk valuable antiques.
You can even sell non-existent items, like figments of your imagination. Although that takes a lot of creativity and a very thick skin. Whatever the case, you get the idea: if you’re going to dump something or give it away, try to sell it on eBay first.
2. Convert Discounts to Profits
If you see something on steep discount, you can sometimes convert it to real profit. Good examples are electronics, nostalgia items (like toys or old Atari sets), or clothes. It’s pretty easy to run across local discounts on these. Check their prices on eBay, and if the going rate is higher, buy the discounted item and auction it.
You can set the starting bid on eBay, so set the bid close to the discounted price.
3. Use Geography to Your Advantage
I made the most cash by eBay-ing exotic items. At least, exotic to people living in Europe and the States. Things like Century Eggs (about 50 cents locally) sometimes sold for as much as $10 each. In fact, anything from a Chinese medical hall (from dried seahorses to herbs of questionable legality) can potentially fetch two or three times the cost price.
Just make sure that the amount you’re making covers the shipping. Also, you need to be detailed in your description; explain what it is you’re selling.
4. Sell Your Art Online
If you do any creative work (like painting, origami, model kits, etc.) then eBay is a godsend. Because it’s a free service, eBay is fast becoming the preferred point-of-sales for the lone artist. Even bands have gotten in on the act, promoting themselves on Youtube and selling their own albums on E-Bay.
Even if you’re just a hobbyist, consider putting yourself up for sale. It’s a good way to gain some publicity. Besides, it’s better off in someone’s display case than in your desk drawer.
5. Sell Your Services
You can use eBay as a service listing as well, if you’re selling a course or tuition or something. It’s got a wider outreach than most forums or physical bulletin boards. I used to sell product reviews and ghost writing services, which raked in a fair amount of dough.
So if you’re strapped for cash right now, browse around on eBay. Or even if you’re not looking to sell anything, you might find a bargain or two.
Got questions about eBay? Comment and let us know!
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