Career

How to Make Money on eBay

5690520438_b246cf0be1_z1

Ryan Ong

0 Comments

7
Shares

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.

 

Map of North Korea
I’m waiting for 2030, when China puts North Korea up on E-Bay

 

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.

 

Century Eggs
Ancient Chinese manhood booster. Just looking at them will make her pregnant.

 

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.

 

Killer Robot Sketch
My art is a depiction of my inner soul.

 

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.

Image Credits:

s2art
Gilmorec
Skinnylawyer
FotoosVanRobin
Tomas Quinones

Got questions about eBay? Comment and let us know!

Keep updated with all the news!

Ryan Ong

I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.