Make Money

How To Make Money on eBay Fast in 2021

Screen shot of ebay app showing on iPhone
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Today I welcome Daniella Flores from the side hustle blog to share with you how to make money on eBay. 

Daniella now makes an extra $2,000 to $3,000 a month with her eBay side hustle. 

Here’s her advice on how you can do the same…

There are two types of people that can make good money selling on eBay.

The first type of person has a computer or laptop. The second type of person has a smartphone.

That is literally all you need to start making money on eBay. Oh, and products to sell.

Good thing it is easy to sell almost anything on eBay.

You might be thinking, but what about Amazon!? Doesn’t everyone shop mostly on Amazon now?

Well, yea.

But not for the things you find on eBay. People go to eBay for stuff they can’t find on Amazon like collectibles, antiques, brand name clothing or accessories for a cheaper price, electronics and computer gear, vintage items, weird items, etc.

People even buy and sell cars on eBay! I mean, there is no product that you can’t find on eBay which is why it is still around.

So, use that to your advantage.

How We Got Started Selling on eBay

Before we dive right into the nitty gritty of how to make money on eBay, I want to introduce to how we got started with flipping items on eBay.

Let’s rewind to 2016 when I started my side hustle blog. At the time my wife was a devoted guitar collector and wanted to find a way to make more money on the side of our jobs and my blog. So she started to list some of her guitars on eBay.

They sold quickly so she sold more and more until she didn’t have many left (except for the select few that are her “babies”).

She then took that product knowledge of guitars and started finding more guitars to buy and then resell on eBay. She would also find guitars that needed repairs, by them cheap and make repairs to sell them for more money.

As there was more and more demand of her time with her side business, I started helping with the manual work that goes into listings such as taking pictures, keyword research, creating good descriptions and the shipping portion.

We now make an extra $2,000 to $3,000 a month with this lucrative eBay side hustle. This extra money goes into our savings, investments and back into the side business for eBay fees, future purchases, repairs, etc.

It is quite simple to make money on eBay and I am going to tell you the exact steps that we follow for our own selling process.

Step # 1 – Research your market and stick to what you know.

Start off by thinking of what types of items you want to sell on eBay. What interests you? What do you see on eBay already doing well?

For our own eBay side business, we chose guitars. We also sell other musical accessories, electronics, computer gear and collectibles like FurryBones.

We chose those items because my wife was already a guitar collector and had a lot of knowledge about what brands are in high demand. We also work in I.T. so the knowledge about computer gear comes with the territory.

A way to research appropriate pricing for your items is to:

  • Search your items on eBay
  • Filter the results that already sold
  • Filter by highest price first
  • Look through how past items sold and what they sold for

When filtering by sold items here you will be able to nail down a price easier.

This is from the research we did for the Ibanez guitar that we will discuss further below.

best offer accepted research snippet for guitar on eBay

We see that it recently was listed for $799 which is actually what it is worth.

There are also a couple of what I like to call “research hacks” that you can do that basically tell you exactly what items you could resell for more than what they are currently listed at.

Maybe you like purses and designer brands like Kate Spade and Coach?

Designer brands do very well on eBay. Research each style and see how the prices currently line up with other sellers on eBay. See if they have good descriptions and photos of what they are selling.

If you see at least one element of the listing that you could improve upon if you were to list that same item, go for it.

For example: If you see a Kate Spade tote listed for $150 when you know it is actually worth $225, read into that listing more. Read their description, is it descriptive enough and is there anything wrong with the bag? Are the photos high quality with good lighting?

If they are missing key elements of the listing and there is nothing that is wrong with the tote, buy that item.

Re list it with a better description, keywords in the title, better pictures and list it for $225.

That is one way to research items to find ones that you can easily resell. For brands like Kate Spade, you can also conduct your pricing research on eBay but then visit local thrift stores to find those same items for a MUCH LOWER cost to then turn around and resell them on eBay.

Step # 2 – Finding cheap items to resell

Don’t waste too much time on researching items. Once you get a good handle on what kind of items you want to sell, start going out and finding those items for cheap to resell.

The more items you find to resell means more money down the line.

For designer brands as mentioned above, your best bet is either buying them off of eBay when you see the chance for a good steal or going to local thrift stores.

A good store for designer brands is Clothing Mentor. They always have the top brands in the best condition.

For weird items and antiques, go to auctions and see what you can snag for cheap. For items like books or art work, go to yard sales and flea markets.

The easiest way to make a lot of money on eBay quickly is to find items that can resell for a lot of money. This is another reason why we sell guitars is because we can resell some of the brands for as much as $1,500.

We find guitars on eBay and other music instrument resale platforms like Reverb that are listed way below their value and may even have some flaws. We purchase them, do minor repairs and maybe a coat of paint. Then resell them for what they would actually be worth and sometimes with the demand, that price can go up throughout the year.

Another product that would bring in $100s to $1,000s per listing and there is a huge following behind is sneakers. This guy makes $10,000 a month flipping sneakers online.

Step # 3 – List your items for sale

When you list your items for sale there are a couple of specifics you need to cover.

Each listing MUST include:

Keywords in your title and description. eBay may sometimes give you the option to auto populate the title based off of similar items that are already for sale on eBay. You can use that feature to automatically pull in keywords and then edit the title to your specifics.

  • A description with as much detail as possible. Also disclose any imperfections about the product in the description and if anything is included. Example is sometimes we include guitar cases with the guitars we sell so we will say that in the description making the buyer want to purchase it even more.
  • Good, high quality pictures taken in good lighting. They must also be in a clean environment with no distractions in the background. You can use white poster boards for your background and to place underneath the item for a photography hack.
  • Include the what the shipping costs are.  Plus, the time it will take you from purchase to ship the item.
  • Minimums. If you are taking offers and what is the minimum amount for the offer.
  • Type of sale. Depending on the type of item, you may want to list the item for sale rather than for auction on eBay. You could end up losing money on an Auction.

Here is an example of one of our guitar listings we recently put up:

ebay example listing guitar

Step # 4 – Monitor your items

You have everything you want to list on eBay for now, congratulations!

Now you must monitor how your items are doing in case there is anything you need to tweak in your listings. Give eBay 24 hours before you start searching for your listings to see if they pop up on eBay search easily.

After about 1 or 2 days of your items being live, look to see how many views they have so far and how many watchers they have. If you see a low number of views and 0 watchers, try searching for your listing in eBay to see if you can even find it.

If you can’t find your listing you need to tweak your keywords. There is a wonderful tool that you can use especially for finding eBay keywords. I suggest using it!

See here how I tested the search for the same listing I showed you above. Our listing comes up in the second spot! We know this is a goodie 🙂

Also, you may start receiving offers on your items but they are all extremely low offers. Don’t even entertain the idea to sell them so low just to sell. Haggle with the offer and always send the price that you are willing to sell the item for back to the person who initially proposed the offer.

Step # 5 – How to ship your items

For each listing, eBay has a shipping section where you can either enter the exact dimensions of your item and what shipping carrier you want to use. Then eBay automatically tacks on that shipping price figured from what you entered.

Or you can include your shipping price in the price of the item yourself and select free shipping for the listing.

Always purchase the shipping through eBay. Use your own computer to print the labels and you will save 20% on the retail pricing that they would charge you if you were to go and purchase the same shipping at UPS.

Also, never use the post office. I have had too many problems with them to name. UPS is going to be your best bet.

Step # 6 – Build up your seller rating

Buyers are more inclined to purchase from an account with a high seller rating. Well of course, that’s common sense.

As a consumer, I want to make sure I am going to get what I purchased in good condition. Regardless of price.

Think of it this way: If there were two listings of the same product and one was $10 more than the other but the cheaper listing is from a seller with a low rating and horrible reviews, I am going to go with the more expensive listing with the higher seller rating.

It is actually quite easy to build up your seller rating.

As you sell more products, ship them on time and be sure to wrap in as much bubble wrap and packaging as you see fit to protect the item on it’s way to the destination. Keep good and respectable communication with the buyer.

Below is our account that shows 100% positive feedback with no negative reviews. This is what you want to strive for. Sometimes you might have a person who is just difficult to deal with all together but do your best to communicate effectively with them to steer them away from leaving you a bad rating.

People automatically give reviews now for…anything.

If they receive what they purchased in good condition and on time, they will most likely give you a raving review.

I like to add little finishing touches on my shipments though. I add a little thank you card and personal note. This makes them feel more connected to you and are bound to give you a better rating.

How To Make Money On eBay | Final Thoughts

Making money on eBay isn’t difficult. You just need to have that extra time to devote to it and be consistent.

There will be times where you aren’t selling things as fast as other times. The winter is the busiest time for us but then the spring time might be slower for us. When things start slowing down is when we do a second look at all of our listings to see what we can tweak to get them to sell quicker. Or we might purchase for items to list

It is all a cycle. Learn to flow with it.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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