Wondering what to sell on eBay is a question that plagues all aspiring resellers. Even after 5+ year of selling full-time on eBay Kirstie and I constantly ask ourselves what the best things to sell on eBay are at this very moment. Is it clothing? Is it shoes? Should I buy this? Is it worth it? Am I becoming a hoarder?!
Having sold over 10,000 in the past couple of years we have gotten fairly confident in our knowledge of what to sell but, since eBay is ever-changing and growing, we thought it would help to have a base-line here for new sellers.
The best things to sell on eBay are whatever items you can source consistently and cheaply. Since most beginner eBay sellers source at thrift stores, the best things to start selling are:
- Designer Clothing
- Vintage Electronics
- Purses & Bags
- Sports Gear
- Kitchen Gadgets
- Toys, Games, & Puzzles
If you stick to those categories you’ll limit the amount of time you waste in thrift stores which, in turn, will greatly increase your profit per hour! Let’s talk about some of the thrifted examples that we’ve picked up recently which help us keep our eBay earnings above $50/hour!
The Best Selling Items on eBay
Before we dive into each of the categories I do have to say: most of the examples we share here are outliers. We have also included a few “bread and butter” sales to show what we typically buy and what you can expect to sell most often. Our typical buy price is around $10 and our average sale price ranges from $35-45. In short, if we can make 4x our money on something, we pick it up with no questions asked!
So let’s talk about the best things to sell on eBay (for beginners):
Used Designer Clothing
Designer clothing is surprisingly common at thrift stores and (obviously) easy to resell. People who can afford designer clothing can typically afford to buy more designer clothing so it’s not a big deal to donate the “leftovers.”
While we’ve found Louis Vuitton bags, Gucci loafers, etc. at thrift stores, you be better off looking for more common (but less known) designer brands that thrift stores and other shoppers won’t know.
If you’re not gung-ho about learning brands, most people can trust their taste when it comes to finding things to sell. So if you’re the type that doesn’t give two craps about clothes and brands, look for things that you know are cute or expensive. For example:
- Leather Jackets (especially motorcycle jackets)
- Outdoor Clothing such as rain shells, down jackets, etc.
- Items made from expensive fabrics such as merino wool, angora, silk, etc.
- Current suits and dress shirts
- Golf polos and slacks
If you are a people-watcher you’ll quickly learn to develop an eye for the kind of clothing that is desirable and sells well on eBay. If you are new to the reselling life clothing is, without a doubt, one of the best places to start. It’s plentiful, cheap, easy to store, easy to describe, and easy to ship.
Vintage electronics are not just the domain of old guys who like to tinker. With the resurgence of vintage and retro items more and more people are taking to eBay for all sorts of items. Keep an eye out for:
- 35mm Film cameras and lenses
- VHS/DVD combo players, especially those with HDMI connections
- Players of defunct media (music reels, 8-tracks, etc.)
- Mechanical keyboards
- Rotary phones
- Vintage headphones and gaming gear
Luckily, vintage electronics are typically undervalued at thrift stores and you can pick up items that you can make up to 50x your money one! The more unusual and rare the item is the more you can sell it for (but the slower it will sell). So, if you have the time and space, head to the electronics section! Just be sure to test whatever you can find or list it “as-is.”
If electronics are your thing, you should be following and watching CraigslistHunter who sells hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “crap” on eBay every year.
Purses & Bags
Purses and bags are another area where you can be highly profitable and effective without knowing brands. Even though I now know dozens of brands, I typically source purses by walking down the aisle and looking for/feeling for quality.
You will quickly look the feel of quality leather and, since you can’t look up everything, look up things that “seem expensive.”
Sports & Outdoor Gear
We actually dedicated a full section to sporting gear in our 31 Items Non-Clothing Items to Sell on eBay but here: the short version: people love sporting goods and will pay through the nose for them. Typically, two types of items sell well: new items and vintage/nostalgic items.
- Baseball/Softball mitts
- Ski boots
- Exercise equipment
- Extreme sports items
There are actually sellers who base their entire businesses on reselling thrifted sporting goods and, if you want to be one of them, there is inventory out there and money to be made!
If there a people passionate about a subject, there is money to be made. Cooking and other kitchen hobbies are a prime example of this. Kirstie likes to cook much more than I do so, when we first started thinking of things to sell on eBay, I scoffed at her bringing up kitchen items. How young and dumb was I??
Now that I’m older and wiser (though not yet as wide as Kirstie) here are some of my favorite thrifted kitchen items to flip on eBay:
- Coffee makers (especially commercial or espresso machines)
- Automatic bread machines
- Replacement lids, attachments, and other parts
- Vintage cooking knives
- Pot and pan sets (hammered copper does extremely well)
- Vintage wooden kitchenware and decorations
The kitchen section in thrift stores is extremely easy to go through. Since 99% is garbage (obviously so) you can just stroll down the aisle and look up the few things that stand out to resell!
Toys, Games, and Puzzles
I’ll be honest, even though I make hundreds of dollars per month just on toys and games, I don’t really enjoy sourcing or selling them. However, if they’re in your wheelhouse, keep an eye out for:
- Wooden puzzles (The handmade grown-up kind, not kids puzzles)
- Vintage games in excellent condition
- NIB (new in box) toys, especially discontinued items
- Toys from fan favorites or cult-classics (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.)
- Toys/Activities that can be sorted and parted out (such as Legos or K’nex)
One of my main issues with selling games and puzzles is that you either need to sell them complete, or part them out at replacements. For this reason, I typically only pick up items that are extremely unusual (and therefore worth going through) or still sealed.
Cameras & Gear
Cameras and camera gear is surprisingly easy to find at thrift stores. Often-times, we find cameras complete with lenses that were donated as a set in the camera bag. Typically, these are vintage cameras that the previous owner (or their kids) have deemed to be worthless but are actually in high demand by from vintage camera lovers.
While there are several brands that consistently sell well, demand and price are typically on a model to model basis rather than just brand. Your best bet is to look up the camera in question by model number as well as each lens or accessory with it.
It is not uncommon for us to find cameras that are worth $20-30 only to have a lens attached that is worth $100 or more. Just be sure to look-up and test each piece that you can so as to avoid returns.
Common Scam: Be warned that there is a common scam that buyers will run on you with lenses. I have sold dozens of lens and have gotten a handful of messages telling me that, “the lens is worthless, full of mold, and will cost a large amount of money to fix.” Don’t fall for it. Have them return the item for a refund. (and be sure you took plenty of pictures to prove its good condition)
Decorations & Collectibles
If you’re looking for long-term profits, you’ll find that collectibles are among the best things to sell on eBay. This term can include almost any niche that interests you. Most people find that they are drawn to a single category or two when selling on eBay.
When it comes to collectibles, some of the best things to sell on eBay to make money include:
- Sports Cards
- Small Statues and Ceramics
- Limited Edition Sports Memorabilia
- Autographed items (CDs, books, etc.)
These items are some of the best to sell on eBay from a profit perspective as they hold their value extremely well. The problem is, they can be difficult to find or priced high. If you want to make money on these types of items you’ll need to invest some money up front and price them to sell fast.
So if you’re after profits, you should now be able to pick out hundreds of items from the above categories every time you head to the thrift store. The real questions is, how do you find and recognize items that are valuable for resale but not included in the above categories?
What makes an item valuable for reselling on eBay?
When it comes to knowing items that will sell quickly and for great profit, there is no substitute for experience. When it comes down to it, the only thing that makes an item valuable for resale is the fact that someone wants it. If something is unique, unusual, hard-to-find, etc. you will be able to make money on it.
Be sure to remember that you own perception of value is not shared by everyone. Something that may seem crappy to you may be of immense sentimental value to someone else (and the reverse is also true). So, in short, look up everything you can to see what it sells for. Over time you will get faster and more adept at recognizing good flips.
The Birth of the eBay “BOLO”
If you’re a new eBay seller, you might be wondering what BOLO stands for. After all, people are always chanting BOLO, BOLO, BOLO! on every Instagram post. Well let’s solve the mystery: BOLO stands for Be On the Look Out. Meaning brands or types of things that you should be on the look out for while you’re sourcing.
If you look on eBay groups and other websites it’s easy to find posts highlighting things people paid $.99 for and sold for hundreds of dollars. This is the type of thing that people call a BOLO. But around these parts, we disagree. There is no point in keeping your eyes open things that are so unusual that you’ll never find them.
For example, a friend of mine recently bought a 1960 boardgame from a yardsale for $1 and flipped it the next day for $255. He texted me and was like, “Hey Seth! Keep an eye out for the game Rocky and His Friends! TOTAL BOLO!” No Jerry, it’s not. Sorry to burst your bubble. The chance of me finding a copy of that game is nil. In my mind, a BOLO would be this: “Hey, I just sold a copy of Rocky and His Friends for $255! Keep your eye out for vintage board games, especially ones that have to do with movies, dragons, specific sports teams, or are still sealed. TOTAL BOLOS!”
One of the main reasons for this is: there are literally hundreds of thousands of items that can be flipped for a profit. Memorizing each item will drive you crazy and make you unproductive. Instead, learning the type of things to look for will result in you rarely leaving a thrift store empty handed. While we do share specific brands to look for, especially in the case of clothes, our main purpose is to teach you to recognize that something is profitable when you’ve never heard of it and may not even know what it is.
One of the other requirements for a specific BOLO is that it has to be easy to find. A good example of this is the Mr. Coffee Cocomotion. We have found and sold more than 20 of them during the time we’ve been selling on eBay. If we see one in working condition we pick it up every time no thought required. A true BOLO, easy to find, and easy to sell. For a few examples…
- 60 of the Best Women’s Clothing Brands to Sell one eBay
- 47 Men’s Clothing Brands for Resellers
- 31 Non-Clothing Items to Sell on eBay
- Most Profitable Used Shoe Brands to Sell on eBay
- 21 Outdoor Clothing Brands to Resell for Huge Profits
- How to Sell Men’s Jeans on eBay (Plus 18 BOLO Brands!)
- 8 Things to Sell Instead of Throwing Away
- 12 Most Valuable Thrift Store Finds of All Time
- Massive Profits Selling Cowboy Boots on eBay
So, what now?
Once you’ve figured out what you want to sell on eBay you’ll need to go about creating the processes necessary to scale your side hustle into a real business. Having the right things to sell is 80% of the battle but, after that, the real work begins!
The Next Steps:
- How to Ship eBay Orders From Home
- 14 Tools Every Reseller Needs
- What are the Best Selling Items on Mercari?
- Sourcing Louis Vuitton Items on eBay for Resale
- Sourcing: Beyond the Thrift Store