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I’m sure you’re a hard worker. I remember when I got my first job in highschool I would show up early and work my butt off. I did everything that was asked of me and treated that warehouse job like it was my life. Until one day…
I worked for 3 hours after school in a warehouse that shipped orders for a preparedness company. Doomsday-prepper kind of stuff. I was putting together 72-hour kits to ship out when I happened to glance at the invoice. They sold for $129 apiece. Now, I didn’t really understand how profit margins worked at the time but I sat down and did some figuring.
At $7.25/hour I was making a penny every 5 seconds. In the 3 hours I was at work I could put together about 20 72-hour kits. By my teenage-reckoning I was making my boss about $200/hour. What the heck, man?!
Here’s the thing, there’s no such thing as easy money. However, since every needs to work, there are ways that are much easier to get money than other ways. I still work full-time but one of the easiest ways I’ve found to add some money to my bank account is to sell items on eBay during my free-time.
Now, here’s the thing. It’s easy, but it’s not foolproof. There are people who make six figures selling full-time on eBay and there are hundreds of people who close the virtual doors to their eBay store every day because they can’t make it.
Which, of course, begs the question: what are the easiest things to sell on eBay? Where do I find them, how do I sell them fast, etc.
Well, have no fear. We’ve done it all on eBay and have sold over 5,000 items. I can tell you fairly definitively what the easiest things to sell on eBay are and the kinds of things you should stay away from. So let’s get to it!
–> If you want to hit the ground running, check out our eBook which will help you identify over 100 items that you can easily flip on eBay to make money. Find it here!
What makes an item easy to sell on eBay?
The made-up formula that I used to figure out the easiest things on eBay wasn’t exactly simple. This goes far beyond knowing what sell fast on eBay or what sells for the most money. The “easiest” things to sell have to take into account every aspect of the sourcing, listing, and selling process. Here are the things that I considered and the reason for them:
- Sourcing. If an item is truly going to be easy to sell, it has to be easy to source.
- Picturing. Some items are very difficult to get an attractive or accurate picture of. They’re out of the running.
- Listing. Do you need to take measurements? Talk about fabric content? Or maybe include a video? All of those take effort and time.
- How fast will it sell? Easy-to-sell items sell themselves and do so quickly.
- Shipping. I want an item to can simply drop into a box or polymailer and ship cheaply. If it is fragile, takes a huge box, or requires lots of time I’m usually not interested.
- Returns. What use is something that sells easily is it’s just going to be returned?
The conglomerate rating of all of those items percolated in my brain until I was finally able to come up with the 5 items that I think are the easiest to sell. However, here’s a caveat. The easiest things for you to sell will depend on what you can source, what you enjoy, and how much time and attention you’re willing to dedicate to each listing.
However, assuming that you’re anything like me (I’m sorry) here are the to 5!
1. Books and Media
The easiest thing to sell on eBay is anything with a barcode. Since we’re talking specifically about thrifted items here, the easiest items are books, video games, dvds, etc. Now, that’s not to say that they’re the most profitible thing, but they sure are easy!
To research and list any type of media all you have to do is use eBay’s built in barcode scanner on the eBay App and it will automatically pull up the current listings, show your the prices things sold for, etc. If you want to create your own listing, eBay will automatically fill in all the item specifics and will typically even give you a stock photo of the item to use, all of which save a massive amount of time.
The other huge boon for eBay book sellers is that media is dead easy to store and ship. Figuring out your eBay inventory system can be a giant hassle and if you can just stack things on a shelf it gets a whole lot easier.
Now, things obviously can’t be all sunshine and rainbows. While it may be easy to sell books on eBay, there are some drawbacks. Well, one really, and that it the profit margin. Because it’s so easy to get started selling media on eBay there are dozens of people who visit every thrift store trying to do just that. You typically have to be either dedicated or lucky to find many items that will net you more than a few dollars.
If you want to slip something on eBay with a higher profit margin (that is still super easy to sell) then you should be hanging out in the t-shirt racks.
T-shirts, especially vintage ones, are a great way to make some side-money. In fact, there are actually entire eBay stores that do nothing but sell t-shirts. They make a killing because they pander to people who want specific items and won’t settle. For example, if you want a t-shirt from the 1972 Olympics in Germany, how many options do you think there are on eBay?
Or, here are a couple that have sold recently:
The key to find shirts that sell fast on eBay is to look beyond the mass-produced market. Look for items that have unique subject matter, are vintage, are from specific events (such as a concert or movie release) or related to specific people (politicians, etc.).
T-shirts are easy to sell on eBay because they are super simply to take a picture off (just get a white background and hand them on a hanger or lay them flat), easy to store, and easy to list.
The only drawback is that you typically need to provide measurements to ensure proper fit. We include a measurement across the chest and down the back from the collar to the hem.
And when your t-shirt sells? Just drop it in a poly-mailer and take advantage of super cheap first class shipping!
Despite a high level of interest and competition, electronics remain one of the easiest categories on eBay. Electronics have several things going for them which make them both valuable and easy to find/sell:
- Electronics are ubiquitous. Pretty much everyone lives their lives with electronics devices and wants more. Because technology moves so fast, you can usually pick up used electronics for a fraction of what they cost new.
- Electronics are easy to photograph and list. Unlike clothing, you don’t have to make your item look super attractive. People know what they want so as long as you show the condition properly, they’ll buy. They other advantage to listing electronics is that they typically have a model number or name which enables to you use the “sell-similar” feature and speed things up.
- Electronics are super expensive. This is great for two reasons: they sell for good money, and people are always looking for deals of working but used options.
Those reasons are some of the things that make the electronics aisle one of the first places I visit at thrift stores. While the competition may be fierce, if you’re willing to take your time and look things up you can find some hidden gems that noone else thought would be of any value.
For example, would you have check out this vintage keyboard?
While electronics may be easy to sell, they are also easy to have returned. Make sure you thoroughly test your item and take great pictures to prevent anyone from trying to scam you and return it for a refund.
I love selling shoes on eBay. In fact, we’ve sold over 1,000 pair of them and our article on the brands to of shoes to look for is one of the most popular articles on this site.
While shoes are not nearly as easy to sell as the above items, they do sell fast for us and are great money makers. Combine this with the fact that USPS makes a free box just for shipping shoes and you’ve got a recipe for success.
They key to making shoe sales on eBay easy is to streamline your process. I wait to take pictures of shoes until I’ve got at least 10 pair. Then, I set up a little picturing station with a white background where I can crank out pictures of those 10 pair in about 30 minutes.
The main con here is that you’ll probably have to accept some returns. Shoes don’t fit everyone the same. While the rate of returns will probably be lower than you think (ours is around 2%) you will have to deal with them. Luckily, the majority of eBay buyers are honest people who simply try the shoes on and return them, making them super easy to sell again!
5. Bags and Purses
Bags and purses are one of the easiest money makers on eBay. They super expensive at retail, they’re dirt cheap at thrift stores, and many just get more desirable with age! In fact, many men’s bags are actually worth more money if they’re heavily distressed or even patched, This is especially true of leather and outdoor bags.
While it may be difficult to get a good picture of bags and purses, they are easy to list. You don’t have to describe unusual characteristics or the fit. Simply take some measurements, describe the condition, and you’re good to go!
Now go thrifting!
Hopefully, you are now on track to make some easy money on eBay. Or, at least, making money on eBay in a easy-ish way. Yes, there is work involved (as well as a bit of investment) but if you’re willing to put in the time you can make a great income working less than full-time. So go out there and get your piece of the pie!