Can You Make Money Selling on eBay?

Can You Make Money Selling on eBay?

I first came online in 2002 to find my fortune and take on the world…I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had heard of an auction platform that could bring in untold riches if used correctly…

I had a question banging about my head that needed answering – can you make money selling on eBay?

A mate of mine had been using this new and exciting platform to get rid of some of his old Star Wars toys – he was making an absolute killing!

I had inherited a mountain of antique English ceramics and I was VERY keen to get rid of it – surely this eBay thingy could help me out?

Well it did!!!!

Things took off and things took off well – considering at the time I didn’t even know how to set up an email account! But when money’s involved in the equation you tend to learn faster than you normally would.

So, I thought it was about time we covered a few pointers on this popular online marketplace and that’s what this article is for. I’ll go over a handful of important factors that helped me build up a thriving online mini-business on eBay.

If you are interested in earning real money online without listing items on eBay we suggest checking out the FREE tutorials offered HERE

Make Money Selling on eBay

First things first, you have to make sure you approach eBay with the correct mindset. If you go into this thinking that the platform is nothing more than a jumble sale you are going to fail miserably.

I see eBay as a place where two different types of sellers congeal…

  1. The seller that is after a quick buck by selling any old junk they found in their mother’s attic and
  2. The serious seller who is looking to make a decent income on the platform

It’s obvious which one you need to be if you are looking to succeed!

But we all have to start somewhere and what better way to learn the ropes than getting rid of some junk/clutter and seeing how things pan out?

This is a relatively simple process but it will show you how things work and it will highlight the potential of the platform:

  • Start by gathering all the items you want to sell and then cleaning them
  • Grab your camera and take a few shots of each one ( make sure they are well lit shots taken from various angles )
  • List your items with descriptions that cover ALL the faults ( if any ) and include the best photographs of each one
  • Set the price under the open auction option or the ‘Buy it Now’ option ( I always preferred the open auction but it’s up to you! )
  • List the items and watch the general public fight over your treasures
  • Once the items have sold eBay will take out a small commission from each listing – you will end up with the rest of the cash 🙂
  • All that’s left to do is carefully package the items and send them to their new homes!

Once you’ve gone through the procedure a couple of times it will become like second nature to you – it’s not rocket science!

Make Money Selling Wholesale Products

Now this is where the BIG money comes into play – if you are serious about creating a successful eBay presence you should consider wholesale products.

As I mentioned, I built up a small empire selling antique ceramics. This involved me going to a lot of outdoor auctions etc to get hold of stock.

Wholesale products are a little different – they will involve you making contact with suppliers directly and buying in bulk.

It may seem a little daunting but I can assure you – there are a LOT of people making money through wholesale products on eBay and not all of them are that smart!

( if they can do it – SO CAN YOU!!!! )

The cool thing about wholesale products is that you can pick a niche that is popular and stick to it. This means that you don’t have to spend hours writing out different product reviews – you can use the same product template over and over again!

People who opt to go down the wholesale product route normally use the ‘Buy it Now’ pricing option. This allows you to have more of a ‘shop’ feel overall – set your prices at a suitable profit and set them loose on the world!

Of course, you have to find a suitable wholesaler to make this option work for you and that can be a little tricky at times.

I know of quite a few eBay sellers that have struck up relationships with online wholesalers so they are able to keep everything in the ‘digital domain’.

banner 2

Top Tips For Selling on eBay

A marketplace can be an extremely fickle creature at times and it’s relatively easy to balls up a perspective sale without really trying.

Here are a few top tips for selling on eBay that I picked up during my four year stint as a seller…

#1 Answer ALL Questions

I know this can be a right pain in the behind but questions really can help your product page’s effectiveness ( they can also point out where you have gone wrong in your listing! ).

These questions can also give you the opportunity to link to other similar products you are selling giving the perspective buyer more choice in your wares.

#2 Be The Nice Guy

Yeah, I guess I learned this one the hard way! Always keep your patience with people who are interested in your items – no matter how idiotic they are at times!

More often than not you will be asked the same question 50 times even though its written in capital letters in your description. This can be enough to drive anyone over the edge ( believe me! ).

At the end of the day there is only one medium of contact between the seller and the buyer – online messages.

You need to keep this avenue open and you need to keep it a friendly environment. You must remain an intelligent, diplomatic individual no matter how stupid the buyer seems to be!

#3 Forget The Reserve Function

Again, this is another one I found out the hard way. When a buyer notices that an item they like has a reserve they immediately think they are paying a premium.

You see, people come on eBay to find a bargain, there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s the nature of the beast I’m afraid.

A reserve manages to kill this in seconds – people do not generally associate bargains with reserve prices ( it actually works the opposite way! ).

#4 Honesty is The Best Policy

Be open about defects so you don’t have returns which risk negative feedback. This type of feedback will loom over your future success like a dark cloud.

There’s no point dwelling on the flaws of the item – just list them and be totally honest about them.

#5 Keywords

When I first started out on eBay I was in a bit of a rush to get as many items up there as possible. I didn’t really ‘think out’ my titles and I lost visitors because of it.

When you are selling an item make sure you have the exact title for it – look it up if necessary. The title will act as a keyword in the eBay search bar so you need to be doubly sure you’ve got it right.

Can You Make Money Selling on eBay?

Just remember that there are no shortcuts online, if you want to earn money you are going to have to work – eBay is no different!

If you are interested in earning real money online without listing items on eBay we suggest checking out the FREE tutorials at the Wealthy Affiliate. Read our full review on their services by clicking the link below:


10 comments on “Can You Make Money Selling on eBay?

  1. I’ve never sold anything on eBay or tried it.
    Here in Denmark have something resembling a little about it.
    But it is not an action snare a garage sale. Previously I have studied a little about drop shipping where you sell things you do not own and you get a shipping company to handle the shipping.
    I see you here describe a slightly different model. Can I ask what it is you sell that? How do you load?

    1. Hi Steen,
      Not sure what the question is you’re asking there, but I used to sell antique English/Welsh ceramics on eBay. I then used the Royal Mail Airmail service to get the items to people 🙂

  2. Hi Chris,

    Excellent article and idea for an article. To answer the question can you make money from selling on ebay? the answer has to be YES.

    I know plenty of people who make a living from that (not drop shipping btw) however I have tried, and despite reading a couple of books on the topic I failed to make a single sale!

    My conclusion, is yes it can be done but you really need to know how it works in order to get what you are selling seen in their “market place” this more traffic /bids or “buy nows”.

    In short you have to know what you are doing so that you can succeed on ebay and make some money.

  3. Hi Chris,

    My wife has been buying and selling on eBay for years. Not really going after it but a bit here and a bit there. I really enjoyed the article.
    I actually clicked through on your first “here” link to WA review and I like the way that is put together as well.
    Thanks for sharing, and WOW 2002… I guess it was 1993 when I first got online but probably not until 2006, that I started looking into online businesses.
    I did work with a guy at The Home Depot in 2002 or 3 that used to buy as much as he could at our manager specials sale and sell it all on eBay. He claimed he did real well.
    Thanks Again!

  4. Hey Chris
    Great information you have here about eBay. I bought stuff off of eBay before but I never sold anything. I really like your tips and the reserve tip I can believe because I do feel the same way when I see there is a reserve. Strange beasts of nature we are. When you mention the wholesale, keeping it all digital option, are you saying I don’t even need to handle any of the products I am selling? Or is it just the communication for getting the product, having it shipped to me, then I sell and have shipped to my customers?
    Thanks for the info, helps a lot!

  5. Hey Chris,

    Very useful article! I made my first sale on eBay some weeks ago and I am looking forward to my next move on there.

    I have a lot of books I would like to get rid of (first because I don’t need them, second because the occupy a lot of space) so I am looking for ways to monetize them and get a bit of cashback – eBay seems like the ticket.

    There are a lot of companies online that offer to buy your books, but in my opinion the prices they suggest are often ridiculous.

    For example, I had a book about Statistics for Business and Economics which was in almost perfect condition and of these websites one was offering between €5 and €7 to buy it…

    So I decided to promote it on eBay and after about a week I could sell it for €17 which is absolutely brilliant really.

    I’ll try to follow your tips when I sell other books on eBay. Plus the idea of buying products wholesale and reselling them online is a very intriguing one.

    Do you still sell products and services on eBay yourself? How much money have you made there?

    Thanks again for your contribution!

    1. Hi Horatius,

      By the way – that’s a really cool name! Is Horatius your own name or just a username?


      Yeah I used to work on eBay full time – it was the first online job I had actually! I used to sell antique ceramics and I did quite well to begin with…but the competition eventually got too stiff for me to take on!

      Sounds like you’ve got a lot of money locked up in those books mate – hope this article helps you get them all sold!

      Good luck! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *