How to Start Selling on eBay Without Spending Any Money

Ebay is the best platform to use to get started selling on the Internet. Creating an account is free, listing up to 50 listings each month is free, and you don’t pay any fees if your item doesn’t sell. Ebay is also a very forgiving platform. Some platforms like Amazon are confusing to start selling on and have very strict selling guidelines and specifications. In contrast, ebay has much more relaxed rules. Ebay is like a giant flea market, while Amazon is a retail store with more rules (I sell on Amazon too so I don’t mean disrespect toward Amazon). For these reasons selling on ebay is the best way to make your first dollars online.

Although ebay is free to use (except listing fees after 50 items, or opening a store) and although the barriers of entry to the platform are very small because you don’t need to get approved to sell, most people will never sell anything on ebay. Undertaking any new money making plan is scary since it’s unknown territory and new questions/ problems are going to come up. It’s scary to know that new questions are going to come up because we are going to be forced to grow and leave our comfort zone. Also a lot of people seem to think that ebay is not profitable anymore so they don’t bother trying the site. But ebay is still the 5th largest Ecommerce site in the World. There are millions of users on ebay everyday- it’s far from dead.

“Ok” you may be thinking “I now know ebay is free and easy to use, but my question hasn’t been answered. What do I sell in the beginning?!”

The answer is all around you. This answer isn’t supposed to sound like a quote from Yoda in Star Wars. Instead, it means that the items that you should start with selling are all around you. If you live in a developed First World nation then you likely have a lot of stuff. Stuff is probably overflowing from your closets and your basement. Instead of collecting dust these toys, clothes, electronics, video games, collectibles, and shoes can be listed on ebay and sold for money! My general rule of thumb is that if I haven’t used something for 6 months then I’m likely to not use it again, so I list it. You already have everything that you need to make money on ebay.. You just need to list it!

The first thing that I sold on ebay was a Pokemon Red Nintendo Gameboy game. It sold for around $25. After that first sale I was hooked on the platform. I started listing more and more things. Fast forward a couple of years later and I’m now living in my apartment paid for by ebay! It all starts with one sale.

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Growing up in the early 2000’s I have a basic knowledge of most toys from the late 80’s onwards, I grew up around video games and know a good bit about them (mostly Nintendo games), and I know some nice brands that people in my demographic wear (Patagonia, North Face, Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren). I now know much more about toys, videogames, and clothes than I did when I first started selling, but the point is that any bit of knowledge can be a jump off step.

For the first couple months I listed and sold things almost exclusively from my parent’s house (where I was living at the time). Since I am one of three brothers (all of us are over the age 20) there were a lot of things collecting dust in the house. I went through each room in my parent’s house and looked up things on ebay to see if they were profitable. Within the first month I listed and sold several pair of shoes, video games and toys. In the beginning I wasn’t making much- maybe $50 to $100 a week. But this small stream of income was enough to keep me hooked with reselling.

I’m going to tell you the bare minimum that you need to start listing and selling on ebay. All you need is a smartphone and Internet. That’s it. It’s free to create accounts on both ebay and paypal, and you can take pictures and list things on ebay right from your phone.

A smartphone with Internet access is the absolute bare minimum thing that you’ll need to start building your ebay empire. In the beginning you can go to the library to print labels, use a kitchen scale to weigh your items, use boxes, packing tape, and packing material from around your house, and sell the things in your house. But you can’t function without Internet and a Smartphone. I still use the iPhone 5 since it’s cheaper and just as effective as other models. I take pictures and list right from my phone and never have wished to have a newer iPhone.

This week go through every room in your house or apartment and find two things in each room to sell. If you have a hard time getting rid of things then you should find five things in each room to sell.

After finding stuff lay everything out on a white carpet or wood floor and research the items. Go to ebay and type your item in the search bar. Be specific-try your best to include the brand, category, and key features in your search.

After scroll to the bottom left of the tool bar and click the box that says Sold Listings. This will give you every item that matches your keywords that has sold in the last three months. This option shows you the date that the item sold, the price that it sold for, if a Best Offer was accepted, and if it was sold as an Auction or Fixed Price.

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I like to look at the first five to ten most recent sold listings, take a rough average of the selling prices in my head, and use that as my listing price. Using this option to see the sold listings is another reason that a smartphone is an invaluable tool- you can use this tool while you’re in a thrift store to research potential things.

Making money on ebay is simple. You are already surrounded by riches! None of us know what to sell in the beginning. Trial and error is the most effective way to start reselling, and selling things around the house is free! This week find at least 7 things that you can sell, then research and list them! Good luck!


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