How to make a living by selling on eBay

How to Sell on eBay

It's not uncommon to see people searching for work-from-home jobs that they can do in addition to their regular day jobs in an effort to learn a little bit of extra money. Times can be tough and who doesn't want some extra cash?

EBay, which launched in 1995, quickly became one of the easiest ways for people to start earning an extra income, as everyone started using eBay as a virtual garage sale and selling things they no longer needed. It did not take long, however, before many people became eBay savvy and started making full-time jobs out of selling on the site.

While eBay is now 20 years old, it is not too late to start selling! If you're interested in selling on the site, check out the following tips that will help you jumpstart your selling career, which can be the foundation of a frugal lifestyle.

1. Find an item, or a niche of items, that you want to sell.

Most people who are heavy eBay sellers or have set up eBay stores sell around a theme. This approach is helpful for two reasons: First, finding a niche allows you to focus on selling only items that interest you. For instance, perhaps you want to focus on selling vintage items that you find at flea markets, the latest Nike shoe releases or hard-to-find books. You can sell anything and everything on eBay but you will find it more fun if you focus on selling items that interest you.

Second, having a niche allows buyers who are interested in the items that you are selling to follow your listings. You may find that you have repeat buyers who like your taste in items or who see you as a source for the items they want.

Of course, some sellers do quite well selling anything. If you go this route, then you will probably be better off selling many items, instead of focusing on a select few. After all, the more items you sell, the more opportunities you will have to make more money.

2. Do your research.

Once you decide what types of items you want to sell, it would behoove you to do some research into specific items that sell very well. Not only can you browse current listings on eBay, but you can also browse completed listings. From the completed listings you will easily be able to see which items sold for the most money. You do not need to create listings for the exact same items. Instead, use the completed listings as market research to see what it is that people are looking for and paying top dollar to purchase.

3. Determine where you are going to get products to sell.

Unless you plan on cleaning out your house and selling everything you own, you will need to come up with a game plan to acquire the items you plan to sell. There is definitely a market for everything, but aside from narrowing down the market you want to target, finding a supplier is the most important thing you will need to do. If you plan on selling vintage items or antiques, perhaps that means making regular trips to flea markets and garage sales. If you want to make a living selling limited-quantity sneakers, then you are going to have to find a store to visit on sale days.

4. Put some time into your listings.

Once you are ready to begin selling, try to come up with a compelling listing that has good photography and is free of errors, including typos. If selling on eBay is going to be your business, you want to present yourself in the best light possible. There have been many times I was going to purchase something from a seller on eBay only to change my mind at the last minute because the listing did not look professional. You want to give your buyers to trust you and your business and you don't want your listing detracting from that.

5. Be a prompt shipper.

Once you start selling items, do your customers a favor and ship items as quickly as possible. EBay lets buyers leave feedback for sellers and the majority of the feedback is usually centered around how quickly an item ships. It may seem silly to point this out, but prompt shipping will be appreciated and may lead to better feedback for you.

While eBay is still one of the largest online marketplaces out there, over recent years many other sites and apps have entered the landscape and the tips above will apply to whichever sites you choose to sell your goods.

Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report

Click through the slideshow below for 6 tips on how to save:

6 ways to save
See Gallery
How to make a living by selling on eBay


Gym or yoga studio memberships can become insanely costly. Giving up the expense, though, doesn’t mean you have to give up your workout routine. Check out for workouts that you can do at home via YouTube.

(Photo: Getty)


Many people spend a ton of money on personal care. Although getting manicures, pedicures, massages and haircuts can be a relaxing way to feel pampered, these things are sucking up money that could be spent on travel. Besides, when you are backpacking through South America or sleeping in European hostels, you won’t have access to all of your usual comforts. Why not stop now?

(Photo: Getty)


How about embracing cooking as a new hobby? You will simultaneously be eating healthier, saving money on take-out and maybe even exercising your creative side. Following food blogs is a great, inexpensive way to find recipes and inspiration. One of my favorites,, factors cost into the equation too.

(Photo: Getty)

Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO and others end up tacking extra costs onto your monthly bills. Even Kindle, while it may be convenient for when you are traveling, can make buying books and apps all too easy. Consider using your local library to check out books as well as DVDs. Most offer an extensive collection that will help you save over the course of the year.

(Photo: Getty)


If it seems impossible for you to give up some things, or if you’re still in need of extra cash, look for a job where you can make some money without a huge commitment. Babysitting and nanny services connect caretakers with clients and aren’t just for people looking for full-timework. Catering companies are another great option since they always need servers and usually schedule staff on a week-to-week basis.

(Photo: Getty)


No, this Mint won’t print more money for you to spend on a trip to Bali, but it will help you keep track of your spending. The app allows you to create a budget and set specific savings goals, making it easier to hold yourself accountable for saving that extra cash.

(Photo: Getty)


More from
Understanding Social Security benefits
7 surprising benefits of drinking coffee
Fashion's Tupperware party's priceless benefits
Read Full Story