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Thrifting Tips for Reselling on eBay
I recently resigned from my job to be a full-time caregiver for a parent. My mom has dementia and broke her hip 4 months ago. I wanted to come up with a side gig/side hustle that I could pick up or put down. Selling on a platform like eBay appealed to me. Do your homework before beginning your reselling journey.
How To Search Sold Items on eBay
How can I find out what is selling on eBay? I went to the search field and typed in keywords for different items. Click the Search box. When the results page came up I selected Sold Listings. This allowed me to see the items and what each one sold for. You can use the filter to capture what you are looking for. For example, you can filter which items sold at the highest or lowest price.
Youtube Videos for eBay Reselling
I watch a lot of videos that feature sellers at thrift stores, yard sales, and charity stores. This has been the most helpful resource for me. Some of my favorite channels feature the sale of an item and track it through the reselling process. Knowing what they bought the item for and what it sold for will help you as you thrift. I will add below links for some of my favorite channels that help me with thrifting tips and eBay reselling. There are so many helpful videos and I enjoy watching them.
What is a Maker’s Mark?
The maker’s mark is the personal mark on jewelry, china, silver, glass, pottery items. I knew nothing about this so I have been researching to get more familiar with identifying those. If you go to the sold items on eBay this will help you identify how much the items are selling for. I purchased a magnifying glass to help with this as some marks are tiny or worn off. The below photo shows one maker’s mark but some of them are not this easy.
I chose this one.
Setting up a Budget Before Shopping
I did not set a budget the first time I went to the thrift store to shop for items to resell and made mistakes. You may spend too much money and end up with items that were not selling or were not selling for a profit. I realized that by doing that I was wasting money and valuable time. When you look for items it is best to make good choices and set a budget on how much you want to spend before setting foot in the store. The seasoned resellers spend more money than I do as they are making much more money than I am. Turn to the Youtube channels I provided above to get more familiar with what others are buying. There is a Facebook group that I post questions all the time! I get great responses. https://www.facebook.com/groups/NichetoProfit
Look for items that are Easy to Ship
I made mistakes by not thinking about the shipping cost for heavy items. Take into consideration that heavy items are harder and more expensive to ship. When you first start out pick things that are light and easy to ship. Customers do not want to spend a fortune on shipping and I am not making enough profit to pay for shipping heavy items. Plush, Clothes, small fragile items, purses, jewelry, or Kitchen Towels are good choices to start out. See link for calculating a shipping price. You can also get free shipping boxes and envelopes from USPS delivered to your home.
Keep up with Trends
Keep up with what items are trending. I do this by watching videos (the ones I shared above) or going to Google Trends. You can also go to eBay and research. Click on sold items and highest priced items first. I can easily go down a rabbit hole and spend hours checking products that are selling. Here are a few items on my radar at the moment: Pyrex, Silver, Books, Vintage Board Games, Waterford Crystal, Le Creuset Cookware, Picture Frames, Baskets, Record Players, Records, Retro Video Games, Fine China, Sought after Plush, Vintage porcelain, and vintage linens. Homemade Crochet, Knitted items are getting a lot of attention. Clothes are not my thing but a lot of resellers do well with selling these.
Inspect for Flaws
I made the mistake of not taking a few extra minutes to inspect for flaws. It is easy to miss a flaw when you are in the shop. Take a moment to carefully look for chips, cracks, and other flaws. Use your fingers to trace around a pottery or porcelain piece. Take a magnifying glass with you. It is sometimes dark and hard to see issues that could prevent a resell. I have felt sick more than one time when I get home and see that chip, crack, or hole because I know I wasted money on a purchase that will not sell. I have a couple of bowls from Italy that I am now using for bird feeders.
Cleaning your items
I have googled many times to find out how to clean my treasures. If you pick up Silver you might want to invest in a silver cleaner or use home remedies to clean them. Some resellers do not clean as they want the piece to show age in photos. I will list at the bottom some cleaning products I have purchased to help me as well as a huge bag to take with you when you shop. The biggest issue is the mess the sticker price leaves but I found something that works on that after researching. If you come across a dirty/tarnished item take into consideration how much time it will take you to clean it. A lot of people pick up old pots and pans that require a lot of cleaning to sell.
Look on the Bottom Shelf
Some of my favorite items were found on the bottom shelf that I had to stoop down to see. Look there and behind items for hidden treasure. If an item is in the original box that is a major plus! Open the box and inspect inside.
If you have tips that you would like to share please do! I have been selling for two months so I have much more to learn. My next goal is to get better at taking photos for listing my items on eBay. You can reach my eBay store at https://www.ebay.com/str/nonasdaughterthrifts