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Any eBayers here?

February 2nd, 2007 at 01:37 pm

I've been noticing that more and more of my friends, family and clients are selling items on eBay and making a profit.

I sold quite a bit of stuff a few years ago - just trying to clean out the closets, etc. - but have never tried to make a real profit doing it.

Anybody having any luck on eBay, and what are you selling?

Just curious...

Have a great day!

13 Responses to “Any eBayers here?”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    Just had to say happy tax season to you too!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Well, since I am here now - hehe.

    Before I tried I was a little weary - but I had a very high-dollar baby item to sell (easy to ship) so I gave it a whirl and made $80. Then my dh got a Wii and we sold for a profit. (Baby item was a wash but was impossible to find used and so I sold it for what I paid basically - was happy. Figured I would have to sell on ebay - only way to justify $80 for a baby sling new).

    Anyway, just sold a GPS system for the in-laws and dh found a video game we sold for $10. Since I Feel more comfortable with the process I have a few $10-$30 items I would like to try to sell.

    As far as real profit, eh. But another $20-$100 bucks a month is nice indeed! Oh I have much I can purge around the house... I have been looking up some old c.d.s that are selling pretty well - gathering dust in my closet - so that is my next project. Appealing because easy to ship too.

  3. boomeyers Says:

    I usually sell so I can buy. I want to redo some rooms in the house, so I can sell stuff I have and buy stuff I want. I am also cheap and I like to list when they have listing sales (ie, list for 20 cents!) I have done good and bad and listed tons of stuff. I have gyped myself on shipping before and have to be careful of that. Kids name brand clothes seem to go well and are easy to ship, you can throw them in an envelope!

  4. kristinecfp Says:

    monkeymama - since you're a fellow tax preparer, I have to ask. Do you think ebayers should report their profits, if they're just "cleaning house"? I get this question a lot, and just wanted another tax pro's opinion.

  5. disneysteve Says:

    I started selling on ebay in 1997, less than 2 years after ebay went live. For a while, I sold pretty regularly. I even did it full-time for a few months when I was between jobs. At that point, I was grossing between $2,000 and $3,000/month in sales of which about 70% was profit.

    Today, I'm a very casual seller. I'll go through spurts where I get the urge again and list a few items, but I lose interest quickly. I keep saying I'm going to start again but I just don't have the motivation. Now that my wife is leaving her job and our income will be dropping, I might start up again and get her involved since she'll be home most of the day.

  6. Sindel Says:

    I've only ever sold a couple of DVDs which I really hated Smile

  7. threebeansalad Says:

    I'm an eBay newbie. I've written about it on my blog ( including some cost breakdowns) if you want to check it out. I'm still trying to get a handle on what kind of stuff sells and what doesn't. I haven't had much luck with clothes. I've had better lucky with specialty items and unique things. Make sure to read over the fee schedule before you list. I created ads with too many options in the beginning atht cost me extra $$. Now, I typically create very basic ads. only adding in an extra picture if it really adds something.

  8. kristinecfp Says:

    threebeansalad - you have some great info on ebay & fees on your blog. Thanks for commenting!

    disneysteve - $2-3K a month on ebay? That's definitely worth it! What kinds of items did you sell?

  9. disneysteve Says:

    kristinecfp - I specialize in Disney memorabilia but also was selling a large amount of Lenox china (I live near their collectibles outlet) as well as assorted other antique and collectible items. I would spend every Saturday making the yard sale rounds. I also went to a few auctions every month. Plus I went to the Lenox outlet once a week or so. It definitely was a fair amount of work between shopping, organizing, photographing, listing, packing and shipping so I don't want to make it sound simple. I also have a pretty broad knowledge base of the collectibles field having been a collector for over 30 years and a dealer for 20. It isn't something that just anyone could start doing and be that successful right away.

  10. monkeymama Says:

    No - because most of the things sold on ebay are depreciating assets.

    However, if you are cleaning house and regularly selling things for more than you paid (collectibles and such) I am sure it gets sticky. At that point I just look to the materiality of it all. If a client told me they made thousands selling collectibles I would encourage them to report it on their tax return. I would at least look into the rules further. But for the most part I don't think cleaning house warrants reporting ebay income.

    I don't think I have sold anything for more than I paid for at all.

    I remember seeing some articles on this way back though, about many ebay sellers (Selling wholesale items at retail, etc.) who did not report incomes, IRS Was coming down on them.

  11. monkeymama Says:

    That reminds me - I know so many people who are going to get rich off ebay. It is funny to me because they work far harder than I at my FT job to make $3k/month. People are funny. Steve's post reminded me of all the talks I have heard int he past of making so much money off ebay. Many sellers put a lot of effort. Even to list a couple of items I find takes a lot of time for me. But I list a few things at once and send dh to the post office during the day when lines are short - we tag team it - it helps.

  12. kristinecfp Says:

    I agree that it takes a lot of effort just to list even a few items. But lately I've been hearing a lot of hype about how you can strike it rich on eBay. It's nice to hear honest feedback from disneysteve and others, instead of hype, even if the honest feedback is that ebay takes a lot of work. Thanks for all the comments...

  13. disneysteve Says:

    Ebay can be a great business and a full-time livelihood if you are cut out for that type of work and find a good merchandise niche. The business is there for anyone who wants it. I was just browsing and saw someone with feedback of over 120,000. Even if they have averaged a profit of just $5/item sold, that means they've earned at least $600,000 profit from their sales. So it may require some work, but there is definitely money to be made.

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