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How To Make $100 A Day On Ebay

by Tristen & Amy OBrien on September 16, 2013

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The number one ebay related question I get is, “Where do I find ebay inventory?”  Over the past couple of years I have outlined many places you can go to find ebay inventory, but for most, this can be overwhelming.  It can take time to find inventory, and if you’re like me, you probably don’t have all day to search for new items to sell.  So, how do you make $100 a day on ebay.  There are several ways to accomplish this, but below I’ve outlined a simple and easy to follow formula:

The key to this program is having a consistent inventory stream.  This may sound hard, but in reality, it’s not.  Ebay inventory is all around you.  It really is a numbers game, and this is how to play.

  1. Look at the stores that are around you e.g. Target, Grocery Store, K-Mart, Dollar Stores, Malls, Shoe Stores, Thrift Stores, Costco.
  2. Pick 3 or 4 stores, and walk through them with a note pad in hand.  You will be looking for items that are SMALL and unique enough that a buyer might not even know that they are there e.g. Fake Lottery Ticket, Stickers, Lip gloss, Toy handcuffs, Party Supplies, shoe laces.
  3. Out of all the stores you visit, you want to come up with a list of 100 – 150 items and their prices (each store has thousands of sku’s so this may take time, but it shouldn’t be hard to do)
  4. Take your list home, and visit this ebay profit calculator HERE.  You need to figure out how much you would have to sell each item for if you wanted to profit $.50 – $5.  (That’s right, $.50 – $5).
  5. Compare each item with the completed ebay listings.  See if any items are selling in this price range.
  6. List your items using a fixed format.

It’s important to remember that you have 50 free listings per month (unless you have an ebay store, then it’s 150).  This process takes some time to get up and going, but once you set up your listings, you can set it and forget it.  There are two key goals we want to accomplish here.  First, we want the items to be small enough that we can send them in an envelope.  The reason behind this is that filling out an envelope is quick and it doesn’t take up much space.  Secondly, we want to find items that are consistently available in the store (see number 2 for ideas).  If you are able to find and sell the same item, then you only have to set up the listing once.

If you are making $.50 – $5 per item, then you usually need to sell 50 items per day.  If you are selling items that fit into an envelope then it should only take you a few hours to gather your products and send them out.  For me, I like to have my 3 or 4 stores close together (within a mile).

This technique should be used in conjunction with selling the more profitable items.  I mentioned earlier that this is a numbers game.  Since I have an ebay store, I know that I’m allowed 15o free listings per month.  In most cases, I am using them all, so I don’t lose money if my products don’t sell.  With newer sellers, you may be restricted on the amount of items you are allowed to sell, but you can request the limit to be raised at anytime.

The hardest part is making sure that your stores keep the item in stock.  You do run the risk of your item being sold out when you go to buy it, so pay close attention to what you are listing.  If this happens, make sure you quickly let the buyer know and refund their money.

Like I mentioned before, this is just ONE of the ways that you can make $100 a day on ebay.  Just to be clear, it’s not easy.  It takes work, but when your business is set up correctly, you will reap the rewards.  As always, it’s not guaranteed that you will make any money at all using this system.  The amount of money you make is depends on your dedication, skill level, and time/effort you put into it.  For those who are making $100 a day, how are you doing it?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess September 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm

This is basically what I’ve been doing for years! I works :)

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Brian M September 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Good ideas. Thanks!

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Jason September 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I read your article about hitting a home run. I feel like thats what I’ve been trying to do, but it doesn’t always work. I need to have some filler items to get me to my goal. I’m going to give this a shot

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Melissa September 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Where do you buy your stuff???

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bee September 19, 2013 at 12:58 am

You can buy items almost anywhere : grocery stores, world market, costco, sams, macys, michaels, hobby lobby, walmart, target, shopko, walgreens, cvs, kohl’s, local shops, thrift stores, rummage sales.

Also online at daily deals sites, Amazon, ebay (buy low – sell at a higher BIN price), craigslist, etc

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Allison H September 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I’ve been selling on ebay for a few months. Mostly items from thrift stores. I’m close to 100 a day when I work but the average falls off on the weekend. Having a inventory that I don’t have to search for would be nice.

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Kayla September 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Great article! Two questions – if you keep an eye on your inventory, wouldn’t your listing just end if you ran out of the item? There is nothing more frustrating than buying something and finding out the person didn’t keep an eye on their inventory and the item is sold out. Also, if you buy something that you can just put into an envelope, what about eBay tracking? They tend to be big on this even if it is not cost-effective for lighter items that do fit into a #10 envelope. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Adley September 19, 2013 at 9:33 am

This is an interesting concept. Selling the same items over and over again can definitely save time with listing. Finding the inventory is the hardest part but once you do, it will be good to go back to the store right before you sell out.

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Tammie Kimberly September 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Are you talking about items that will fit in a #10 envelope or manila envelopes? Thanks.

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Tristen OBrien September 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm

#10

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Busyra September 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm

If you ever see deals on iTunes gift cards buy in bulk. They sell for more on eBay because sometimes its the only way for international customers to buy US media content. Don’t ever sell anything to Russia just FYI. Have them open an account with a US freight forwarder if anything.

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Ania October 12, 2013 at 3:09 am

Hi there,
I make over 10K a month. some months 13K. I net about half. Its a whole lot of work. its taken me 3 years but the one trick that helped me is specializing. It took me 3 years to figure that out?
I started with thrift items, clothing mostly and slowly started branching out with trinkets. I started selling everything in my store and focusing on vintage but thats such a broad category. then i would throw in some regular clothes and stuff here and there. Everything i didnt sell on auction (i always did my min price), i would put in my store. I did research every other day, who was selling my style of vintage, for how much and what the did to get better profits. I read a lot, every night, always looking for techniques of identifying old silver, old glass etc. Certain jewelry can be worth a ton! i found a $3 necklace at a flea market to sell it for $300! i wouldn’t know it was a Juliana if i wasnt reading. I know that one person can sell a 60s dress for $10 while another can get $100. I realized that the good vintage sellers, auction, and second they specialize in just vintage clothes. Their pictures make people want to be in that era. their stores look like stores not a thrift pile. So i opened a new store, closed down everything that i didnt feel was fitting in my “vintage” store and moved it to an online thrift store. that was my store number 2. You have to ask your thrift stores when they have their sales. Many of our stores have crazy sales once a month at $1 or $2 an item. come early and get lots of stuff. My second store averages about $3000 a month. its only 6 months old.
So i thought what else can i branch out, so a month ago i started doing vintage lingerie. A good model, a nice camera and i have another $2000 in the first 30 days. I do all of this with my husband helping 2 days a week. i work on it full time. The goal is 20K. so im going to try your dollar store technique also. we have great dollar stores in LA =)
Its SOO possible to make a living on ebay. there i a lady selling vintage racking in almost 1Mil a month!
You need GOOD pictures and light items. anything under 13 Oz goes first class which is quite cheap. If it doesent sell the first round put it at buy it now for a little more money for good till cancel. Somebody will want it at some point, you dont need to sell yourself cheap. My little sister who is 13 used my mothers account and sold $600 in her first month but just getting $1 dresses at a garage sale. ok done ranting now.

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Aida July 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Wow, This is so interesting~ Love all the ideas and Ania I learned a couple of things from you, I also like to read and research. this is magnificent. Thanks so much~

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julie October 14, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Ania, Where do you find most of your vintage items? Just normal thrift shops? I imagine being in LA helps tremendously. Please email me back at julchek70@gmail.com if you wouldn’t mind. I’m not interested in vintage clothing but your 10K a month peaked my interest!

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Ania October 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

I dont really thrift anymore except on sale days. On sale days they sell things for 1-$2 then its great. Estate sales will often make a deal on all their clothing for a pretty low price. Or flea markets have items.
Also ads on craigslist help sometimes.

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Vivian Vasquez October 19, 2013 at 3:22 am

So My question is, What are you looking for? I get that you can find items to sell anywhere but what are the items you’re selling. How do I know what is a hot Item to sell. Do I figure that out with the ebay App? I’m having a hard time identifying what items are good to sell.

thanks!

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Ania October 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

HI,
I sell mostly clothing. One account for vintage and the other for modern. Modern is pretty easy, i dont buy pants or shirts unless they are designer. i dont pay more than $1-2 a piece. Sometimes when you buy a lot from a garage or estate sale you get them for cents. Basically anything i run into and think i would buy that for $15+ is good. Summer dresses, light light cardigans, broomstick skirts etc. Also VS lingerie.
Itms should weight under 13oz so you can spent under $3 on shipping with first class mail.
for vintage its a little more complicated because you have to know the eras but there are books to give you a basic outline. Everybody knows 80s dresses, those are great and sell well for halloween and prom season. Anything thats over the top, unique, beaded, bizarre, country, hippie etc works. example: When i walk through a rack i look at items that immediately pop out to me. Some unusual print, something bright nautical fruity etc. So the other day i say a dress that looked like it was stripped off of Chiquita banana. it didnt have he sleeves but lots of bright fruit and a fish tail type back. I thought who in their right mind would wear this (except for me) apparently somebody did love it and paid $50 for it. OH also lace, lots of lace is always good ,thats my exception on buying non blouses. Ill buy vintage ones and modern. Women just love lace

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