Selling on eBay can be a very profitable business, but it takes lots of work. You have to be very dedicated and work basically full time at least in the beginning. I hope this article helps you to understand` what it takes to run an eBay business and give you some tips to make it a little easier.


The very first thing you should do before you go out and start to get items to sell is decide what you want to get from selling on eBay. Do you want to make it a business that will become a way to make a living or do you just want to sell things once in a while to make some extra money? If it’s the latter, then it’s not difficult to set up an account with eBay, take some pictures and try to sell your item. But if you want to make a business, then you have a lot of work ahead of you to get ready to sell.

I can’t stress enough how important research is. Watch other sellers’ YouTube videos, check out other seller’s stores on eBay, go to thrift stores near you and find when they have discount days, etc. Find out everything you can about shipping, listing, promoting your product, etc. You also will need to decide if you want to sell one type of product, a niche, say shoes or if you want to sell a variety of items. We have found selling different products reach a larger audience and buyers. You have to realize that you aren’t going to make a lot of money right away. You will have costs to set up your store and sometimes profits aren’t huge. It does get frustrating sometimes, but if you stay with it and continue to learn, you will be able to make a profit.

If you do decide that this is how you want to try and make a living, then you also need to remember you have to run this as a business and keep good records. You will also have to report your business to the IRS whether you make a profit or not. Again, research what it takes to make this a business.

Space Set-up

Once you have made the decision to make this a business, you will need to prepare a workspace. Just starting out, I recommend finding space in your house or garage. You won’t need more space in the beginning. You will need a space to store your product, take pictures, and pack your product for shipping.

First, find a system that will help you identify where you store your product. We bought banker’s boxes and labeled them with a letter/number system, ex. A-1. Then when we list our products, we put in the description where we are storing it.

Second, taking pictures. You should try to find somewhere with a light background that will show off your product better. We bought a folding table to make it easier for getting measurements and holding the product. We also found some mannequin tops to use when listing shirts or dresses. We hang pants from a hanger on the door so people can get a good view of the whole length. When taking your picture make sure to show all sides of product, show any measurements that you can. By this I mean shoulder and chest length for tops, waist and inseam for pants, etc. If there is a problem with the product, like a small tear, make sure you show that too and call it out in the description. Make sure you have good lighting. Again, do some research on this. Look at other people’s store that have lots of sales and see how they take pictures. When taking photos, think about what you would like to see if you were going to buy this product.

Third, shipping. This is definitely something you want to do some research on. You will need various size boxes and bags, bubble wrap to protect your product, some type of filler to put in the box so the product doesn’t move around and a way to get the address on your package. You can get boxes free from the post office, but make sure you get some that don’t say priority mail on them. Once you start making some money on eBay, you will be able to get shipping supplies for free there too. I also recommend you save boxes you get when you get a package. We save most packing materials too.

We try to pack things so that the weight is as little as possible. For instance, we use these bags to send most of our clothing. We have found these to be pretty strong and haven’t had any problems with them. You can get them in a couple sizes. Since shipping cost is so high lately, any time you can shave off a few ounces even will help your customer. You can always choose to do free shipping, but remember if you do, you need to add your shipping cost to the sale price. This works for some products, but not always because customers don’t understand why the item is so expensive compared to others on eBay.

Even though you want to keep the weight down, you also want your package to arrive unbroken. There are many alternatives out there for bubble wrap. Make sure you research to find a size that not only is a good deal, but that you have room for. You can find small rolls to a package of 4 large rolls, so find what works best for you.

Last for the shipping process is addressing your package. Since you need to use your eBay label, you will need to decide if you want to print them on regular paper and cut it to put on your package or if you want to get a label printer that prints self-adhering labels. We went with a label printer after trying to print on regular paper and having to cut and paste the label on our package. It gets a little cumbersome if you have multiple packages to send.


Once you decide what you are going to sell you still need to do research. When you are out shopping for product, make sure you research the product you are thinking about buying. Check on eBay for similar items and see if they sell and how much. Maybe you found a great book that sells often, but it only sells for $6 and you have to pay $4 for it. Not much profit there. You can also search google to see how much an item sells other places such as Depop. You will have to decide what profit margin you want to make and stick to that when shopping for items to sell.

What’s next?

Now that you’ve set up a place to sell your items, you’ve figured out what you are going to sell and you have inventory to start selling, what’s next? You need to find ways to promote your store. How do you do that? Obviously setting up an eBay store in and of itself is the start but you have to let people know on other platforms that you have a store. Start a Facebook page for your store, go on Instagram, and start doing videos on YouTube. Get some business cards and when you’re out talking to people tell them about your business and give them a card. Also, make sure to thank your customers when you do make a sell to try and get repeat business from them.


As stated previously, you can make money reselling on eBay, however it takes dedication and hard work. Make sure you are realistic about goals you want to achieve. If you think you can make enough money to survive on the first year, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Most people in any new business lose money the first year. The start-up costs alone make it tough to make a profit. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make enough to put back in the business for new product so that out-of-pocket costs reduce to little or nothing. Researching and closely watching trends in your business will help you make your store profitable. Have fun with it so that it doesn’t wear you down. I hope this information has been helpful. If interested in our videos for our store, click here:

By Greg and Peggy

We are two people who love to go thrifting and then resell to people at great prices! We hope our blogs and videos help you to start or improve your reselling business!

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