The online auction site eBay has become a popular source of extra income for many people who enjoy making money from the comfort of their home. Once your eBay account is set up, you're ready to start selling. Finding unusual items that bring high bids is a lot easier than you might think. The best part is there are a number of unusual places where you can cheaply buy items to resell and make a nice profit.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Browse through the eBay "Want It Now" pages. This section is dedicated to postings from buyers who are looking for specific items that you can send information to about your auctions. Plus, it gives you an idea of items to keep an eye out for while searching for items to resell.
Search recently ended auctions on eBay to see what kind of prices other sellers are getting for their stuff. This will give you an idea of the average amount you might receive for like items and lets you know how much to spend on these items and still make a good profit.
Visit all of the local thrift stores on a regular basis. Prices at thrift stores are usually very reasonable and if you know what kind of stuff sells the best and gets the higher bids, then you know what to look for while shopping. Some unusual things you might not think about are vintage jigsaw puzzles and games, which sell well and can usually be bought for as little as a quarter or no higher than a couple of dollars.
Go to as many garage sales as possible. These are great places to find bargains and if it's later in the day on the last day of the sale, people are even more willing to make a deal, because they want to get rid of as much stuff as possible. This is especially true when several people come together at one location and have one large garage sale, they don't want to load up everything that didn't sell and take it back home.
Shop at flea markets, swap meets and other places where people set up booths to sell their stuff in one big location. Like garage sales, these people don't want to load up a bunch of stuff at the end of the day.
Look for estate sales in the local newspaper. Many estate sales are run by a company on behalf of the family, who will usually hold the sale over a number of days. Generally on the last day, they will mark prices down as much as 50 percent. Estate sales are a good source to find antiques, which can also be very big sellers, if you know what to look for and get it for a good price.
Check out antique stores. Although items in antique stores tend to be higher in price because the vendors are aware of the value of these items, if you can catch something on sale or if the store is overstocked and trying to reduce inventory, you might still find a bargain.
Attend various types of auctions, especially consignment auctions where there's a better chance of finding lots of different kinds of stuff. Most auctions will sell things in lots, which allows you to buy large amounts of stuff at one time for one low price. The only drawback is that you tend to only want a few of the items from the lot. However, you simply need to weed through the stuff that won't sell well and donate it to local thrift stores or hold your own garage sale.
Drive to other cities close to where you live once or twice a month and check out their thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. If you live in a smaller city, you could eventually run out of good selections and may have to visit larger cities on a more frequent basis to find plenty of cheap stuff to resell on eBay.
Tips and warnings
- You don't have to go to the thrift stores every day, but you should go at least two to three times each week, especially the first day they are open following the weekend. This is when many of them put out new stuff from all of the leftover garage sales items that were donated.
- If you know of a large estate sale that took place over the weekend, be sure to visit all the local thrift stores the first day they are open. Many leftover items from an estate sale are sometimes donated to various thrift stores where you might find it at a reduced price.
- Books, generally, are not big sellers, unless they are rare, out of print or antiques. The exception to the rule, however, is autographed books. Many books, especially by well known authors, that might not normally sell because they are too common, will bring a good price if it's autographed.