Part Time eBay Side Hustle Expert
Over the past 2 years I have become a part-time side hustle expert on eBay. What I do is simple, I buy new and gently used men’s and women’s clothing from garage sales, discount stores(like Ross, Marshall’s, Nike Outlet), and thrift stores. I take the items I purchase and resell these items on eBay for a profit. I have been selling on and off since I graduated college in which I started my side hustle with a credit card and then moved on to sell from Chicago to Miami. What happened 2 years ago, that has me making $$$ every month?
I had just moved into the neighborhood and wanted to see what stores and shops were around, I discovered only a few blocks away a nice thrift store. Now I have never really been into thrift stores with the exception of buying a classic Blink 182 t-shirt and the occasional Halloween costume, but I was curious. This particular thrift store was primarily clothing, I immediately went to the polo shirt section to see what they had to offer and to my surprise they had some really great brands and like new items. I came across a couple of golf polo’s that I was familiar with due to my days of caddying for Michael Jordan. I decided to purchase 3 or 4 polos for a total of around $10, one was even a Polo Ralph Lauren. I brought them home to Mrs. Even Steven and she was wondering what I was doing buying used polo shirts, well I had in the back of my mind that I was going to sell them on eBay! She wasn’t buying it and for that fact didn’t believe anyone would buy my new found treasures. From my previous eBay experience I snapped a couple pictures and listed them auction style for about $9.99 and they Sold! Fast Forward a couple years and I’m very proud to say I have made enough money selling on eBay to buy all the appliances in our 3-Flat multi-unit home, presents for the wife to see comedians Daniel Tosh and Aziz Ansari, and most important this money has helped me towards paying off my student loans. So you are probably wondering what’s my secret, how did I sell enough used clothing to do all that!?!?
Have a Niche
I have worked a few retail jobs growing up including Marshall Field’s and Abercrombie and Fitch, so I tend to know name brands and what looks good and what doesn’t. I know what clothes are expensive and what clothes are cheap, buying a Tommy Bahama polo at Macy’s is expensive and buying a Kirkland polo at Costco is cheap, so I would look for the expensive brands specifically. I started out knowing a good amount about brand names like Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, and Banana Republic. What I didn’t know I researched through eBay or Google, for example when I first saw a nice Tommy Bahama polo shirt I was curious so I looked up how much they were selling for and it was a good amount, so I bought it. I knew I could focus on polo shirts, since they could be worn year round(in certain parts of the US, although I attempt to wear them in Chicago year-round), they were expensive items, I knew the brand names, and a wild card for me was knowing golf courses. I had a niche and I created a better understanding of that niche, what was selling and what wasn’t. I would buy a J Crew polo, list it on eBay for a few weeks and see if it sold, I was doing my own market research. Most important I knew my product, I created a niche.
You Need a Supplier(s)
This is most people’s big hang up. I don’t have anything to sell? Where do I get these items from? I can’t find a wholesaler or I don’t want to buy from China? Want to know the people who ask these questions? The people who are not going to do anything just expect money to fall in their laps. If you want to sell online and make money, I recommend starting with items you don’t use anymore. Start with a used pair of running shoes that you wore a few times. Once you sell a few items, you will begin to understand what people are buying and how you can get your hands on those specific items. You will work to get your hands on those items, whether it’s selling beanie babies or antique items from flea markets, if you want to sell them you will make it happen. Your mindset completely changes, you are no longer going to shop for items, but you are looking how much you can sell the item for, when it happens it’s great you are thinking like a business man or woman. I primarily buy from a few thrift stores in the Chicago area, they replenish the store very frequently and Chicago has enough stores around that supply has not been an issue.
Learn the Business
Nobody starts out in business and knows everything, you work hard and learn as you go, usually from mistakes, but also from things that go exceedingly well, let me give you an example. While going through the polo’s at the thrift store I came across a nice Fairway and Greene polo, but I had not seen the logo before, which has become more and more rare over time. The logo was a little dog on the front, now I know you can put just about any logo on a shirt and sell it, but I knew this one was different. I ended up making the $3 purchase, which is about the average cost of items I buy and looked it up extensively online when I arrived home. What I found was a thrift store treasure, the polo’s sold for anywhere from $100-$150. I listed my like new Scotty Cameron polo, the dog was a “Scotty” and the logo for the Titleist Scotty Cameron putter which is considered by many to be the best in golf, which I listed for $100 and sold about 30 minutes later. That went exceedingly well, now I don’t know how many $100 polo’s I will sell, but I will tell you that because I knew what to look for I have sold a few $100 polo’s since, it’s called learning the business.
Let me give you another example of learning from your mistakes. When I first started selling I put everything on auction and put it at a price that would make me a few dollars. I usually started my auctions at $9.99 in Week 1, $7.99 in Week 2, and $5.99 in Week 3. I did this for a few reasons, 1) I knew and understood auctions. 2) I wanted the money right now or at least in 7 days. 3) It was working and making money. Then I realized this was not the best approach, I was shipping as many as 20 or 30 items Sunday night and all for what making $7 or $8 an item. I knew that I couldn’t maintain making a few dollars off polo’s each week, something had to change. I listened to eBay Scavengers who I highly recommend to anyone who wants to sell on eBay, and they said something that struck a chord, it went something like this: Whether you sell the item for $5 or $50 it still takes the same amount of time to buy, list, and ship it. Brilliant!!! I was/still am a big fan of Rahmit Sethi and IWTYTBR, but when I was getting hammered with emails from Rahmit and listening to live webinars(seriously this guy is really smart, I suggest checking out some of his stuff), he said a couple things that also really hit home, here’s the one that made me more money: Ask for more money, your worth it. That’s exactly what I did, I increased the auction prices, instead of $9.99 some of my best items were starting at $24.99 and you know what it worked. Which was absolutely crazy to me, so if I ask for more money people will still buy my items…..Crazy I have learned the business and will continue to learn more about eBay and making money. I’m just getting started, but I have experimented with prices, brands, shipping, format, templates, listing, etc and while I’m not quitting my 9-5 to run an eBay store, I am however making money each month by simply buying and reselling items on eBay.
I have taken my eBay side hustle and made it into an income stream, as much work as I put into eBay is the exact amount I will get out. I don’t use this as my full-time income, but as I have previously mentioned it has turned into extra money each month. Don’t you want an extra $300 to pay off debt or take your spouse out to dinner or see a movie and not have take money from your 9-5 paycheck? Over the past 3 eBay posts, I have went from $0 to Part-Time eBay side hustle expert and I believe anyone can do it. I have a wealth of eBay information on buying and selling, I’m looking to post a couple guides coming out in the next couple months. I have some ideas in the direction that I want to go, but what I really want to know is what do the people want? What would help you the most?