creating online income

Tips to Making Money on Ebay – From Goodwill to Profit!

As I sit here to write this post….I hear the sounds of one of my favorite “picking” shows in the background. When I first began watching these shows, I am ashamed to admit it but I was BORED out of my mind! I really didn’t care about the car parts, or the old rusty oil cans, or even the vintage pieces of brands that I couldn’t pronounce…but that all changed when I began selling on Ebay.

Ebay is one of the largest web based auction sites around and ANYONE can sell on Ebay. For many, it is a quick way to sell a few extra items. For others, it is a way to buy needed items at a reduced price…and for those of us like me-It is an ADDICTION.

Ebay allows anyone to be a home based entrepreneur and a MUST for anyone wanting to make money online. As an Ebay seller, you are responsible for finding your own inventory, setting prices, shipping product, and building relationships with your customers. You wouldn’t think that the customer service piece is so important on this virtual auction house BUT IT IS. Buyers and sellers leave feedback to determine scores and you will deal with some of the same customers if you have a store. It is just like running a brick-and-mortar business and if you are willing to do the work…there is money to be made.

My addiction started when I became a work from home parent. I needed something to put my “business brain” and “entrepreneurial energy” into. If you have read any of my hubs before, you know that I am probably a borderline Hoarder and find value in the items that others do not. I began by selling broken electronics that I had stored in my home to eventually repair (until I got the quotes)! It was exciting but not yet addicting. The addiction kicked in when I began selling the items that only I saw the value in. Each day I would chase my husband to the trash can to find my next challenge. I would always see something that he was throwing out that I knew I could sell. He despised seeing this and offered me a trip to a mental health professional one day after I saved a broken x box 360 controller. He recanted and apologized when I sold this same controller for $9.99.

So…now, I am hooked! I recently started my own Ebay store and needed inventory. I have honestly sold all of my “hoard” so there weren’t many quick selling items available at my home. With a little inspiration from another E-bay Blogger HawaiianOdysseus…I went directly to my favorite store…the Thrift Shop. My local thrift stores are teeming with activity these days…heck, even a popular rapper has written a song about Thrift shops! They are now the “hip” place to be and my number one place for inventory. Below is a small breakdown of items that I purchased and listed on Ebay along with my potential selling price based on research. ALL were sourced at my local Thrift Store!

My “Goodwill” Inventory

purchase price
value based on SOLD auctions
(NWT)Greys Anatomy Lab Coat
$29.99 SOLD
(NWT)Landau Lab Coat
Fetco Trout Frame
Reed Oil Diffusers
Poppytrail Stawberry Plate
Listed up to $32.99
Poppytrail Rooster Plate
Affliction Shirt
$20.93 total
$118.93 Approx
Total Sale Price was determined by using a lower “estimated” sales price. Just because I found them listed that high…doesn’t mean that mine will sell that high!

Want to try to make a buck?

If this has you thinking that you may want to try to strike it rich selling thrift store items on Ebay…then welcome to my club! Thrift stores are very overwhelming and you have to buy Quick! If you hesitate-just like in an auction- its going, going, GONE! Starting out, you won’t know what brands to look for or what will sell well so you have to go with your gut. Think about what you would bid on and go from there.

Here are 10 Tips to selling Goodwill items on Ebay!

  1. Start as a seller not a store. This is a business so you want to keep start-up expenses as low as possible. As an individual seller, you can list up to 50 items a month with NO insertion fees. You will be charged a percentage only after the item sells. Once you upgrade to a store, you pay a monthly subscription, an insertion fee, and a reduced percentage on the sale (Ebay calls this the Final Value Fee). Keep costs LOW and DRIVE PROFIT!
  2. Price some of the items around your home. You can find almost anything on Ebay and you can even look at closed auctions. Take a few minutes and grab some plates, frames, collectibles, clothing, etc. from your home. You don’t have to be Selling them to get a value. This will give you a great idea of what to look for when you go treasure hunting.
  3. Start Small. Start with about 10 items. You don’t want to go broke starting your new business. I started with junk around my house and keep my goodwill trips to under $20. This keeps me in line with my cash flow…money comes in and less goes out!
  4. Buy based on what you learned by pricing items at home. Look for items that still have original tags, are in great shape, or just look cool or “vintage”.
  5. Post and price these items based on what you see in popular or closed auctions. Just because someone has it posted for $50 doesn’t mean that it sells for $50. Be competitive but make a profit.
  6. Be patient. Not everything sells the first time. It costs you nothing to re-list it! Like in all businesses it takes time and energy.
  7. Pack Lightly and Ship Accurately! Use as little packing as possible while still ensuring safe deliver. Extra packing materials mean extra shipping charges. That overage will come out of your profit so be as accurate as possible. You can ship online through the USPS and a postage scale is only about $20. being accurate with Shipping will keep money in your “register” .
  8. Clean up items and make them look fresh before sending! You wouldn’t buy a dirty shirt n the store so don’t send it to your customer.
  9. Keep your receipts! If you get home and it turns out your purchase isn’t going to make you any money…most stores have a 7 day return policy.
  10. ENJOY THE RIDE! Ebay can be fruitful and stressful at times but is an enjoyable side business!

I hope that these tips have been helpful to you in turning one man’s trash into another man’s treasure! It can be done and is being done by many on Ebay. If you have had a HUGE SCORE..please share. While Ebay is competitive…it is also filled with sellers who believe that we don’t win UNTIL WE ALL WIN. Sharing our knowledge is always returned with a new tip or trick…even from a beginner.
So get to picking, get to listing, and GET TO SELLING! Enjoy your profit!

Want to learn more about the Ebay Business?

Getting Started?

Learn some easy tips and tricks HERE

Interested in Starting and Ebay Store?

Check out this article! Should I start an Ebay Store

Want to try to get rich without pre-buying inventory

To Dropship or not to Dropship..that is the question

Looking around for things to sell?

Here are



Want more tips on Goodwill to Ebay items? Check out HawaiianOdysseus’ article….

My Goodwill Store Haul February 18, 2013


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