How I Sell on eBay Part 2 :: What I Sell

So, here is the much-asked for, long-awaited re-post of this topic.
Blogger really tore up my last post, and I had to delete it.

In How I Sell on eBay Part 1 :: My Closet
I showed you the hub of my business.

I challenged those of you with selling on your minds to:

  • Find and clear out a place to start storing items you think you want to sell. Create a staging area for the items you are selling.
  • Start filling it with items you want to sell. Anything. You'd be surprised what another person's treasure looks like.
  • Pick up some FedEx/UPS/USPS Priority labels and Priority boxes.
  • Find a postal scale. You'll definitely need one to weigh packages.

Your space doesn't have to look like mine, you know.
You just need a space to store and sort your stuff to sell.
And a sunny spot to take snapshots in.

Throughout the past 10 years, I have had about 1,000 transactions on eBay.

I started out selling mainly the things around my home that I no longer needed or used.
Now, I usually buy with resale in mind.

The items that I list are things that I am familiar with,
like, and enjoy using myself.
Items, that if they DON'T sell, I figure I simply had enjoyed the thrill of the hunt.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND starting out selling things you have no clue about
simply because you think it might make you huge profits.
Why not?
Because you will not enjoy the process.

EBay is a job I take seriously, but I wanna like what I do and like what I sell.
You should, too.


Vintage bedspreads
Creative Memories Items
Baby and Children's Clothing
Melmac and Melamie Dishes and Serveware
Vintage Framed Art
(I especially LOVE LINENS)
Vintage Christmas Pretties
Vintage Lingerie
Homeschooling Curriculum
(Our city has A LOT of homeschoolers, hence, a lot of curriculum)
Household Decor and Home Staging Items
Pampered Chef Items
Medical Scrubs
Vintage Jewelry and Clothing
Fabric and Sewing Notions



Estate Sales, Yard Sales, Good Will and Salvation Army, mainly.


  • Item must be something I know about, like, and/or had previous experience selling.
  • The purchase price must allow for profit. I aim for at least a 150% profit ++ (A $10 item selling for $25++). I typically don't mess with too many items that will close/sell for under $10. (Amazon is a different story.)
  • Keep in mind the weight, size and fragility -- heavy, bulky and/or delicate items can be more trouble to pack and ship for eBay than they're worth.
  • I examine items for chips, cracks, permanent marker, and grime that may be difficult to remove.
  • Examine clothing carefully for stains, small holes, missing buttons, broken zippers and torn linings. Also -- if it smells smoky, like mildew or mothballs, leave it there no matter how cool it is. Smells are very hard to get out completely and buyers will complain about it in feedback. You can, however, get most yellowing stains out of vintage linens by washing them and setting them in the sunshine outside (in God's awesome sunlight) to dry.

(I do not have this, yet, but will be getting it in the future.)
But, if YOUR cell phone has Internet access, you can actually check eBay 
to see if the item is selling well. You can check right there at the thrift store 
or in the driveway of the yard sale, before purchasing the item.


I don't always know.
You'll gain experience as you go with what items sell better than others,
what prices to set, 
whether to have a reserve auction or a .99 starting bid auction. 
Through this series of posts, I will give you the knowledge I have acquired, 
but sometimes, experience IS the best teacher.

I have brought home an item that I thought was 
marvelous, unusual, the BE ALL and END ALL of collectibles!
But, apparently, I was the only one who though so, because I received nary a bid!

Other times, I found something that I thought was "cute, different, and charming"
and, by the time the virtual gavel had sounded on the auctioneer's bench,
I sat and stared in shock at the computer monitor,
shook my head and declared the bidder to be crazy to pay that much!

(But extremely delighted that they did!)

(As in: .50 panties selling for $152.50)

My attitude is: 
"If it doesn't sell the first time, 
maybe the right buyer wasn't buying this week.
So, I'll list it again 
(sometimes, I lower the price).
And if it doesn't sell the second time, oh well."

What do you have to sell that you no longer need or use?
So, what do you like finding?

What makes you heart go pitter patter when you see it?
Chances are, it will make someone else's heart go pitter patter, too.
They will want it and pay for it.

There is a great sense of satisfaction in knowing 
that you helped someone else acquire what they wanted or needed.

A few Qs and As from the last post:

Q: Val asks: Thanks so much for sharing. This is definitely something to think about. I've got a little stash of things I'd like to sell. Now maybe I should just start listing them. Do you only list certain things on eBay or Craigslist, or do you list things in multiple places?

A: Leslie replies: It sounds tempting to try to get the most exposure for your item to ensure that it sells, doesn't it? But, I never list an item in two places. It can cause trouble if you forget to cancel the listing on one site if it sells on the other. Many, many times, people are "watching" your item on eBay and don't bid till the last minute, so you may grow impatient waiting for a bid on your item, don't. Wait out the auction. 

Q: Queenbee asks: Great post! I've never sold on eBay before and this post really has me interested. How do you decide between [what to sell on] Craigslist or eBay? Do you suggest selling kids' clothes individually or as a "lot"? I'm trying to find ways to make money all the time, so this is just my type of thing. Thanks for sharing.

A: Leslie replies: I use Craigslist for items that should it be shipped, it wouldn't be cost effective for the buyer  and time wise for me. I usually sell clothes as a lot. But you can and SHOULD see how individual pieces are selling. If it is easier and more profitable for you to list them individually, do so!

I know you all will have many questions 
if this is something you are interested in doing.
PLEASE, ask me anything, and I will answer you in future posts.

The next post in this series will be:
Where to Find Cheap Packing Materials
How to Search on eBay
(to see if what you have to sell is worth anything)

Future Topics:
Setting Up a PayPal Account
Setting Up an eBay Seller Account
How Many Pictures DO I Need to Take?
What About Seller Auction Fees?
How To Maintain a Good Seller Rating
What To Do After the Auction Closes


  1. Thanks Leslie, I need to get my stuff in order and just start doing it. I have a couple of sconces that I took out of my bathroom, pretty but not the look I was going for, but turns out they were pretty expensive when I looked them up. Not sure where I should try to sell them They are antique brass, double lights with shade and I have two.

  2. Wow, Leslie, thank you for this series! I've sold a couple of things on eBay in the past, but they were things that I sold for "garage sale" kinds of prices, not things that were satisfying or fun to sell. You've really got me thinking with this!

  3. You've got me thinking about this, too! Does Ebay charge you for listings?
    I guess I need to go read up on how to post to Ebay...and start doing it! I'm inspired!

  4. Leslie! This is very timely for me because I have been trying to decide whether to continue selling my kids clothes at a consignment store or to start the ebay thing. My only problem is the time it takes...not sure I can squeeze in one more thing. But my daughter's clothes, especially, are VERY well taken care of...washed in cold, line dried and are almost all Gymboree. Anyway, I am going to really enjoy these posts and I know it will help me decide what to do. No pressure for you! :-)

  5. Great post Leslie and you have me thinking of trying ebay again- I did great years ago when I sold on it but had heard it wasn't profitable these days.

    I have been selling my little sweater pumpkins on my blog and this has been a fun thing too!

    bee blessed

  6. Great post and so informative. Thanks for sharing so freely all of your knowledge. Hugs, Marty

  7. I sell on Ebay too. Great little source of income. I'm close to 500 right now. My question is how do you determine your shipping? I've only sold children's clothes so it's an easy calculation for me. After the auction, I use scales to calculate my shipping with USPS online. Love to do postage, labels, everything right from home. About to start listing my fall batch this week!

  8. I just bought a pair of shoes for myself, at a killer returns. They are too big, and just yesterday I thought 'hmmm, I wonder if I should list it on eBay'! Perfect timing, my friend. BTW, LOVE that bedspread! ;)

  9. Oh, Leslie. Thank you so much for your post and for the willingness to continue to share information on your E-bay business. I am DYING to do it but I have soooooo many questions. I have NO IDEA how to do postage and handling. Would I pack the item and THEN weight it and take it to the post office? And how would the buyer pay my own asking price PLUS postage and handling? Yikes. This is SOOOOO confusing to me.

    But I'm so willing to LEARN from you. I'd love to sell colored glassware, cookbooks, and items for the home but how in the heck would I even know if anyone would buy anything?

    So Leslie, thanks, and I'm definitely going to look forward to more posts! Susan

  10. Thanks Leslie, thank you so much for this series that so many of us want to know more about. Who among us doesn't want to get rid of clutter and bring in some money? And there is somebody out there in cyber-space just aching and ready to buy it!

    I'm watching and ready to hear the sermonettes!

  11. I love this series! With each post I get closer and closer to trying it. I'm intimidated fro some reason. I don't know why. I have stuff at home I could try and sell...I should just go for it, but the unknown makes it scary. Like, how do I make a listing appealing? Do I have to attach my ebay account to a bank account? How much time is involved in handling buyers and winners? Thanks! Lisa~

  12. Very informative, Leslie. I don't know how you do it. You are multi-talented.

    Btw, I sent you a reply to your comment yesterday via email. Thanks for stopping by earlier.

    Love and blessings!

  13. Hi Leslie! I found your post fun (the panties for 152.50) and interesting! I used to sell on ebay prior to my Bella Rosa website. Started in 1999 when all I had was a film camera, my roommates computer, and my boyfriend would scan my photos for me! We've come a long way, baby!

    Bella Rosa Antiques

  14. I have been waiting for this!!! This is the post which disappeared mysteriously awhile back, right?

    I am so interested in this and am literally "studying" what you write. I can't wait for the next installment because I am a detail person.

  15. Another great post!! I'm printing this one off so I can refer back to it! I can't wait till I can get the camera/computer working again so I can get some stuff posted on ebay.

    Hope the ankle is getting better.

    :) Michelle

  16. I have listed a few things on eBay in years past, with not much interest, but, as you say, timing is everything, as is persistence. I've forgotten everything I ever knew about the process, and wish I had the energy to get serious about listing some things. It's almost a full-time job.

  17. Hi, Leslie! I have a question about shipping. I find the whole shipping process confusing. So hard to know how to price. I've picked up some flat rate boxes but it seems so expensive. I need to get the scales. Any tips on that? You metioned priority tape & fedex. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

  18. So YOU"RE the one! I came across this post the first time and was so impressed with it! I told my husband about it! I didn't make the connection that it was my future roomie! Ha Ha Ha! You rock!

  19. Leslie, I was so excited to see this post today as I have been anxiously waiting for it!
    I am getting ready to list some things on Ebay this week and will be sure to let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!
    Can't wait to learn more from you :)

  20. Hi Leslie, Great informative post! I am just now getting back into selling. It is such a great feeling when you get that 150% profit! Your post inspires me to make a better ebay spot in my home... right now packaging is in the basement but scale and printer are in the office on 2nd floor ... I know, what was I thinking?! (calorie burning?? lol :)

    Hope you are well friend!!

  21. Thanks for the tips! I love estate sale shopping, and could maybe turn that hobby into a money maker. We'll see...

  22. I just found your blog today and am already HOOKED - signed up for FPU for a week from Sunday and am so inspired by these eBay posts.

    How does eBay work with your taxes? Do you have to withhold yourself? What rate are your sales taxed at? Do you need to worry about state sales tax? Do you need to file quarterly?

    Thanks in advance!

  23. I am excited like the rest of the commenter s. I have wanted to do this for years and always have been intimidated for some reason. I especially have questions about shipping and how to handle sales tax. Thank you and a BIG HUG for doing this!

  24. I like selling at ebay very much. It's always a great extra income.


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