Selling online isn’t a new topic to blog about. it seems like everyone at this point has sold at least one thing online. But how many have made a full time living out of it? My family has & not to show off, but it happened quite fast.
Use platforms like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, Amazon FBA, & Facebook Marketplace. Master one, but know your options. That is how you succeed.
If you haven’t sold anything online, I suggest you check our Free Course. It will help you get your feet wet with selling stuff online! Sign Up for Free Course!
Why are you selling stuff online?
The number one thing you need to know about how to become with online sales is this…you need to know your why.
Why are you trying to sell stuff or services online? Is it to pay down debt & buy you’re gonna keep your job? Or are you looking to break free of the norm and become a hustler? Do you want more time & freedom or is the goal to put yourself out there & talk to everyone?
Shyanne & I have a very simple why… We love being a family. It means the world to be able to raise our son Oliver on our own terms. We HATED having jobs.
Our end goal is to have a business that fits into a backpack.
Before we go any further…the last job I had was for the company Sysco Foods, I was a sales rep (marketing associate) & sold food for a living. I talk a bunch of crap about them in this post if you are interested!
I knew there was something bigger out there. I needed to know what it was because being an employee wasn’t it.
First Poshmark sale in minutes!
After getting bored in our apartment one day, I decided to download Poshmark & start selling clothes from my closet. Something sold within 30 minutes & I was hooked.
A couple of weeks later we had totes full of clothes already & the journey had begun!
I was so proud of this… like seriously guys this was a happy moment in my life. I had told Shyanne that it would be SO cool to do $1000 a month in sales one day…
Though our journey started with clothing, it quickly evolved. The money drew us all over the store & quickly I was trying to master other sections.
Along came eBay…
Okay, to be totally honest with you guys… When I was around 14 I had a small online business & did sell stuff on eBay. I also dabbled a bit through the years, but nowhere even remotely close to what we have going on now.
This was a new experience. This was a fun side hustle that ended up being a real-life money-making machine.
I want to make it very clear at how much I truly hated my last job. My life was altered by it & not in a good way. That place made me more depressed than anything in my life. This post goes wayyy more into it!
I mention that again because it becomes important really quickly. The business grew so fast, I was just good at this & had a job that had little oversight.
Within 6 months I quit the job I hated because I sold used stuff online that I found at thrift stores… crazy.
Everyone knows about it, but no one really uses it.
For us, it became a stepping stone to freedom & we have learned how to leverage the power of it.
Here are some fun facts about eBay!
- There are currently 182 million eBay subscribers worldwide.
- 22 billion worth of goods sold on eBay in 2019.
eBay is a global marketplace that acts as a virtual swap meet to this day. Sure, it’s loaded with cheap ‘made in china’ junk sellers, but the vast majority are mom & pop type shops selling random goods.
Wanna learn some more about shipping internationally? Check out this blog post!
That’s the beauty of it, you can sell pretty much anything under the sun. No other platform is as unique as this one, while there are a few competitors, eBay remains the largest to this day.
So let’s talk about how to get started selling on eBay…
How to start – Day 1
Start by decluttering your house. Seriously! Anything that Marie Kondo would call your joy into question for or anything just taking up space…list it on eBay and see what happens!
Walk around your house with a box & start putting stuff in there that you haven’t touched in months.
Sell your Ipad, clothes, games, or anything else that is taking up space. Just list a few things & wait to see what happens. That’s ALL it takes.
The most common success story on eBay is just that. People starting with just junk around the house. That’s how we started & now it’s a 6 figure business for us.
We didn’t plan nor expect this, but it happened. That’s the beauty of a market so diverse as eBay, it’s just almost too easy to sell stuff.
Obviously, there is tons of competition, but clothing is the most flooded category, yet we still make a full time living.
Funny huh? Never let a crowded space deter you from starting!
Starting slow from stuff you already own is great since you won’t be losing any money. In the next section, we dive into buying stuff to re-sell for the first time.
Your first purchase
This is the big step in your money-making journey. Finding that first item to actually sell for a profit is super exciting, but calm down a bit.
Start slow & don’t take risks yet. Start with what you know, use your hobbies & current job to help you find items to re-sell.
Don’t have any hobbies or interests whatsoever? I got you covered… wrote this blog post to help people that may be a bit lost!
Let’s talk about how this works…
If you play video games ALL day & night, you should start selling video games, consoles, computer parts, gaming chairs, etc
The rabbit holes you could go down if you just do a broad category of “tech” is insane.
You will never get bored as new things are always coming out. This market is so diverse & filled with collectors that are willing to spend lots of money on vintage games!
Work as a car mechanic or know how to use basic hand tools? You should part out junk cars and sell those replacement parts on eBay… It’s BIG business!
Even if you don’t wanna go that far with it, hop on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Both great places to find used car parts to re-sell.
Many times, especially in the off-road and performance communities you will find lightly used stock parts that may bring good money online.
Sellers often have a hard time selling these locally and typically these items can be bought cheap.
Still have no idea what to re-sell online? I created this INSANE 6000-word blog post breaking down a bunch of the most popular selling categories on eBay. You can read that post here!
Do what you love!
– First, you will actually want to go looking for stuff because it will be something YOU enjoy.
– Second, it’s less of a chance for you to mess up. It will be easier for you to know what games are cool or what cars are more expensive parts wise.
– Third, it lets you learn how to list things online without having to do much research which will make things faster
Buying & selling clothing is really easy for me. I’ve been in that industry & know what’s cool. I know high-end brands as well as niche subculture brands. It’s what I enjoy.
Now if I were to tell someone who has never cared about clothing in their life to try to copy out business, they would fail.
You can learn everything in the world, but if it’s not in your heart, you’ll never get anywhere. Find what your thing is!
Doesn’t shipping things suck?
Yup at first it surely does. Especially if you try to go the budget route and not buy the right supplies.
The things you need depends on what you’re shipping, clothing & electronics will be two very different packaging types.
We covered a bunch of shipping supplies & even show you where to get FREE SHIPPING SUPPLIES! Read that blog post here!
Printing labels and shipping from home is so easy now! Don’t even buy a fancy label printer, just use your normal inkjet printer and normal printer paper. Tape your paper to your boxes if you don’t have shipping labels.
Just don’t make excuses as to why you’re not doing it from home. The postal service will come to your house for FREE to pick up packages, if that doesn’t make you wanna figure out shipping from home, I don’t know what will.
Help thrift stores by re-selling!
People think that donations are literally going to poor people in need. That is the furthest thing from the truth.
Those items are being sold for a profit, that money is later used to help fund these programs. Sure, some clothing may go to shelters, but the VAST majority will be sold on the retail floor, to wholesalers, or even to recyclers.
When I first began, the thought crossed my mind that people thought what I was doing was wrong. Let me tell you this, in 3 years, no one has ever said ANYTHING negative about what I do. I load up shopping carts with $100’s of stuff and no one cares.
The products don’t matter, the money they generate does. The more you buy, the better you are actually helping so CLEAR those stores out!
Tell people what you do
Tell EVERYONE what you do. It’s just like real-estate, when people have stuff to get rid of they will call you. I’m serious, the amount of connections I have made just by telling people I resell is insane.
Everyone is curious about it & we always get to talking. It’s a fantastic ice breaker especially if the person sells niche items that you can both talk about on a high level. You may just make a buddy!
People are always cleaning out garages, closets, & attics. Why not tell them that you buy furniture or appliances, maybe they will even give them to you for free (happens to me). At yard sales especially do this.
They may have more stuff in their house that they wanna get rid of but haven’t put it out yet. You never know what will happen when you ask questions!
At thrift stores, this is also key to do. Let the staff know what you do, especially at smaller shops.
If I walk into a really small mom and pop place I will typically introduce myself & let them know what I am there for before just pulling stuff. At larger chain stores I don’t do this, but I slowly start to get to know the staff.
I say hi to EVERYONE at these places, I’m kind & remember names.
Why do I do this?
- I’m a nice guy & everyone is important
- it gets me major discounts
- I get access to stuff in the back
Serious, the amount of perks I have gotten from just being nice & talking to people is crazy. Most people that work at thrift stores hate their jobs, if you can make it just a bit better for them, I promise they will hook you up.
How much money do you make?
Everyone always asks. Right now, about $50k a year, maybe a bit less. It’s not a lot, but we don’t have a ton of bills. My wife & I are both able to stay home with our 7-month-old son. The money doesn’t matter, we are so free it’s insane.
We do what we want when we want. Now I’m not talking about flying to Paris for the weekend. I mean like going on a morning walk at 6:30 am, not bringing our phones, & not having anywhere to be.
Go grocery shopping at the slowest times. We HARDLY commute, like ever, it’s crazy. I go thrifting about 4-5 times a week, all within 30 miles of our home. Our market is great, you may not be as lucky.
Our goal is to get eBay over $200k a year in sales while working on other projects on the side. Though selling used stuff isn’t our end goal, it is what we have for now!
None of this may seem or sound glamorous, it’s not supposed to. This business is ever-evolving, requires a vast amount of skill sets & depends on YOUR drive!