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I had to sell my shorts

selling used clothes on eBayOver the years, I've heard a lot of funny things from online sellers just starting out.

"I can't find anything to sell."

"eBay sucks."

"I don't have enough money to get started with selling online."

"Selling stuff takes too much time."

See, I don't 'have' to sell on eBay anymore. My income from everything else,including selling on Amazon, means I don't have to rely on eBay as much as I did years ago. But eBay was how I got my start working for myself.

So every now and then, I like to re-test how possible it is to make some seriously quick cash with eBay.

And I did just that. By selling my used shorts. I had to.

See, depending on what industry report you read, there is "$X,000 worth of unwanted, resellable used goods in every home."

(Yes, thousands of dollars. I can't prove it, but that's probably pretty accurate.)

I wrote about this phenomena herehere and here (you don't have to buy those to learn from this post)

So let's get to the used shorts part.

I had 4 pairs of size 40 waist cargo shorts lying around (I dropped weight so I'm a 38 now). I bought them new from Kohls about 3 years ago, for about $19 each. (They were on sale).

2 months ago, I laid them out flat the best I could - on the floor - and took about 4 photos. Then I made a very basic eBay listing (view it here). Because I didn't know what they were worth, I started an auction at $.01 and offered free shipping.

Seven days later, they sold to the highest bidder for $53, which is pretty remarkable. Why? They were all missing the cargo-style belts that came with them, and the brand is a middle-tier one that most folks don't even know about. But somewhere there are fans of these shorts who were trying to outbid each other.

My net take, after shipping and eBay/Paypal fees was about $35. Not bad for 10 minutes worth of work - for an item that I may have otherwise just thrown away or donated.

Now, expand your mind a little on this.

Do you have multiples of similar items you don't wear any more, all of the same size? E.g.,  summer sandals? Dress shirts? Neck ties? Dress shoes? (Click on each link and note the green prices are what they actually sold for - in used condition!)

Do you have a cousin whose kids outgrew piles of Osh Kosh B'Gosh clothing? Carter's?

Do you have a friend who no longer needs her maternity clothing?

And now that you've tapped your relatives and friends, what about finding similar lots at yard sales? 'Tis the season!

I call it the FTM method

Find stuff. Try selling it on eBay. And if it works, Multiply your efforts.

So the above examples partially define "What's eBay good for?" for sellers.

Simply put, I sell stuff on eBay that I can't sell on Amazon. You should too:

  • Used clothes (not just vintage)
  • High-end fashion and clothes
  • One of a kind items
  • Anything you're restricted from selling on Amazon
  • Antiques

The point? If you want to start selling online (or grow your current revenue streams), there really is no excuse. The money is everywhere, you just have to look for it.

And before you buy stuff to resell - always, always check the completed listings on eBay to see how much similar brands/items have sold for (the actual selling prices will be in green font)

Other resources for figuring out "what can I easily find to sell on eBay?":

(I receive no compensation by referring you to those experts!)

Got any similar eBay selling success? Share 'em here.


{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Lesley June 6, 2018, 7:16 pm

    Great information as usual 🙂
    I started selling stuff from the house last year – some things have sold, but its very slow going. Im using – free shipping – and – best offer – but buyers are still not buying that much. Dont know what Im doing wrong – I dont think my prices are to high – but i have – best offer if that is the case.

    I’ll keep plugging away at it and see how it goes.

    Thanks for all the great info you help us with 🙂

    • Jordan Malik June 6, 2018, 7:28 pm

      Thanks Lesley! It may be just a case of low demand for whatever it is you’re selling. I always check the “completed listings’ on eBay for other similar/exact item’s I’m selling, to see how well they sell. Granted, if the shorts I had didn’t look like a profitable item to sell, I wouldn’t have bothered.

      • Lesley June 6, 2018, 10:45 pm

        Yes, I always look at the completed listings before I put my listings up. Im selling things out of my parents 48 year house – so I have a warehouse full of stuff here to sell lol

        It seems so much work putting the listings up – and Im getting so little out of it. I get very discouraged sometimes, but I press on anyway. There is no other site to go to – I thought about trying Amazon but they have so many restrictions even for used things.

  • Dave Pollard June 5, 2018, 5:45 pm

    Great article Jordan. I make 75% of my profits on Amazon, but have much more fun & ROI w/ my Ebay sales!

    • Jordan Malik June 6, 2018, 1:31 pm

      Thanks Dave! Love to hear you’re crushing it on eBay (as well as Amazon)!

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