How is Anyone Making Money on Cheap Ebay Listings?
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  1. #1
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    How is Anyone Making Money on Cheap Ebay Listings?

    I have tons of things to sell, You name it! I've probably dabbled in it at one time or another. I was just listing in and playing around in one category which was pocket watches and related items. It does ok for what I have laying around. But when I run out of stuff to sell there really isn't enough out there or at least in this area to buy and resale, that will make any kind of real money. Not enough volume.

    So, I'm looking through other categories of things I know a little about or that interest me.

    I'm seeing people selling coins and different things for prices of $2 and as far down as 99 cents and occasionally even cheaper with free shipping!

    This is where my question comes in to you seasoned sellers! How in the Heck are you able to make any kind of money selling items that cheap? I understand the concept of volume! But lets say your even going to shoot for a reasonable goal of an average $125 to $150 at a minimum a day profit, that would be a lot of time and energy to hit with items that cheap and that kind of profit margin.

    What am I missing here? And how are they able to do this without it being a complete wash? Are there other reasons to do this? Maybe to draw people in and hope they make bigger purchases, like advertising?

    I was just curious! I have a hard time making anything on items that are 8 bucks or below, I don't grasp or I'm missing the 99 cent idea...

    Someone school me here!
    Last edited by Nitric; Jun 14, 2016 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Print your postage at home and let the mail carrier pick up the items. Only way to do it. You are NOT going to get rich on ebay, but you could make a living.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmjamsit View Post
    Print your postage at home and let the mail carrier pick up the items. Only way to do it. You are NOT going to get rich on ebay, but you could make a living.
    The cost of printer ink, packaging,time,electric,internet service, ebay and paypal fees, etc... Just seems to be a wash or even a loss in the end with those type items.

    I agree! I think it would take a lot of luck to become rich on Ebay. I think it could be done with huge volume and in many categories. But there is only so much time in a day.

    I look at stuff that is 3 bucks and would rather wing it in the trash than to spend the time with it. But maybe I'm too greedy and I'm missing something with the volume. In a store or person to person type place? I get the idea of fillers and having cheap items around for a draw and fill in. But there is no real time involved. It sits until someone buys it. Nothing really invested. And actually! Those are the items that actually pull you through at times or do the best. But on ebay I don't get the same concept. There are other variables that cost in there over someone walking in a store or booth and picking it up, buying, and walking away.

    Just something I was wondering...

    Maybe these are bigger operations with employees, and those type items pay the bills when there is any little down time? If you have people listing and shipping for you, they are paid to deal with the headache and are moving enough volume of all price ranges to cover the cost of them and maybe a small profit when there is nothing else to for them to do during the day? No down time type thing...

    I see a lot of items in these ranges and wonder how it is working for someone to be able to keep doing it and remain profitable.
    Last edited by Nitric; Jun 14, 2016 at 02:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ditch the inkjet and get a thermal printer. Even if you are a lower volume seller, it is well worth it in the aggravation it saves. Well, after the aggravation of getting it set up right anyway.
    Nitric, NWpickin and MotherOfGeeks like this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GibH View Post
    Ditch the inkjet and get a thermal printer. Even if you are a lower volume seller, it is well worth it in the aggravation it saves. Well, after the aggravation of getting it set up right anyway.
    I'm so far behind I think my laptop still has tubes!!!

    On my days off I want to start experimenting more with it. Maybe the real cheap stuff is better off at the local auction house or fleamarket. Sell, it to someone who wants to mess with it on Ebay. In the end, it might sell for more that way. I guess it's just finding the system that works for each individual and area. I never thought area made much of a difference in modern day buying and selling.... Until I moved!! I'm finding there are huge differences in some items from area to area.

    In the past I could actually buy stuff off of Ebay and sell it locally for a profit. There are still a lot of people and even the older generation that does not use Ebay. Pocket watches were a perfect example of this! Most of the collectors were older guys with money in that area. That and impulse buyers, that have to have an item now! Today!!
    Last edited by Nitric; Jun 14, 2016 at 02:49 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I don't sell anywhere near what I did when my wife was alive. It easy then, I'd do most of the buying, she'd do the selling. I've found small things make it easier, like the thermal printer and buying boxes/packing supplies instead of scrounging for them. Some items still require a bit of creativity.

    I agree with you though, I don't think it would be worth the trouble to only make a buck or two on items. Every once in a while I still screw up and under price shipping. I just sold a pottery vase and the shipping killed almost of the profit. The buyer lives in Washington. The same thing happened to me last year with a ceramic mug. Next time I sell something like that, I will use the calculate shipping option.
    Nitric likes this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GibH View Post
    I don't sell anywhere near what I did when my wife was alive. It easy then, I'd do most of the buying, she'd do the selling. I've found small things make it easier, like the thermal printer and buying boxes/packing supplies instead of scrounging for them. Some items still require a bit of creativity.

    I agree with you though, I don't think it would be worth the trouble to only make a buck or two on items. Every once in a while I still screw up and under price shipping. I just sold a pottery vase and the shipping killed almost of the profit. The buyer lives in Washington. The same thing happened to me last year with a ceramic mug. Next time I sell something like that, I will use the calculate shipping option.
    Yes!! I have done that more than once now......Ok 3 or 4 times! Where it actually cost me in the end! One of the better ones? The shipping was almost double of what I actually sold the box of items for! I didn't really care about the items and wanted to give someone a deal that might be able to use them rather than throw them away. Well, That cost me!! I didn't even consider that the weight was going to be a huge cost! Shipping has been my biggest problem to learn for some reason.

    Your right about having boxes and packing materials.... I started saving everything that could possibly be used!!
    Last edited by Nitric; Jun 14, 2016 at 03:51 PM.

  8. #8
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    Sometimes I sell cheap just to get my investment back. Right now I have an action figure in auction for 1.99 with 3 dollars shipping. I may break even on that one
    Nitric and jerseyben like this.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beans View Post
    Sometimes I sell cheap just to get my investment back. Right now I have an action figure in auction for 1.99 with 3 dollars shipping. I may break even on that one
    Makes sense....The money is better used somewhere else and I have taken a loss on some items to be able to buy items I knew I was going to make up the difference and more on...So, I can see that. A constant juggling act! Hoping or trying to plan on coming out ahead at some point.

    I guess there is really a lot of things to think about when trying to juggle and figure out some type of plan, or direction.

  10. #10
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    The good ole days I was on eBay when it had only 1,200 items on it total... Years later I ran over 600 ads at a time, all the time. Then the postage went up, the fees went up and I stopped. Yes the good ole days were awesome... you could tear it up back then...
    Gary from Oregon
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  11. #11
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    I always wondered about it too. Always wanted to give it a try, but never got around to it. Maybe some day. Of course I've given away or sold most everything so I'd have to start over. We'll see...
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  12. #12
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    The answer is no one is making ANY money off .99 cent items. Even if you got said items for nothing. The fees, and postage for even mailing a stamp would leave you with ZERO. and the time of listing, labeling, shipping, sending feedback is your loss of time.

    The only theory I can come up with is the ones still doing are doing so because they are addicted to selling on ebay.

    Even 5 dollar items would not be worth my time.

  13. #13
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    The only thing cheap items are good for is running up your completed transactions. I'm getting to where if I can't sell it for at least ten bucks I won't fool with it. Goodwill is a great dumping ground!


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselram94 View Post
    The only thing cheap items are good for is running up your completed transactions.
    That is what I was thinking. Get those feedback points up in the hundreds and a 100% rating real fast and then drop the cheapo auctions.
    dieselram94, kcm, Nitric and 2 others like this.
    When I did yard sales I was dollardan. No yard sales where I am now.

  15. #15
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    I won't sell anything I can't make at least a $15 profit on, & only then if I can list it and pack it in 20 minutes or less. Having said that, I can see where it could be worth it to sell something cheap. I'd love to have an item I paid a few cents for that would sell for a couple bucks....IF I had it set up where I could drop each unit in a poly mailer, slap a postage & address label on the outside, have the mailman pickup, & was able to sell a couple hundred a day. You make one listing, have a printing process that makes the labels in bulk, & it takes 1-2 minutes to drop each one in a poly mailer. That's a couple hundred bucks before lunch.
    Nitric likes this.

 

 
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