Remember VHS-C? Apparently there are folks out there who still want these.
So, what are the types of items should a Part Time Picker sell on eBay?
My answer is anything you can! That's right, anything that you can get cheaply enough to make a decent profit on when resold through eBay is up for grabs. There are advantages to selling some types of things through Amazon or locally through a site like Craigslist, which we'll go into soon enough. For the most part, almost anything can be moved through eBay. You just need to decide if the potential money you can make reselling an item is worth the time and hassle.
You need to have a good idea what an item will sell for, or even if it will sell at all. You also need to factor in the initial cost of the pick, eBay and Paypal fees, potential shipping losses (or gains), and the time it will take to photograph, list, package, and ship your item. In the past you would have to possess an awful lot of specialized knowledge about an item to get a solid estimate on what it might sell for. Nowadays, all you need is your smart phone.
The quickest and easiest way to get an overview of how an item will do on eBay is by checking how similar items have done in the recent past on eBay. Simply use the eBay app on your phone and search for the completed listings of the item. Completed listings are so much more helpful than current auctions listings because they give you a clearer picture of actual bids and not just asking price. The fact that an item is being offered for hundreds of dollars doesn't mean squat unless we have confirmation that someone put a bid down on that price.
With completed listings you also can get rough ideas of an items popularity by looking at how many of this item have recently been sold, how many bids were placed, and what the price variations are. If you're really clever, you can even use completed auctions to compare different listings for the same item that fetched different amounts. Did one listing use better keywords, photos, or a more appropriate category?
There are advantages and disadvantages with eBay when compared to other reselling outlets, which I'll go through, topic by topic, in future posts. One of the largest drawbacks, especially when compared to Amazon, is that it takes significantly more time and effort to list an item. You'll usually want to take your own photograph and compose your own listing, which takes time and energy. For many items, this extra effort, if executed properly, has its rewards when the bidding goes higher and higher. You not only can sell your pickings, you can get a lot more than you expected!
Sure, everybody thinks to sell antiques and collectibles on eBay, but there are willing buyers for so many more unexpected items. And they don't have to be new in the packaging to sell. I'll be spending a great deal of posts on this blog reviewing all sorts of items I have picked and sold. But let's start here with what is in the photo at the top... VHS-C video cassettes.
Now, I'm a Hi-8 man myself, or at least I was back in 1993. I wasn't into VHS-C then, and I thought it was a completely dead format now. A table at a local neighborhood sale featured a stack of 8 of these, unopened, for 25¢ each. After a quick check on my phone, I noticed that they might sell for $2.50-$3.50 each, so I stood to make maybe 20 bucks off these (before fees). I even haggled them down to $1 for all 8! Sure enough, they sold for $19.50 plus shipping.
Let me repeat that so it sinks in... I sold 8 blank VHS-C video tapes (that I paid $1 for) for $19.50 on eBay. I never would have known that there was such as profitable opportunity in VHS-C cassettes unless my smart phone told me so.
And that's how it's done.