I think we all wish we could make a little side income selling junk that others consider treasure. I know I sure do, and I actually started to dabble into supplementing my income by selling on eBay.
After a big learning curve, I found a few niche markets that really sell well on eBay. In case you are wondering why I would tell my secrets, it’s because if you have the determination and drive needed to be successful, the eBay marketplace has plenty of room for all of us. Here are a few items to keep an eye out for on your next thrift store or garage sale “pick”.
1. Coffee Mugs
I never really realized it but coffee mugs are very collectible and highly sought after items. The cool thing is you can typically pick them up for a buck at the thrift store and turn around and sell them for $5 to $25 depending on the brand and condition. Mugs that sell really well include anything Starbucks related, as well as brands like Sandra Boynton, Disney, and Fiesta Ware.
2. Name Brand Clothing
Name brand clothing sells really well on eBay because buyers know what they are getting in terms of quality and sizing. When shopping at the thrift store always check the garment for holes, stains, and cigarette smoke. In my experience, clothing brands that sell really well include Levi, American Eagle, Eddie Bauer, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. You can typically find several of these brands on any given shopping trip, just make sure to give yourself enough time to go through all the clothing as it takes awhile.
3. Books (Especially Textbooks)
Books are often quite plentiful at the thrift store and always worth your time to look through. Be sure to look for textbooks and old books as they have the most potential for profit. Textbooks become a pain in the butt to store and move around, thus they often get dumped at your local thrift store. Many still have quite a bit of value. I recently picked up an accounting textbook for $4.99 and sold it for $44 on eBay.
Also, old books have the potential to be quite collectible and valuable as well. This is especially true if they are first or second editions or are out-of print and hard to find. I always start my thrift store pick by looking for older books and looking for big books as those are often textbooks.
4. Anything Pig Related
Totally random I know, but whenever I see anything pig related at a thrift store or garage sale, I snatch it up quickly because I know I can turn a quick profit. Not sure what it is with swine, but they are highly collectible home decor items. Whether it be wall art, salt and pepper shakers, or a ceramic pig cookie jar, they sell like hotcakes on eBay. Be sure to train your eyes to always look for pig stuff.
5. Bonus Tip
If you have a smartphone be sure to bring it with you when you go on a “picking” trip. Use it to look up items you are not sure about to see if it might sell. There is nothing worst than buying a bunch of stuff only to find out later it is actually worth less than what you paid. The most accurate way to look up items on eBay is to search through the ‘Completed Listings’ section to see what the item has sold for recently. A minute of research with your smartphone can really help you maximize your profits.
They key to finding the best stuff at thrift stores is to arrive early in the morning when they first open, or an hour before they close. These are the two times where they typically put out their new merchandise. Be doing this, you’ll get the first look at hopefully some really good treasures.
About the Author: Kyle James runs a site titled Rather-Be-Shopping.com which categorizes thousands online coupons as well as frugal living tips to make your money go further.