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How to Start a Profitable eBay Business With £50!

May 3, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 384 Comments
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start-ebay-business

Can you really start a profitable eBay business with less than £50? Yes, you can and in today’s blog post I’ll guide you through the exact system you can use to create a real business on eBay with a tiny starting budget!

Quite often I get emails from people who want to start selling on eBay but they’re out of cash. Literally. People who have lost their jobs or students who are simply students! I almost always recommend that they start with the Used Goods concept as that’s the only business model on eBay where you can turn a decent profit WITHOUT investing huge amounts of money buying wholesale stock.

If your budget is at least £500, I recommend you check out these two concepts instead:

But if your budget is smaller than that, stick with me as in this guide you’ll learn exactly how to start selling on eBay and more importantly – make profit from day one!

We’ll get into more detail on how this concept works in a minute, but for now let’s just get clear on what you’ll need to run this system:

  1. An eBay account
  2. A PayPal account (if you haven’t done so already, you need to upgrade to a Premier account)
  3. £50 (you can start with less, but £50-£100 is ideal)
  4. 1-2 hours a day to spend on this project (or more if you like!)

Basically that’s all you need to make this work!

If you’re totally new to eBay and your account has no feedback, I recommend you get some feedback before you start selling anything. People are very wary of buying anything from an account with 0 feedback! It’s really not worth it to start selling with 0 feedbacks when you can easily get 5-10 feedbacks in a few hours’ time.

The easiest way to get this done is by buying some cheap stuff on eBay in the first place. I’m talking about £0.99 items with free shipping. Just make 5-10 purchases and get your first 5-10 feedbacks.

You can purchase some presents, household goods OR even stuff you’ll need for your business. For example: paper, shipping labels, envelopes or jiffy bags – all in small quantities just to get you going. I’d say 5 feedbacks is the minimum to start selling but if you can stretch it to 10, that would be much better.

Many sellers will leave automated feedback when you make payment OR when you leave positive feedback for the seller. So what you want to do is simply buy the item, make payment and leave positive feedback straight away. In the vast majority of cases you’ll get positive feedback automatically.

On the rare occasions that this doesn’t happen, simply contact the seller and ask them to leave feedback for you. Here is a sample message that you can use for this:

“Hi XYZ,

I recently purchased this item from you and have left you positive feedback. I would be most grateful if you could do the same for me.

Thank you,
Andrew Minalto”

You don’t need anything more complicated than that!

Sell off unwanted items from your house!

Once you have 5-10 feedbacks from buying cheap items from other sellers, you’re ready to start selling yourself! You’ll have to upgrade your eBay account to a Seller’s account (free) if you haven’t done so already. eBay will simply ask you to verify your identity, ask how you’ll pay your eBay fees and what payment methods you’ll accept. This process will take just a few minutes in total.

When you’re done, it’s time to start listing your first items! But before you do, there’s one more task you need to take care of – you have to learn how to create listings that sell! Don’t be put off by how daunting this sounds – there’s no magic involved here and listing creation is something that anyone can do. I have actually put together a complete guide to walk you through the process, which you’ll find here: Anatomy of a Perfect eBay Listing.

Listing creation skills will be crucial to your success with this system, so don’t skip this step! Learn how to create good looking listings – it won’t take you more than an hour or so. Once you create your first listing, then you can simply duplicate that listing for all the other items you sell.

If you take decent product pictures, use eBay listing template from Spicy Auction Templates & format it following my guide, you simply can’t go wrong here. It’s a simple copy and paste process.

Speaking of product images – don’t be too concerned here about image quality. Sure, it goes without saying that you want GREAT images BUT you don’t need professional equipment to make it happen. Even a decent, modern smartphone with a good camera is okay to use. Product photography is very important for all eBay sellers, especially if you’re selling used goods (people are less sure about the condition) so I’ve written an extensive guide on every aspect of product photography which you can find here: Product Photography Guides

But remember, you’re selling USED products in this system, so no one expects PRO quality images! Most importantly – I DO NOT recommend using any stock images (images from Google etc.) with this system! You want your customers to see the EXACT item that’s for sale. Not some fancy stock images!

Okay, so once you have mastered the art of creating listings that sell, you can actually start selling! To get some practice, start with unwanted items you can find around your house. Stuff like:

stuff-to-sell-on-ebay

Anything that is gathering dust on your shelves will be perfect for this task! The main idea here is to get you some experience before you move onto selling money making items.

PLEASE NOTE! If you’re already selling on eBay or have done it before, there’s no need to execute this step. You can start off directly with money making items.

The main goal for this step is to:

  • Improve your listing creation skills;
  • Earn more feedbacks.

But if you already have an established account with at least 30-50 feedbacks AND know how to take good pictures and create listings, you can skip this step completely and move onto…

The System

The idea behind the Used Goods Concept is very simple – you buy undervalued used items on eBay and sell them back on eBay for a healthy profit.

First, you have to understand what an undervalued item is.

eBay is a massive marketplace where millions of people buy and sell on a daily basis. A large number of the sellers are professionals (like you and me), but most of them are actually “normal people” who use eBay to get rid of their old stuff – unwanted games or a movie they only watched once. They’re the people and listings we’ll target in this eBay business concept.

To make this more visual, let’s take a real life example and go through the steps you need to take to make this system work. Let’s imagine you have £50 you can invest in this business. For that money, these are the kind of items you’re looking for:

  • Video Games
  • Blu-rays, DVDs
  • Toys
  • Clothing
  • Mobile Phones
  • Tablets
  • Handbags, accessories
  • Sports Equipment
  • Other similar items

In a word – you’re looking for used items that can be purchased for less than £50. If you’re good at or have knowledge about a specific category of goods, choose that! It’s always easier to work with items you know a lot about, and it will make the buying/selling experience much easier. But even if you don’t have “expert status” in any of these categories, you can still make this work with simple goods such as video games, movies or toys.

For our example, let’s pick video games – one of the most suitable category of goods for this system. First of all, this market is massive. Secondly, new games/versions come out on a regular basis and many people just put their used games up for sale on eBay.

What you do is simply check Amazon or any other large online video game shop and pick one popular game to start your research. It can be any console and any game, not just the latest releases.

I picked Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4 for this example.

Now, my task is to determine the TRUE market value for this used game. The first step in this process is to get some invaluable data for our item using…

Terapeak

What is Terapeak you may ask? It’s the world’s most popular and feature-rich eBay research tool. With the help of Terapeak you can easily check a product’s price, competition, total sales, best listing format and much more!

terapeak

If you’re serious about starting an eBay business, even if it’s just a hobby for you, I strongly recommend you get a Terapeak subscription as without it, you’ll simply be wild-guessing about the potential of ANY product and this basically means gambling with your money on products you have no real idea about at all.

So if you haven’t done so already, sign-up for Terapeak (a 7 day free trial is available) and check out some of my tutorials so that you can use it to its full capabilities.

Okay, now back to our system:

Login in to your Terapeak account and do a search for the game you’re interested in, in this example: Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4.

In Terapeak, make sure you have:

  • Enabled the USED filter (so that results are displayed only for used games)
  • Narrowed down results to the most suitable category (in this case Video Games & Consoles > Games)

product-research

product-category

Click the magic GO button and wait for the results!

terapeak-results

What we’re looking for here are:

  • Average Price (in my example it shows £25.96)
  • Sell-Through Rate (in my example it shows 91.30%)
  • Total Sales (in my example it shows £5605)

IF the sell-through rate is below 50%-60%, drop this item and look for a different one as it’s quite difficult to sell an item with a sell-through rate of less than 50%. Ideally this number should be in 60%-80%+ range.

The sell-through rate is VERY IMPORTANT as it tells us how much demand there is for this item on eBay. A 90% sell-through rate means that 9 out of 10 listings for this item end in a sale. You really need products with a high sell-through rate to make this work.

Average price shows the average price that this kind of used game is being sold for on eBay and, in most cases, that’s the price you can EXCEED IF you create good looking listings and use proper listing techniques.

Total Sales – this shows the market size for that particular item or to put it simply, how much money was made in sales for this item over the last 30 days. This number should be at least £1000 in most cases but sometimes it can be lower, if you’re researching rarer items with small demand (they can still be very profitable, but more on that later).

get-terapeak

While Terapeak does give very accurate numbers for total sales, the amount of competition and the sell through-rate, we want to manually check the REAL target price we can expect to achieve selling this item.

Why?

Because the average price in Terapeak is exactly that – an AVERAGE! It takes into account ALL listings for that item, bad & good, and gives you an average price. With this system we want to sell items at an above average price so it’s essential to proceed to:

eBay’s ADVANCED Search

Many people are not aware of this handy eBay feature! To access this tool, simply click on the ADVANCED button, located next to the main search box.

ebay-advanced-search

Then enter the product’s name – in my case: Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4

And make sure to:

  • Check the Used Only box
  • Check the Completed Listings box

advanced-search

Then you can quickly browse through the latest listings for this item that have already ended. You don’t have to make any specific calculations here – just observe the numbers and figure out what the average price is. Go through the first 3 pages to make sure you’re getting this number right:

average-ebay-price

In our example, eBay’s advanced search results show that we can easily achieve £28 – £30 for this game as there are many recent listings that sold for £28 and even £30.

But to keep things simple and realistic, let’s use £29 as our guide price.

Just to remind you, Terapeak gave us an average price of £25.96. This is why it’s important to do a manual check on eBay too as usually your real target price will be higher than the average price Terapeak gives – which makes sense when you think about it.

Setting Your Profit

Next step is to determine your profit goal. Now you know that the game will sell for £29, that’s your starting point. You’ll want to list it with FREE shipping to get higher in search results, so that’s roughly £2.50 (1st class tracked + packaging) off that number, leaving you with £26.50. Then there will be the eBay Listing Fee, Final Value Fee and the PayPal fee.

I like to keep things SIMPLE! I just take roughly 15% to cover eBay and PayPal fees. In most cases this will be fairly accurate plus it’s not like you need to get this right down to the last penny.

You want to subtract that 15% from the selling price (in our example £29).

What you do is calculate 15% of 29 and then take it away. Example:

15% x £29 = £4.35
£29 – £4.35 = £24.65

Then you need to take shipping and packaging costs away from this number:

£24.65 – £2.50 = £22.15

So, roughly £22. That’s our BREAK EVEN point. If we buy a used game for 22 quid and resell it on eBay for £29, we will not make any profit or loss. If you can buy this game for less than £22, you’ll start making a profit.

I have put together a special EXCEL spreadsheet for people who hate doing maths like this. You can download it by clicking on the image below:

spreadsheet

To run this spreadsheet you’ll need Excel or Open Office (FREE) software installed on your PC.

How much profit to aim for?

It depends on the niche, the item and your ability to create the best listings possible. In this example, I’d say £2 – £3 profit per item would be a good deal! This means you would buy an item for £19 to make £3 pounds NET profit. That’s a roughly 15% ROI, which is very good for such small, cheap, one-off items and for people who are starting on eBay with a very limited budget.

With bundles, which we’ll cover later on, you can easily achieve a much higher ROI – even 100%-200% is not unusual. But for now let’s just stick with individual items.

What we’ve done so far:

1) We picked an item suitable for this business model (a used video game – Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4)
2) We researched the average selling price (MARKET VALUE) for this game – £29
3) We made calculations to get our BREAK EVEN point – £22
4) We decided that we want to make £3 NET profit on this transaction
5) By doing this, we got our target buying price – £19 or less

So far so good, right? Excellent.

The next step is actually the most important one in this whole system. Why?

Because the money is actually made at the time you purchase the item, not when you sell it.

IF you buy an item at the wrong price, you won’t be able to make your desired profit. If you buy an item in bad condition, again, you won’t be able to sell it back on eBay for the calculated selling price.

Buying Your First Item

You may now be wondering – how can this even work at all? If Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4 games are being sold for an average price of £25 (Terapeak number), how can I get it for £19?

You can, because that’s the average price.

There will be listings that sell the same item for £30, and there will be £0.99 listings that end with no bids whatsoever!

endedn-no-bids

ended

The thing is – eBay is full of both professional and amateur sellers. Used goods in general attract more amateur selling – ordinary people who use eBay just to get rid of old stuff. And with this business model you can take advantage of them! As they:

1) Don’t know how to list an item properly (poor pictures, no descriptions, awkward listing end times, etc.).

2) Don’t know the true value of their item, that’s why most are being listed as £0.99 auctions (MANY without a reserve!!!).

3) Don’t care much about the final selling price as long as it sells. It’s not their business! They’re happy for any extra money they can bring in this way.

These 3 points make these sellers vulnerable and an easy target for business minded people like you and me.

Okay, so now you have to start looking on eBay for a used item that meets your set criteria (maximum purchasing price). You can do this in various ways:

1) Manually browsing eBay directly.

Simply go to eBay and search for the item you’re interested in. Use filters wisely! Apply the used items filter and sort all results by lowest price first. See whether there are any listings that meet your buying criteria. Look for low price BIN and Best Offer listings first. If the BIN price is below your target price, purchase the item.

If there is a Best Offer option, offer your target buying price as the offer. You’ll be amazed how often people are happy to make a quick sale, even if the price you offer is below the market’s average value. The Best Offer strategy works best with newly created listings, so for this, sort all listings by creation date to see which were added most recently.

The majority of listings will be auctions. Just put your maximum bid in (that will be your target buying price) and let eBay manage the bid for you. It will increase your bid up to your maximum setting each time someone else bids on that item.

The manual eBay method takes more time but doesn’t cost you a thing. Plus this way you can get a better feeling for what’s going on in your particular niche.

2) Using Auction Snipers.

This is THE BEST and basically ONLY way to make this system work properly.

What is an Auction Sniper?

It’s an online service/website where you register and set automatic bids on any specific listings. An automatic bid means that the auction sniper will place bids for you, in an automated and rather smart way – by placing your bids at the very end of the auction, before it ends, so that no one can out-bid you.

This is the most efficient way of getting the best prices possible on auctions, period.

You can read more about how this works in my Auction Sniper reviews guide:

best-ebay-sniper

3) Using Stuff Alert.

Another great and FREE tool you can use when working with this eBay business model. Stuff Alert will send you daily emails based on search criteria you have specified.

For our example, Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4, you can set up an alert in Stuff Alert so that it sends you an email when new listings are posted. This way you can set up hundreds of alerts based on your search criteria and you don’t have to do a manual search on eBay every day to find listings that are of interest to you.

IMPORTANT! As we’re dealing with used goods here, always make sure to read the listing description properly! Look for any signs of faults/damage, etc. Ideally, stick with items that are described as new or slightly used. I wouldn’t purchase any faulty or defective items, even if the price is extremely low, as it will be very difficult for you to sell the item on.

When you combine manual eBay browsing with the Auction Sniper + Stuff Alert service, you create an AUTOMATED system which will allow you to set-up dozens, if not hundreds, of bidding/buying requests in a relatively short period of time. This is CRUCIAL to make this system work as you want to automate as many tasks as possible.

Introducing Bundles

The pot of gold with this concept actually lies not in single items, but BUNDLES! Yes, you can make a phenomenal profit by applying the same system to bundles.

Take a look at this bundle listing:

blu-ray-bundle

30 Blu-ray movies sold for less than 25 quid. That’s less than £1 per Blu-ray movie. Most of these movies can be sold back on eBay for £3-£7 each. And this is not even the best example – search eBay for the phrase “Blu ray bundle” and you’ll find auctions with 20, 30 and 50 movies, all selling for an average price of 1-3 quid per movie.

All you do is purchase such a bundle and list each item separately to get the maximum market value.

Most of the time people who list bundles simply don’t have time to list each item individually and they don’t know exactly how much the whole bundle is worth.

So if you see Best Offer on such listings, don’t be afraid to offer half the money that’s being asked for on BIN. If it gets refused, increase your bid a little and make another Best Offer. Do this until you have reached your maximum buying price.

Here’s another great example:

toys-bundle

A HUGE bundle of genuine toys sold for just £80! There are more than 100 items in this bundle, some of which are selling for 10 quid alone on eBay. There’s no way you couldn’t make money with this bundle as your cost price per item would be less than 80p.

Toys, Blu-rays, DVDs, video games, clothing – these are all perfect items for bundle hunting and there are thousands of these listings available on eBay, each and every day!

IMPORTANT! When you deal with bundles, ALWAYS make sure the seller has listed each and every item in the listing so that you can calculate each item’s average market value. Don’t gamble, don’t just hope that this bundle looks great and you’ll make tons of money! Quite often a bundle looks great, but when you actually calculate the average market price for each item, the total value is actually not that high.

Additional Buying Channels

When looking for items to sell on eBay, you don’t have to limit your product sourcing channels to eBay alone, not at all! In fact, using the methods listed below you can get even better deals:

Gumtree – this is a superb source for getting cheap stuff locally to resell on eBay. Who posts on Gumtree? People who are too lazy to put a listing together for eBay. Or people who simply don’t know how to use eBay. Or people who hate eBay.

Whatever! The good news is that when buying locally, via ads on Gumtree, you can always negotiate the price down to ridiculously low amounts. Especially if you buy bundles of bulky items or heavily-used items.

Also use this opportunity to source more goods – for example, you pick an ad for 3 used Blu-rays. You go and meet the seller to buy these films. On the spot you ask whether the person has any other used items for sale (like video games). In most cases the answer will be – “yes, sure!” When this happens, you’re in charge! You give your offer price and most people will be happy to get some extra cash, right on the spot.

Charity Shops – another great way to find bargains for resale on eBay.

Friends – yes, why not? Ask your friends, work colleagues or neighbours whether they have any unwanted items they would love to get rid of. MOST people will be happy for the opportunity to make some ready cash for basically nothing.

Local Ads – check your local newspaper for the classified ads section. An even better way of doing this is by putting up your own ad, something along these lines: “We Pay CASH for your JUNK! Call John on 01 7777 6666”, along with some descriptive text about what exactly you’re offering.

This method alone can be a real goldmine! You can put an ad in the local newspaper, create a Facebook page or get some business cards done so you can leave them with your customers. Even a promotional flyer in the local community can work brilliantly for this concept. You can target your Facebook ads down to street level – the opportunities are endless here!

When making any purchases away from home, always be sure to check what the average selling price is for that particular item on eBay. For this, you’ll need a laptop, iPad or a smartphone, so you can check the prices on eBay on the spot. You can even use Terapeak in this way.

Last Step – Selling

Once you have purchased your first item or a bundle, you have to sell it back on eBay, that’s the main idea here, right? Yes, exactly! And for you to be able to reach your target selling price, you have to create perfect eBay listings that really sell your item!

You have to master these 3 things:

1) Product pictures
2) Descriptions
3) Listing creation/formatting

As for the product pictures – this is really easy. As you’re working with used goods here, no one expects stock quality images. Even more – people want to see REAL images of the item, taken by you!

NEVER use stock pictures when selling a used item! Nowadays, it’s even against eBay’s rules.

Take your own pictures, several of them. Ideally 3-4 images per listing. If there are any defects or scratches make sure you take photos so that these defects can be seen. Otherwise you’ll end up with dissatisfied customers and bad feedback.

Next – descriptions. Again, this one is very easy with used goods. All you have to do is say what the item is AND perfectly describe its condition. Be honest here, don’t try to make it look better than it is, people will notice anyway and in the long run it won’t do any good for your business.

Product Pictures + Description + Nicely Formatted Listings

These are the keys to success with this system!

As for the best listing time and format. I would definitely recommend using BIN listings when you list your item for the first time (first 7 days). With BIN listings, you can target your profit precisely and if you set your BIN price based on the market’s average value, with your great looking listings there shouldn’t be any problems closing the deal and making that sale.

Best listing end times – they vary from item to item and you would need to use Terapeak to find out the best selling time for your particular item. BUT in general a good guideline is to end your listings on weekdays, between 7-11PM. That’s when most people are back from work and spending time online.

There will be exceptions, of course – for example, baby toys. These you would probably list to end during the day as most mothers will be staying home to take care of their babies and maybe they only have a spare minute to check eBay at 11AM. Again, Terapeak is a great help in finding the best listing times.

REMEMBER! If you sign up for Selling Manager Pro (5 quid a month), you won’t have to pay any listing scheduling fees and you get access to all other SMP features, such as automated feedback and emails.

If 7 days pass without the item selling, simply re-list it at a slightly lower price. If the same thing happens for a second week in a row (very unlikely) you should just reduce the price to your break-even point and re-list it for a third time. At this point you just want to get rid of the item without losing money and without wasting any more time.

Please make sure you learn from every such situation. What did you do wrong? Was your pricing correct? Maybe you should stay out of this particular niche/product group?

Shipping

Always try to dispatch goods within 24 hours of purchase, Monday – Friday.

If possible, use free shipping (add the shipping cost to your final selling price) as this gets your listings featured higher in search results.

Always pack items in suitable packaging materials – cardboard boxes, mailing bags, jiffy envelopes. You can get all of these materials cheaply right on eBay itself. If you’re just starting out you can buy packaging materials to build up your feedback to 10 or so.

And basically, that’s it!

BUY > SELL > DISPATCH

Rinse and Repeat!

The good thing about this system is that IF you follow my guidelines, do your research properly AND set the right buying price point, it’s actually very difficult to lose any money at all. As I said, in the worst case scenario you’ll simply get your investment back but you won’t lose any money.

Final Tips

While I have used a PS4 game as an example throughout this post, video games actually do not represent the best ROI for this system. Why? Because they’re too popular, with too many listings, and too many interested buyers and sellers involved.

In a lively marketplace like this the final selling price is usually not as flexible as with other products. You see – a video game is a video game – there are no variations for it, no different makes/models etc. Everyone knows that a new game sells for X amount on Amazon and then there’s the average selling price on eBay for that game. There’s not much room for variation.

For this reason, I highly recommend that you look into OTHER products! Products that are not as obvious as video games or Blu-rays. Just to give you a few good examples:

  • Sports equipment
  • Hobby equipment/supplies
  • Home decor
  • High end hand-bags
  • Dresses
  • Baby products/equipment
  • Fishing
  • Watches
  • Musical instruments
  • Etc.

With items like these, you’ll see a much HIGHER difference in prices on eBay, which gives you the opportunity to buy for LESS and sell for MORE.

Sports equipment is a very good niche to research. We all know that person who gets really into a new sport and buys all the equipment, just to get bored after a few weeks and list it all on eBay.

This is a perfect opportunity for people like you – to become an expert in that niche/product category and start dealing with such used sports equipment. You can even create a full time business in a niche as popular as this.

Hobby type products are perfect for this too. Just like with sports equipment, many people get excited about new hobbies and purchase all kinds of tools, materials and equipment just to realise few weeks later that this is not for them. Again, a typical situation and opportunity for business savvy people.

The more expensive the items are, the more people look for second-hand versions. Take for example the PRINTING industry. There are dozens of companies in the UK who deal with used guillotines, presses, printers, digital printers etc. As not everyone can afford to buy brand new equipment, these companies act as middle men and make thousands in a single sale.

Obviously, this system is all about starting an eBay business on a budget so you won’t be able to deal with high ticket items. Still – there are plenty of opportunities, you just have to look for them.

For tech savvy people I can even recommend taking this one step further – if you’re good with repairs, you can actually buy items on eBay that are faulty, fix them and sell them as fully working for a great profit! You can buy broken/faulty items very cheaply as no one really wants to deal with them. If you go down this route, you can also check out clearance companies who sell pallet loads of broken items (mostly catalogue returns etc.) for very good prices.

So be creative and don’t just pick the quickest/easiest route here. If you put some time & energy into researching a specific niche (product category), you’ll quickly become an expert on those products and will easily locate the best deals, write great product descriptions and achieve good profit margins.

Conclusion

There are really no excuses anymore! Anyone can follow this system and make money on eBay without investing huge amounts of money in wholesale stock. Yes, this system is time consuming (the buying part) but the pay-off is not too bad either. Also, when you get experience and become good at this, you’ll see that you can spot deals in a few minutes, just like that.

To make your life easier, use all the automated tools available to you:

If you automate the process from A-Z, it won’t take you more than an hour each day to process 2-3 items, maybe even more. If you can dedicate more time to this, you can actually achieve a full-time income using this business model. Why not?

Remember, this is all about VOLUME! You can’t just find one item, put one bid and expect to get the item at your desired price.

You want to research as many items as you can and then bid on multiple listings using Auction Snipers! It’s a numbers game! You will win only a small percentage of auctions but when you do, profit is almost guaranteed.

If you plan to do this on a serious level, ideally you will need two eBay accounts – one for buying and one for selling. Just so that buyers can’t see from your feedback where you bought these items from and most importantly, how much for!

Of course, this is not a sustainable business; it’s more like a part-time job – but one that pays well and allows you to stay at home or earn extra money while you have a full-time job.

The main purpose of this system is to give you the ability to start with limited funds (20-50 quid is all you need) and build it up from there! By reinvesting the money you make from this business, you will have at least £1K in your bank account within a few short months. And then you can start looking for the best products to sell on eBay by importing them from China!

With that being said, even this used goods business model can be turned into a full-time venture, with an office, warehouse and staff to do the hard work for you. There will always be used stuff people want to get rid of and there will always be buyers on the other side who are happy to get a real bargain.

This will never end.

So if you really put some hard work and energy into this, scale the business, get repeat customers (buy locally, advertise), I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t make a full-time income based on this model alone.

Sure, you’ll face problems from time to time – like buying broken items or buying items that can’t be resold but show me any business which is stress and problem free. There are NONE! Make sure you have a quality control system in place AND make customer support your priority; this is crucial when you sell used items on eBay. You should have a no questions asked returns policy to minimise the risk of getting bad feedback based on the condition of goods.

Obviously, I could go on for hours and hours about this topic, the best selling practices and so on, but I hope the quick overview I gave you in this post is good enough for you to get started.

If you need more help with:

  • Product sourcing
  • Listing creation
  • Product pictures
  • Selling tactics/formats
  • Marketing
  • Shipping
  • Etc.

Then I recommend you check out my Easy Auction Business video course. It will teach you how to take this concept to the next level and in more than 15 hours of videos you’ll learn all aspects of starting a profitable eBay business.

easy-auction-business

ALSO you will get FREE access (for life!) to my SpicyAuctionTemplates.com – where you can get hundreds of pre-made eBay listing templates and apply them to your listings to make them look really professional.

sat

Lastly, you’ll also get access to our EAB members-only forum and a 1 hour chat session with me! Yes, you’ll get ONE HOUR to chat with me personally where we can discuss your situation and business plan in more detail and create a solid action plan for you to follow, and yes, this is 100% FREE!

If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them below this post in the comments block & I’ll personally reply to all of them within 24 hours, Monday-Friday.

Thanks,
Andrew


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384 Comments
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  1. Hi Andrew I have been following this method for some time and would like to take the next step and become a business seller I’m a little confused as how if I did this would I get receipts for tax purposes from people I have bought second hand ie gumtree carboot sales also would I need an accountant ?
    Regards Kerry

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kerry,

      You can do this by creating/writing invoices/receipts for these purchases. For details on how to best format these, you should get a consultation with an accountant.

      But it is totally doable.

      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your Kind Support. I have to say the Information in this Website is really fantastic. I am a registered Business seller. Sometimes i find good deals from other ebay sellers and they also allow me to buy in bulk (not outside ebay, in ebay deals only).

    As per the ebay policy, is the reselling activity allowed, i.e buying in ebay and selling it again in the ebay?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      It’s perfectly allowed on eBay, sure!

      There are no rules that are against it.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  3. I think you are misleading people. For example you state that the average selling price for Fifa 15 on the PS 4 is £34-35 which in fact is around £10 or less. You could use the defence that this was posted a while a go but this article was updated within the last 2 days. On Wednesday you were talking about Fifa 13!

    The bargains that you mention are a lot harder to come by than what you lead people to believe.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment.

      No, I haven’t updated this article in a while, many months in fact. Why you say it was updated 2 days ago?

      At the time of writing this article, the price was what it was, obviously, now it’s changed. It’s just an example.

      Andrew

  4. Ho Andrew, I would like to say thank you for writing this post as it has inspired me when I am having a difficult time financially.

    I’m have being selling some used items using the auction process, however they are selling prices are not reaching my target.

    So I followed your advice and switched to a But It Now Listings instead. However these but it now listings always end up with zero to just a few views.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get more views with BIN Listings?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      If you’re selling un-wanted/used items from your house, you should use Auctions, not BIN listings.

      If they’re not reaching your target price, maybe your expectations are too high? Or maybe your listings, titles, product images need to be improved?

      There are so many reasons why this could happen…

      Andrew

  5. Alex Taylor-Grout

    Hi Andrew,

    I can’t find the sell through value for an item I’m interested in. Please help! Is this accessed through Terapeak? If so i have signed up for the free trial and cannot find where this is.

    Alex

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Alex,

      Yes, it is via Terapeak – In-Depth research > eBay Research.

      This is only available to professional/paid accounts.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  6. Matthew Alcock

    Just finished reading this article, I’m new to eBay and with your advice I’m sure I will be earning amounts of money in no time, I haven’t got a business but as I’m not busy I’m going to grind this process out for the next 2 weeks and I will post again informing you whether it was a success, again thankyou for making this post, I’m sure it’ll help me out greatly. Also may I ask how old you are as you seemed to base this round video games so I was just wondering whether that had a link to your age.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Matthew!

      No, not at all, lol! I don’t even play video games.

      It’s just good sample product for this strategy, nothing personal! 🙂

      Andrew

  7. Hello Andrew,

    I have to say you are the man! Invaluable information here and thanks for taking so much time to help others. I am just starting out on the road to reselling but find it really difficult. It seems everything that I research or see that I think is a good bargain, when I search for how much it sold on ebay it is around the same price!

    I am starting to feel quite despondent because I really want to make this work. Any tips for me?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stefan,

      STOP thinking about the PRICE alone! You can’t compete with lowest price on eBay in 99% cases.

      Spend your time and energy on improved selling tactics, branding, higher product quality, better service, unique features etc. etc. etc. so you don’t and forget about the lowest price! Someone will always be selling your item cheaper than you do, don’t worry about that!

      Andrew

  8. Hey, Andrew I bought your EAB course some days ago and I have started with this Used Goods concept, I was just wondering if you still need to use a template for used goods

    Thanks, James.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your purchase!

      Yes, you should use a template from SAT directory (you got for free with your EAB purchase) when selling used goods.

      Not only this will make your listings look better, it will also teach you how to create and format proper looking listings for future, when you may want to start selling brand new goods.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  9. Hi, impeccable website and very nice tips you gave us around here :). I’m looking forward to this business, but…

    Now, I have this old used phone and some other electronics (RAMs, and CPUs) i want to sell on ebay.
    Regarding the phone, i’m concerned with alfandegary or custom taxes i may have to pay. The package comes with a phone, it’s charger and usb cable. (40x30x15 cm, and 1kg.) If lets say I find a seller from uk. How much money I have to consider with this taxes, to make the math?

    Math: [My Price] – [ebay/PayPal fees] – [shipment/packaging] – [custom taxes] right?

    and given this, what shippers you recommend? FedEx, PostOffice, DHL (that seems to be very expensive), Chronopost, etc.

    Cheers

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Where are you based?

      If you’re UK based and buy/sell within European Union, you don’t have to worry about any taxes at all.

      Andrew

      1. Anonym.PT

        I’m based in Spain and afraid to sell only within European Union because of the taxes.

        Cheers

      2. Andrew Minalto

        There are no import duty and VAT to be paid with EU (like it is when someone sells from China or USA) so as long as you sell to EU countries only OR buy from EU countries, you don’t have to worry about taxes at all.

        Thanks,
        Andrew

      3. Anonym.PT

        For items really cheap like less than one pound from China or these asian countries do you think i’ll pay any import duties or the like? I’m Planing to buy some stuff just to increase feedback

        Thanks

      4. Andrew Minalto

        Depends on quantity you import.

        Individual product cost/price doesn’t matter here as all values are calculated per ORDER value.

        So if you import say 200 items each worth £1, that’s total order value of £200 which of course is taxable.

        Andrew

  10. Hi !
    I am just now starting on ebay.. I sold 6 used items but today .. profit is 30 pounds.. I put them on auction. But I dont know how to reserve the price on auction? Or maybe I cant do that? lets say I am selling Top shop ladies high heels and I put and auction from 0.99£ but I want it to be sold at least for 5 pounds. Can I reserve the price on auction?

    Thank you

    Samara 🙂

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Samara,

      Yes, of course – you can set a reserve price for auction listings you run. Here’s more info on how to do this.

      Only thing is that reserve price must be at least £50 or more so it won’t work for cheap items – as you can’t set it to say £10 or £20.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  11. Well I THINK im glad i stumbled across this website, your advise seems genuine and you have inspired me to start a small store on ebay to sell stuff I have a Paypal account 2x ebay accounts selling and a buying one I think thats what you need to get started yes?

    In your opinion what would you start selling on a limited start up say £250 to invest Im pretty Games/Phones minded so that would be a starting point but maybe you have better ideas?

    I hope you dont mind me asking and great site!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Darren,

      Yes, it’s all you need to get started (you can actually use even one eBay account for buying/selling but 2 accounts work better, yes as then your customers won’t be able to see where these items are coming from).

      As for which products to start with – you’ll have to do research on this on your own, I won’t be giving you best products on plate just like that 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Darren

        TY very much do you think there is a market for things like E Cigs etc or has that ship sailed also Terepak how much is that per month assuming there are different packages which do you suggest a small start up invests in?

      2. Andrew Minalto

        You would want to get professional Terapeak account to get access to all features and it costs $15-$30 per month, depending on what payment plan you choose.

  12. hello andrew, is it possible to access sell through from a free trial on terapeak, or is that feautre only availble for a full subscription?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      you’ll need full subscription for In-Depth product research.

  13. Hi Andrew,

    What a great system this is!

    Just a quick question…

    I want to get into buying blu ray and game bundles and I have seen some good deals in eBay, however most of them as a single item have a poor sale-through, is it still worth buying them because I am struggling to find a good deal? Does it matter if the through is around 20-30 %? Will they sell? The average selling prices are good though.

    Kelvin

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kelvin,

      I would stay away from low sell through rate items as that usually means theres no demand for these titles.

      Sell through for individual items should be at least 50% and even more, when filter results to used auctions only.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Kelvin

        Thank you ever so much Andrew.

        Any tips for finding great game and blu ray bundle deals on ebay to resell individually? Ones with a good sell through.

        Many thanks again

        Kelvin

      2. Andrew Minalto

        It’s your home work Kelvin 🙂

        Just use Terapeak and search, search, search!

  14. Hi Andrew
    How can I avoid high start bidding price and in other hand make sure my item wouldn’t sold for example by starting bid p0.99

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You can’t….

      you either go one way or another.

      But if it’s a proven seller on eBay, listing looks good, keywords are used in title properly, listing end time is not 3AM in the morning, chances of such item going for £0.99 if it’s real value is much higher are very, very slim…

  15. Hi Andrew,

    Have you ever used Discount – Wholesale as a website to source goods as a starting point rather than importing in bulk. I’m wondering if there’s money in doing this as long as we follow all other steps to do with listing creation, shipping etc.

    Many thanks, and really enjoying your blog.
    Ben

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ben,

      No, I haven’t used that website….

      If the price is good and you see you can make profit on eBay, of course you can use UK based wholesalers instead of importing from China. Usually though local wholesaler pricing simply isn’t competitive to make profit on eBay. But it obviously depends on each item individually.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Thank you for that. What you’ve said is what I’ve found in most cases that their prices simply aren’t competitive enough for what’s been sold on eBay. I guess I’ve just been reluctant taking the importing plunge.

        Thank you for your advice. Have a good day.
        Ben

      2. Andrew Minalto

        no worries, you’re welcome Ben! 🙂

  16. […] Launch at the level you can and build up from there. If you really don’t have enough to invest a decent amount to start your business, then use the ever popular Used Goods Concept that I revealed here: How to Start a Profitable eBay Business with £50. […]

  17. Hi Andrew,

    THANK YOU for your wonderful website and advice.

    I’m looking to start slow, buying and selling preloved items with a small start up, with the intention to go bigger in the future so this guide was ideal.

    I’m finding it a nightmare to locate any games for a good enough price to resell. Would you suggest that this market is now oversaturated on eBay, or am I just looking at the wrong games? If it is now oversaturated, I’d be incredibly grateful if you could offer me some other ideas to start off with? I’m struggling to find my niche….

    Thanks again for your time and energy. I do so appreciate it your site.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jayne,

      Please read though the comments on this page – I don’t want to repeat what’s already been said. Yes, video games are oversaturated now as so many people are using this strategy. You’ll get much better profit if dealing with other items, niches which are not that popular, like:

      * Sporting equipment
      * Baby/kids toys, equipment
      * Fitness machines/equipment
      * etc.

      You just have to look for any products that people usually use for some time and then don’t need anymore. These are niches with most activity on eBay, in used goods segment.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Sorry Andrew, I did read through some of the comments but I guess I overlooked the ones asking the same. Sorry for adding to your workload!

        Thank you so much for your invaluable advice. 🙂

      2. Andrew Minalto

        No worries Jayne 🙂

  18. […] just a few hundred pounds and turned that into a full-time income in 7 months, working with the used goods model. He only managed this because he was highly motivated and spent every free minute he had on his […]

  19. one big thing missed out here is the fact that you need to register with HMRC as a business , so the tax man gets his cut.

    any comments on this as I am new to it all

    thanks
    mark

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mark,

      I have a separate post on business registration & tax for eBay sellers.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  20. Hello Andrew!
    I’m from Slovenia and I was wondering what business do you recommend over the internet for me? eBay is a great option, but Britain is a big market, including postage in Britain is cheap, from Slovenia, the post office is much more expensive so its not so profitable I guess? What can you recommend? My budget is approx. 2000 GBP.
    Have a nice day,
    Luka

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Luka,

      First thing that comes to my mind is an eCommerce Shop! While you don’t have eBay in Slovenia, I’m sure online shops are very popular there. You just have to pick a niche and create an online shop you can market online.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  21. […] proper research on iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices. This can be very helpful for people who work with used goods as it allows you to get proper research data on the go – while at a wholesaler or buying a job […]

  22. Andrew,

    Happy new year, you are a eBay legend. I must thank you for all this information and plus answering all the questions. I will start my research straight away cause I have resources, time and energy.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks very much James, Happy New Year to you too!

      Good luck with the research.

      Andrew

  23. As a beginner in online business. Please advise me how and what to start with in Ghana with a $5000 capital. Please advise.
    Regards.
    PAM

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Pam,

      Don’t know the online shopping trends in Ghana so it’s hard to give me any advice…

      But if people do shop online there, probably your best bet would be to start an eCommerce shop, selling in-demand items?

      Andrew

  24. […] 4. Starting an eBay Business with just £50! […]

  25. All sounds great but I’d think a start up capital of £50 is nowhere near sufficient.. Paypal take 30 days to transfer money to your account if I buy only 2 items and make a profit of (to use your example) of £5 per item then my total monthly profit for 30 days is £10 if you work that out on an hourly basis say 10hrs (and that’s being very conservative) to locate, purchase and re-advertise items, not to mention walks to post offices etc means that effectively you will earn less than a £1 per hour! If you add in the cost of any possible returns you would be seriously out of pocket. Far better to walk someones dog or deliver pizza ..

    Of course if your start-up capital was much higher; about £250-300 then it might become a viable proposition but given that people considering your method are probably on a fixed/low budget it would be very unlikely that they could invest those sorts of sums.

    Regards

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Why does it take 30 days for you to make transfers from PayPal? Even more, you don’t have to take money out of PayPal – you leave it there as you’ll be purchasing goods from same eBay, where PayPal is default payment method.

      Obviously, it’s recommended to start with a higher budget BUT I used £50 just to show that this concept can be doable even with such low investment (and it can).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew

        Thanks for the reply.

        It is not a personal decision to wait 30 days before taking money out of Paypal. Rather that, for new sellers, Paypal insist on retaining your money in moratorium for the duration of that period. Further, you cannot spend or transfer this balance in any way.

        Whilst you or I may consider this practice underhand and/or immoral, Paypal can and do make a great deal of money from your money, hence their understandable reluctance to part with it. All, “New” and by “New” they mean any seller who has has not met their “Trusted” criteria are subject to this rule.

        Both Paypal and Ebay are very non-specific as to how one earns “Trusted” status, but I gather from other forums that you may have to sell around 100 items with zero complaints and/or negative feedback before they will reduce the moratorium from 30 days to 7 days.

        As I said in my earlier post whilst your methods are faultless, and I appreciate the fact that they hold true regardless of the amount of start-up capital, it concerns me that people on a very low budget or in receipt of welfare benefits, (I note from some of the above posts that this seems to be the demographic) would be tempted to try this, perhaps not fully realising that with just one returned item they will lose any profit they had anticipated as well as in all probability a significant amount of their own money.

        In summary, given the current status of Paypal withholding funds for a period of 30 days and the financial risks involved with a very small amount of start-up capital I would implore people to consider other lines of work be it baby sitting dog walking delivering newspapers whatever until such times as you’ve raised sufficient funds to allow for a 30 day rollover and are in a position to absorb loss.

        Kind regards

      2. Andrew Minalto

        hmm, I have recently opened 2 new PayPal accounts and didn’t have any such limits in place.

        Those very business accounts though, fully verified – maybe that sets it apart.

        Have you fully verified yourself with PayPal, including ID, credit card, bank account and address?

      3. Sorry for the delay in replying Andrew I was a little busy.

        Business accounts are subject to the same parameters as private sellers in terms of the length of time they withhold your payments. All I can say is I have been with ebay two years have a score of 425 and am an above average seller and my account has been verified with Paypal inc. ID credit card and bank account.. However, when I was selling something yesterday I was warned about this paypal business again here’s their link to the page.

        It clearly states that unless you meet pretty rigorous criteria your payments will be subject to a 21 day moratorium. Yes it says 21 days, but in effect it is 30 days minimum ! As on or about the 22nd day your payment will be displayed as completed but it will still take a further 5/6 days before it shows up in your bank account. Remember these are working days so if your money is marked as completed on say a Monday it will be the following Monday before the cash is in your account.

        In these days of Faster Payment Systems it should be a matter of hours but as I said earlier Paypal are a business and the longer they can keep your money the happier they are..

        They’re are tons of posts on the topic in Paypal forums and a quick Google search will reveal the extent of peoples anger.

        Of course Paypal are not bothered in the slightest what their customers want or deserve and, as they’re NOT a financially registered institution they can do whatever they like.

        As I said, some great ideas from you but buyers should be aware of this 30 day debacle.

        Kind Regards

      4. Andrew Minalto

        Yes, I know the 21 day rule etc.

        But what I’m saying is that:

        a) it only applies to new accounts;

        b) even not all new accounts get these limits.

        I don’t know why but they do not limit all new accounts. My accounts have never had any limits plus I have been working with many, many people in my 60DBP and I can’t really remember anyone with these delayed payments. Maybe one or two over last 5 years.

        Not sure what criteria they use but all accounts are not treated in same way.

        Thanks,
        Andrew

  26. Gary Morrall

    Hi Andrew, you want us tyo pay £67 for your advice but how do we know that your advice will help us??? for all we know you might be a scammer or it might be a load of of rubbish. the reason I think this – because when I do a search on google or in ebay I come across this kind of stuff so many times

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your email.

      This blog has hundreds upon hundreds of comments which all have been personally answered by me. If by reading my blog you still think I’m a scammer, well, then… I won’t try changing your mind.

      There are also testimonials of my products and services on every corner of this blog and product websites, from real, genuine people – even some video testimonials.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  27. Great post Andrew which I have found very helpful and informative. I am planning to invest £100 to start buying/selling goods on ebay and wanted to know what you suggest with regards to setting up an ebay account. I currently have a personal one with 100% feedback but having done some research ebay suggests I register as a business seller as I will be purchasing goods to sell for a profit. Is this correct? Do I have start a new ebay account and build it up again? Also how do you register as being self employed? This will be a part time venture to try to make a bit extra . Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, you need to upgrade your account to Business. No, you don’t need to open completely new account – you can simply upgrade your current personal eBay account to business.

      As for registering as self employed, please check out my eBay tax guide.

      Tanks,
      Andrew

  28. Hi Andrew. Enjoyed your article here. I’m just wondering how this model can be scaled – I know that there are profits to be made (even paying eBay 10% twice to buy then sell) but through years of an eBay education now believe that to make serious money like this requires a reliable source to exploit the momentum of early success. Any thought?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Charles,

      Yes, this model can be scaled and best way to do it would be to buy LOCALLY! Advertise your company in local community, newspaper, Facebook groups etc. so that you can buy used goods directly from people, paying cash on collect this way getting better prices and avoiding shipping/PayPal/eBay fees.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  29. Hi, thanks for this site, I am trying out this technique but I find it very difficult to find the true market value of games and often cannot find any good deals for the games, is there any advice you could give me , I’m 14 by the way:)

    Thankyou 🙂

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Reece,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Video games is just one product group – one that is very competitive as it has such a high liquidity.

      My advice would be to look into other niches/products, which are not as competitive and where price differences between buy/sell prices are higher.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  30. […] have explained about buying used items at cheap prices and selling them for a profit. I am just trying to sell a few items to start with and need your advice on how to price an item […]

  31. Hey,
    I was wondering if this could work for me as I’m currently living in The Netherlands. It’s close to the UK but I just want to be sure.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You’re next to eBay.de which is a HUGE site, as well as eBay.be. I think it would be better for you to concentrate on these two regional sites, instead of .co.uk as shipping times/cost will be lower for you.

      Or you could buy from UK site (lower prices) and sell off on eBay.de and eBay.be

      Good luck!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  32. FIFA 13,£26.99??? I haven’t seen it priced for more than 12 quid, to coin a phrase.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks for your comment.

      This post was not published yesterday so obviously prices for my example items have changed since I wrote the post.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  33. Hi Andrew

    Your post is most informative as are the many replies to the comments. I am hoping to help my son set up an e bay business in order to supplement his studies. In the process of our research I have come across the term drop shipping; I think I understand it, but is it legitimate and if so where is the best place to start? He is planning to source and sell golf equipment as he is a keen golfer and therefore has product knowledge.

    Look forward to your reply

    Liz

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, dropshipping is completely legitimate business concept. Only thing – you have to know that there are thousands of SCAM drop shipping websites online so you have to be extremely careful with finding drop shippers.

      I would recommend you first checking out this guide.

      And then decide if you still want to follow this model.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew

        I don’t think dropshipping is for us!

        Do you think there is enough of a market to start selling used golf equipment on e bay?

        Best

        Liz

      2. Andrew Minalto

        Hi Liz,

        My guess is yes, as it’s a huge market!

        But to be 100% sure, do Terapeak research and use USED filter to get data only for second hand goods.

        Thanks,
        Andrew

  34. Hello Andrew,

    I noticed your products graphic design (like a box with a cd, feather pen, etc.), and there is a ticker in the corner of the box, that it is “Compatible with Windows 7”.

    Does that mean I cannot run it on Apple Mac OS?

    With regards,
    W

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Wojciech,

      Thanks for your comment.

      That’s really a graphic and doesn’t mean anything 🙂

      All the videos work on PCs and MACs, including mobile phones & tablets.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  35. Do I add the sellers postage fees to max buying price On the spreadsheet?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      yes, you do.

      1. thank you, much appreciated, as above.

      2. No hang on a moment, I add them to the maximum buying fee, example £13 becomes £15? Or should I subtract them, £13 becomes £11?

        Could I input them into the other costs so the spreadsheets formula works the calculation out?

        Regards,
        Mike.

      3. Andrew Minalto

        if you have to pay extra postage to buy an item, you have to include it in the maximum buying price.

        If your max buying price is £13 and shipping is 2 quid extra, it means you can buy item for max £11, so that with 2 pound shipping it is £13.

        Hope that clears it up!

        Andrew

  36. Hi Andrew, how do you work out you ROI on each product?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mike,

      ROI – Return On Investment can be calculated using this simple formula:

      (Sale price – cost of goods/eBay/PayPal/Shipping fees) DIVIDED by cost price for that item and multiplied by 100 (to get %).

      For example:

      * Cost price – 10 pounds
      * Sale price – 20 pounds
      * Fees – 5 pounds

      ROI: (20-5)/10 * 100% = 150 %

      You invested 10 pounds, made a 5 pound profit which is 150% of what you initially invested.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  37. Hi and thank you for a very professional guide. Would you kindly tell us if you could provide a start-up guidance with £600-800 capital?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Check out my Easy Auction Business course!

      Andrew

  38. Hi Andrew.
    I just want to write and say a very big Thank You to you.
    You have written this plan in good plain English, easy to understand, no jargon and above all with great professionalism.
    I now know where I have been going wrong on Ebay. Your help and advice has been ‘heaven sent’. Once again, Thank You.

    Regards,

    Carl

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks Carl!

  39. Under the ‘Conclusion’
    you asked to create two ebay account; for this purpose
    “Just so that buyers can’t see in your feedback where these items are coming from and at what prices they have been purchased.”

    Can you explain further?
    Dont you think buyers will discover you’re reaping them off when they see you’re buying low to sell high?

    Kind regards

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chuks,

      Thanks for your comment.

      For that reason I DO recommend that you use 2 accounts – one for buying and one for selling. This way buyers won’t be able to see where you source goods by looking at your feedback.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  40. Hie Andrew,your ideas really put an impact on my life,I’m in South Africa and would like to hear your thought,I’m thinking of starting off with buying second hand cellphones on Ebay and sell them here in SA..my worry is customs and guarantee from the people I will be dealing with..and would I be I allowed to receive items in bundle aswell in my country?would appreciate a lot for your reply

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kaja,

      Yes, I think this could work for you, why not? If the numbers add up that is.

      You could purchase phones in UK and get them delivered to a mailbox, such as:

      http://ukpostbox.com/

      When you have say 5 or 10 phones ordered, consolidate them into one shipment and get them delivered to SA.

      There won’t be any real guarantees so make sure you purchase only from reputable sellers, with good feedback. As for the customs – I don’t know how it works in SA so you’ll have to do some local research to find out what taxes and how much you’ll have to pay on these imports.

      Hope this helps Kaja!

      Andrew

  41. wayne seymour

    Hi Andrew,
    I have never bought or sold anything on E Bay before. I am currently out of work due to a massive stroke I had two years ago. I have no income except for a few computer repair or upgrade jobs I may happen to get now and then. I am not looking to make a million dollars or even try to become wealthy i would be dsatisfied just to be able to make $500.00 per month if possible to pay for my expenses. Is it possible for me to achieve that by selling on E Bay, and can I rely on you to give me a few pointers on thing . once i decide to start?

    I would really appreciate it.

    Best Regards,

    Wayne

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Wayne,

      Making $500 on eBay per month is very realistic, even using this simple concept of buying and selling used goods.

      You’ll need some money to invest initially though.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  42. Hi Andrew,

    Great stuff as usual. I’ve been doing this over the past few weeks and just wanted to propose an addition/cautionary tale to your article.

    I’ve been doing this for games and have whittled the market down to a hand full of games with good sell-through etc.

    The only issue is most sellers don’t include a return address which means there is almost no way of ascertaining which item goes with which seller, or worse: which seller’s item hasn’t turned up yet.

    This either means potentially opening a case against the wrong seller or just absorbing the loss.

    Thoughts?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi James,

      That’s an interesting observation and good one.

      In my experience though most sellers do include returns address but if they don’t, I can see this being a problem that actually can’t be fixed in any way..

  43. Hi there,

    Really great article here, I was wondering how do you come across such good deals on games for instance , I can’t seem to find any popular games that I could make a decent margin on.

    Thanks
    Tom Marshall

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tom,

      Video games market is pretty saturated nowadays so I would rather recommend looking for other types of goods – small electronics, toys, fashion items – anything really that isn’t as saturated as video games or movies.

      Also, the real power with this strategy lies in BUNDLES! They carry the highest margins and un-like with single items, when you purchase a good bundle, you’re good to go with at least 10+ items.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  44. Nic Churchill

    Hi Andrew,

    Firstly, let me congratulate you on a great blog, I’ve found it very informative and inspiring.
    I am about to start up on ebay by selling trading cards, buying them in “booster boxes” (which contain around 200 cards) and them selling them off individually. I was wondering if you had any specific hints or tips for this type of product?
    Also, regarding going self employed, do you know if you can put ebay sellers fees on your tax return as business expenses?

    Many Thanks

    Nic

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Nic,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately I have no experience with trading cards and similar products so can’t give any specific advice on these….

      As for eBay/PayPal fees – yes, of course – those are business expense.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  45. Hi Andrew,

    I have tried looking at bundles on ebay to sell individually. I have looked at DVDs, blu rays and video games and for the life of me i cannot find any that i could make any profit on. All of the bundles i have seen are selling for the same price you would get if they sold separately. I also tried looking at used items to sell on but can’t find any like the Fifa 13 game you mentioned. Am i doing something wrong or is it that a lot of other people are doing this now? I have spent hours trawling ebay and have yet to find anything.

    Many thanks,
    Aaron.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for your comment.

      There are thousands of such opportunities on eBay every single day, so it simply can’t be true that you can’t find anything at all.

      Few tips:

      * Make sure you check out regularly Newly listed bundles with BIN/Best Offer prices and grab them instantly if the price is good, make an offer.

      * Use sniping tools to win auctions. The biggest money is in auctions and NOT BIN listings! So you want to find a sniping tool you like and use it on as many listings every day you can.

      * Look for bigger bundles. In general – the more items there are in the bundle, the more money you can make by re-selling them individually.

      * Think outside the box! While video games and Blu Rays is an obvious target, as you say – many people now follows this model, hence the increased competition. But this system can work in ANY niche, with ANY items! Just look for other niches, explore other product categories. IN fact, they’re way more profitable than video games or Blu Rays.

      Hope this helps Aaron!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Thanks for replying.
        I don’t think i’ll bother with video games or DVDs, i’ve been looking for days and can’t seem to get anywhere. I thought about trying what you did with Fifa 13, and tried to get hold of copies of Titanfall on the xbox, the average used copy were selling for about £35 and figured if i was to make £4-5 on each i’d have to get it for about £20. Despite watching about 30 listings they all went for about the average. I tried this with a few other games (minecraft, GTA and a few PS3 titles) but to no avail. I,ve looked into some toys (moshi monsters, fisher price) but have no knowledge of these and have yet to find anything worth bothering with, unless making 20p-30p profit per listing is worth it.
        I guess i’ll just keep plugging away as i can’t work due to problems with anxiety and depression and i am looking in to finding a way to work from home.

        Many thanks,
        Aaron.

  46. […] there are still plenty of things you need to learn to start selling on eBay but in general; it’s far easier compared to online shops. On eBay, you can start with one […]

  47. Hello Andrew
    I have read your post and I found it very interesting and useful. I have a question, I want to know how to send small parcels ( about 200 G) for less than £1 because I know minimum cost is £2.80 with Hermes but I have bought many items for less than £3.
    Could you please explain how is possible and what is the best way for sending small pack in UK.
    Sorry about my writing because my language is not very good.
    Thank you very much for your time and information.
    Moh

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Moh,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The cheapest way to send 200g packages is via Royal Mail, unless they’re bulky type of items where My Hermes will be cheaper.

      So just head to RM website and check their prices using an online calculator.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hello Andrew
        Thank you for your answer
        I have checked RM and found that cheapest price is £2.80 (2nd class) and I am still confused because as I wrote I have bought items for less than £3 and I cannot understand how because there are many cost like item price, packing, posting, profit and ebay commission.
        Do you know any cheaper way?
        I really appreciate for your information

      2. Andrew Minalto

        I’m sorry – but what do you mean by cheaper way?

        Royal Mail costs what it costs, same for eBay & PayPal fees.

        Yes, you gain few % when you have business account with RM and save on PayPal fees with decent turnover but still, we’re talking about max 10% savings here. The fact that there are items being advertised for 3 quid on eBay, doesn’t mean that seller makes profit on them.

      3. Hi Andrew

        Maybe you can explain why people decide to sell on ebay without making any profit.

        Thank you.

      4. Andrew Minalto

        Hi Joyce,

        Thanks for your comment.

        I don’t think people start an eBay business with that on mind 🙂 At least not majority…

        The fact that many of them end up loosing money is true though and usually is caused by lack of knowledge, experience and simple understanding on how to make it work.

        Thanks,
        Andrew

      5. Hi Andrew
        Thank you very much for your help

  48. Hi Andrew,

    Firstly I want to say that your information is superb. I have truly abused your generosity of providing it for free by watching and reading most of what you’ve got to say. Currently I’m looking at this part time for some extra cash but after everything I’ve read I’d feel comfortable in expanding to something bigger if the notion were to take me. I would maybe need to buy Easy Auction Business partly as a thank you but also I am sure there is plenty of invaluable information in there.

    Anyway, so I’ve started out with selling things of my own that I was going to be selling anyway before I discovered all this info. I was wondering what is the best method of selling, BIN or Auction? Reason I ask. Once I research the price I’d be looking for and set the auction to around that price would this potentially make my listing unsellable even if its a fair price because people might not deem it enough of a bargain when there are listings starting at 99p. Or, by more or less following all of your advice ie attractive listings etc, will that not make too much of a difference. I’m prone to waffling so my apologies but I hope what I say makes sense.

    Thanks again for your help to this point and I look forward to your reply.

    Cheers,
    Stuart

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for your comment.

      In general, while in this “house clearance process”, I recommend selling everything via Auctions with a starting price of 0.99 and let the market determine how valuable each item is. Unless it’s a very rare item of course, then you’ll want to list it as BIN only.

      So yes, I recommend auctions. The problem with BIN listings is that you won’t get that many views on them, if it’s a competitive item. With Auctions, you DO get views as auctions are featured higher in search right when they’re launched and few hours/minutes before they end.

      IF you really need to achieve a certain value for an item, then yes – you can list it as an auction with a starting price of your target price. But of course, be ready that no one bids on it as bidders are really looking for those 0.99 listings, even if they over-pay in a bidding war at the end…

      Hope this helps Stuart!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  49. Hi Andrew,

    Good post.

    Just wondering whether it is best to sign up for an ebay shop when starting up a business on ebay or just sell as an individual to begin with?

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sophia,

      I recommend starting with a shop subscription because only with a shop subscription you can have Good Till Cancel listings.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  50. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for this amazing read, it really clarifies everything and makes it extremely simple!

    I wanted to ask:
    1) When would you use 30 days listing as opposed to 7-10 day listing and vice versa (i.e. is there a difference between listing length with auction and fixed price listings). Also, if it is 7-10 days would this decrease the chance of how many buyers view the item?

    2) Is there a template that you could provide to keep track of your profit and loss?

    Look forward to your response.

    Kind regards,

    Shohaib

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Shohaib,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1) I would only recommend using 30 days when you sell a very rare item, with little to no demand and competition.

      2) Sorry, don’t have such ready for public but thanks for an idea, I may create it in future!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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