How To Make Money On Ebay (Tips, Tricks & Tools)

To get started on eBay it is very easy. It is actually probably one of the easiest platforms, anywhere, to get started on and start making money online. A few things that people do on eBay I do not agree with though, like getting into complicated things with antiques and thrift shops.

We will not be talking about that as much because I never did that, but what I did was I sold new items on eBay. This is like Amazon where you can make quite a lot of money on there. EBay is a smaller marketplace than Amazon but it is good enough to make quite a lot of money. There are some things you need to know and do to get started on eBay.

Open a PayPal account

Get a PayPal account to receive money. This does not have to be a business PayPal account from day one but needs to be a PayPal account. You need something to sell, and you need to research keywords to know what to title and right in the descriptions of your eBay items. If you know these things and you are able to rank on eBay, you are able to find what people are looking for, and you are able to rank on those keywords and the words that people are able to talk into eBay, and you are able to get eyeballs to your items which get you sales ultimately – if you write good copy, you present the item with nice pictures, and so on.

Find what to sell

To get started on eBay you need an item to sell first. So how do you find items to sell? On eBay, if you do a search there are all these categories you can choose from. What I recommend is looking at kitchenware, especially wooden kitchenware, and religious items. Those are pretty awesome markets. Also baby stuff is pretty popular and pretty awesome as long as it is not edible – I would not sell edible stuff on eBay.

If you want to find what actually sells, then there is a special feature on eBay called the completed listings. If you click on this you will be looking at not search results, but what has been sold already in the past and the price the item was sold for. If you are selling something and it is the same item or a similar item and price, chances are it is going to sell again because if they buy it once, twice, or 10 times, they are going to keep buying it.

You do need to check that and go through the search history of those items under completed listings and find what kind of demand there is, how often people buy it, how much people pay for it, what condition the item is in and where it is delivered from. One of the advantages that most of you have reading this is you are probably from a western country.

A lot of the sales people and a lot of the people selling on eBay are from India, Hong Kong, China, and so on. What happens is it is a lot harder to get your items from them. A lot of buyers on eBay are eager to buy locally from the United States, if they are from United States, and if there are less taxes and other messy stuff.

If you can ship the items in at a low cost and sell them at a higher price locally on eBay that you were able to make a profit. That is how you make profit on eBay, Amazon, and so on.

Get samples from suppliers

Once you have selected an item based on what sells, you need to get sample items from suppliers. What you do for that is you go to, which is a market place similar to eBay but to buy bulk, and you ask for some sample items from suppliers.

When you get a bunch of sample items from 10 or 20 different suppliers, then you list all of them in similar price and in a similar way. You do not copy the description and title of course, but you use them for inspiration. Once you have done that and listed them, some of these items end up selling and then you order actual supply of those items while you sell some more.

Then you have proof that these items are actually going to make a profit. A lot of people buy a large supply of items and start selling and don’t even know if they are going to start selling so they risk about $1000 of supply just on a guess. You should never do this, but check up against a reality and get some sales first with just a small inventory and sample of items. If it sells a few times, it is most likely going to keep selling.

Keyword targeting

Now that you have figured out your items and what you were going to sell, you need to keyword target them so that people can find your items more easily. The way to do this is using a tool called TeraPeak. This is a keyword research tool and you can use it to fill in the title of your items and the descriptions that are similar to the most sold items. Provide the same information but do not copy and paste of course. Have very bright, nice pictures and a professional background and make it look awesome. Find the keywords that make it sell the most.

For me, top keywords were like, “vintage” and “antique.” If you use keywords like that and what I used to sell as an object, then people will buy. You need to find those types of keywords to combine with your major keyword.

Your major keyword, if you sell wooden soup ladles for example, is wooden soup ladle. If you find that in the market people want to buy vintage wooden soup ladles then add the word vintage to the end of your title. I found that finding those types of keywords and putting them at the end of the title makes your items appear more desirable to the buyers. If you do that you are going to be able to charge more money.

What amount of money can you charge on eBay?

You can charge all kinds of money and see people selling stuff for $.90, but I recommend just building up your reputation and buying items over $20 and under $70 and that are not too heavy. Nothing like a stack of wood, but keep it nice, simple, and light while in between $20 and $70.

You do not want to go too low because your profit margins are going to be quite low, and you do not want to go to high because your risk is going to be higher and you are going to have to have a very expensive inventory – which you don’t want in the beginning. Stay away from expensive inventory.

Get sales and build a reputation

In the beginning we need to build up a large amount of sales, so look toward the lower end of $20 and get a bunch of sales. You do not need to get much of a profit but make sure that you are able to keep buying inventory, you build a good reputation on eBay, and a good score for good delivery, good service, and so on. Once you have that, you can list hundreds, even thousands, of items in that niche or a different niche in a different market and can keep selling.


You can also work with a dropshipper if you eventually do not want to go to the post office every morning and deliver the items yourself. In the beginning it is feasible as it is only a couple hundred dollars per day for sales and you can ship it no problem, but once it starts to become a lot of items, you need to get a dropshipper. I highly recommend it.

I have different advice for Amazon, but Amazon has Amazon FBA where they ship and do all the stuff for you. On eBay you start off preferably by yourself and later on you can either hire employees or find a dropshipper.

It is all relatively easy and I recommend that you sell items that are listed in the, “buy now” with multiple items you can buy. You want to buy stuff that you can keep selling, not stuff that is one off, super-unique, and little antique things because that gets very complicated. If you have 1000 items that keep getting sold month after month, then you just keep ordering supply and keep selling it at a higher price and keep making money like that.

Writing descriptions and titles

You need to follow a nice structure for your description of your items and almost no one does this on eBay. Find someone that can write a nice description on eBay as a professional seller with a nicely structured sales letter on eBay and look at how they write it. Do not copy their text of course, but copy their structure. That is how I did it back in the day and it works really well. You easily outcompete your competitors with your better pictures, better titles, and better descriptions.

This does not have to be a super fancy graphic and description, but it helps if it is well-written with no grammar mistakes. You can have someone check it – call your old English teacher from high school if you need to. You are going to stand out quite easily.

List every detail about the items

Also, make sure you list all the items’ details like the measurements, the weight, and all that stuff as it is very important to most items and it adds value to your listings. A lot of people hide, even if it is a new item or not, when buying on eBay if it is not clear or obvious what they are buying, what the benefits are, or why they should do business with you.

This is how you build your reputation on eBay and eventually you will be able to have a huge store on eBay – that is what you want. You could even migrate to Amazon where you could make even more money.


Aleksander Vitkin

Aleksander Vitkin has helped over 700 people with a sincere interest in entrepreneurship and contribution, to start profitable businesses and quit their jobs.