The eBay topic is intended for Mumsnet members to discuss eBay, not for advertising eBay items. If you are a small business there is a Small Business classified topic where, for £30, you can advertise your company or products for 90 days. If you are a larger business and wish to advertise on Mumsnet please email contactus@mumsnet.com.

Ebay experiment - making money

(23 Posts)
BettyandDon Tue 31-Jul-12 10:03:33

I'm just wondering if anyone can give advice re ebay and potentially starting a business...

I have dabbled in ebay selling old things (kids stuff, clothes, unused cosmetics all things I already owned), but I have run out of things to sell (pregnant with DD2 so keeping kids things for now). I have about 170 ratings 100% positive.

I am a SAHM and cash is very tight, so I'm thinking of starting a business. What I want to do is a trial, say allocate £100 (?) to buying things to sell, researching all the selling costs/fees, and then giving it a go to see if I make profit. I am going to limit it to £100 expenditure.

I'm not sure how to go about (a) deciding what to sell and (b) sourcing it. Does anyone have any tips on this. I think I would be able to figure out selling prices and I know about postage options etc.

I have searched online for this and am bombarded with snazzy websites most of which seem to charge for their services, most of which look like scams or rip offs TBH.

Any advice much appreciated!

Ketuk Tue 31-Jul-12 10:19:28

My honest advice is don't!

You will lose all your mark-up on fees (ebay and paypal don't forget), ebay is flooded with people doing similar, which is why it has become unusable for the ordinary buyer. It used to be fun to buy and sell, but no more.
Plus if you're a business, you'll be taxed.

BettyandDon Tue 31-Jul-12 10:28:53

Ha Ha

Well that is good advice too. I know ebay and paypal charge quite a bit so I would need a large mark up. I used to work for a company who made cosmetics to sell to Boots etc and they used to not sell anything unless the retail price was 6/7x the cost price.

I still want to give it a go though...It is just tempting as if you total what I have made on ebay selling my old stuff it is over £3k, problem is now I'm poor and havn't got any decent stuff to flog smile

SpecialAgentSpade Tue 31-Jul-12 11:31:31

My Advice is buy old wood furniture, strip and paint in Farrow & Ball/ Laura Ashley or similar Paint (for that shabby chic look). Sells for a fortune.

BettyandDon Tue 31-Jul-12 11:44:03

That is a good one.

I may even start by reselling a bookcase I bought myself which matches that description blush although I can't remember what I paid. I got it for DD1 nursery and it is totally the wrong dimensions for anything child related !

SpecialAgentSpade Tue 31-Jul-12 21:08:27

Good start. local furniture rehoming centers/salvation army/charity shops are a cheaper place to pick up furniture. or freecycle.

booboo247 Tue 07-Aug-12 00:12:06

My pal sells nice clothes on ebay for other people. Amongst the group of girls and friends of family etc she has a nice flow of things that people want to clear but can't be bothered to sell themselves. Its quite time consuming but she seems to have a good listing/posting system and she takes a 50/50 split with the owner of the items. She is picky with what she takes (excellent condition, good brands etc) and lists them nicely so they attract good bids. She is also clear what price things might go for, so people's expections are too high. She doesn't make enough to give up work but she says it pays for holidays and days out for her and her little boy.

Nuttyprofessor Tue 07-Aug-12 00:22:19

I often buy things and sell them on eBay, I have made thousands of pounds. I have never found one thing to sell consistently.

I buy lots of things at a designer outlet village.

The problem is not usually what you can sell but what you can buy.

Southfacing Tue 07-Aug-12 00:36:05

Books on certain topics sell well -- self help in particular. You might get more out of Amazon though and it's really quick to list. No point trying to sell fiction though.

I've made a nice profit out of Boden outlet sales in the past, but they're pricier these days.

Otherwise, good brands from TKMaxx eg Cath Kidston homewares, if you're lucky!

ApricotPoodle Tue 07-Aug-12 00:49:49

Pick something you know about. DH has made a lot of money from buying a specific type of sports equipment. He buys it from car boot sales and sells on at a profit. He knows the market very well though so knows the prices to buy at and the days and times to end the auctions. Occasionally he buys from ebay to sell on.

ninedragons Tue 07-Aug-12 01:49:54

I agree with the poster who said listing on behalf of other people is the way to go.

My friends know I sell stuff on eBay and I am forever being asked if I can list this or that for them. I have had to politely let them know it takes a lot of time and sadly I just don't have it, but there's definite opportunity there.

Just be careful about the tax situation. It would be terrible to get billed for selling a whole load of stuff that wasn't even yours. As I understand it, if you're selling off your own surplus things, there's no tax payable, but the moment you start buying to re-sell, you're in tax territory.

I started doing this about 3 or 4 weeks ago, myself and my mum decided to go round the car boot sales and see what we could pick up cheap to sell on. Mostly we get designer or good high street brands. Its all a bit trial and error at the moment but some of the things we have bought have sold on at crazy money (fat face dress bought for £1 and resold for £26) Other things I have been convinced about selling well havent had much interest.
Me and my mum currently go half and half and she washes and irons anything that needs doing and removes stains. I photograph and list. It does take a bit of time but I can do it in the evening when the little ones are in bed.

Oh and I am seeing trends on certain things that are selling well and its amazing what you can pick up, I managed to get a brand new with tags Abercrombie and Fitch hoody for a quid!

pud1 Tue 07-Aug-12 13:44:02

I sometimes pick stuff up to sell. Mainly clothing, I have had some great toast skirts and jackets from a local charity shop that I made about £20 each item. I also find whitestuff and Boden sell well. I don't think my local charity shop realises the value on these brands as they are up for the same price and george and primark

I wish our local charity shop was like that, the marker uppers are very knowledgeable about their labels! I've never heard of toast before, thats one for me to look out for smile do you have any other names I should look out for?

pud1 Tue 07-Aug-12 14:16:23

Kate moss for top shop
Phase eight
Laura Ashley
Joules
Whistles
Any think higher end of high street. If you have an eye phone you can download the app and check the completed listings before you buy

pud1 Tue 07-Aug-12 14:18:14

My local high street is really run down and it's free parking. The high street in the next small town is full of designer shops so I think that people drop stuff off on the way to the nice high street as they can park directly outside the shops and just run in.

pud1 Tue 07-Aug-12 14:19:08

One of the toast skirts I bought had the tag on for £135. Bought it for £3

Excellent, thank you for those. I don't think I've heard of whistles before either. I've got a few Laura Ashley things for sale at the moment and they just aren't selling, I thought they would go well.

Southfacing Tue 07-Aug-12 23:05:41

It's good to search on completed items so you can see what sells and what doesn't.

There's quite a lot of info on the money saving expert forums about how to sell (best time to list etc).

DanJay Thu 25-Apr-13 14:14:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

sarahtigh Fri 26-Apr-13 18:23:50

separate account for business and personal you can link them to get higher selling allowance on new business remember to keep accounts and that buyers have a right to change of mind returns

you need to sell for at least triple purchase price on lower value items and double on higher price items

queenofthepirates Fri 26-Apr-13 22:50:46

I sell buttons on ebay. I have a little shop and buy buttons wholesale and sell them on. It doesn't make a huge profit but enough to give us some nice holidays and I have that warm fuzzy feeling from knowing I'm selling beautiful buttons that make ladies very happy.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now