You’ve got your account. You’re looking to get into the eBay auction world. So what to sell on eBay? What, exactly, do you sell on eBay? If you’re stumped, here are a few pointers.
The first thing to do is to look around your house. Do you have any antiques? They don’t have to be one-of-a-kind antiquities from Ancient Rome or a signed copy of the Declaration of Independence- but if you have an old record player, or an antique chair or even a collection of antique political campaign buttons, those will sell very well on eBay.
Don’t have any antiques? Collectibles are just as good. Hot Wheels, old Barbie Dolls, lightly-used vintage clothing in good repair, campaign buttons (especially FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy), collectable theatrical programs, Depression-era glassworks, vintage newspapers, older movie memorabilia, collectible books, WW2 memorabilia (with a few exceptions that eBay will not allow), all of these are good bets. Old toys in collectable condition in general are great to sell on eBay, especially those that are either rare (such as the old ’70s Stretch Armstrong series of toys) or have a mass fan following (such as Kenner’s original run of Star Wars action figures and toys, or original run Cabbage Patch Kids). They don’t have to be “mint-in-box,” gently used toys in good working order can be salable.
If you have a stamp or coin collection that is valuable, consider selling that, either together or broken up, on eBay.
Another good idea might be to watch a show like American Pickers, and ask yourself “do I have anything like that laying around in my house?”
Still having trouble with what to sell on eBay?
Another resource to tap is garage sales – someone else’s subjective trash just may be your treasure. (Don’t try to sell actual trash on eBay. It never ends well.) Take a look at thrift stores – not only will you find hidden gems to sell on eBay, you’ll be helping out the charity of your choice. You may want to canvass friends, families, co-workers, fellow parishioners at your place of worship for items they may be looking to get rid of. Offer to take them off their hands for a percentage of the income from the sale.
Even though you have the capability of selling almost anything on eBay, there are some things that just do not sell well on eBay. Beanie Babies, Princess Diana memorabilia and other fad items that had a “bubble” collectors market years ago have had their day. Recent baseball and other sports cards (generally from 1980 on) are also a tough sell, with the exception of some well-known or intentionally rare cards. If you have a first issue of a comic book from the collector’s boom of the early ’90s (for instance, a first issue of 1993’s X-Men or the Todd MacFarlane Spiderman), you won’t get much money out of it – those issues were printed in the millions, and unlike a mint-condition Action Comics #1 from 1938 (which debuted Superman, and which would command “sky’s the limit” prices), there are still millions in existence. Also, common goods, such as most DVDs, books, and clothing items that can be easily gotten through major retailers are a non-starter.
Finally, check carefully the items that you’re selling, especially if they are baby clothes or toys of any sort of vintage. Items under recall, or items that the Consumer Products Safety Commission have determined are no longer safe for commerce might not be able to be sold via eBay, even though possessing them is legal. Items in this category include things like lawn darts, old toys or household objects that contain lead paint or have been the subject of a safety recall, vintage baby clothes or blankets that are not fire-retardant, and drop-side cribs (recently banned by the CPSC). Also, certain vintage glazed dinnerware (such as the infamous red Fiestaware manufactured up until 1972) may be mildly radioactive due to the presence of uranium oxide in older glaze recipes. That’s probably not “what to sell on eBay.”