The first year I started doing this, I grossed about $20000. Last year was bad. Our thrift stores shut down because of Covid. In late June of this year, I started back up slowly because our thrift stores came back. My gross for the last six months is $3,238.63. And again, because of Covid, I've stopped going daily like I was which cut into my fun money.
Last year I bought a brand new pinball machine from my thrift store finds.
If you can go every day, you only have to look at the 'new' stuff which saves lots of time.
The eBay app has a barcode scanner so you can look up anything that's in its original packaging by just scanning it.
Don't pass up anything vintage looking that's still sealed (even if it looks worthless). I sold nearly $100 worth of new in package vintage incandescent bulbs a little while back. I got the lot of them for like $10.
Save all the boxes you have coming to your house in advance of starting this. You can't sell stuff that you can't easily box up and ship.
Never use the post office or UPS/FedEx store. You can get a significant discount through pirateship.com (free to use, offers steep US Postal and UPS discounts) or even eBay's own shipping.
EDIT: A few more tips...
Once you're shipping at least one thing a week, buy a label printer like a Rollo Thermal Printer. It will save you lots of wasted time and energy in printing out, cutting the shipping label to size, taping it to the package securely, etc.
Invest in a good industrial shipping tape gun (not those cheap little plastic ones), get good brand-name shipping tape and a couple of large rolls of bubble wrap... also, start saving the packaging that comes into your house from your online purchases to be reused.
Get a bunch of 'newsprint' packing paper for packing up your stuff.
Basically: don't cheap out on supplies.
Stay organized. I use a set of plastic bins in the basement to store my items once they're listed.
If it can be scalped, it will be. I'm not sure if the people who like to say "free market" would consider this a negative or a positive.
That said, I don’t think “we shouldn’t let everybody shop there then” is meaningful. Means testing is itself expensive and would likely penalize the very people who need thrift stores. Some things depend on the members of a society having a shared sense of what is and isn’t decent. Halloween candy is free but if I organize gangs of kids to empty out every candy bowl and sell it online, Halloween won’t be any fun.
Right now making about $500/month with $150 going to a 10x10 climate controlled storage unit. At the door going into our unit is a dumpster and we found about 5 huge bags of toys that my wife is going through and listing. We've sold about $30 worth of free stuff from that single dumpster.
In July 2021 I did really well but was going balls to the wall with it and probably made close to $1000 that month. But I got burnt out quick and slowly started getting back into it. My wife has pretty much taken over it as her part- to full-time job (once she gets started on something she can't stop). She has successfully listed about 5 items a day for the past month.
Absolutely correct about the thermal label printer. Bought a brand new one for a fraction of the cost off of FBMP ;-)
I bought a tape gun and wasted more tape than what actually got on the box so ditched that.
Agree with don't skimp on shipping products. Makes life way easier.
final eBay sale price
- eBay fees
- shipping // unless you have the buyer pay actual shipping
- the cost I paid for the item
my net profit (hopefully more than $20 for my time and effort)
two refrigerator filters new in package ($3.99 each) - selling on eBay for about $40 each - retail for about $50 each.
My total sale price was $69.95 for both (I undercut the lowest listing by a dollar or so and offered 'free' shipping)
My shipping cost was about $5. My eBay fees were about $10 - they take quite a chunk.
$70 - 25 = $45 profit
I probably could have held onto them longer, charging a higher price and not offering 'free' shipping, but sales have been slow because I haven't been buying much so I made them too good to pass up.
$45 for about 20 minutes of hustle isn't terrible. It took me all of 3 minutes to list them on eBay. I plopped them on my kitchen table, snapped a picture of them, searched for the same item in the 'sold' section of eBay. Clicked 'sell one like this' link, filled in a price, selected a shipping option and clicked 'post'.
If it is an estate sale run by the individual owner this is usually good and nothing more than a garage sale where everything is sale including the proverbial kitchen sink.
Don't skip on CDs, VHS, Cassettes or vinyl records! Though be sure to check the condition and that the correct disc is definitely in the case before you buy it.
Vinyl records are difficult to grade, so I would avoid them unless you can play them and reliably grade them OR they're sealed OR the surface on both sides appear immaculate. Sadly, they usually just add to my already overstuffed vinyl collection instead of winding up on eBay.
VHS and audio cassettes are hot right now as well, so if you see some classics, definitely give them a look on eBay before you pass on them. They usually have a barcode.
Typically someone will drop off their whole collection at place, so consider buying items to sell in a 'lot'.
A complete hardback Harry Potter book set is $100+! (usually $2 a piece at my thrift shop)
I almost have a complete set from my many trips to the thrift store, so pick them up when you see them!
What was the net?