How to Make Full-Time Living Flipping on eBay Effectively

Flipping on eBay is a great way to start making extra money fast.

The best part even is that you can work at your own pace and this side hustle requires a $0 investment to start.

Here are some of the best tips and tricks to help you get started and make the most out of your eBay flipping business.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

How Much Money Can You Make Flipping on eBay?

Man excited with money
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The amount you earn flipping on eBay depends on your creativity and hustle.

Some flippers are earning anywhere from $750-3000 per month flipping on eBay alone!

On eBay, flipping businesses make an annual profit of $20,000 to $50,000 and beyond each year. 

A couple of years ago, you would have visited a pawn shop downtown if you wanted to buy and sell an item. 

You’d only have limited sources about what items to buy, and you’d be lucky enough to score a great deal.

With online platforms such as eBay, flipping any item and exceeding your profit expectations is now easier.

The best part is you can start your eBay flipping journey this instant.


By listing items in your house that you no longer use or want.

Doing this will help you familiarize yourself with the eBay selling process and give you the extra cash you need to make your first flipping purchase.


paulaphoto // Shutterstock

It is legal to resell any item that you legitimately bought on eBay.

Rules and policies would still apply to its users, but business licenses are not required. 

Don’t list any prohibited items or violate any necessary trademark or copyright laws.

The most probable issue that might lead to your eBay business closure is operating without a legitimate license and the legal requirements your state requires. 

That is why it is always important to check their policy updates regularly.

However, when you’re first starting you don’t need to register your business and can operate as a sole proprietorship.

Once you start earning a consistent income each week or month consult with your tax professional on how to register your business.

Earning Potential

Man with money
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

eBay seller Rob Stephenson made a $4,130 profit from his flipping business in just a month.

He started by selling umbrellas, door handles, and volleyball poles to earn a substantial flip profit.

Pretty cool, right?

Within a single month, a 5-item flip got Rob the four thousand dollar profit.

To flip a door handle bought at $8 and sold at $200.

eBay flipping can start as a hobby flipping items you’re most familiar with.

If you’re consistent your profit will continue to rise, and once it does, you can decide if you’ll continue part-time or go full-time as a flipper.

How to Set Realistic Expectations That Work Within A Few Months?

NTshutterth // Shutterstock.

Starting an eBay business wouldn’t cost you a lot (other than buying the items you’ll have to sell, of course). 

During your first month of selling, your ROI might still be at a minimum, and you will have to pay $7.95 to open a starter seller account, but that is okay. 

A lot of time and some money is expected to be invested in your eBay flipping business during the first few months before you make a consistent profit.

But, don’t let this discourage you.

Instead, set realistic expectations from the beginning so you’re less prone to quit your eBay flipping business.

For example, instead of setting a goal to quit your job in the next month to go full-time in your eBay flipping business, set a goal to earn $100 during the next 30 days.

This might not seem like a worthy goal, but the objective here is to create momentum and consistency.

And instead of trying to learn everything yourself, learn from others who are already succeeding at eBay flipping.

As you start making small progress you’ll gain the confidence you need to be successful at your eBay flipping business.

Set Goals

Young business woman working
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If your goal is to earn twice from your eBay flipping business, think again.

You need to be specific and break down your goals into daily actionable steps you can track daily.

In other words, set SMART goals.

Ask yourself, what your income goals are for your eBay side hustle. Then track your monthly expenses and work backward to achieve your goals.

How to Setup Your Own eBay Store Quickly?

Woman working with laptop
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Considering between free and paid eBay seller membership could be tricky, especially for new sellers; however, here are some points to weigh which suits your business best.

Free eBay seller means you do not have to pay the usual monthly or annual subscription fee for the platform. 

Limited free listings would only be available for your registered country address with zero insertion fee. 

Remember, eBay also charges final valuation fees for your sold items that usually range from 2% – 9% depending on your products’ price and category. 

The cost includes your product cost, shipping, and packaging. eBay also has to settle a third-party payment to Paypal of a 2.9% processing fee and $0.30 per eBay transaction.

Here’s a range of eBay subscription lists wherein you can choose what account would suit your product and listings best.

  1. Starter – $4.95 – $7.95
  2. Basic – $27.95 – $21.95
  3. Premium – $74.95 – $59.95
  4. Anchor – $349.95 – $299.95
  5. Enterprise – $2,999.95

Carefully pick a subscription type that goes along well with the number of listings you can sell and if it’s profitable. 

Opening Your eBay Store

Setting up your own eBay Store account only requires a few steps, which you can follow :

  1. Visit the Register/Login page
  2. Browse and select the type of eBay store you want and choose Select and Review.
  3. Choose the subscription term that works best for you (monthly or annually).
  4. Click Submit order to forego your store subscription.

TIP: Choose a unique store name that tells your potential customers what you sell. It elevates your store’s chance of being searched when customers are looking for a particular product. 

After subscribing to eBay, do the following:

  1. Personalize your store. From choosing your desired store design, name, and logo.
  2. Arrange your listings. Organize your product listings in their specific categories.
  3. View as the buyer. You can also check how your store looks to customers when visiting your store account.

What Are the Easiest Things to Flip on eBay?

Daniel Krason // Shutterstock.

Making money on eBay primarily depends on the demand for the item you are selling. 

Some items are hard to sell and others are easy, but you’ll have to consider which sells faster and better to make money quicker.

Here’s a list of the easiest things to flip on eBay to give you an idea:


Dejan Dundjerski // Shutterstock

Probably one of the easiest things anyone can flip on eBay is good books — no matter the genre.

If you have old books, series, or textbooks even, the market will always buy them.

Clothes and Shoes

Okrasiuk // Shutterstock.

Most clothes can be bought at thrift stores or yard sales for low prices but earn a large profit.

Branded and designer clothes or shoes will sell at a great price.


mavo // Shutterstock

Likewise, old and upholstered furniture can be of good value and a gainful flip.

Good-priced furniture sells fast, especially classic wooden ones.

Vintage Electronics

patat // Shutterstock.

Some vintage electronics like films, cassette tapes, and players, vinyl record players are still in demand by several people.

You may store these items at a low cost and sell them for a profit.

Of course, much of your eBay flipping business success will depend on how much you pay and make on an item.

To have a greater chance of success, consider starting with a saleable flip which takes less effort.

Best Items to Flip on eBay


Zamrznuti tonovi // Shutterstock

Experienced flippers know for a fact that books, especially those packed with information, make the best flips.

Flipping can be tricky, but determining which item could give you the highest ROI with very low initial expense explains why books are a significant flip.

To find profitable books and use applications like BookScouter to help determine their market price.

If source excellent books, you can make a profit of $100-$1,000 per month.

Hit those thrift stores creatively and make use of those outstanding books.

Remote Controls

Man watching TV holding remote
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If you’ve been walking past your remote bins for years already, now’s the time to consider doing business out of them.

With less than $3 spent, you earn $12-$15 for each item. 

You can use a TV, Air Conditioner, sound system, or even game system remote controls for your flipping business.

With only 15 minutes of work, you get large gains for each item. Remotes can be tested easily even and listed within seconds — talk about low maintenance! 

All you need to do is point your remote at your phone and see if its infrared light turns on, and if it does, then it’s working. No more, no less.

Limited-edition Sneakers

Prostock-studio // Shutterstock.

Making money flipping through limited-edition sneakers is also one great way to have your business realized on eBay. 

If you could pick up a $10 luxury or limited-edition sneaker from a thrift shop and sell it at $100-300, then that’ll be 10x more than the expected ROI.

While books and remotes are sold at much lower prices, limited edition sneakers are sold at higher, but of course, the return is higher as well. 

So what’s the catch?

Limited edition Jordans or SB Dunks aren’t easy to find.

And as more people start to understand their value, it’ll become harder to find them at a profitable cost.

However, there are many workarounds to flipping shoes if this is a hobby you love.

Baby and Kid Gear

Ulza // Shutterstock.

Baby and kid gear are probably one of the most popular items to flip and are consistently being sold online.

Year over year, baby and kid gear businesses increase in sales because let’s face it — babies just keep coming and coming!

Some eBay flippers earn up to $1000 monthly flipping baby and kid gear.


Pixel-Shot // Shutterstock.s

Since brand-new appliances are too pricey and new models just keep coming, the demand for the used appliances market was established. 

Appliances are a reliable flipping business because you can just visit a thrift store or even a junk shop for appliances and buy them for a cheap price.

Some flippers make up to $1,000 per week flipping washers/dryers!

Power Tools

Jasen Wright // Shutterstock.

Making a profit out of power tools is undoubtedly a great option.

When buying second-hand power tools, make sure that you test them first yourself. You can visit garage sales for these items or even pawn shops.

A lot of power tools hold their value pretty well, especially the heavy-duty ones.

For example, you can buy a used saw for $5-$30 and sell it for $50-$100.

Toner Ink

SeventyFour // Shutterstock.

Selling toner inks on eBay or, in fact, on any online selling platform is a great business idea.


They sell fast with up to more than the double return, crazy, right? 

Many eBay toner ink flippers have a set of listed items only at specific market times (e.g., when Epson toner inks are on a spike, these are what’s advertised chiefly and listed on their profiles). 

It’s a marketing game, but an excellent game to play.

You can purchase toners at a significantly low price and sell them with a maximum profit.

When you run this kind of flipping business, your monthly profit can range from $1000-$5000, depending on the number of customers you lead.

Musical Instruments // Shutterstock.

There is money in flipping old guitars or any musical instrument, but it’s something you’ll have to be knowledgeable about. 

The best tip is to make sure that you’re not risking too much of your money only to get a minimal return.

Like anything, you need some kind of marketing knowledge about this listing, and once you get a grip on how this flipping niche works, you can earn up to $1500 monthly flipping musical instruments.

Flipping for A Living

Woman working in computer
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Not all items on this list will be profitable for you.

The truth is you’re not going to be an expert at selling these items, at least not at first!

That is why it is essential to choose only one item to flip when you’re first starting. It’s also wise to choose something you’re knowledgeable about or curious to learn more about.

However, this is only part of what it takes to build a successful eBay-flipping business.

When buying items to flip, here are other key factors to consider for your business:

When to Know if an Item Has the Potential to Be Profitable or Not

Woman selling online
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Suppose you can score a branded item to flip (whatever that is), which holds a high value. 

After spotting its brand market value, of course, you’d have to determine if it will be profitable.

Check the item’s condition and know which parts need upholstering or repair.

Rare items have higher market value than items that can be mass-produced, so that’s something to look out for.

You’d also have to consider the cost of the item’s packaging and shipping. 

Finally, once you’re done calculating all your expenses, determine if it’s worth buying or not. As the saying goes

Avoid buying items with the assumption their price will drop or their value will increase in the long term.

Start Small

Dmitry Tkachuk // Shutterstock.

The first thing you’ll have to do is to start with the items that you are familiar with, and of course, the cheap ones; it’s always a buy low and sell high game.

Knowledge and familiarity are critical aspects of any business.

You can’t be selling power tools if you do not know about any models or brands. 

Flipping is all about finding the right and cheapest item and selling it for a reasonable price.

Good Places to Buy

1. Discount stores

Pressmaster // Shutterstock.
  • Flea markets. Spending time just roaming around flea markets can help you find good rare items.
  • Thrift Stores. Taking advantage of what thrift stores offer for your flipping business is also an excellent way to find good items to sell quickly.
  • Garage Sales. Getting there early to find plenty of cheap items can often get you considerable profits.

2. Online markets

Happy woman with headphone working
Image Credit: Shutterstock.
  • Letgo. One of the biggest online marketplace and eBay’s competitors, Letgo, can also be an excellent place to look for your flipping business items. They offer a lot of secondhand deals.
  • OfferUp. This site provides cheap items and free items where you’ll only have to pay for the shipping cost. Talk about good bargains!
  • Facebook Marketplace. This growing marketplace is probably one the best places to watch out for buy and sell items.

3. Trash

M9K // Shutterstock.
  • Craigslist free items. Every day there’s someone who’s throwing something away or willing to give it up for free! Craigslist is a great way to source free items people no longer need and to flip them for extra cash.

How to Make Your Listing Unique and Popular

Man working in desktop computer
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Before starting any business, it is vital to consider all the other factors to get your target sales and market. 

The same rule applies to eBay flipping businesses; they have to spend some time analyzing and studying eBay’s market terrain and whether your item will sell.

With product flipping, a good listing is the same as having it advertised the right way to attract customers. To make your listings unique and famous, you have to:

1. Write a good headline and product description

Man working in laptop
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Writing a good product headline and product description is a must if you want to gain more buyer traffic.

Ensure that your headline doesn’t exceed the minimum word count and is relevant to what you are selling.

A good product description should also clearly and directly show the key features (even the flaws) of your item.

2. Keywords

VH-studio // Shutterstock.

Another way of gaining more buyer traffic into your listing is to look for the top keywords that most of your competitors use.

Like any search engine, your content can be optimized to be found.

Research your competition and note what keywords they’re including in their product description. Then, optimize your product description to include some of the same keywords.

Focus on the first 10 results, as this is where you’d want your product to appear.

3. Add high-quality Images

CrispyPork // Shutterstock.

If you want your product to stand out, posting a quality image is a must.

Some sellers would even go the extra mile by scheduling photo shoots to have their products stand out.

Quality images build trust with your prospective buyers as they can easily determine the quality of the product they’re buying.

3. Be Transparent

Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock.

A shady product is always a no-no, so you have to be upfront and direct with your pricing.

You’ll have to show how much the buyer would have to spend on your listings (including shipping).

List all defects (if any) for all the products you’ll sell. This will help you have fewer returned items.

4. Add Any Relevant Freebies

fizkes // Shutterstock.

Having freebies is also one way to attract more customers to buy your product.

Add it where it makes sense.

For example, consider adding a 10% discount coupon code to encourage all your buyers to do repeat business with you!

How to Improve Your Seller Rating on eBay

Woman working
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Seller rating tells a history to your buyers.

Most buyers go for sellers with the highest rating over those with lower prices but a bad rating. 

If you want to boost your sales or at the very least improve your rating, here are some criteria and tips to start:

Provide a Clear Item Description

StudioByTheSea // Shutterstock

The item description you’ve listed should match what the buyer will receive.

For example, if you’re selling a book as “as new” but there are pages with stains on them, you should state this.

Some buyers may be turned off by this and this is fine. There’ll be other buyers who would gladly buy your book in its current condition at a discount.

However, being transparent in your product description will land you better ratings and fewer returns.


Handsome man working
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Commit to consistent communication with your potential buyers.

As soon as you receive a message from them do your best to provide them with an answer to their question.

Or, the next best thing, let them know you’ll get back to them in a few hours.

Shipping time

iJeab // Shutterstock.

Of course, all buyers are eager to receive their parcels, so you must ship their orders as soon as possible.

Avoid late shipments, as that will only lessen your seller rating.

If you’re selling multiple items, aim to ship them out on the same day to avoid frequent trips to your local FedEx or UPS store.

Shipping charges

Oleggg // Shutterstock

Again, be transparent.

When listing your fees, make it as easy as possible for your potential buyers to view all their charges.

If possible, absorb some of the fees or mark up your product to include free shipping.

How to Communicate With Buyers Effectively

Happy woman using laptop
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Communication is key.

If you want to encourage more buyers, be as responsive as possible. 

This doesn’t mean sitting in front of your computer all day answering your buyer’s questions.

Instead, set a clear schedule on when you’ll address buyer questions throughout the day.

If you’re able to outsource this to someone else, even better.

By accommodating your buyers and delivering a satisfactory service, you’re more likely to have repeat business and free marketing through buyer word-of-mouth.

If buyers forget to leave you feedback, politely ask them for their honest feedback.

After all, you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste!

Why an eBay Flipping Side Hustle Is Beneficial

Dean Drobot // Shutterstock.

Whether you want to build a serious business or declutter some stuff, flipping on eBay is a great place to start.

Once you’ve started earning consistent income through your eBay flipping business, consider whether you want to continue part-time or go full-time.

Flipping as a side hustle sounds easy or fun, but you’re already aware that it takes a lot of effort to make it work.

But if your business takes off, you’ll reach financial freedom faster and live a happier life.

Isn’t this worth a shot?

Now choose an item from this list and start your flipping journey!

Author: Christopher Alarcon

Title: Journalist

Expertise: personal finance, side hustles, time management


Christopher Alarcon is a journalist with a deep passion for personal finance. He has contributed to major online publications, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Business Insider.