Making money from selling items on eBay doesn't always require outlaying a bunch of money. The thought of having to fork out a couple of hundred dollars to buy inventory, list it and then hope that someone will come along and pay more for it than what you did can be daunting, particularly for anyone who is just wanting to ‘test the waters’. Fortunately there are some things that sell well, are readily available and don’t cost a cent!
1. Beach glass, pottery shards, rocks and sea shells.
If you are fortunate to live close enough to the ocean, love to wander along the beach and find little treasures and don’t mind getting a little sand between your toes, then you are in the perfect position to not only have fun but make a little money from your seaside excursions. The beach is often a great source of beautiful pieces of sea glass that has been smoothed by the salt water, broken pieces of pottery and gorgeous shells. Jewelry makers, crafters and artists are always seeking these treasures to create beautiful art pieces. Collectors of the more unusual pieces you may find will be pleased to purchase them from you online.
Yes, magazines! These are often easily located in recycle bins and on street curbs, waiting for the recycling truck to come by and pick them up. Provided they are on the curb you may take them. Just make sure that they are still in good clean, dry condition. Magazines are often given away on the likes of CraigsList also. The magazines to look out for are the likes of teen magazines, craft magazines and magazines that are published about a niche or specialist topic, because these are often not available outside of the USA and there is a potential international market for them. It is not worth your time or energy however, to collect the more common magazines such as Time, People etc. More about selling magazine online here: Make Money From Old Magazines On eBay
3. Beer Coasters (beer mats).
These are highly collectible, and the more difficult they are for someone to come by the better they sell. Even the more common ones can sell well, though they are best bundled into a lot to sell. Coasters from little-known, independent breweries, boutique breweries and the like can fetch a good price. Best of all these are easily obtained from your local friendly bar and / or restaurant.
Thought matchbooks were a thing of the past? Not so! People still collect them and are keen to add new ones so wherever you go be sure to pick them up. Sell them in small lots. This is another item that is valued by international buyers.
5. Stamps from mail you receive.
Whether it be mail received at home or at the office, the stamps have the potential to be a good money maker, particularly if you find uncancelled stamps. Once in a while you will find that a stamp fails to go through the cancelling machine and these are good to sell on eBay as either “mint ungummed” or “used uncancelled” (check out some of the recent sales here). People buy them to put on their own mail and you don’t even have to go to the bother of removing them from the letters. For cancelled stamps, just cut around the stamp leaving a margin of paper, put them aside and once you have collected a good number of them they can be sold by weight: “1 pound on paper USA stamp mixture” (example here).
6. Empty toilet rolls
I am sure you are sitting there questioning my sanity on this one, but let me assure you that empty toilet rolls DO sell on eBay. Crafters love them, and although it might take you a good while to collect enough to be worth selling, there is money to be made from something that would ordinarily be tossed into the recycling bin.
7. Used buttons
How often have you tossed a torn button-up shirt into the trash and not given it another thought? There is money to be made in used buttons, particularly if they are old and / or unusual. Next time you go through your wardrobe and decide that it is time to toss out some items, provided they are not fit to be donated to a charitable organization, take a minute to snip those buttons off. Make sure the buttons are not broken, scratched or chipped. While not a huge money maker, used buttons do sell and are one of the easiest and cheapest items to ship.
8. Box Tops for Education
If you no longer have school-age children, or your school does not collect Box Tops for Education, there is a market for these on eBay too. Check for them on the likes of cereal boxes etc. Again, it may take you a while to accumulate enough to warrant putting them on eBay, but considering you are just throwing the empty packaging in the recycle bin, it takes very little effort to snip out the Box Top logo and put it aside.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking of things that someone else would be willing to pay money for on eBay. Take the time to explore some of the more unusual items that sell on eBay. One of the best places to start researching is in the crafting section. You may be surprised by some of the items that sell. Start looking at some of the items that you might think have absolutely no use to you and see if there is a market for them on eBay. If you can make a few dollars from those items, then why not give it a go?