make extra money

How to Pivot to an eBay Side Hustle and Make Extra Money

I haven’t met too many people who wouldn’t want an opportunity to make extra money. I’m certainly one of those people. Since we began our family’s financial makeover in 2010, I’ve been on the lookout for the best way to maximize income.

I work a regular nine to five, so it starts there. I maximize my salary by putting in the work and making sure it’s my top priority since it’s my biggest income generator.

But my free time is where I have an opportunity to increase my income. I started my first blog in 2013 to share our story of debt repayment, and hopefully generate some income along the way. 

I’m sure you read the many articles on how to make money with a blog, and there are certainly money-making opportunities with a web site. Don’t be fooled, it takes a lot of work, and your time to build a successful blog.

You are at the mercy of Google, and their updates. You have to learn about SEO, keywords, and many back-office tips, and tricks to build a successful blog. After seven years I had enough of two steps forward, and three steps back running a personal finance blog. 

I don’t consider it a failure. I met several like-minded people, directly help others with their finances, and created an ebook to help springboard teenagers with their finances.

Although I’m still technically blogging on this site, it much more casual approach, and not intended to generate extra money.

So what else can someone do beyond a blog to make extra money?

Side Hustle 101

Side hustles are a key tool many people use to bump up their income, and with a quick google search, you’ll find hundreds of side hustle ideas.

Last holiday season I was looking for a good way to cash flow gifts for the family. I immediately thought of side hustles but remembered they can be a slow burn to grow into a substantial income. 

If you need to earn cash quickly I’d suggest a part-time job, and during the holiday’s many companies are looking for extra help for a 2-3 month period.

I landed a part-time job and worked by evenings, and weekends from October to December, cash flowing all my holiday gifts. Don’t overlook how big of a time suck working two jobs can be. Work 40+ hours at my nine to five plus an extra 20-25 at the part-time job was tiring, but I know it was for a short time with a great end goal.

This year I did not want to have to work a part-time job to make extra money to cover our holiday expenses. A fellow blogger had recently transitioned from blogging to flipping on eBay.

I’ve been an eBay member for over 20 years. Over those years I have casually sold items that we no longer needed or upgraded around their home. So I was very familiar with eBay. The question I had to answer is what would I flip on eBay and where would my inventory come from.

Building an eBay Flipping Plan

If you want to be successful flipping items on eBay, you need some source of inventory to list and sell. This was my first hurdle to overcome.

After considering many things to sell, electronics, clothes, etc. I turned to a collection of comic books I have had for years. In my teenage years, I read and collected comic books. I have a collection of close to 500 books from the mid-1980s.

I figured this would be a good place to start since I already had the comic books on hand, and I would not have to invest any cash to build the inventory.

So with a little research, and dusting off my knowledge of comics books I was able to begin listing on eBay. I found that several of my comic books were worth $15 to 20 each, and in some cases, I had a few books worth close to $100.

So very quickly I was able to begin listing my comic books, and begin earning some extra money. 

There was a bit of a learning curve. I only took a single photo of each book, but often interested buyers wanted more photos. Which makes sense, the better the condition of the comics the better the overall value.

Shipping was my next challenge. Packing delicate comics in a way so that they do not get damaged in transit took some time to master. There are a few Youtube videos on the topic, and specific mailing boxes that can be used.

So after some early stumbles, I’m been up and running selling comic books on eBay for close to five months now.

Here’s a snapshot of my last 30 days of sales. It’s been pretty consistent.

make extra money

After about two months, and burning through my initial comic book inventory, I had to find ways to source more comics. I started using Facebook marketplace and Craig’s list to find more comics.

I purchase two comics lots so far. One close to 500 books, and some collectible toys for $400, and a second of close to 1000 books for $450.

Buying in bulk like this helps reduce the overall cost, and in this case, the person selling was just looking to get rid of the book in one sale.

So for an $850 investment, I have an inventory of over 1500 comic books that have been listed on eBay. Many have already sold, and I have made roughly $2500 so far.

I have also found a handful of books that were extremely valuable and sent them out for grading. The grading process is handled by a third party, and officially grades they book on a 1-10 scale. The higher the grade, the better price you can fetch for the book. Here’s the highest graded and valued comic book I have. This book alone is worth close to $1000.

make extra money

So overall pivoting to eBay flipping has been good, a short learning curve, and I have been making consistent extra money. 

Final Thoughts on eBay Flipping

 If you want to get started flipping on eBay here’s are some steps to take.

  1. Decided on what type of items you’d like to sell (comic books made sense for me since I had a collection, and interest in them)
  2. Use eBay as a research tool to understand how well items are selling and at what price range. (this will help you decide how much you should pay when buying inventory)
  3. Figure out a way to source your items. (Yard Sales, Estate Sales, Facebook marketplace, Craig List)
  4. Begin listing (the more photos of your item the better)
  5. Make sure your listing description is accurate, include size, any defects, whether the item was tested or not, new, open box, etc (This will help avoid returns or negative feedback)
  6. When an item sells, make sure it packed properly (USPS offers several free priority mail shipping supplies. When shipping priority some insurance is included)
  7. Leave feedback for your buyers. (They are more likely to leave feedback for you)
  8. Enjoy making extra money from home.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.