We've argued whether the internet is good at saving you money, but...
What to sell on eBay
In this article we’ll look at what sells on eBay, but if you’re new to eBay read our guide how to make money on eBay first.
Most people know that the latest games consoles can be sold on eBay for a good price. However, it may not be as well-known that older consoles are also often worth good money.
Older systems like Atari 800 are collectors’ items and can go for as much as £500 in good condition. Plenty of nostalgic people are willing to pay for the gaming system they grew up with.
TOP TIP: People pay more for games consoles in boxes. It’s usually worth including the box in the sale, even if it pushes the postage costs up because it’s bulkier.
Brand name clothes
Do you have clothes hanging up in your wardrobe that you don’t like anymore? If so it’s easy to assume they’re worthless to everyone else too. That’s not true, particularly clothes made by a recognised brand name.
It doesn’t have to be Vivienne Westwood or Gucci; high-street shops such as Topshop or Next also sell well.
TOP TIP: Try adding the word “vintage” to listings on clothing that might appeal to hipsters. This will mean more people might see your listing, and it can increase the final sale value.
Football shirts also sell well on eBay. In fact, if you’ve got a hard to find replica kit or one that’s signed by players it can fetch quite a lot of money.
My team, Huddersfield Town, have had some delightful kits over the years including some from the early 90s that are now worth a lot of money. So dig around in the attic and have a look for any old football shirts you might have.
TOP TIP: Because signed shirts are so valuable you might be tempted to get a marker pen out and sign a few yourself. Don’t do this! If your buyer thinks you’ve been sneaky they can request a refund, give you bad feedback and your eBay account could be closed.
Vinyl records buck the trend of things moving to digital and have seen massive growth in the last few years. The Guardian recently reported that LP sales had hit a 25-year high. (For the youngsters out there: LP is short for long-playing record.)
So, if you’ve got a box full of old records somewhere then it’s worth getting them out and seeing if you’re sat on a goldmine. Some LPs from the 60s and 70s can be very valuable.
Not all vinyl is valuable though, so it’s worth doing some research before deciding what to list. More on how to research prices on eBay later.
TOP TIP: Be careful how you package up your records before sending them off. They’re delicate items, so it’s worth making sure they’re going to get to their destination safely. If it’s a particularly valuable item then consider buying a specially designed box. Otherwise, bubble wrap, cardboard, and parcel tape should be able to keep your records safe.
There’s a thriving market for second-hand Lego on eBay. A report in the Telegraph in 2015 suggested that Lego could be a better investment than gold. That’s right, those little bricks that you’ve been accidentally standing on for all these years are worth serious money!
Hard-to-find sets are sell for the most money, particularly if you’ve got the original box and it’s all in good condition. However, someone recently sold a Lego Millennium Falcon for £825 even without the box, so it’s still worth listing unboxed sets.
TOP TIP: Be sure that you’ve got all the bits in your set before you list it as a complete one. If there are key bricks missing you might have to deal with an angry buyer.
There’s a point when old technology becomes a valuable collector’s item. The original iPod is far bulkier and holds less music than the latest smartphones. However, because it was the first iPod they often sell for more than they originally cost. This first generation iPod sold for £649 a few weeks ago.
It doesn’t have to be an iPod; there are many older pieces of technology that collectors pay plenty of money for. Here are a few suggestions:
- Early Sony Walkman Personal Stereos
- Film SLR cameras
- Mobile phones
TOP TIP: Put some effort into the pictures and written description of your item so you can sell for more money. It will help to emphasise the collectable nature of the item you’re selling and how historically important it was.
Everyone has their own definition of beauty. Few people would consider this cauliflower teapot as a beautiful item, yet it still sold for £126. If you’ve got ‘ugly’ ornaments you no longer want in your house it may be worth selling them on eBay.
Even if the Antiques Roadshow would turn their nose up at your trinkets, there might be someone online willing to buy them. Better still, quite a few people!
TOP TIP: Try to avoid letting your distaste for your old items show in your description. Instead of “hideous” try calling it “unique” or ”one of a kind”.
How to work out how much something is worth on eBay
It’s important to research the average selling price for your items before you list them on eBay. Looking at sold listings is the most reliable way to see what people are actually willing to pay. Follow these simple steps:
- Go to the eBay homepage and click the “advanced” link next to the main search bar
- Modify your search by ticking the box called “sold listings”
- Enter a description of your item in the search bar
This will bring up a list of all the items recently sold that match your search criteria.
This is far more useful than looking at items currently for sale as ‘Auction style’ listings will often only go up to their true value in the minutes before the auction ends. “Buy it now” items can often be listed for far more than they’re worth and won’t ever sell.
Alternatives to eBay
This article focuses on selling online on eBay, but it’s worth researching other options. Selling on eBay incurs fees including a ‘final value fee’ (a percentage of the sale price) and Paypal charges for the online payment process.
Some other ways to sell your old items include:
- Gumtree – A cheap way to list your items online but it doesn’t come with the same protections built in as eBay so there’s a higher chance of being ripped off
- Facebook regional selling groups – Type in your nearest town or city into Facebook and it’s likely there’ll be a private group of people buying and selling things. You’re limiting your market to people nearby, but it means you can deal face to face with the buyer. This will save on postage but it’s important to think about safety before telling strangers on the internet where you live
- Carboot sales – If you have lots of fairly low-value items to sell then it could save hassle to take it to your local car boot sale. There’s usually a small fee to pay for setting up a stall, and they typically take place early on a Sunday morning, but I’ve heard of people making hundreds in just a few minutes
- Trade-in shops – There are shops that specialise in buying and selling used items. Computer games and gadgets are the things they’re most likely to want to pay for. Usually the prices these shops are willing to pay is significantly less than you’d get for selling the same thing yourself, but it’s also more convenient
For more money-making ideas read our 10 ways to make extra money to pay off debt.
Have you got any other great eBay selling tips, or know other items that sell well on eBay? Pop them in the comments below.