Sunday, February 19, 2012


Before you start selling, get all the headaches out of the way first -

 AND GET PAID FOR IT!!!. First, open a bank account. Chase bank (and some others) offer a $100 to $200 bonus for opening a new bank account with direct deposit. Then open a second one for your spouse for another bonus. Then open a third business account for another $100 bonus. Use this account for your eBay business. Then sign up for a chase credit card for a $50 - $500 sign up bonus depending on the card you choose. Then do it again for your spouse. Finally get a business credit card for another $100 bonus for your new eBay business. You have just made $500 to $1000 even before you sold your first item. My wife and I have already done this and it only costs you one afternoon. Also use your credit cards for all eBay purchases,shipping supplies, shipping costs and earn cash back. Don't forget to pay off the balance in full each month or you will loose all your bonus money in interest over time.

Set up a spread sheet with an item description for everything you list, what you paid for the item, what you sold it for, what you charged for shipping, what the buyer paid for shipping and a total profit after you add all these together. At the end of each month, take your total profit from all items sold and then subtract all eBay fees from your monthly statement, all Paypal fees, all shipping related costs (boxes,tape,markers). This is your total profit for the month.

Don't forget to open a Paypal account and link it to your new Chase checking account. Almost all eBay payments are made through Paypal. You cannot successfully sell on eBay without Paypal.

Make a place to store your inventory. Make sure it is in a temperature controlled environment. The garage is not a good place. You do not want bugs, rodents, roaches,water moisture, to get in your valuable inventory.

Buy a decent digital camera (use your bank sign up money) You cannot sell without good photos.

I assume you already have a computer (otherwise you could not read this blog)

That's it! Headaches are out of the way and you have already made money!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Here's is the basics. Buy as cheap as possible. Buy only like new and preferably name brands. Jeans sell very well. Clothing in lots of the same size, Leather jackets ,shoes, party/wedding dresses,  Buy clothing out of season cheap and sell high when the weather changes. Skip the socks and underwear ( do I really need to say that). Set your price on buy it now and do not sell auction format. List at least 100 items and wait for your sales. It may take weeks or months to sell each item but because you have listed dozens or hundreds of items you will have a steady income each week. Continue to build your inventory and your weekly income will increase.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


To guard yourself against the rare disappointment of a bad transaction, do not consider a sale to be complete until the bid is made, payment is collected, shipping has been confirmed and the customer is happy. Something can go wrong at every step. Just because you think your item is great does not mean it will be a quick sell. It will sell eventually. Just because someone places a bid does not mean they will pay for it. Do not ship until payment has cleared in full. Ebay has a system to report non paying bidders and you can usually re-list your item within a week if your bidder does not pay. Make sure you pack your item well. If it is expensive make sure to buy tracking confirmation and insurance. The post office has unreliable employees just like everyone else. Check to see that your customer has left positive feedback. If they have a problem be sure they will let you know. They will probably be upset and unreasonable. Take a deep breath and see if they have a valid point. Take care of your customer. I only have a problem with maybe one on fifty transactions. Nothing in this life is problem free. Do not avoid starting your business because of these problems. Take care of them quickly and move on. Don't get upset and don't dwell on them. Re-list your item and try again. If I had got some of my larger problems at the beginning when I first started I would have quit. To loose $100 when you only make $100 a month is unbearable. To loose $100 when you make $2000 a month is still terrible but I can live with it. Don't think short term. Take the necessary time to grow your business.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Just kidding, I'd rather starve. I like for people to prosper and succeed. I want you to make money. Everyone benefits when everyone participates in society to grow the economy. I try to take a few minutes each day to put together something to help you out. If you would be so kind as to return the favor and visit one of our sponsors from time to time or browse through my eBay auctions (you might get a selling idea by doing so) it would be appreciated by myself and my starving family. Just kidding again. I have a real job and we get by just fine. Thanks for visiting this site.


Most people use craigslist for large items but I am terrified of craigslist. There  have been too many horror stories about people getting ripped off or even hurt. With eBay you have a feedback rating system to give you some comfort and peace of mind that the person coming to your home to pick up large items is not an ax murderer. When I get a large item I store it in the garage and let it sit until I get a buyer. You will have many people ask you to ship the item but most people just do not realize the cost of shipping on large items. Politely decline to ship and usually in a couple of months you will get a local buyer. I have had someone drive 100 miles for a bed frame that I was selling. You can sell furniture ,your car , boat , artwork, ect.. Just be patient and do not use auction format. With a limited local customer base an auction will not do well. Set your price and wait. I have also had success with setting a buy it now price that is double what I want with an option to make an offer. People get more excited when they think they are getting a discount.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


The subtitle to this site is not tongue in cheek. This really is my purpose. I want to help people get back on their feet. I want the abuse of welfare programs to stop. There are many ways to work for your money. Here I have offered a step by step plan to stop living on other people's hard work. It used to be embarrassing to live on charity as it should be. Don't even start telling me about crippled grandma with no friends or family. I feel true compassion for her and have no problem helping her. I am talking about the 20 somethings with 3 kids swiping their EBT. You are able to work for your money. No one needs to support you! Get a job. You have no excuse. Learn English if you have to. Learn a skill. Work hard every day. Do more than your employer asks. Try for a raise or promotion rather than just expecting one. If you do not try you will receive nothing. Even eBay is hard work , but it is work. It is a job that pays the bills. If you still have the illusion that you can livea life without work you are mistaken. Look at the country of Greece, they have no more money to give away and spoiled worthless lazy people are rioting in the streets. Get off the couch and find a job!

Monday, February 6, 2012


I have not tried this yet but I have seen people put together collections of older public domain books (fiction , theology,history,ect...) or music collections and burn them to a Cd and sell it on Ebay. Some people actually buy this for the convenience on not having to download each book one at a time. Worth a try.... You can ind almost everything you need at


There are a lot of places that I routinely go to each week/month to find more great things to sell. My wife pushes me to always find more sources of inventory. If it were up to me I would have not gone back to some of the locations after the first visit. That would have been a mistake. You might only find $10-50 worth of things to sell on an average visit but every 3-5 visits I find an item that I will make $100-$500 profit. Keep going back to your local bargain shops,garage sales, and flea markets. Give them 5-6 visits over 3-4 months before you form an opinion. You might miss something great!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


*List FREE: Up to 50 items per month. For auction-style listings only. 9% Final Value Fees apply to the total amount of the sale -- including the cost of the item, shipping, and any other fees a seller may charge (for example, engraving or gift wrapping), excluding any sales tax. Offer does not apply to eBay Store subscribers and Vehicle categories on eBay Motors.

eBay said, it is making it free to list up to 50 items per month in auctions at any start price, and free to add the “Buy it Now” option to those listings. Starting on April 19 the new options will be available.
“As we look toward the future of commerce, eBay is positioning small sellers and larger merchants alike for growth, and connecting them with shoppers excited about their great deals and terrific service,” said Christopher Payne, senior vice president and head of eBay North America.


The obvious answer is to just to browse through each category and look for items that you might have access to. I could tell you what I sell but that would not help you because you do not live where I live. Maybe you live in an area  where there are lots of good garage sales or plenty of resell/thrift stores. Maybe you are able to get donations or buy from local auctions. There might be abandoned storage units for auction or estate sales or you can offer to haul off junk by cleaning garages or attics/basements. You can offer to sell for friends for a fee. There are plenty of options you just need to know what things sell for. Do not look at what people are asking for items but check only the completed auctions. People can ask $1000 for anything. The question is will they ever get it. You need only pay attention to actual sells. On a final note, you can get $10 for almost anything eventually. Try to get lots of items for free or 1-2 dollars and if you sell 3-4 a month for $10 it adds up. This is usually how I experiment with new categories and items I know nothing about.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Buy it Now will always get you more profit. Auctions will sell an item fast but unless your item is extremely hot (Superbowl tickets, an autograph of a recently deceased celebrity , a hot toy in short supply , an extremely rare collectible). Decide which one to use by how much inventory you are able to acquire. If you do not find good items very often then only use Buy it Now and let it sit until you get the price you want. If you buy items quickly in bulk at estate sales or storage auctions ect.. then you will need to move items faster and auctions will be the better option especially if you have limited storage space.


Have you ever sold something that really surprised you. There is a buyer for almost everything. Have you ever sold something that by far exceeded your expected sell price? Have you ever bought something that others might think strange? Sometimes I just browse eBay looking at all the unique items that no one would ever buy. The thing is some of these items actually have bids. Isn't American diversity wonderful....

Thursday, February 2, 2012


A buyer wants to feel safe and well cared for during the buying experience. This will increase their confidence in you and promote repeat business. Answer all questions about your item immediately. If you answer within 15 minutes you can almost guarantee a sale. If you wait too long your customer might loose interest. Always contact your buyer after the auction ends thanking them for their purchase. Make sure they are aware of shipping fees, their total bill, and a reasonable due ate for payment. Tell them when you ship the item with an expected delivery date. Don't forget to leave feedback immediately after payment is made. Follow up with them and make sure they got their item.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


You might think that free shipping would matter to buyers but surprisingly it does not! Most bidders view shipping as a separate expense. If you think people will bid more on your item because of free shipping - you are wrong. You would do well to have an accurate shipping cost and a reasonable asking price for your item. I have raised the asking price to include the shipping in the product price and have had little success. Then I changed these same auctions with shipping as a separate fee. Some people just do not pay attention to shipping as long as the item price is good. The only time I offer semi free shipping is when the item will cost $50 or more to ship. I include $25 in the item price and only charge $25 as the shipping fee. This seems to work better than a huge $50 shipping fee.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I have another blog where I express my views on life at
I have been thinking lately how ethics fits in with an Ebay business. Is there anything that you would absolutely would not sell to another person no matter what the price. Are there things that are better thrown away. Today I had a chance to get a lot of free books on religious philosophies that I strongly disagree with. They were actually valuable books. I passed on them. In the past I have sold books that I disagree with but these were stronger than usual. I do include a pamphlet on God , Jesus , the Christian faith with every item I sell. When I sold a copy of the Egyptian book of the dead the buyer was presented with a tract as well. Does this justify selling a bad book? Feel free to comment......

Friday, January 27, 2012


No... not yet. When you routinely list 250 items or more it might be worth it. Until then take advantage of eBay's 50 free auctions with Buy it now each month and use eBay's listing catalog as often as possible for 5 cent 30 day listings. Try to become a Top Rated Seller as soon as possible for a discount of 20% on fees. This rating will also increase the customer"confidence in your service. They will be willing to buy your items even though yours might be the most expensive.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Yesterday as my wife and I were grocery shopping we noticed a local bookstore having a going out of business sale. This was a rare event. We were able to buy a car load of great books for next to nothing. This is how we get most of our inventory. You find a lot at one time and then nothing for a while. When I first started I was afraid to spend hundreds of dollars at one time. I thought my inventory would soon overwhelm my house and the product would not move fast enough. ALWAYS buy good items when you can. There are times of plenty and times of famine. I have regretted passing up items that I had 10 of at home but after the 10 were gone I always wish I had more.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Older video games, VHS Movies, cassettes ,8 tracks, encyclopedia sets,old computers, old cell phones . Millions of people shop on ebay. Fortunatly for you some of them lack good taste or good sense. There are so many different people out there with so many different tastes you can almost sell anything.


Always try to think beyond your own likes and preferences. Is there demad for your item I sell many things that I would never buy for myself. Can you immagine the looks I get when sorting through crochet pattern books or inspecting women's shoes? Don't be afraid to try sellin items you are unfamilliar with. Do your research and make some unexpected money.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Started

I will be giving a history of how my EBAY business has developed  and how it continues to grow. I will share my mistakes so you can avoid them and also let you in on the secrets I have learned along the way. I have been selling for profit for 2 years. It started as a dream and has finally started making real money. I offer realistic advice for those getting started. I will not tell you to quit your job and you will not make millions, but you can make extra money to help pay the bills and  have extra spending money. I hope one day to be able to EBAY full time but all businesses need time to grow. If you invest the time and you enjoy what you are doing you will make money. It is not difficult.


Monday, January 16, 2012


When I first got started selling I had found a reference set for $3. It was on stamp collecting. I do not collect stamps but I did as a child and knew the multi volume set had value. I bought the set just because I knew it was valuable and what a shame it would be to pass up such a great deal. You do not even have to actively search for things to sell. You will see items from time to time that are great deals and if you already have an account open you have a way to get the value out of your great purchase. That was the only reason I started selling. I wanted to sell that book set. I soon began to see great buys everywhere. I did not want the items but I knew someone else would. I began collecting bargains and listing them when I was bored. That is all that is required to start. It will naturally grow from there.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Try to think of every possible way a buyer might look for your item and make sure each of those words are in your title. I sell a lot of Twilight book sets my title will look something like this

 "The Twilight Vampire Saga Complete 4 Volume book Set Stephanie Meyer Twilight- New Moon - Eclipse- Breaking Dawn - Complete Set  Romance Fiction fantasy Teen Young Adult

You never know what words someone will use to try to find the items they are looking for. If you miss their search word you might just miss a sale!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


My Purpose

If you have not figured it out already, I am relatively new to selling on Ebay and new to blogging. I hope to offer a fresh point of view for Ebay selling. I am not a professional seller or writer. I hope that everyone can find the kind of success that I have had this past year. I know that there are people that make a living on Ebay but you do not need to be a pro to get started. In today's economy I only hope Ebay will help pay some bills and allow my family (and yours)to afford the occasional luxury of eating out or buying something we want rather than only needs.Ebay has helped our family keep our dignity by not having to apply for government assistance. Ebay can make that difference in your finances. Ebay is a second job that does not keep me from my family. I only list items once a week on a day off from my job and I ship items on my way to work. We keep our inventory in a spare room in the house and we stop at garage sales , thrift stores ,flea markets, and other places we use to find bargains on our way out to shop for groceries or on our way to work. My wife and I enjoy working together to find bargains. If you invest a year of your spare time you can easily make an extra $500 a month. Begin educating yourself on the value of items that turn up frequently at garage sales, used book stores , ect..
Browse completed ebay listings and auctions to know average selling prices. Remember to only buy an item that you can at least double your money on because you still have to pay fees associated with your listing.  What we have done anyone can do. We did not read anyone's book and had no guidance. We have no special education. If perhaps everyone took some small initiative to do something extra to provide for themselves then our economy could grow and our reliance on government handouts would diminish. May you and your family prosper.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


You will experience many highs and lows as an Ebay seller. Enjoy your success and have fun but do not get discouraged with problems.Take care of them quickly and move on. I have had the thrill of selling an Item that I paid $6 for $250! I have also had someone return a $500 item at a great loss in shipping fees and condition of the item. Be careful to avoid mistakes and have understanding when someone has a problem with their purchase. You will make mistakes and learn from them. I learned very early on not to be sloppy or cheap with packaging and to always understate an item's condition. Even with your best efforts you will sometimes come across a buyer who just cannot be made happy or someone who you think is unreasonable and plain stupid. Learn to control your emotions , take a deep breath , act professionally and go the extra mile. While there will be people that take advantage of your service policies your reputation will far outweigh any loss of money. Good reputation creates more business.
You will discover that the more time you invest, the more money you can make. Be careful to not go too far with your ambition. Save time for your family , remember to have fun. You can strive and work yourself to death but it is God who distributes his blessing to whoever he chooses. Be content with whatever profit you bring in and don't let it go to your head. The higher you let yourself fly the harder the crash is when a problem comes. May you be prospered in this new year with your Ebay business!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


As you search for bargains bring together a few inexpensive items to create a theme or set or items that go together. It will make your listing unique from everyone else's. You can collect random books with decorative bindings and sell them together, put together a few sets of baby cloths , list video games of the same genre , decorative pieces that go well together, group together books on the same subject, put together kits ( everything you need for a new pet , a baby , tool sets , ect...) It is much easier to sell items in large groups than individually. Often you will get more money this way just because no other listing looks like yours.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


If you are just getting started on Ebay use this time to experiment with pricing. Test what little product you have and see just how high you can price it and get a sale. While you are building your inventory there is no need to sell off slow items. Only when your storage are is filling up do you need to worry about moving product.Use only buy it now format and also remember to use Ebays listing catalog. If your item is in their catalog , it will only cost you 5 cents a month to list.You could list your item for a year and still pay less than a dollar in listing fees!You can also use the free auctions Ebay offers.Just remember to make you start bidding at the high sell price - all you need is one bid. By the end of this year you will have a firm grasp on pricing. Your inventory will slowly sell down over the year and you will find many great items this year.You don't have to sell them yet. Make sure you get top dollar, once your item has sold you cannot sell it again - it is gone. This year I had on average $100 in sales a week (not profit - just sales). In November and December I had $100 in sales each day for 57 days in a row. The Christmas rush is the time you need to save your inventory for! Every item that sold made top dollar!

Monday, January 9, 2012



When you go to the grocery store or other retail stores and you see clerks stocking items to the shelf ask for their boxes. Most of the time it is store policy to give boxes to any customer that asks. You can also call a store in advance and some will save them for you. Sometimes you can even get star-foam and bubble wrap to recycle. Plastic grocery bags can also be used as bubble wrap. If you put your item in a bag and tie it with some air in the bag then stuff that bag into another and tie and then another and tie it provides great padding for your items. I have even used paper bags to wrap small books or other small items. Wrap it , tape it shut and print the address right on the bag. 
While it is ok to save money getting free shipping supplies it is not ok to be sloppy with your packing. Make sure all boxes are sturdy and sufficient packing material to make the box feel solid. If you feel comfortable using your packaged item as a football then you did a good job packing. Most people have seen the awful home videos of delivery men throwing and mishandling packages. Assume your delivery person will be irresponsible. Make your item impossible to break. I have started using duct tape and lots of packing material on my heavier boxes and have had nothing damaged so far with this new technique. While you should fill your box with packing material do not overfill as too much inside pressure can cause the box to burst as well.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Be aware of what you see every day in your normal routine. At my regular job I count large amounts of money each day. I look for silver coins in the change and other old coins . I also have found lots of unique dollar bills with collectible serial numbers. If the serial number reads the same forward and backward such as 1100660011 it can sell for 20 - 30 dollars. I have found coin errors and paper money errors.
My wife works at a library and there is a library next to the company that I work at. We check the books for sale section every day for great bargains. I pass thrift stores and garage sales on the way to work and stop at these. We have found numerous retail locations that have large clearance sections. Once a week we drive to 15 stores to replenish our inventory.
Don't go out of your way for items just open your eyes to what you see every day!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


It is very difficult to make any money selling single books or a single pair of pants , a single shirt , a single video game , ect...
Unless you have a very hot item you should group together items of little to no value. You might be surprised that someone would want it. 
If you have a single used romance paperback with markings and folded pages, it is worthless. If you have 50 of them you might find that you can get $20 for them. The same goes for used old clothing or games or anything else. If you have one pair of very used blue jeans it will never sell but if you have 5-10 of the same size someone will buy it.
You will never get more than $1 for an out of date sports video game but in a group mixed with other types of games you might get more. 
This method usually works very well if you are patient. Just make sure you are very honest with condition.


Thursday, January 5, 2012


A free kindle download EBAY 101 FREE on Amazon!
I read this book today. It has a lot of great advice and helpful detailed information starting your business. I do not agree with him on all his advice (he advises loosing money with auctions) but it is still a great book. I highly reccomend it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Do not use auction format! You can sell faster at auction but usually you will not get top price. Find out how much an item usually sells for at auction and then list your item as a Buy It Now for 20% more. Be patient - it may take up to six months to sell but you will sell it eventually for more money. If you must use auctions then start your auction out at 15% lower than normal sell price with a Buy It Now that is 15% more than normal sell price. Most of the time someone will use the Buy It Now to avoid loosing it at auction. There is a certain  item that I sold at auction last year for $27 and this year sold two of them Buy It Now for $65 each!

Only use auction format for extremely hot items that are rare and very few are listed... something you are sure people will fight over. You won't find items like these very often.

If you start your auctions at $1 and hope they do well YOU WILL LOOSE MONEY.

This is the worst mistake I made my first year. Do not be afraid to overprice - you can always discount later. If someone really wants an item they will usually make an offer anyway.

There was another item that I bought for myself for $50 that I wanted to keep. It was worth about $150. My wife wanted me to sell it so (without telling her) I over priced it so it would not sell. After seven months someone bought it for $350! I was not upset at all to sell this item for that price!


You have to spend money to make money. Why not make money while you spend. I have many business expenses such as paying for shipping at the post office , Ebay and Paypal fees, and buying items to resell. I try to always pay with a credit card that has cash back points. These are also lots of cards that offer sign up bonuses. I have recently used 5 or 6 different credit cards that have offers such as :
spend $500 in 3 months and get $200 cash back
Spend $2500 in 3 months and get a $500 Walmart gift card
Spend $3000 in 3 months and get $500 cash back
Get $100 cash back after your first credit card purchase
Get $50 cash back after your first credit card purchase

I use these cards long enough to get the bonus then I change to another  and another and another..... I make over $1000 a year extra using this method!

There are lots of these available - see the following links


Take Ebay with you. Look up items on your phone if you have 3g web on your phone. I cannot afford this service on my phone so I use the next best thing. I bought the Amazon Kindle with FREE 3G internet. I look up every Item that I am tempted to buy at a garage sale or thrift store on my Kindle and I never have to pay for internet service. I have checked and this is the ONLY FREE 3G SERVICE ANYWHERE. They are very inexpensive and my best investment to date. I go nowhere without it!


I get most of my items from garage sales , resale shops , Goodwill , used book stores , library book sales , donations from friends/family (stuff they do not want or are throwing away), free items on craigslist, other Ebay auctions that are under priced , ect.. You will not make money by buying something at Walmart and reselling it. Do not buy anything that you cannot at least double your money on. Ebay and Paypal both charge fees for you to use their services. These could be as much as 20% of your sell price. You also have to remember that your buyer has to pay shipping as well. This will affect how much you can charge for an item. Sell small items that are inexpensive to ship and use parcel post or media mail / book rate for inexpensive shipping. As you start out only sell items that you know the average selling prices on Ebay or items that you can get for free or a buck or two. Start with something you know about. I started with sports cards and books. As I learn about other things and their value I expand what I look for to buy. The longer you sell the more you will learn. In a few years you will have a broad knowledge of the value of many different categories.


When listing your items, be very careful to accurately describe your item. Always include a photo. Do not be tempted to exaggerate or say that your items are in better condition than they really are. I usually understate the item condition so that my customers get more than they expect. You want to avoid problems at all cost (it takes the fun out of selling). I will not go into detail as how to set up your account as EBAY has more than sufficient information and excellent customer service. They offer live online chat and a number where you can talk to a representative that wants to help you make money.


While you are getting started you need to stick with items that you can get for free or very very cheap. You might start with items you already have that you no longer want. When I was a teenager and Ebay was brand new I sold my baseball card and autograph collection on EBAY. I was very attached to this collection and it was very difficult to sell but I needed a car more than cards. I had collected for 10 years and had 300,000 cards and 3,000 autographed items. As I began to sell it was very painful at first but gradually a very helpful thing began to happen. I stopped viewing my collection as something to be cherished and began to see it as money. This is what you need to do before starting your business. When you find items to sell , you must see them as money and not as something to keep. That is why it is probably helpful to sell things that you already have at first. You won't make a profit on these items but the psychological effect has a great value when you begin to sell for profit. I made about $10,000 off my collection ( I probably spent that much on it over the years) but it cured me from being a collector or a consumer and made me a seller - a businessman.


I will be giving advice on how to start an EBAY business. I will share my mistakes and the secrets that I have learned along the way. I started selling 2 years ago and if I knew then the things that I know now I could have made more money and avoided many mistakes. This is what I hope to help you with. I like to see people succeed in life. I want everyone to do well for themselves and I hope to be a help to you. I will offer realistic advice and realistic expectations. My first year I only made $100 to $300 profit a month. My second year I have made between $400 and $2000 profit each month just by selling items that I can find in my spare time. As my business grows I hope you will be inspired to give this a try as well. I still work a full time job 50 hours a week and I have a family. Selling on EBAY can make extra even in your spare time. I will be updating this blog at least a couple times a week with very helpful advice. Please check in often.

Ken Archbold