eBay Tip #11 – Sell the Right Items

As you begin selling on eBay, knowing what to sell and what not to sell is an important consideration.

Here are some ideas for you to ponder.

Is it Expensive?

Is the item you want to list extremely valuable or expensive? If NO, continue. It might be okay to try to sell.

If YES, don’t sell until you have more experience under your belt and have a higher feedback score for trust in the eBay community. Some eBay buyers might try to take advantage of new sellers. Be careful.


Is there a Hassle Factor?

Is the item you want to list difficult to ship? If NO, do not list.

If yes, the next question is: Does it fit into a box?

If, NO – find another item to sell.

If YES, do you have the right box?

Try not to list/sell an item until you either have the right “cost effective” (FLAT RATE perhaps) box and/or packing material.

I like to find the right box for shipping before listing, so I can weigh and measure it first and then put that info into the listing description or shipping calculation area. Try to avoid shipping mysteries or it may cost you big time money wise.

No Dining Tables, Please

One student from my eBay course wanted to sell her Grandmother’s Antique Dining Table as her first listing.

I tried to discourage her from doing so. Those type of items may need to sold using an in-person marketplace, like Facebook or Craig’s List or Nextdoor. It was also very expensive. Too risky!

Working Order?

Have you tested the item you want to sell, to see if it works properly? If yes, it may be okay. See above for hassle factor and expensive considerations.

If NO, while selling broken items for parts is completely do-able, I would start with items that are new in box. It’s a lot simpler to begin with.

Stay Away From For Now

Here is a short list of high risk items that new sellers should avoid as newbies:

  • Smartphones
  • Designer Handbags
  • Event Tickets
  • Designer Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Fragile Items: china, glassware, vases, etc.

Too many risks regarding authentic vs fake. Apple iPhones and Coach bags can be very difficult items to sell for that reason. Electronics may need testing and time consuming. Furniture is usually too big for a box. Jewelry may be too expensive. Glass ware may break too easily. You get the idea.


Green Light – A OK!

Here is a list of items that are easy to list and sell. Easy to find. Easy to ship. Somewhat common.

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Magazines
  • New items in original packaging.
  • T-Shirts
  • Neck Ties
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Brands: Disney, Lego, Williams Sonoma
  • Items you know about how it works and where it comes from (that gives buyers confidence in YOU!)


Tip #11

  • Goal: Get comfortable identifying items that are easy to sell
  • Task: Start finding a few items that are fairly common and easy to ship.
  • Task: Stay away from high risk items, until you have more eBay experience
  • Task: Keep expanding, the more you sell, the more you learn!

eBay Tip #6 – What Should I Sell?

What should I sell is a question I get all the time from new online sellers.

Here are some ideas of how to narrow it down.

Are You Trying to De Clutter?

If so, then the items you no longer need is a great place to start. ====>

If the item can fit into an average sized box, then eBay may be your answer. You have the choice of using your own box or one that comes free from USPS.

Is the item heavy, but can fit into one of USPS’s flat rate boxes, then the shipping cost will be very easy to calculate and will ship to anywhere in the USA for the same exact cost. International rates will be higher.

The boxes are free and can be ordered online from USPS.


Small Flat Rate

There is the small flat rate box (5 3/8″ x 8 3/8″ x 1 1/4″) which will fit three stacked DVD cases and costs a reasonable $7.50. It’s perfect for jewelry or electronics or other small sized items.

Medium Flat Rate

The medium flat rate box is 11″ x 8 1/2″ x 5″ and comes in a top loading or side loading style. Perfect for a lot of heavy magazines or books. One rate for delivery anywhere in the US up to seventy pounds. If you use eBay to ship, with seller discounts it will ship for $12.80 (as of today 1/6/2020).

Large Flat Rate

Large flat rate has a box that fits a large board game or what ever fits. One of USPS’s sayings “If it fits, it ships” is true for all the flat rate boxes. The large flat rate box comes in two sizes and can be ordered online: board game (23 11/16″ x 11 3/4″ x 3″) or the top loading style (12″ x 12″ x 5 1/2″). I personally use this size box when I ship “dead” or old, used tennis balls to buyers (for their dogs!). No matter where they get shipped the cost is predetermined ($17.60 as of 1/6/2020).

Some Selling Ideas

Items to sell in the de-clutter mode:

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Dinnerware
  • DVD’s
  • CD’s
  • Record Albums
  • Books
  • Household item from the kitchen, bathroom, living room, play room, etc.
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Gardening tools
  • Electronics
  • Games
  • Jewelry
  • Toys

The list goes on and on. Do a quick search in the “search” tool bar on eBay to see if your items show up. There is a market for almost anything you can think of. Be creative. By selling on eBay you are trying to find a new home for your item and keep it out of the landfill for just a bit longer.


Flat Rate Padded Envelope

One of my favorite ways to ship many items from the list above is in a Flat Rate Padded Envelope. It provides a good value in the shipping cost area and will fit and protect many of the items you may sell. The size is generous (9 1/2″ x 12 1/2″) and costs $7.55 at present time (1/6/2020). They can not be found in most Post Office lobbies, so it’s best to order online. It’s very nice to have free supplies at your fingertips for selling online.

Places to Sell

If you have collectibles, then eBay is one of your best bets in selling online. You can consider Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Craig’s List. Click here to see a more detailed list of available sites. I will be reviewing them in the next few weeks and months, so you can make educated decisions on where your items will sell best.


If you are unable to sell online and still would like to de-clutter, think of local charities who accept donations. I use a couple places in my town and my primary donation site is Goodwill. It happens to be located in the parking lot of my grocery store, so I can multi-task on shopping days and help others at the same time.

Keep an eye out for more posts on this website about what to sell. With over twenty years experience of selling online, I’ve seen the trends change and cycle up and down. I will also be posting about things that don’t sell well.


Tip #6

If you want to find items to sell, look no further than your own stuff. It might be time to de-clutter or Marie Kondo it, if it no longer gives you joy!

  • Task: Find a couple pieces of clothing you no longer wear or doesn’t fit
  • Goal: Pick a marketplace to sell and give it a whirl!

If you have already been selling on eBay or other marketplaces, what have you had successes in selling? Please share and comment below.


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