Saturday, March 28, 2015

How I used eBay! to Make My First Real Money On The Internet!

My Personal eBay! Story...

marketing with eBay!
You've got to know what'll sell on eBay! if you
really want to make some money!

In case you've missed my last several posts, I’m conducting an experiment wherein I post several ideas that entrepreneurs send me on how they made their first money on the Internet.

The interesting thing is,  I have received only a few of these ideas from readers even though I've offered to post names and place web addresses with links next to the articles.   A few of you have sent in articles, but did not want to have their website information published, which is OK by me. 

I did have one really good tip sent to me by a guy named Jon that told me that he made his first money on eBay, buying and selling stuff that he found at yard sales.

Since he really didn't write much, and since I too used eBay a lot to make my first bucks on the Internet, I thought I’d expand on that and tell you about how I got down and dirty in the trenches with eBay. 

But, before I go down that road…

I just want to take a second and throw out the offer once again, for those of you interested in sharing your experiences on how you made your first money on the Internet. 

Please send your stories and ideas to: or write your ideas and place them in a comment box.  It’s just that simple.  

I’ll give you full credit and place your name, business or whatever you want on my blog, to include your URL and a link to your site.

How I Made $20,000 on eBay!

OK this idea of using eBay to make money took quite a bit of work, but it basically forced me to try to learn how to do things on the Internet.  While $20,000 may look like quite a chunk of change, it was actually more money than that, and it was over a period of years I made money on eBay!  But as I said, it was really my first money that I made on the Internet, as far as I can remember.

It was about 1995 or 1996 that I got involved with eBay, and I just want to reiterate, it was a lot of work.  The first thing I tried to do was go around to yard sales, buy junk and try to sell it on eBay. 

I had heard at work that there were people going around making big bucks by going to yard sales, buying ties, shirts, or whatever and then selling them on the world’s greatest auction site.  

So off I went, hitting every yard sale I could buying things that I thought people would want. 

Unfortunately, I wound up with a garage full of junk. Some of the stuff I placed up on auction sold for a mere pittance and once I paid the shipping, I was the loser.

Clorox Bottles - The Turning Point!

But as I have stated before on this blog, your successes come from failing.  So, I kept at it.  I learned pretty quickly that you needed to have a way to check the
prices of things before you bought them.  However, this was before the Internet was on your cell phone, so I had to have another plan.

I had my slave…er…son sit at home next to his computer, and I took my cell phone with me.

Whenever I wanted to know what something was selling for I would call him up and ask him to look on eBay to see what the prices of particular items went for.

Hey, ya learn fast when you lose money.

So, my wife and I stopped at some lady’s house who was selling glass Clorox bottles.  Now, I was born in the late 50’s and as far back as I could remember, my mother always had to white plastic Clorox bottles, so I knew that these had to be antique.  I know that certain glass bottles can go for quite a bit of money, and these were in mint-perfect condition.

So, I asked the woman running the yard sale what she was selling them for. 
“$20.00.” She announced for everyone in the garage to hear.

They're $20.00!
I asked her where she got them from, and she told me they had been passed on for years in her family.  She also told me that glass collectors love those things. 

When I inquired why she wasn't trying to sell them to glass collectors and really cash in on the glass bottle bonanza, she told me that as soon as the yard sale was over her son was going to take them and do just that.

“Yeah,” she said chewing on a piece of beef jerky, “he’s gonna sell them to an antique dealer we know for $60.00 apiece.”

“Oh, really?” I said, dialing my son.

To cut a long story short,  it turns out there were loads and loads of them on eBay, in mint perfect condition starting at $4.00 apiece. So I skipped out of that yard sale thinking about a sign I saw in a library as a kid.

"Knowledge is power."

After that I usually checked things put before I bought them, and over time I knew which of the items were real hot sellers.

The Certain Things Sell Better Lesson

I remember going to a yard sale and some young guy (obviously pretty successful from the looks of his house) had a  brand new cell phone in a box.  When I asked him why he was selling it, he said,

"I signed up for a plan with the cell phone company and they hacked me off, so I cancelled the contract with them. Since that phone will only work with that particular company, I'm selling it."

He originally wanted 20.00 for the phone, but I offered him $5.00.  Since I hit him with this price right before he shut down his yard sale for the day, he decided to let it go.  I made $65.00 off of that brand new phone on eBay!

Marketing on eBay is fun
Knowing your market is kinda important 

So, if you know what the market on eBay! is looking for, you can still make money.  However, you have to consider the cost.  

  • The cost of gas driving around
  • The cost of time.  This method is pretty time consuming.  Not only do you have to drive around to all of the yard sales, but you have to consider the time you have to take packing this stuff up and then standing in line at the post office.
  • The cost in shipping the items to the people that are buying them.  You don't want to charge too much, but at the same time, you don't want to under charge so that you're losing money either.  
  • You'll need to spend even more time and money on eBay! itself.  eBay! does charge for placing items on it's auction site, and you'll have to take pictures of your items and upload them as well as write a real good description of the item.
The Lessons I Learned From This...

This isn't a real good way of making money on eBay!  

When I consider the time, money and effort I put into it, I was a loser.  However, as I said before knowledge is power, and I quickly learned how to put items up on eBay! and how the whole process worked.  

That set me up for making an actual income that was worth working on the "World's Greatest Auction Site" which I'll share with you in my next post.

Just a reminder, if anyone want wants to send me their story of how they made their first money on the Internet, please send it to:  

I'll be happy to give you full credit, place a link to your site and help you in any way I can.

To Your Success!

Mark “Elmo” Ellis
"When it Comes to High-Response Copy - I've Got Your Back!"
(859) 797-9560

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