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earn extra 500 dollars side hustle for work at home moms selling online

Wanting to try your hand at selling on ebay, but aren’t really sure how to be successful starting out?

In this article, I’ll share tips how I was able to consistently make an extra $500 every month putting in very part-time hours selling gently used clothes and other items on ebay.

I sold items on ebay while working my full time job as a teacher for 2 years. It’s not only a fun side hustle but can also be an easy way to make money quickly.  

These tips will help you have a successful start to your ebay business and manage it with your full time job so you can ensure you’re optimizing your time and effort. 
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My Sales on Ebay While Working Full-time

To put it into some perspective, here are some screenshots of my sales for 2 months in 2017. This is just my sales, so after accounting for my cost and the fees, I clear about $500 on average.

 

Like I mentioned, I was only working on ebay in my whatever spare time I could find which ended up being on about 5 hours a week. Sometimes, I would spend 10 hours and other times, I just didn’t list anything new on ebay at all. 

How Can You Be Successful at Running an Ebay Side Hustle

Based on what I’ve found has worked for me, here are my top 10 tips for how to run your own successful ebay side hustle business.

1. Buy items low and sell high

This may seem obvious, but this is the foundation of being able to actually make a profit. 

For me, I have quite a few thrift stores where I can shop.  To improve profit margin, I try to shop on their sales days and color change day.  

For instance, the Goodwill near me puts a certain colored tag on 50% each Sunday. If I go on that day when they change the color, then there’s a better chance I will find quality items at half off.  On Fridays, they will change that color to 99 cents. Sure, there is likely less inventory available to find but if you do find something, then it’s only 99 cents!

ebay

Don’t fall into this reseller trap though.  This is where the treasure hunting feel comes in with ebay. You feel like you’re out there looking for gold hidden in the sea of items. 

This can be a good and a bad thing. 

It’s good because the thrill of the hunt will keep you going back for more and makes this job enjoyable and fun. It can be bad because if you start buying more than you are actually listing on ebay, then you get stuck with this large pile (the death piles as it’s called in the ebay reselling world) of stuff that you can’t list fast enough. And then you see another good sale that you just HAVE to go to. 

You can see how that can get out of hand and turn into a giant problem so just be aware of that.

2. Keep Listing Items

For me, I really only had time to list 10-20 items a week, and this tended to result in selling an average of 2 items a day. If you can list more, then that is awesome, and you can likely earn more.

Sourcing (buying stuff to sell) can be the most time-consuming part because you have to go thrift stores and shop around to find items to sell. 

A good strategy is to batch shop. It’s definitely doable in 1-2 hours to find 10-20 quality items to list. This gets easier with time as you learn more brands and know what quality items feel and look like.

Make sure you have a good hour or so to focus on finding your items. 

If your kids are anything like my son and are not too fond of shopping, then see if you can leave the kids home with hubby for a bit for some quality daddy/baby bonding time. Or maybe they can visit Grandma for a bit while you run out shopping.  The goal is to be intentional and focused instead of browsing aisles so you can optimize your time there. 

Try to list daily as that helps boost your items in the ebay algorithm. If you don’t have time to list daily, then you can use their schedule feature and schedule them to go live each day.

3. Pick one or two niches to focus on

Another thing that can make it easier and less time consuming to source is if you focus on a niche.  

For example, if you are solely interested in selling jeans, then when you go to the thrift store, you can focus on the jean section only.  Alternatively, if you were focused on selling anything that is profitable, then you would have to search through the entire thrift store which can be really time-consuming ( I should know..this is me haha).

The thrift stores near me are HUGE and if I go through the entire store, it can take me upwards of 4 hours to get through every item! I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time. 

I found that when I settled on a niche or two, then I could get in and out of the store much quicker. If you strike out in one store, you can quickly go to another store.

Picking a niche or two can really help keep you focused and optimize your time

4. Don’t Worry About the Perfect Photo

To sell your items on ebay, you have to take pictures of the item for the listing. 

There’s a lot of debate in the reselling world of whether you should use a mannequin or simply lay your items on the ground (flat lay) or use a white or unique background.

Most of this input is coming from serious full-time resellers.  While it is important information and definitely can make a difference in your sale, it’s not something that you need to really worry about when starting out. 

The key thing is to take a clear, focused picture of the item that accurately represents what it looks like.  

So for lighting, I started out using a couple of floor lamps and just hanging my item on a plain wall. I also found that taking my items outside to take advantage of natural daylight worked well, but that’s not always an option.I had a way to hang the items in front of a brick wall so it looked nice. 

The goal here is to get the item photographed so you can list it because it can’t sell if it isn’t listed.

Takings pictures can take 1-2 hours depending on how fast you are. Using my smartphone has been the fastest way for me to get pictures taken. It takes me about 2-3 minutes an item to take the pictures.  

5. List the Items In Your Spare Moments.  

Honestly, listing is my least favorite part, but it’s the most important. If your item isn’t up online, then it can’t sell and make you some money. 

Listing can be done straight from your phone in the ebay app or you can list from your computer, so just figure out which one works best for you. 

I find that I type faster from my computer but being able to list on my phone is super convenient. You can list while you are waiting at the doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store. Typically, I will list during my lunch break at work.  This step takes about 5 minutes a listing, so about an hour a week.  

6. Consistency and Quantity

There are millions of items being sold on ebay, so they have to have a way to bring the best, quality items to the top of the search for a better customer experience. 

Of course, you want your listings to be the ones chosen to be presented at the top because then your chances of selling that item increase.

One big factor to help this is to consistently list. Similar to how Google likes active websites, ebay likes active ebay stores. 

The more items you have listed on ebay and the more consistent you list, the more you will make. 

Which makes sense. It’s like having only one hook in the water vs 200 hooks. With more hooks, you are likely to get more bites.

This obviously depends on you having quality items with at least a $15 average sale price. If you have a higher average sale price, then that means you’ll net more profit each month.

I think most people can easily easy find items that can sell for about $15-20 from your average thrift store.  Finding more valuable items can certainly be done, but it’ll likely take more time than 5 hours a week and will require more advanced knowledge about what’s valuable. 

7. Quality items

The better quality the item, the faster it will sell. 

By quality, I mean things like the condition of the item (Is it really worn?) and the brand/style. All of these play a major role in how fast your item will sell and how much you can ask for it. 

This is why it is important to always be researching and learning new brands and styles so that you can be better equipped when you DO go sourcing. 

For me, YouTube has been invaluable for this. There are so many great ebay sellers sharing their knowledge on YouTube (here is a roundup of clothing resellers I put together to get you started).

8. Dedicate Time to Do Ebay

This can be easier said than done, but I’ve found it helpful to basically schedule out times during the week that I can focus on my ebay business. 

The two things I map out are sourcing and photography times. 

I know that at a minimum, I have to shop two hours for new inventory. Then on Wednesday nights, my husband gets some quality time with my son an hour after dinner, and this is when I take my pictures. 

Having these chunks of time set aside, or at least planned, can really help you stay on track.

 

9. Have a support system

This sort of piggybacks off of the last tip, but this is very important. 

Having the support of your spouse will make a huge difference in your success. 

If he’s willing to sit with the kids so you can shop, then that’s a huge help. 

If he isn’t on board and he feels angry that you are just “shopping” while he is watching the kids, then this can lead to some conflict.

 So from the beginning, talk to your spouse and family to explain why you are doing this whole ebay thing, what it will require and ask for their help in supporting your new side hustle.  (Check out  5 Tips for Convincing Others Your Online Business Is a Real Job for more tips). 

10. Find your people

Selling online can be a very lonely venture. It’s on the internet after all, and there aren’t really coworkers or anything. 

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is important for keeping you motivated and focused, too. There are lots of resellers on both Facebook and Instagram so that’s a great place to find people.  

The reseller community on Instagram is amazing and super helpful.

Through these communities, I’ve been able to learn a lot about which items to be on the lookout for, what sells for a good profit, get help with identifying items and see the awesome items that people are selling. 

There are also quite a few YouTube channels that are great. Check out my list of favorite clothing resellers here. 

I love watching “what sold” videos. Basically, it’s where other resellers show you every item that sold in a given period of time and what that item sold for. This is super motivational because you see people making thousands of dollars a week.  

Definitely gets my butt moving!  Seeing other people’s successes really motivates me to keep pushing forward.
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Conclusion

These are the strategies I use that have yielded a consistent $500 extra each month.

It’ll take time to build your inventory and figure out which brands are going to work well for you to sell, so don’t be discouraged at first. It will take a bit of time, but once you get going, it WILL work.

That’s what I love about this. Basically, if you source quality items, take decent photographs, and competitively price them, then anyone can make extra cash each month selling on ebay.  Possibly even $500 a month.  

So all that is left is to get started.  Why wait? Start by selling items around your house. 

Related Post You Might Like: Selling Clothes On Ebay and Poshmark – Supplies to Get Started

You’ve got the tools.  Now, are you willing to put in the work to make this happen?  In the comments below, let me know when you’ve listed that first item. It’s so exciting to take that first step toward your freedom.

Resources to help you get started with reselling:

Make $500 extra a month with this fun and easy side hustle for work at home moms selling online working from home

Interested in working from home selling clothes online so you can be with your kids?

Well you’re in luck!

Selling clothes on ebay and/or Poshmark is a great way to make money online relatively quickly, so you can start working from home ASAP.

Most people wonder if it’s even a legit way to make money online or if you’ll get scammed and after selling over $50k worth of used clothes, shoes and more on ebay, I can vouch and say that it is definitely a viable way to make money online.

Grab this guide to help you align your online business with your calling.


Related articles you might like
A Great Side Hustle That Can Earn $500 a Month Working Less Than 10 Hours A Week
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6 Steps to Find the Courage to Chase Your Dreams and Start a Business

 

What supplies do you need to start reselling clothes?

This quickstart guide explains all of the tools you’ll need to get started and why they’re important. That way you can decide for yourself which items you want to get and which ones can wait a bit.

It’s exactly what you need to eliminate any overwhelm and start reselling clothes online today.

Can you make money selling clothes online?

Short answer: yes! but…

(There’s always an exception isn’t there? )

When I am saying “clothing” I mean clothes, shoes, and accessories like hats and purses.

While I do know clothing resellers that are killing it, from own personal experience there are plenty of reasons to diversify within the clothing niche.

  • Allows you find more inventory
  • A larger variety of price points
  • Creates variety in your store

Head into any thrift store and you’ll see an abundance of clothes. This is good and bad as a reseller. Good because there’s more potential for you to find good stuff. Bad because it’s a lot of stuff to sift through and figure out what’s worth reselling.

This is why clothing is a great place to start when starting your reselling business.

Clothes sell on both ebay and Poshmark so it’s easy to crosspost and get your items in front of more eyeballs.

Now that you feel good about your choice to start a business reselling clothes, let’s get you set up with the right supplies.

This article may include links that are affiliate links which means I get a small commission for your purchase and doesn’t affect your shopping experience. I am part of the Amazon Associate program as well as others. My recommendations will always be honest. For more information, you can find our disclosure policy here.  

Reseller Starter Kit for

Your Online Clothing Business

To get you started on the right foot, I’ve put together a list of items that I’ve found helpful for selling clothing on ebay and Poshmark. After selling over $50,000 on ebay, these are the items that I’ve used the most and would recommend for anyone starting their reselling business. 

All of these aren’t required but they’ll definitely make things easier and can get your clothing business off the ground faster so you can be making profit sooner. (Um yes please!)

Hangers

To take pictures of your clothes, you’ll need to have a good way to display them.

Sometimes you’ll see people create a flat lay where the items are laid out on the floor or a rug. I do this some but it’s not my favorite way because honestly it’s harder for me to find enough dedicated floor space for that.

I’ve found it much faster to put clothes on a hanger up against a plain wall.

Technically, you can use any hangers you want to, but it can really make your pictures look more professional if the hangers look nice.

I personally like using hangers that are non-slip like these velvet ones and they have notches on them to hang straps of dresses in and swimsuits.

For pants, shorts, and skirts, I use pant hangers like these. They work great!

Lighting Kit 

lighting kit

The idea with taking pictures of items to sell on ebay and Poshmark is that you want the items to look appealing and true to their actual state (aka make sure the color looks the same in the pics as it does in front of you).

The more appealing it looks, the more likely someone will buy it and that’s our goal here, right?

If you’ve got a great area to take pictures with really even natural lighting, then use that, if that works for you. The biggest limitation with that is, of course, that you rely on the sun to take pictures. If you’re only able to take pictures late at night once the kids are in bed, then you will have a hard time getting those pictures taken.

So to make life a lot easier and avoid so much frustration, a lighting kit is great.

I put off getting a lighting kit for the longest time, but I really struggled with getting my pictures to look good, to not have terrible shadows, and for my phone to have enough light so that the pictures weren’t all grainy.

The goal with lighting is that you want even light distribution so you don’t have shadows, you want more white light than yellow because you need to item to be as true to color as possible, and you want the pictures to be bright (ideally done with lighting but technically you can edit them later but we are all about saving time here).

Once I got the lighting kit, it was SO much easier to take pictures, and I was able to photograph more things to get listed since I wasn’t struggling with the lighting situation.

They really aren’t that expensive but can make a huge difference in sales and profits. The big con with the lighting kit is that you need a good bit of space to set up the lights in a way that they project enough light but give you space to take the picture. If space is an issue, then I’d suggest the ring light below.

After awhile I also bought an 18″ ring light. I originally got it for my YouTube videos, but I found that it was a great option for flat lays and smaller items.


Polymailers

Since you can use free USPS shipping supplies for selling on Poshmark, getting the polymailers is really just for ebay shipping light weight items (under 1 lb).

Polybags don’t weigh a whole lot so they make shipping cheaper and they are SUPER easy to use. You literally just place the item inside and then pull off the protective paper and seal it shut. Viola!

There are a ton of options for both the color of the bags (you can get cute printed ones or plain ones – cactus print anyone?) and the sizes.

If you are going to be selling items like shirts and dresses, then the 10″ x 13″ polybags are a great starting size.

Shipping Tape 

shipping tape with dispense

Shipping tape is important for those items that you need to ship in boxes or for securing the polymailers (if needed). You can either pre-order USPS boxes for shipping items or if you only have a few heavier or larger items, then you can buy the box as you sell it (or reuse another box you may have lying around).

While you’d think most shipping tape would be the same quality, that isn’t necessarily the case (believe me). If you have a tape dispenser already, then you can buy bulk packs of tape rolls. Scotch also has a pack with temporary dispensers which are perfect as you are getting started (You can also get them at Sam’s Club for a similar price point).

Sweater Shaver 

Sweater shaver is an important tool for any clothing seller for ebay or poshmark.

Sweater Shavers are amazing. Honestly, before selling on ebay, I didn’t even know they existed.

Basically, these little guys gently remove the pilling and fuzzies off of sweaters, bras, etc.

Having one of these isn’t really required, but it is going to increase your chance of selling an item and increasing your potential profit. I know I’ve definitely gotten a negative comment left if something had too much pilling.

You can also try using cheap razors but there is an inherent danger there which may not be a good thing with little ones around and you also have to create lots of waste replacing them.

Clothing Steamer 

Having a clothing steamer can really help for a quick fix to get wrinkles out and have clothes looking nice and presentable.

Again this is a way to increase profits and sales because someone is more likely to pay up for a shirt that isn’t all wrinkled than for one that looks like it’s been wadded up in a drawer for a few years.

Shipping Scale 

Shipping Scale for selling items on ebay.

A shipping scale is a must (I’ve even heard of some people using a food scale).

You save a ton of money (and time) printing your shipping labels through ebay from home (just print right from your printer). To do that, you need a scale that can measure in ounces (1-16 oz) and is precise to the 0.1 lb (e.g. 1.4 lbs) like this one.

Cloth Measuring Tape

Using a Clothing Measuring Tape can increase your sales and profits in your ebay and Poshmark Businesses.

Having a cloth measuring tape (or any other kind of measuring tape) on hand will make it really easy to take measurements of clothes to ensure your customers are satisfied with their purchase and hopefully don’t return it because it didn’t fit.

Lint Roller 

Lint Roller helps make items more presentable for ebay to sell faster.

A lint roller is a must have to get fuzz and hair off of your inventory. If you get the Gain lint roller, then you can also leave a light fresh scent. The last thing someone wants is to get an item that is covered in pet hair. Having a clean item will also help it sell faster. (Noticing a pattern here? Selling items quickly and for the highest profit are key)

Conclusion

So there you have it! A list of supplies to get your reselling business started.

Resources to help you get started with reselling: 

Starting a reselling business is a great way to make money quickly online but it can be a lot to organize when you’re first getting started.

I hope this quick guide to all the supplies you’ll need to get started selling clothing on ebay or any online platform such as Poshmark was helpful so you feel less overwhelmed and ready to start making some money. 

starter-kit-for-selling-clothes-online.

Everything you need to get started with an online clothing reselling business. Free checklist, too!
Everything you need to get started with an online clothing reselling business. Free checklist, too!
Everything you need to get started with an online clothing reselling business. Free checklist, too!

11 Comments on A Great Side Hustle That Can Earn $500 a Month Working Less Than 10 Hours A Week

    • Hmm. That is a hard question to answer. It really depends on where you are getting the items. Antiques and collectibles take a lot longer to sell but when they do, they often bring in more money than say clothing. Things like vintage electronics have an amazing value…like often $100+ for items but you have to know what to look for. Shoes are an amazing category for me. They are plentiful AND have a great ROI. That’s the fun of ebay! You never know what you’ll find that’s worth more than you think 🙂

  1. This sounds like a really great side hustle. Once upon a time when I was a teenager, a friend and I tried this but we weren’t successful. He still does it now but I haven’t tried to pick it up again. But after reading your post, I feel like this may be worth a shot again!

    • Awesome! I love selling on ebay and I think it is a great option for many people that either want a side hustle or can’t/don’t want to do a traditional job. Check out my other articles on tips and strategies to get started. I’m in the middle of developing a free course on how to get started with ebay so look for that 🙂 If you have any questions about doing ebay, feel free to ask 🙂

  2. These are seriously great tips! I’ve sold a fair amount of stuff on Amazon, but not much on ebay. Last month my husband and I made $500 selling stuff on Amazon and Facebook Marketplace, and it wasn’t nearly as time consuming as I would have thought.

    • That’s awesome Kelsey! Facebook marketplace is a great option if you can sell it locally because all of the profit is yours. Of course, you have to go meet people but if you are comfortable with that, then it’s a great option for sure! I LOVE selling on ebay because of the ROI. When I did Amazon, I found that it was hard to find something that I could make even double or triple my money on. Often, it would be buy this for $10 and make $3 profit or something. With ebay, it is so much easier to buy something for $5 and make $20+. I guess I got spoiled haha

  3. I’ve actually combined decluttering with selling on eBay. So it’s a win-win! I’ve made quite a bit selling a few ‘80s action figures!

    • Nice!! Those can be super valuable. I think even though you can sell modern things on ebay, it will always be the home for collectibles and rare items. Have you ever went out and bought items with the intention of reselling them?
      I like the idea of decluttering. Definitely a win win 🙂

  4. This is rely great info! I gave dabbled in ebay but get so discouraged when things don’t sell. To be fair, though, I have never shipped for items to sell – – unless you count the stuff in my kids’ closets! I would love, love to bring in any extra income every month. Thanks, you ‘be inspired me to try again.

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