What doesn’t sell / what to buy: Confessions from an eBay store worker – Part 2


Part One: Beginer’s Guide
Part Two: What doesn’t sell / what to buy
Part Three: Your tips
Part Four: Later this week

Okay, we already know how to sell things on eBay, but that is only half the battle. People come into the store skipping along merrily thinking of the gold mine they have in their attic and then puff away pissed when it turns out their crap is… well, crap. The following is list of stuff that in my time at DropIt sells terribly. On the reverse side, if you need to buy any of these things you can get them for great prices.

1) Jewelry

Jewelry, 9 out of 10 times sells horribly. My only reasoning is that the customer has no way of guaranteeing that it’s real. I imagine jewelry is something you need to see sparkle up close. Plus most people buy jewelry for other people (usually a significant other) and would feel terrible if they got it for dirt cheap. It is something of a badge of honor when people ask you how much you girlfriend’s new ring was.

2) Computer Monitors / Printers.

What kind of computer are you on? If it is a PC, chances are it is a HP, Dell, or a Gateway. Because these companies usually offer a monitor or printer with their systems there isn’t much of a demand out there. Unless your monitor is a flat screen it will go for 5 bucks. Unless your printer is new in the box, don’t even bother.

3) Your hand made anything.

People often bring in their beautiful quilts and needlework in, only to discover that it is worthless. Here’s a general tip about eBay: brand names are everything. People search for brand names 1000 times more then they search for “home-made.” Even though you made a beautiful scarf, its worth 5 bucks on eBay. The only exception to this is that some people set up an eBay store and slowly gain a reputation.

4) Antiques

“But I bought this for $500!” says the lady who just had her antique chair priced at 50 bucks. Think of how much it takes to ship some antiques, and most antique prices are discretionary anyway. Ignore Antiques Roadshow and realize that eBay is supply and demand

5) Records

Trying to liquidate your record collection? You and everyone else. As one guy I know puts it: All of the baby boomers are retiring and cleaning out there closet, flooding the market with records. There was one auction that a guy won of 50 records and then asked if we could throw the actual records out and send him the cases.

These are just a few things I almost instantly turn away when someone wants to sell them.

[tags]eBay, antiques, jewelry [/tags]

21 Responses to “What doesn’t sell / what to buy: Confessions from an eBay store worker – Part 2”

  1. College v2 - a college blog with tips and tricks to help you get ahead in college. Says:

    […] One: Beginer’s Guide Part Two: What doesn’t sell / what to buy Part Three: Later thisweek […]

  2. Sunni Says:

    Hmmm…I wonder why my 78’s and 45’s are doing so well, if records don’t sell?

  3. Blanda Says:

    I didn’t say all of these were set in stone…maybe its jst all the people with records in New Jersey?

    What kind of records do you sell, and do you use the auction format?

  4. J.D. @ Get Rich Slowly Says:

    From my admittedly limited experience, books don’t sell unless they’re special in some way. You’re not going to sell your Stephen King collection on eBay unless you’ve got a rare first edition. True, some books sell, but most do not.

    When I did my recent eBay purge, I was able to sell rare baseball books and rare comics-related books. Some of the comics-related books didn’t sell, and some got very few bids. My run-of-the-mill books didn’t get any bids.

    Also, you can sell comic books on eBay, but you’re only going to get money out of them if they’re rare or if you offer them in large, attractive lots. I once sold my entire Cerebus collection (which was not a complete run, but close) and only got about $100 for it.

  5. Get Rich Slowly » Spare Change #3 Says:

    […] What not to sell on eBay. (Part two of a series that I mentioned in my eBay method.) [via lifehacker] […]

  6. Frank Says:

    How about adding *RARE* to the title of your listing. This got me $30 more for the Google Cryptex.

  7. Adam Brown Says:

    I’ve sold a lot on ebay. Records are tough to sell as are books. If you’re going to sell books, use amazon.com or half.com.

  8. Bojangles Says:

    Hello, eBay is the place to BUY antiques NOT to SELL them. If you know what your selling you will never get a good value on eBay – if the item is of any value try a major auction house. However, many people on eBay sell items without knowing anything about them, or just enough to describe them without knowing how much they may be worth. MANY good antiques can be found on eBay. eBay is also a good place to SELL MODERATELY PRICED COLLECTIBLES and over rated “granny” items such as Royal Doulton Dolls. It’s amazing what people will pay for some items, really.

  9. Blanda Says:


    You’re telling me

    People buy vintage pampers boxes for $300

  10. Dan Says:

    Records came in sleeves, not cases.

  11. Blanda Says:


    Well that shows my age, now doesn’t it.

  12. Linda Says:

    After trying to sell jewelry for a few years, I agree with you. The sales do come, but are slow. Most of my customers do buy the jewelry for themselves, though. I believe that jewelry doesn’t sell well because there are SO MANY people selling jewelry on eBay. Too much competition so sales are spread very thin.

    I am now selling craft supplies and doing much better. Live and learn.

  13. Greg Bernhardt Says:

    I definitely agree about buying antiques – I have picked up several great pieces for 1/10th of what they are worth. Rugs can also be a really good deal if you are careful…

  14. Josh Says:

    There is an excellent new book out called FutureShop that discusses this topic in great detail.

  15. Blurt Johnson Says:

    Well, like he said, you have to do your research. I sell records all the time on eBay, and know what will sell and what won’t. AND when it will sell. A record just sold for $150? Don’t think you can sell your copy for the same a week later. Maybe the copies are different, and that’s what buyers look for. A Canadian pressing may be worth more than the American pressing. Same cover, same label, same songs same LP different quality vinyl. Get it? When some one brings in a box of LPs to sell, well, sure, did you ever see what’s left at the Salvation Army after it’s been picked through? Bette Midler, Abba, you get the idea. Common! I might add that provenance is a big part of the item as well. Any unique history? People WILL read a good story if they are interested.

  16. Sunni Says:


    I do use the auction format, and I sell Blues 78’s from the 40’s and 50’s – most sell for around $20, but I’ve gotten $200+ for a couple of them. Not bad for a collection I got for free!

  17. College v2 - a college blog with tips and tricks to help you get ahead in college. Says:

    […] One: Beginer’s Guide Part Two: What doesn’t sell / what to buy Part Three: Your tips Part Four: Later thisweek […]

  18. Enthousiasmeren » Blog Archive » Succesvol geld verdienen via eBay Says:

    […] – Cribnotes – College V2 – Get Rich slowly […]

  19. Diana’s Writing Blog » links for 2006-05-31 Says:

    […] What doesn’t sell on ebay (tags: ebay) […]

  20. The Bargain Queen » Blog Archive » What sells cheaply on eBay Says:

    […] You can read all about it here. […]

  21. raca810 Says:

    I am an amateur artist, but some of my work is pretty good. Is there any market for “homemade” art? And if so, how low should I start the bidding?