• Andre Van Veen

How to flip anything on eBay for profit?

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

These are the fundamental steps used by many eBay flippers to generate thousands of dollars of profits each month.

In addition to this tutorial, it’s important that you continue to look for changes and make adjustments when using 3rd party platforms such as eBay, Craigslist, and Offerup.

This tutorial will not go into much detail on how to use these platforms because there are already many great resources for this. Instead, this tutorial will focus on the fundamentals of creating a thriving eBay flipping business.

What to sell?

The short answer is, almost anything! Besides contraband or illegal items, you can flip almost anything on eBay. Everything will eventually sell. The only thing you need to be mindful of is how long it will take for the item to sell and for how much profit.

That leads to the long answer, which depends on how much capital you have on hand.

I will keep this as simple as possible. The sell-through rate for most eBay product categories is above 90% according to Terapeak. That means 9 out of 10 items listed will eventually sell. The caveat to that statistic is it doesn’t tell you how long the items took to sell or how much the seller had to discount the items from the original target price.

Unless there are mistakes in your listing, which we will go over later, the most common and practically the only option you have if an item isn’t selling is dropping the price. So, just because an item sold doesn’t mean the seller achieved their profit target for that item.

Once you begin searching for products to sell you will come across many items that can be resold but because some products are in less demand it requires sourcing them at the right price. Otherwise, you risk tying up capital or eventually cutting profit targets to sell the item.

Targeting more niche categories such as new/used medical devices, antiques, luxury fashion can be an advantage but you must remember that unless you list your items at the right prices you could be tying up capital that can be used to buy more popular and faster-selling products.

So the point is you can sell anything, but you must purchase it at a price where you can resell quickly and earn a profit.

How to check product values and profitability?

Below are the steps to assess an item’s popularity and profitability. This process should take only 2-3 minutes for any item.

1. Start your search using the search bar on top of eBay’s home page. You can do a broad search by limiting how many words you use in the search or you can do a narrow search by using more words in the title.

Examples: Broad search - ‘iPhone 12’ Narrow search - ‘iPhone 12 Verizon 128GB Gray’

The broad search will return many more results because it will include all listing titles with the words ‘iPhone 12’. The narrow search will parse the results and return listings that only include all the words ‘iPhone 12 Verizon 128GB Gray’. It does not matter what order the words are entered into the search. So ‘iPhone 12’ should return the same results as ‘12 iPhone’.

2. Search how many identical products are currently active for sale. First find the exact model, color, condition, and bundle (accessories) then count how many active listings there are.

If there are many (more than 20), then that is usually an indicator that the item is popular. However, some rare items will not have many active listings (less than 10) but are also in greater demand. In which case you can check how many similar items have sold. If the sold search shows many sold items then the item can be considered rare but popular.

These types of items are the unicorns of eBay. Finding rare but popular items can become very profitable if you can do so on a regular basis because they usually sell for higher values and quickly. We’ll show you how to increase your chances of finding these items later in this tutorial.

3. Check the lowest price for the identical product currently active. Next you will need to sort your search to see what are the lowest-priced listings in your search.

Generally, buyers will do a similar search before purchasing an item so if all products in the search are equal they will likely purchase the lowest priced item next.

Example: If the price of your item is $200 but there are 5 items listed at $190 then your item is essentially in the 6th place in line to be sold. You also need to consider new sellers listing their items lower than yours. The target should be to list your items for at least $5 below the lowest item and monitor the search every few days.

Usually, it takes popular items 24-48 hours to sell using the Buy It Now (non-auction) method. Less popular items take 1-2 weeks but consider lowering your price or checking your listing for errors if your item doesn’t sell within 1 week.

4. Check popularity (how many have sold recently). Select the “Sold” filter to see all items, which have sold (price highlighted green) then sort by “Recently ended”.