How To Find High Profit Items To Sell On Ebay

The Reseller Hangout Podcast

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Rob: Okay. What’s up, guys. In today’s episode, we are talking about how to find those high profit items to sell on eBay.

Melissa: So this is definitely your specialty. He’s been looking for items for 20, 25 years now and selling on eBay for 25 years. So, and you’ve always gravitated towards the higher profit items, but we definitely, more so the last five and a half years, when we went full time, we had to, because we needed to make more money in the time that we had. So.

Rob: Absolutely. So why do we focus on those high dollar items? Let’s break it down for you guys and let you know what our business model is. It’s the selling the higher profit items, but why, why do we do that?

Melissa: A big one is time. So we, like we dove in even more when we jumped in full time, five and a half years ago, starting to shift the really large items because they’re really high profit.

So you kind of did the middle size ones that were higher profit. And then we dove into like the larger appliances and commercial equipment because they were worth more money.

Rob: For sure. For us we could spend almost the same amount of time to sell one item that’s high profit versus selling, that same profit it would probably take us at least 20, 30, 40, 50 items, single items, to make that same profit. And now you think about the time that goes into sourcing, listing, taking pictures and listing the item, and then packaging an item ,and then shipping it out.

Now you do that with one item, versus 30, 40, 50 items. You can see how much time you save just doing that one item. So that’s why we look for those high profit items that we can spend less time working and more time with each other and with our family, our growing family, that’s our biggest thing, why we do what we do with our business.

And so we can spend time as a family, with each other and with our kids.

Melissa: Yeah, so the packaging would be the one that takes maybe a little longer than normal than a normal small thing, but it really takes the same amount of time to find, to clean and to list as it does for small items as it does for any size items.

So the packaging might take a little bit longer, obviously, depending on the size of the item, it’s going on a pallet or not, or if it’s just going in a big box, but, all that other time is very valuable.

Rob: That’s it. So let’s give you a couple of our examples of items that we’ve just recently done within the last couple of months.

Definitely one that sticks out in my head is the heater, commercial heater. We sourced at a local Habitat for Humanity. It was a commercial three-phase heater. We paid $150 for it. And this is like I said, it’s commercial. So, it did not have to go on a pallet. I broke it down. I shipped it into and shipped it in a box.

We sold it for $900 and we paid $150 for it. That was great profit on that one single item. But those are the kinds of items that we do that we like to do because like we said, one item is a lot easier than selling a 10, 20, 30 of those other items. It would make the same amount of profit that as we can on one item.

Melissa: So that brings us to a question a lot of people have. So why would somebody sell it for $150 if it’s worth $900, why would they even sell it for that? It makes no sense.

Rob: So great question. The reason they will is because you’re stuck with however many people for us at our local thrift store, Habitat for Humanity.

They can only sell that item to however many people come into that store. That week, that month, that year they’re limited to the amount of people that they see. We can buy it in our local areas, our local venues, which is one of our favorite things to do by then local thrift stores, flea markets, yard seals, apps, local apps.

We take them from a smaller venue, a smaller reach that they have, and then we will throw it onto eBay, which reaches thousands and hundreds of thousands of people. Last time I checked, I think it was 182 or 187 million registered users on eBay.

Melissa: And that it’s not going to go to everybody.

Rob: Absolutely not.

Melissa: But there’s a lot more people looking for.

Rob: That’s the thing. When you have a bigger pool of people, that means more of those people will be looking for your single item, which is really, really cool. But that’s how you can make more money than somebody is listing something locally because they don’t reach the masses and you can buy it locally and then put it out on eBay and reach the masses to make more money.

Now, this item, this heater, retail on the heater was $2,400, $3000 somewhere in the area of $3,000. So the buyer- and it was still in great condition, still, almost like brand spanking new -the buyer got an amazing deal for $900. Which is awesome. We’re not taking advantage of people. Typically we try to sell our items at 50% of retail.

Sometimes it’ll go a little bit higher. Sometimes it’ll go a little bit lower. It all just depends on the item and the condition that it’s in. But that is what we strive for. That’s what we shoot for when we are reselling an item.

Melissa: Yeah. And we just for another couple examples. We found, it was actually, I have a tattoo that CD player that you haven’t sold yet, but you just sent it last week, I think, for $30 and you have it listed for $450?

Rob: That’s right. $499. So I listed it for, I mean, we bought it for $30 and it’s very small. It’s just a CD player, like but it’s now a vintage CD player. So it’s a high end, but it’s not that big, it’s even smaller than like a VCR, a DVD player. It’s smaller than that. So it’s not huge, but we paid $30 for it. And we will get in the neighborhood between $400 and $500.

So, as you can see, that is a great profit on it. It’s not super big. It’s going to go in a box, very small box and still ship. Very easy to do, but that’s one item. 10 20, 30, 40 items that we have to do to sell that same profit. The item that we just sold today, I’ll bring that to your attention. Actually we sold it a couple days ago, but the buyer actually picked that one up locally.

But she did find it on eBay. It was listed on eBay and it was an oven microwave combo, very special, very unique.

Melissa: Like a copper color. Right?

Rob: Very, very cool. A copper, a generic copper color. Very cool. She was very excited that she found a local and could save the shipping price on it which is awesome for us as well.

Cause we didn’t have to pallet. That would’ve actually went on a pallet and we would have shipped it anywhere in the U.S.

Melissa: You had shipping on that too though, didn’t you?

Rob: Absolutely. For $200, I would’ve shipped it anywhere in the U.S. For $200. So she was able to save that by picking it up. But we bought that on a road trip.

We paid $275 for it. And then we sold it for $2,700, which is awesome. Over $2,000 in profit, for us to do that, that’s probably more towards a hundred items that we would have had to sold to make that same profit. Now we had to buy this one. We had to pick it up.

We had to take pictures of it, but I’m telling you right now, it did not take more time than doing, probably three or four small items. We did it in the same amount of time that we could have done those smaller items and nowhere near the profits that we were able to make on one single flip. So that is why that is our business model is to save time, to spend more time with each other and spend more time with our family versus more time working.

We try to do this the smartest way that we can nd this is the way we found.

Melissa: I will say you do work hard, but you don’t love working. So he just likes to have fun. So this business model works because we like to, we do like to spend time with each other and we like to have a good time.

Rob: Yeah, absolutely.

So that brings us to our next question. This is our business model. We told you why it’s our business model. Now, if you want to mimic this business model or it interests you, how do you do it? Find those high profit items. Well, we’re going to give you some great examples of what to do.

Melissa: And I actually brought up a question when you were talking about the oven that a lot of people ask us is, okay, or maybe not a question kind of a limiting belief, but I don’t have those items in my area. So I can’t find any of those high profit items, which we’re going to talk about or diving into. But this item specifically was on our road trip. So that brought up where, he found it while we’re driving. Like he’s on the apps looking for, looking for things while, not while he’s driving, I’ll let me rephrase that, while we’re traveling.

But at night we stop at a hotel. Like we, we did a five week road trip across the country from here to Colorado, Arizona, California, Washington ,down at Michigan, Florida, big road trip. And so, but he doesn’t know where we’re stopping until we, we stopped a couple hours before. So we stop at the hotel.

He’s like, where are we headed tomorrow? He looks it up, you know? Okay. He looks up the area where, about where we’re going to go and then find stuff. So. There’s stuff to be found everywhere. It was really the point I was getting to because there is like, there was so much stuff.

Rob: You just have no idea.

There’s, there’s never gonna be a, a spot where we do not have stuff. There’s always going to be great items out there. Use items, new items. There’s always going to be great items to flip.

Melissa: Our culture is very much like new things. So that’s great for us because the old things are still worth a lot of money. So.

Rob: Absolutely. So if you follow us for any amount of time, you guys might know we get stuff out of the trash. We get stuff from the flea market. We get stuff from thrift stores, from the apps, we get stuff everywhere. There is always going to be great, awesome stuff, no matter where you’re at, and you can find, you can tap into those resources and be able to find some cool items to flip.

So Melissa is talking about the one that she was was the last one we told you guys about was that the oven.

Melissa: We found that in Texas.We listed it in Colorado. And then we sold it in Florida.

Rob: Which the lady we did the shipping ourselves, because we were on the road trip. We brought it back in our trailer and she did not have to pay for shipping.

She was local and very excited about that. So yeah.

Melissa: Another thing about the seller, we actually bought it from a reseller, so he had his own, a whole storage unit and, but he didn’t list on eBay. He only listed locally. So he was finding stuff. He must have a contact or whatever, and get stuff for dirt cheap or nothing.

I don’t know. And so he sold it for $275, which is probably a great profit for him, but had he listed it on eBay, which reached so many more people and was willing to ship it

Rob: He could’ve made over $2,000.

Melissa: Yeah. So, and he was a reseller. So. You should’ve got him to do that.

Rob: Absolutely. But that brings us to our next question. How do you find these items?

What do you do to find these items? So let’s get into it. After 25 years guys, this is the first thing is we have some experience, that the average person might not have who’s jumping into this business. Don’t fret. That doesn’t matter. You guys can still build that experience. It helps us out because we have a list in our head.

We know items that we’ve sold for the last 20 some years. And we know that we’ve been able to make great money on ’em. So we’re able to go and look for those items when we’re out at the flea market. When we’re looking on app, we’re able to do that. So that’s the first one. The way that you can’t really bypass.

It’s one of those ways, like I said, it’s the experience of doing this for years and years and years, you’re going to come across many items. We’ve sold thousands of items locally and on eBay we’ve shipped items, like I said. But that is the experience that it will take time to build.

Melissa: But don’t let that stop you from starting get started so you can start building up. Cause you’ll be surprised how fast that you start to see some of these same items over and over again.

Rob: For sure. So that is the first way it is the experience. The second way is doing the research on the items. This one you can’t really bypass. You have to be willing to get out there and look stuff up when you find it.

So you’re at a flea market. You see something that looks cool. You don’t know if it’s expensive, if it’s not, you pull out your smartphone, you start doing the research, you look on eBay, you see what it’s listed for, what that exact item and model is listed for what people are asking for. And then you also look and see what it has sold for in the last 60 days, the last 30 days, whatever you can.

Do the research to find out what it’s selling for so you have a good idea if you buy it, what you can get for that item.

Melissa: And if you, if you follow our Instagram, in our, all of our reels and stuff, you’ll see, like we have videos of him looking at the thing, like whatever you’re looking at up, you’re still doing the research all the time.

So we know now, like kind of some items that we sell, but you still look up a lot of things all the time. And it doesn’t take that long though. And it used to be so much of a risk before there was smartphones. Before you had the internet in your pocket, you had to guess and think this might be worth something to somebody else on eBay. Is it? Maybe. I get home and it yay, it is. Or crap. It’s not that like, you know, so .

Rob: Yeah, and that is a really good point. That brings us into our third way, guys, is the community around you. This is cool. If you, have followed us for a while, you know, we actually have flipper university. We teach people how to do what we do, but we also have a private community, that we have people inside of who help us.

They’re all over the United States. They’re all over the world and they’re sharing great information about what is working in their area, what they’re finding, what they’re able to flip. And it’s working together with a community, which is really, really cool. Very powerful. If you think about it, we’re only in one spot. We’re only two people. You know, we’re only doing this right here, but we have people all over, over a thousand people who are in our private Facebook group who are sharing great information and helping each other grow. So.

Melissa: You learn what people sell, then you document it. Like, let’s see if we can find that in our area.

Rob: So for sure. So it’s really, really cool to have that. So those are the three real best ways to be able to find high profit items. For sure.

Melissa: You can find them a lot of different places, but your favorite place to find them is on the local apps. So Facebook marketplace OfferUp, Craigslist, Let Go is not one right, anymore? They’re with offer up?

Rob: Yup.

Melissa: So those are your top ones and that’s what you did across the whole country. Like you’re looking up apps and the biggest reason why you can find them is because people don’t want to ship them. They just want them out of their house. They don’t care. I mean, they would like to make the money, but they don’t want to care to take the time to learn how to ship it or do whatever. So they didn’t really just want it out of their house and maybe want, you know, 40, 50 bucks for something that is worth a couple hundred.

Rob: So, that does bring us in the point of what most of you said they’re everywhere and we kind of touched on it earlier, but, these apps, if you’re not utilizing them, and these are our favorite apps is really offer on Facebook marketplace for buying but you might have a different resell app in your area.

So look up those apps that are really, really hot in your area. Those are the three that we really use the most as Craigslist, OfferUp, andFacebook marketplace. But you’re not limited to that. That’s easy for us because we can sit at our house at any time of the day, shoot out offers. If we find something, negotiate the sale and then pick it up the next day.

So that’s what we do on the road trip. When we are on a road trip, we are looking at places that I’m going to be that next day. And I’m actually negotiating before I get there trying to get people to respond back to me. And then I make the deal before we get there. When we get there, I’m able to take a couple of minutes to go pick up the item and do that.

So you guys can do the same thing, but there’s also awesome deals at flea markets at thrift stores at yard sales. You’re going to find some amazing deals at those places as well, that you will be able to do it. You just do the research. Look up the items when you find the items. And that’s the way that you do it.

The other thing that you can do is create contacts. We didn’t do this until like the last five years of our business. We’ve created some really, really good contacts from vendors at the flea market, from, managers at the thrift stores, people that we were seeing on a daily or weekly basis that we started being nice to started talking to.

You know, one thing led to another, we started to become friends with them and they become our contacts. So anytime they come into great items, they’re texting it to me. I’m saying, hey I got this item today. Are you interested before it even goes to the flea market? I’m getting the first dibs on that item.

So creating contacts is another great way to find those high profit items and being able to be one of the first persons to it.

Melissa: And that was because you were so consistent. So that was when we jumped in full-time. Like we had to do this to provide for these three little kids. And so you were at the flea market every Saturday for like two hours, maybe less.

Rob: Yeah.

Melissa: And you love it, but you were there every week. So you get to know what vendors you buy from over and over again. Who’s giving you the good deals and who you just create relationships with and you just be nice to people. And then they’re like, oh, well I have this back in my storage unit. You want to come check it out?

And then like, sure, well, if you get this, can you, you know, let me know. And you just create those relationships. It’s not that scary. So.

Rob: No absolutely. So hopefully we gave you guys some great information on ways that you can find those high profit items. It’s kind of hard to tell you a list of, hey go look for this, go look for that.

Go look for this. It is, there’s so many great ways out there and so many cool items. The biggest thing is you want to be looking for high items, high retail value on items. Good, expensive items that you can get for as cheap as you possibly can. Your money’s always made in the buy. Don’t get tied into an item that you know, I might have a high retail, but they’re asking a lot of money for it. If your profit’s not there, don’t buy the item, walk away from it. All of our money is made in our buy. The examples we gave you kind of give you an idea. The heater we paid $150 for retail was in the neighborhood of $2,500 to $3,000.

That just shows you $150, we knew the profit was going to be there for that. The CD player $450 is roughly the good research that I did on the comps. $450 retail was definitely more than that. We only paid $30 for it. We don’t have that much money into it to make a higher profit on it.

And the third one was the oven. The oven is in the neighborhood of $5,000, $4,000 to $5,000 retail. We ended up getting $2,700 bucks for it. So those are those items you can see the higher retail and the lower amount that we had to pay. That’s how you’re going to make good sales. Good high ticket sales is finding those items, negotiating on them down, or having them, the seller asking only so much for them just to get rid of them.

They want to get rid of it so you can get a good deal on it. So.

Melissa: Because a lot of times they won’t have the people that are going to pay the higher dollar in a local market so I’ve got to ship it to a bigger market. So if you think that you want to learn how to ship the bigger items or find these, higher profit items, and you want to see if Flipper University is for you, we have a free workshop, so you can check that out, in the show notes.

And if it’s for you then yeah. We’d love to see you in there.

Rob: Absolutely. All right guys, have a great day. We will see on the next episode.


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Robert Stephenson

I grew up in Central Florida and have lived here my whole life. I first got into buying and selling items when I was 16 years old, and have been hooked ever since. It has mostly been a hobby that makes some extra cash, but sometimes it serves as my main income as well. I don't plan on stopping any time soon. I find too many fun toys for my family (or myself), and just love the whole process.

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