How to make profit by selling used items online?

Rapid growth in e-commerce business has increased competition among online sellers. They have been trying new tricks and techniques to grow their businesses every day. Thus, it is important to come up with innovative ideas to increase the profit margin.

One of the best and easiest ways to increase your profit margin is selling used items online. It could be very profitable to earn extra money.

Usually, sellers begin with selling used items online or their own used items to get to know the process of e-commerce business. You need not stop selling used products once you have mastered the process of selling online.

Instead of selling your own used products, you can buy used items sourced from various channels and sell online.

Book sale

In many cases condition of the product, authorization, and legalities may pose a list of challenges in selling used products online. However, if you are careful there are chances of hitting a jackpot and earn more profit with a little investment.

Websites such as eBay and Amazon are very popular to sell used items. There are a number of sellers who earn their living by selling used books on Amazon. eBay gives an opportunity to put your items on the auction list and get the highest price.

The only thing sellers need to pay attention the most –is finding best opportunities. Always look out for the best opportunities to buy used products. The benefit is you invest very little and get good profit in return.

Where to buy used products from?

It is important to pick items that could be sold later with enough profit margin. Few places listed here can be helpful to buy used products.Paying close attention while buying could be turned into a million dollar deal.One must keep an eye on resources and look out for the best opportunities.

Thrift Store:

They are the best places to look for used items. You may find a very good deal of clothes of popular expensive brands, vintage clothes, shoes, accessories, décor items etc. You may get the best textbooks in a thrift store near a school or college.


Thrift shop

In thrift stores, most of the times prices are determined on the overall condition of the items instead of its brand or the age of the item itself. So identifying the brands, importance, and rarity could earn you good money.

Moreover, the people who run these stores are less likely to be experts in brands and vintage items. This could turn into your best chance to earn the highest profit.

Garage Sale:

Garage sales are organized to get rid of the excess items if the family is planning to move or cleaning the house. The items available at a garage sale are more like unwanted items rather than the used and could be in much better shape than any thrift store. Some could be brand new too.

If you are inclined to sell clothes, toys, shoes, furniture, books, textbooks, a garage sale is a must place to visit for the best offers. You can even negotiate and make it a better deal. Since they want to get rid of the items, they might be ready negotiate.

You may find books and toys that are being sold for 1$-2$ and sold at 60$. Especially Disney toys are of great value and sold at very high prices online. Have a look at the prices of these toys in the images below.

Do not hesitate to buy vintage games, Marvel toys, star wars original toys and games in a garage sale because they are worth hundreds of dollars.

Estate Sale:

Estates are like treasure islands. Since companies hired by families to take care of the selling in times of death, divorce, move, all the items in the house are put on sale. Usually, there are expensive things like clothes, vintage items, antiques, furniture, paintings at an estate sale. These can earn you a good profit.

Bookshop & Library sale:

There are a lot of people who earn extra money by selling used books online. Many sellers start with selling used books only since it is the safest and easiest among all.

You can buy inexpensive books from library sales and bookshop sales. A lot of text books which are out of publishing and still in demand could be bought from here and sold online at a good price.

You can find rare books that are not being published anymore, classics, first-second edition of certain books for which collectors would spend enormous money, educational stuff like papers and essays to sell online.

Liquidation Stock:

When a company is liquidating, you can get your hands on the latest machinery, items that could be new and in very good condition. This could earn you large profits in a matter of time. You must be careful while selling liquidation stock online and understand the do’s and don’ts to selling liquidation stock online.

There are online stores from where you can buy items in bulk. E-commerce websites like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist often have profitable deals.

Which are the items that sell well?

Although there is no guarantee of what sells well since it depends on when you are selling, there are items such as antiques, books, textbooks, glassware, unique items for example autographed book, CDs, particular old magazines, vintage items sell very well no matter when you are selling.

Anything could be sold successfully if you know how to buy right things in good condition. Books, vintage items, old issues of popular magazines, text books, antiques, clothes, jewelry, shoes, accessories etc could be purchased at a minimal price in a garage, estate sale and thrift stores. There are chances of getting a very good profit since they tend to be rare items.

How to determine the price of the used items?

Determining the price of the used products is a little difficult compared to the pricing of the new products.

There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration while pricing. You need to acquire all the details and come up with a price depending upon the condition and importance.

1. What is the condition of the product?
2. Is it original and authorized? (Especially clothes, books, watches, shoes…)
3. Is the product available in the market? New as well as old? If yes, at what price?
4. How rare is it?
5. Is it unique or vintage or antique?
6. Does it contain an autograph or personal connection to a well-known personality? (If popular books are signed by the author or some celebrity and important personality had worn that shirt or jacket the price is quite higher than usual even more than the new products)

There are chances of getting an unusual product and earn thousand or even millions. Keep checking the sites regularly and know what the buyers are demanding. If there is more demand for a particular product, and very few of them are available, you can set a higher price to earn good profit.

It would be a wise thing to put an antique or vintage item on auction list if you know it is in demand and very rare. First edition books of popular author, popular books, antiques etc could be sold in auction section.

Where can you sell used items to make the maximum profit?

One of the most popular websites eBay allows you to sell your used items online as well as put the items on an auction list to get the best deal. eBay has a set of rules and policies which are essential to follow for all the sellers on eBay.

Although the process is the same as selling new items, you need to be more communicative and honest about the condition of the item when you are selling a used product.

While selling on eBay you must pay attention to detailed description and answer the buyers’ queries immediately. This will not only attract more buyers but earn positive feedbacks.

Unusual, rare, vintage and antique items are often in demand. You can list these in auction section and get the most.

There are many sellers who start their business by selling used books on Amazon. Amazon is a trusted site by the buyers. They are quite strict about listing the used products and has condition guidelines for each category for all the sellers to follow while selling used items.

In addition to customer service, there are chances of earning more profit on Amazon compared to other marketplaces. Amazon FBA service eases the complicated process by taking up the difficult tasks like picking, shipping, returns and other customer services.

Things to keep in mind while selling used items

  • Do not keep the shipping cost too high. People are not likely to spend a lot on shipping when they are buying a used item.
  • Pricing the product right. Making sure it is not illegal or stolen. Online marketplaces do have rules, restriction and strict policies.
  • Make sure you have presented it properly. In order to attract more buyers, you must put a good quality picture, detailed description. Be communicative and available while explaining the condition of the product.
  • Choose the items that are more in demand than supply. Those will sell quickly.
  • Buy products that you know will sell quickly.
  • Maintain good relations with the highest bidders as well as sellers from thrift stores.
  • If the items are damaged or not selling, bundle them up with few better ones and sell as a package deal.

Selling used items can be very exciting. Start from the areas you have expertise in. For example, if you are fond of clothes and have good knowledge about them, start from there and gradually expand your areas. Sometimes old video games and popular toys that are not around are sold at $400-500 online and you might get them at a Garage sale for $10-$15 or even less. It happens very often. Few successful deals in selling these products will definitely boost your e-commerce business.

Darshi Shah

Darshi Shah

Darshi Shah joined Orderhive as a Content Writer who is very enthusiastic when it comes to writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, painting, baking and writing about life and experiences.


  1. Avatar Muni Sekhar Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Nice article, Here you listed all categories and best tips to get more money.

  2. Avatar Renish Sivadas Posted December 3, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Very useful information.
    Any idea about dropshipping service for used items.

  3. Avatar John Posted April 26, 2018 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Hello, Very nice and profitable article!
    In my opinion, the success of your business largely depends on how its fit into the spectrum of existing businesses. If someone has already concerned the market you are after, its going to be harder to stand out. So no matter if you are selling new products or used products. Find your niche, it is very important for your business.

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