Buy Low and Sell High: 10 Retail Items to Flip on eBay for a Profit

Have you ever wondered how people make a full-time living by selling everyday items on eBay? Usually, the answer is that they have scoured thrift stores or discount retailers such as TJ Maxx for bargains, only to resell the same items for a profit. If you’re interested in making some extra cash through retail arbitrage, here are 10 items which are incredibly easy to find and flip. 

1. Clothing 

People care about name brands but often can’t afford to go to the mall to buy them. As a result, many people turn to eBay to find new and pre-owned luxury fashion. Great brands can appear in numerous locations, from TJ Maxx and Ross to your local thrift store and garage sales. Although new clothing will sell for a higher price, used clothing with name-brand labels can also bring in a pretty penny.

2. Handbags

Name-brand purses can make great flips on eBay, as most people can’t afford to waltz into a Gucci or Prada store and pay full price for those items. If you buy bags at places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Ross, you can rest assured that they aren’t counterfeit. However, if you find a bag at a thrift store or garage sale, you’ll want to be sure it’s authentic before you buy it. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about luxury handbags and their signature characteristics before purchasing anything. 

3. Sports jerseys

If you’ve ever gone to a sports store and browsed the clothing racks, you’ve probably noticed that the prices can be astronomical. However, people still want to wear the jerseys of their favorite teams, so they turn to eBay to score a good deal. The best sellers are NBA and NFL jerseys, so keep an eye out for those and grab them whenever you see them. 

4. Electronics 

Electronics are great because they appeal to a variety of people, from tech junkies who like to restore old VHS players to hipsters who have re-popularized cassette players. Vintage record players are also good sellers, along with quality speakers. Since there is an extensive community of people who enjoy refurbishing electronics and salvaging parts, this often means that an electronic item doesn’t even need to be fully functional to do well on eBay. 

5. Retro video games

There are two types of people that search on eBay for vintage video games: collectors and people who are nostalgic for their childhood days. Collectors will spend the most money on these items, so it’s important to gear your eBay listings towards them and reap the rewards. 

Some of the best sellers are Atari and Nintendo NES games. Because these systems are old, there are naturally fewer of them on the market. That drives the prices up, which is great for sellers. 

6. New and vintage cameras

Cameras can be a goldmine on eBay, from vintage Polaroids to modern DSLRs. If a camera is no longer working, its lens can still be incredibly valuable. Small camcorders from the 1990s are also popular, particularly if they have a rotating flip screen. Nikon, Sony, and Canon are the best brands to buy and resell. 

7. Sneakers

Specific shoes can sell for a lot of money on eBay, despite being found for low prices at discount retailers. Nike is the best seller, but other major brands such as Adidas can also be useful buys. However, parts of this market are already saturated, so make sure you don’t buy any shoes without first educating yourself on whether they’re actually in demand. 

8. Extra large sizes

Never be afraid to buy extra-large shoes and clothing items. Although you may not know anyone who wears a size 15 shoe and a 5XL shirt, they indeed exist, and they struggle to find clothes at traditional retailers. Because of this, they’re forced to turn to unconventional sources such as eBay. Big sizes often sell for higher prices, due to the lack of competition.

9. Outdoor wooden furniture

Wooden furniture that is made to withstand the outdoors can be a great money maker. These items are typically available at bargain prices at moving sales, as the owners usually want to get rid of bulky pieces. Keep an eye out for teakwood furniture, which is incredibly expensive and therefore has a high resale value even if used. Since furniture is difficult to ship, you’ll probably want to list these items as “pick-up only” on eBay. 

10. Pyrex 

Remember that tacky set of Pyrex bakeware your grandma had in the 1970s? It’s back in style, and there’s a massive community of collectors who will pay top dollar for it. The best part about searching for Pyrex is that most people still see it as “tacky” and therefore do not buy it at garage sales or thrift stores. 

If you spot something at a store or garage sale, be sure to check eBay for similar items before you purchase anything. Don’t waste your time looking at active listings, as they don’t paint an accurate picture of what the final price will be. Instead, use the “sold listings” filter to see items recently purchased.

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