From the Magazine

How to Earn a Full-time Salary Selling Old Things on eBay

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When Danna Crawford realized that people were willing to pay for her kids’ old toys, she started raking in the cash! Here’s how you can too.

“Back in 1997, I was a single mom working three jobs to provide for my three children. Money was tight, so I turned to eBay to sell Beanie Babies and Star Wars products in hopes of making extra cash. Since then, I’ve made between $40,000 and $100,000 annually, money I used to put my children through college. Now, 22 years later, I’m still going strong, but the repertoire of items you can find on my eBay store (eBay.com/str/AskDanna) has expanded to include collectibles, shoes, clothing, and high-end items.

My advice on getting started is to buy something small, like lip balm or socks, on eBay, and pay attention to how the process works. Then, start by selling a book or something that’s easy to ship. Look around your home — chances are you already have plenty of items that people would love to buy. Personally, I’m always finding great products at thrift stores, estate sales and ‘fill a bag’ sales at churches. One discovery I’ve made is that there are often authentic Gucci items, especially men’s shoes, at thrift stores like Goodwill that turn out a great profit on eBay.

To stand out, I’ve found that it’s important to provide excellent customer service and be professional, timely, and truthful in communications. This results in solid ratings — my feedback rating of 100 percent certainly helps to bolster trust and credibility.

The beauty of this work is that anyone can become a successful eBay seller. You just have to jump in!

For me, the most rewarding aspect is being able to structure my business on my own terms. This summer, both of my twin girls are expecting babies, so I’ve set the bar higher than ever to help support my daughters.”

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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