What Sells on eBay: May 2020

Welcome back to the what sells on eBay series!

May was a solid month considering I barely got out to do any picking at all. I did buy some stuff on eBay to resell, and I had a good amount of things to list so it kept me busy. 

It’s nice to see things are opening back up in my area, but we still aren’t going out just to play it safe with our daughter just being born. I’m hoping we will be able to put all this behind us at least by the end of the year. 

I decided to try something new with my eBay business this month and I think it may pay off in the long run. I started purchasing large amounts of embroidered patches of all kinds of varieties on eBay and list each patch individually. 

I like selling patches because they’re so easy to list, store, and ship. Even if I only make a couple of dollars profit on each one I sell, I think it’s a good way to boost my eBay sales as a whole and it all adds up.

You won’t get rich selling patches, but you might end up earning a decent hourly wage for the time you spend. I think it helps me sell more non-patch items because I can list a lot of patches in a day and eBay likes activity.

What Sells on eBay: May 2020

Numbers for the Month

what sells on ebay may 2020

To get my numbers, I use Easy Auctions Tracker.

My monthly sales are going up, but my profits, not quite as much. This is due to selling more patches and not being able to get out and find more expensive items (although you will see below I was able to get out and find one good item).

Noteworthy Sales


Mack hat
Vintage Mack Trucks Hat Paid: $3.96 Sold: $49.99
apple iigs floppy drive
Vintage Apple IIGS Floppy Drive Paid: $16.66 Sold: $49.99
apple iigs keyboard
Vintage Apple IIGS Keyboard Paid: $16.66 Sold: $78.00
apple iigs computer
Vintage Apple IIGS Computer Paid: $16.66 Sold: $172.50

I got the three Apple items on Facebook marketplace for a total of $50. I wish I could find vintage Apple stuff every week!

Customer Issues

I only had one return in May. It was a vintage hat and the buyer said it didn't fit. I find this puzzling because it was an adjustable hat, but maybe they just meant they didn't like how it fit. I sold it for a nice profit, so I'll be able to sell it again and still make some money off of it.

There may have been a couple of sales where the buyer didn't pay That just seems to be the norm with eBay and you have to take it and move on.

The longer I sell on eBay, the more I realize how few bad customers are out there. When you start doing more and more volume, the percentage of returns and issues you have should go down. As long as you're doing what you're supposed to on your end like packing things correctly and getting your items in the mail quickly anyways.

I guess I've started a thing where I mention books I've been reading in these reports. This month I'd like to talk some about a book called Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and how it applies to eBay. Basically, the gist of the book is to take complete ownership of everything you possibly can. If you take ownership of everything you can and stop making excuses, you force yourself to develop into a better individual.

It's hard to suck it up and take responsibility, but when you do this, it changes the atmosphere around situations. You'll earn more respect. When you blame others for what's happening, you don't learn or grow any. That's not to say you should just lay down and take the blame for everything, but rather look at where you could have done something different to change the outcome of the situation.

There will be times where you've done everything you were supposed to and still have something bad happen with your eBay business. The best thing to do in this situation is to just accept whatever the outcome and move on. If you do find yourself getting a return or some other issue, it's important to ask yourself if there was anything you could have done to prevent it and if so, what you'll do in the future. eBay is a numbers game and the sooner you forget about an unfortunate situation and get back to listing and selling, the quicker you will grow.

Interesting Things Discussed in the Facebook Group

Something discussed in the group that I see as a common thread with eBay is not being able to list something because it “isn't allowed” even though the exact same item is listed and sold by other people. I'm not really sure why this happens and what eBay uses to determine if a listing isn't allowed. It's one of the mysteries of eBay I guess. I wonder if eBay even knows what they're doing.

Someone suggested going to a listing of the item you want to sell and trying “sell one like this” I think this is good advice and it's what I do when I list anyways. It's quicker to do “sell one like this” and make the necessary adjustment rather than create a listing from scratch.

Another thing I mentioned was making the switch from a laser printer to a thermal printer. I am really kicking myself for not doing this sooner! My laser printer had an issue where I had to help each label go through with my hand. Then a piece of a label got stuck inside the printer where I couldn't get to it and it smudged out right where the address went on the labels.

I started having to handwrite the addresses back on the labels and that was when I decided I had had enough. For $50 I was able to get a nice, used thermal label printer and so far it has worked magically. Each label prints in like 2 seconds and it's going to save me so much time and money since I don't have to buy any toner or ink. I would make the switch if you aren't using a thermal printer.

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Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.