I’ve been buying and selling on eBay since 2000. I’ve made some money, and lost some too. I used to go to auctions and yard sales to buy. And I did OK with that most of the time. It’s a lot of work to go out and buy something, research it, write a detailed description, pack it, ship it, etc. A few years ago I decided to stick to items that will make me a minimum of $100 each. So I decided to stick to cars and trucks. Along the way I learned a few important things I would like to pass on to you.
eBay is a buyers market!
If you really want to make money on eBay, this the most important fact about eBay to know- eBay is a buyers market. eBay has single-handedly ruined the antique marketplace. I could give you example after example of items that used to sell for $100+ which now sell for $20.
Here’s one example- a 1932 Shirley Temple doll. Back around 2004, I saw one on Antiques Roadshow. They estimated it to be worth $2500. I knew my mom had one, so I called her. But first, I checked eBay and they were selling for $100 to $600. We wound up selling hers for $800 because it was in great condition. But I know for a fact, before eBay existed, she could have sold it at an auction for $2500.
It’s all about supply-and-demand.
In the old days (before eBay), antiques sold for mega-bucks. But not any more because there are fifteen more just like it on eBay for $25 or less. Sellers are selling for less than the next guy, so that drives prices down. When supply is great, price is low. This is just a fact of doing business on eBay or anywhere for that matter.
It pays to find a niche. And I have found one- buying and selling cars and trucks. And you can do it too! Here’s the key-
Buy cars and trucks on eBay, then sell locally.
On any given day, you can find some cool vehicles on eBay, for cheap too. I’ve had good luck with Chevettes, Fiero’s, Pacers, older hotrods, and of course trucks. You can find these all day long on eBay for $1000.
Since eBay is a buyers market, you buy them on eBay and sell them in your local newspaper, auto-trader, Craiglist, or simply put a for-sale sign on it.
Everybody thinks you have to sell on eBay. NO! you buy on eBay, then sell it locally.
How to ship a vehicle.
In most cases, the vehicles on eBay are pretty far away. So you have a choice- go drive for hours, or simply pay to have someone else deliver it to you. If you are mechanically inclined, I suggest spending the gas money and time to go check out the vehicles before the auction ends.
But, if you do find one that you’d like to buy that is too far away, you can have it shipped for cheaper than you think. The only problem with this method is- there may be something wrong with the vehicle that you would have found if you were there in person.
Ever since I saw A&E’s Shipping Wars TV show, I knew the freight transport business has changed forever. Just like eBay ruining the antique marketplace, A&E’s Shipping Wars TV Show has done the same thing to the trucking industry.
In the old days, you would have to call several vehicle shippers, get a few quotes, then decide which one to go with. But now, all you have to do is place your shipment with UShip (the company that does the TV show), and they place your shipment up for auction. The LOWEST bidder gets it. As a truck driver, I hate that. But as a shipper, I love that.
Get a free quote here, on the top-right corner of this page.
Ken Skaggs is a 30-year veteran trucker and safety professional, who has always been a writer, and an entrepreneur at heart. Since 2000, he’s had 150+ articles published by Ten-Four Magazine, Careers in Gear, Driver Story Magazine, and dozens of websites.