Make money on Craigslist and ebay. Passive Income opportunities

by Scott on June 10, 2008

When gas prices are north of $4.00 and summer vacations are less than a month away, what a perfect opportunity for some extra money in your pocket and a new source of passive income. Passive income is defined as income derived from investments, property rentals, or non-active methods. Google adsense or affiliate marketing on your website can also be non-active or passive income sources. It is true that writing for a blog does take time and you could argue that adsense should be considered regular income and not passive. How much time do you put into your blog or website? Do you consider your revenue active or passive?

I mention ebay and Craigslist as passive income opportunities and I believe these two could make you some good money. You are probably reading this and wondering how ebay and Craiglist could be considered passive income. Well, to be honest, at first it will be more active income, then passive. I really had fun with the active income of ebay and see the potential for more as the economy changes for many families. At first you could make a few dollars, but the potential is for a few hundred or more. People are interested in earning income online and love to hear stories about selling on ebay and making more money for families. This passive income opportunity will be helping friends and families save money.

I will be posting more stories and tips from my ebay business over the next few weeks and months, as I believe ebay and Craigslist are great opportunities for passive income. I will also mention some active income opportunities on ebay if you want to take a more hands-on approach for some of your clients.

Here are two ways to generate passive income through ebay and craigslist:

1. If you already sell on ebay or have an ebay account this will be easy for you. If not, you can always setup a free account on ebay and start building your feedback score. My rating on ebay is 100%, but you won’t need a perfect score to help friends sell on ebay. Last year a friend heard that I sold on ebay, and approached me to help him sell a Tiger Woods autograph card. He loves ebay but doesn’t sell on it. You will find that selling can be intimidating for some people, even when they can make some good money. I knew very little about sports collectibles, but wanted to help my friend make some money. I asked him what he wanted to earn from the Tiger Woods card and he told me the local “I Sold It” store would sell it for $350. But, the I sold It store wanted to charge 30% commission and all ebay fees and paypal fees. Wow! That was a lot of money out of his pocket. I found another seller on ebay who specializes in Tiger Woods collectibles, and sent him a message about my card. He suggested between $375-425 as a BIN price. I set the price at $450 and accepted offers. In a few days I had several offers and one good offer at $425. $75 more than the offer from I Sold It offered. My buddy was amazed as he came over to my house and picked up his check. He wanted me to keep $100 and even wanted to pay me for my time, but I knew he needed the money and could be back to sell more items. I felt great helping someone sell stuff on ebay, but also saving them money from another merchants fees. Many cities have stores that will help you sell on ebay, you can offer better service and cut costs, since you don’t have a lot of overhead expenses.

Ok, your thinking this is more active income. Well, yes it is. You can make some good money helping friends sell on ebay. Where is the passive income opportunity you mentioned. Offer value and savings to friends and clients and they will continue to seek out your help with ebay. Your first sale can be no charge, but all other sales could be at a tiered rate. Try 10-20%. How is this passive. Well, almost passive. You have no inventory and no advertising and very little overhead. I would compare this to rental real estate. You are receiving income, with very little effort. You don’t have to find suppliers, you can have your friends even package and ship the items. In the case of the Tiger Woods card, I could have made $100 with less than an hours work. It’s a lot better than trying to find inventory and good deals through wholesale discount stores or online. Your friends have inventory and want to earn some extra spending money. Also, be cautious and do your research. Don’t offer to sell a friends bowling ball on ebay, when you gut tells you the market is dead for used bowling balls. Friends can refer you dozens if not hundreds of potential clients to your ebay business.

2. Offer a service to help friends market ebay, save on ebay purchases, and at over 200 other online merchants. This site has been working for me and allows me to save money on my ebay purchases as well as at other online merchants. I saved over $30 when I purchased my domain names for my blog and other sites. All the big merchants are here like best buy, target, gap, ebay, and Babies R Us.

The passive opportunity comes in several methods. If you are helping a friend sell something on ebay or craigslist and you’re doing it for free, ask them to signup to Save Some Coin. Since you did them a favor, ask them for one in return. Better yet, tell them how they can earn passive income from Save Some Coin. Take a look at my profile and you will see that I have made over $113. Many of the savings are for everyday purchases and over $48 is from referral commissions. Referral commissions are another form of passive income.

Here is another idea. On Save Some Coin, a merchant is offering 250 free business cards. Order your cards and hand them out when people ask how your are saving money or making money online. Mention that you sell on ebay and hand them a card. You can have a link to your ebay site or to a similar domain like Save Some Coin. I created this domain through godaddy and saved money at the same time. Very cool!

Over the next few weeks I will be looking at other Passive investment opportunities. If you know of one and would like to share it, let me know.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 heidi June 10, 2008 at 11:24 pm

This is a really great post that makes alot of sense to me. I sell on ebay and would like to do a bit more of the craigslist too. I checked out the save some coin and will read more tomorrow (too tired now). Great tips that I can use!

2 Madison June 11, 2008 at 10:02 am

Great article! I have bought and sold on eBay, but I love Craigslist. Last spring, my husband decided that he was going to “reclaim” the garage. We cleaned, sorted, took pictures and listed things for sale on Craigslist. Our reward: we made over $2000 on “stuff” that had over taken our garage!! I was thrilled with the money and my husband was happy to have his garage back!!

3 passivefamilyincome June 27, 2008 at 7:20 am

Good Article Scott – I have never sold anything on eBay or Craigslist but am going to check it out.

Off that topic – Do you know anything about Tax Liens? I am looking into them as a new source of Passive Income and like what I see so far.

4 Scott July 8, 2008 at 3:08 pm

@ Heidi Thanks for checking out This is a link to Big Crumbs where you can save money online and earn referral commissions as well.

@Madison The most my wife and I ever made was $900 at her parents estate sale. $2000 is a lot of money for “stuff”

@PassiveFamilyIncome Craigslist is a wonderful alternative to ebay and you can even trade items.

I do not know about tax liens. When I started researching foreclosures, I got cold feet, and researched REITs instead. I figured I could leverage more properties with a REIT than through one foreclosure. I’d be interested in learning more about tax liens though.

5 Steve September 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I think that this idea is fundamentally sound. We actually did the ebay craigslist thing for quite awhile until we got a bit tired of it. But you’re right. It works well!

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