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Insider Insights - What Items Are Hard to Sell on eBay

New resellers believe that eBay is a multi-vendor marketplace platform where anything and everything can find potential buyers. However, not all things found in the depths of our closets or forgotten corners of our attics can bring in profit. So, by knowing what items are hard to sell on eBay, you can avoid common beginner's mistakes and launch the online shop properly. Check out our list of things that should not be listed on this platform.

A girl showcasing sunglasses on camera
Be determined to make all the right moves in the beginning stages of an online store

Why It's Important to Know What Items Are Hard to Sell on eBay

Learning about goods that fall in the category of "eBay hard to sell items" can offer insights into maximizing profits and conducting sales efficiently. Knowing what to avoid can save time and reduce the risk of accumulating unsold inventory. 

This information enables sellers to tailor their strategy, focusing on things that can surely generate profits. However, it's not the end of the world if some goods on eBay don't have a potential buyer. There are always alternatives that can be reached with a crossposting tool.

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Be informed about all the rules and regulations of reselling online

#1 Handmade Items Aren’t Sought by eBay’s Demographic

eBay's diverse marketplace caters to a wide range of needs and interests, but when it comes to the preferences of its demographic, there's a clear distinction - "vintage items - yes, handmade products - no." 

The user base tends to gravitate towards practical goods that are typically second-hand or discontinued rather than unique. Consider tapping into a different online marketplace platform that is designed to be of use to the artisans. Create an online store that indulges the demographic and user base.

A Perfect Platform for Selling Crafts Is Etsy

Crafts enthusiasts would enjoy selling on Etsy. It is a perfect online selling platform that focuses on listings that promote uniqueness, creativity, and craftsmanship. Etsy's community is specifically in search of anything that carries a personal touch and a story. Some of the top goods that thrive better on Etsy than on eBay are:

  • Handmade beauty products,
  • Handcrafted jewelry,
  • Decorations,
  • Eco-friendly products,
  • Custom art and prints,
  • Craft supplies.

#2 Beanie Babies Yield Meagre Profit

Once a phenomenon that significantly contributed to eBay's early success, Beanie Babies now embody the stark reality of changing consumer interests. In the '90s, it was guaranteed that you'd make money if you listed Beanie Babies, cute-stuffed animals everyone was searching for.

But, now, Beanie Babies represents a category that doesn't sell the best anymore and is an example of a short lifecycle of a trend. It's crucial to stay attuned to what is in demand and what has fallen out of favor. 

Trying to profit off of an old trend can only result in disappointment. Of course, there's always a chance of a trend returning, just like old songs from the '80s become hits on TikTok today. Therefore, we suggest researching the market all the time.

Stuffed teddy bears
Even if you want to list Beanie Babies for collectors, check whether it will pay off

#3 It's Hard to Find Customers for Digital Products

eBay is primarily tailored to offer goods to the market that prefers tangible and used items. This creates a challenge for entrepreneurs looking to start a resale business online with a focus on digital offerings such as online courses, software, and eBooks

There is a mismatch between the platform's user base and the digital product market. This simply means that capitalizing on the digital boom on eBay is very difficult right now. Of course, there are alternatives that can dramatically increase the likelihood of reaching potential customers.

Shopify Is the Leader in Digital E-Commerce

Shopify has established itself as one of the best digital e-commerce platforms where one can sell anything from physical products to digital downloads. It is a go-to choice for business owners across the globe. 

What can make you eager to use Shopify for your reselling business is the opportunity to let customers instantly download digital products. Anything can be automatically delivered using email. On top of this, the files are protected, and all the links that get sent to customers are protected.

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Tailor the inventory based on the preferences of the user base

#4 Liquids Pose a Risk of Being Improperly Shipped

The risks associated with liquids include spillage, breakage, and potential combustion during shipping. While liquids are prohibited from being sold on numerous platforms, eBay does allow different types of wine and beauty products to be sold. But at what cost? For resellers, a high risk of damage influences financial outcomes. 

Should a liquid product end up spilling en route, the reseller must go through eBay's return policy, which can damage the store's reputation. The likelihood of negative feedback is thus increased. Additionally, eBay fees, which are a part of every transaction, may not be recoverable. So, it's up to you to evaluate whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

#5 Furniture or Heavy Items Would Be Too Expensive to Ship

The allure of selling second-hand furniture online can quickly diminish once an online reseller confronts the reality of shipping costs. Items that are heavy and bulky, such as furniture, present a challenge regarding shipping expenses. 

Remember, you'll be the one paying for packaging and the shipping costs, which are influenced by the size and weight of the item. All of this will impact the profit and bring it down significantly. Fortunately, there are platforms such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace where you can offer second-hand furniture to your locals. In this way, you won't be spending any pennies on shipping.

An old brown cabinet with a TV and a typewriter
Resell something that won't be complicated to ship to the buyer

What Sells the Best on eBay?

The most sought-after goods are electronics, particularly laptops and smartphones. After this, the category designed for collectors thrives with listings of auction figures, stamps, and coins. Branded fashion items also have a devoted customer base. 

Vintage goods and unique finds see considerable success when they are offered using an auction-style selling format. Even though some items struggle to be easily sold, the platform is still a thriving hub for thrifters. Keep an eye on current trends and seasonal demands to optimize sales.

Here's a video that would help you out if you're a beginner on eBay.

Invest in Crosslisting Software That Expands the Customer Base

Beat the reselling system and overcome your initial discouragement with multichannel listing software. What is incredible about crossposting software is its ability to connect multiple marketplaces simultaneously. So, when something is not generating traffic on eBay, it can be offered on Etsy, Vinted, and Shopify at the same time. 

Apart from this, the various features offered by the crossposting app can optimize the online reselling business. The aim is to minimize your involvement as much as possible. So, without further ado, get the best software to sell on both eBay and Depop - Zipsale. Register today! 

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