I have to admit, sometimes I get teased by friends or family for what I buy on eBay. There is very little I purchase that I don’t at least attempt to buy on eBay first. Why not? There are thousands (if not millions) of eBay listings at any given time — that’s a pretty amazing resource for everything under the sun. For everything you buy on eBay, there’s probably at least one other thing you haven’t thought of. To start you off, here’s a list of ten things you (probably) never thought to buy on eBay:
1. Postage Stamps: Yes, it is possible to get a discount on postage stamps! A lot of times companies or individuals will purchase a mass quantity of stamps for a mailing and end up not using them all. The USPS doesn’t buy back stamps, so a good alternative is to sell on eBay. Expect to pay between 80% and 90% of face value, with the bigger discount coming from a larger purchase quantity usps tracking.
2. Timeshares: Real estate is big on eBay, especially timeshares! As long as you are careful in reading all of the fine print and purchasing from a reputable seller, you can come away with a great vacation at a fantastic value. You can easily pick and choose from a wide variety of locations, amenities, and prices.
3. Over-the-counter medication: Need to replenish your supply of Advil, Visine, Airborne, or Mylanta? I buy nearly all of my over-the-counter medication on eBay. It’s almost always drastically cheaper, and you can also search for generic or store brands. I save hundreds of dollars a year doing this.
4. Makeup: There are certain shades and certain brands of makeup I know I will always use. It’s easy to search for these on eBay and buy them in bulk or at a discount. It’s also a great way to find discontinued colors that you love and can’t live without! I set up a search for my favorite discontinued items and save it so I am emailed whenever an auction matching my criteria comes up. I’ve been able to keep using a certain shade of lipstick despite the fact that it was discontinued years ago.
5. eBay Business Supplies: I see so many people who sell on eBay using padded envelopes or other supplies from the USPS — not the free Priority or Express mail supplies, but the expensive supplies sold in post offices. If you know you’re going to sell more than just a few items, buy your supplies on eBay! Great discounts are to be had on bubble mailers, bubble sheets, labels, and more.
6. Spices: Yes, kitchen spices! I eat oatmeal nearly every morning and use a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice for flavor. I was spending at least $3 every time I purchased a tiny container of it at the store. I found a supplier on eBay and was able to get over ten times the amount for only twice the price!
7. Gift Cards: If you frequently shop at a certain store, it pays (literally) to check out the gift certificates category on eBay. People resell gift cards they aren’t interested in using, and you can often get a good discount. Some of the more popular stores sell for nearly 100% of face value, but others sell for 70% to 90% of face value. If you’re going to spend the money at the store anyway, why not buy a gift card and save a few bucks? I like to look at it as free money!
8. Food: The food category on eBay is huge. You can buy your favorite overseas candy, soda flavors you can’t find locally, fresh baked cookies just like mom made them, protein bars, elegant desserts, and much more. A word of warning though… looking for food on eBay can make you hungry!
9. Massage Appointments: These can usually be found in the gift certificates category. A lot of spas and massage therapy locations will sell gift certificates for massages at discounted rates to gain new customers. As long as you are careful to check that the location is legit, you can find a great deal. I was able to purchase a fantastic one-hour massage for only $35.
10. Magazine Subscriptions: Magazines make money selling ads, and they can charge more for their ads if they have more subscribers. Because of that, they will let go of a lot of subscriptions to brokers for very low prices. A lot of these brokers sell on eBay. Imagine buying a year’s subscription to your favorite magazine for only $3! They usually take four to eight weeks to kick in, but it’s well worth the wait.
Hopefully these ideas have given you a starting point for the wide variety of ways you can save money on a daily basis by purchasing through eBay. Happy bidding!