5 Secret Tools for Reselling on eBay (Increase Sales and Profit)

About The Author

I’ve been a collector my entire life. I started collecting baseball cards as a kid and spent many lazy Saturdays sorting, organizing, and enjoying my collection (and ripping off my brother in trades from time-to-time).

Like many kids that collect baseball cards, my hobby withered away as I entered adulthood and was replaced by more sophisticated hobbies, like gardening and doing puzzles. Until I discovered the hobby of postcard collecting.

Who wouldn’t want to increase their sales and profit when reselling? No matter whether you are just starting out or have been selling for years, use these tools to boost your reselling business. I’ve personally used every tool on this list to help build my reselling business to over $55,000 in gross sales last year and am currently on pace for over $80,000 this year.

Disclaimer: I am not currently affiliated nor have I ever been affiliated with any of these companies in the past. These are all my own opinions based on my experience and my own reselling business.

1) Flippah and Item Alert

Not many resellers talk about eBay alert websites because they don’t want others to know how powerful of a tool they can be. These sites help you buy listings on eBay before anyone else can even see them. Both Flippah and Item Alert have the same basic function (alert you to new items on eBay that match your search criteria) but they work a little differently:

Flippah limits you to 100 saved searches based on the parameters you specify. You set the search terms, category, price range, excluded sellers, and more.

  • You receive alerts based on the number of items in your search. If there are a lot of items in your search, Flippah will search every 60 seconds. For example, if you are searching for the term “postcard lot,” you’ll get new results, if available, every 60 seconds.
  • For less popular search terms, Flippah will search for new items up to every 10 minutes (so searches run every 1 minute to 10 minutes, depending on the popularity of your search term).
  • The best thing about Flippah is everything is done on their servers (you don’t need to manually run searches) and it emails you new listings. However, make sure you narrow down your parameters as much as you can or be prepared for a lot of email.

Item Alert works pretty similarly to Flippah with a few major differences.

  • You can have up to 500 saved searches compared to Flippah’s 100, but the biggest difference is Item Alert can run searches every 20 seconds.
  • However, there is a catch! Searches only run when Item Alert is open and running in your browser. You will either only get alerts when your computer is on or you will need to have a dedicated server or computer running 24/7 to get alerts. You can get email alerts as well as notifications in your browser.

How can these websites help you as a reseller?

There are great deals on eBay all the time, but other people often snag them before you can. Using these tools can help you source inventory directly from eBay. You can also set eBay item alerts if you are collector to beat all the other collectors to an item. I have used tools like this to source a good bit of inventory to resell, but don’t use them as much anymore. It can be a lot to keep up with and manage, and even if you really narrow your search terms, you’ll still have to sift through a lot of useless results.

2) Terapeak

If you sell on eBay and have a store, you probably already know what Terapeak is – but you may not know how powerful it can be for your reselling business. When you search on Terapeak, it searches both titles and categories. This means you can see item category trends by using terms such as “postcard,” “men’s shirt,” “video game,” and so on.

Are eBay sales down for everyone or is it just me?

Reselling on eBay is a never-ending sequence of peaks and valleys. Sales are down significantly one week, up the next, then down again. Whenever you wonder if overall sales are down or it’s just you, research your preferred category in Terapeak. Take a look at this chart showing all postcard sales over the last year.

The number sold per week has been pretty consistent, averaging a little over 37,000 per week with a very slight upward trend. This tells me that with enough listed, your sales should be pretty consistent. If you have a large store and sales are significantly down for you while steady or rising for everyone else, it could be a sign of a larger problem. When narrowing it down to topographical postcards, which is the category I primarily sell in, we can get more useful information.

The average sold per week is consistently around 22,000 with a slight upward trend. I pay attention to the average sold price, average shipping, and the percent of sellers that offer free shipping. I used this data to help me make the decision to raise my shipping price from $1.30 to $1.50 to account for higher shipping costs (back when I set shipping at $1.30, eBay Standard Envelope started at $0.51; now it starts at $0.63) and a higher cost of supplies like envelopes and labels. Analyzing how and what other sellers are doing can help you optimize your own business and increase sales.

3) Rollo thermal printer

This is a secret that shouldn’t be a secret. Rollo thermal printers are well-known, but there are SO MANY other brands of thermal printers out there. I included this on the list because it was very difficult for me to find honest and genuine reviews of thermal printers. All of the knockoff brands have 4 or 5 stars on average, but I’ve read horror story after horror story of cheap thermal printers breaking down or not working properly.

Some common problems with cheap thermal printers include not working with eBay, bluetooth functionality not working, poor quality printing, paper jams, not printing straight, and not working with certain browsers. I have the wireless Rollo thermal printer, which is more expensive, but I have never had any problems with it. I highly recommend buying a Rollo thermal printer and saving yourself the headache. You can use any 4×6 labels with the Rollo, which saves you a lot of money when compared to buying the branded labels.

4) Google Lens

So many resellers out there don’t know about Google Lens. Essentially a reverse image search with more bells and whistles, Lens can help you identify unknown items and research prices. Other resellers use it at yard sales, Goodwill, or estate sales to see if an item may or may not be worth picking up.

I use it for identifying postcards, real photo postcards in particular. Identifying unknown images can increase the price significantly; what would have sold for $5-$10 if unidentified could be worth $50, $100, or more when positively identified. You can also use Google Lens to translate texts into whichever language you prefer, which is essential when researching foreign postcards in a different language. It is often impossible to write a title without translating into English first.

5) VIPparcel

VIPparcel is the only site I’ve found that allows you to print labels for first-class tracked international letters. You can send one to almost any country you can think of for $1.60 (as of August, 2023). This is great for sellers that deal in postcards, like me, but also trading cards, photos, and other smaller paper. The advantage of shipping this way is that you have tracking, unlike using an international stamp, and it’s very affordable for you and your customers.

Shipping in a tracked envelope prevents you from getting a ding, if you are a top-rated seller, for shipping without tracking. It’s really the best of both worlds: cheap and tracked. However, you should be aware that tracking can be unreliable once it leaves the country, and you don’t have the protection of eBay International Shipping. That being said, I have only had one international order not make it to its destination. Considering the savings over sending international packages through eBay, it is well worth the price of losing a package once every two years.

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