Coronavirus - Get the latest updates and resources from MyWalletHero - Find out more.
Advertiser Disclosure

How to make money on eBay from forgotten items!

How to make money on eBay from forgotten items!
Image source: Getty Images.

Do you have a bunch of old stuff lying around somewhere in your house just collecting dust? Well, as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you could be sitting on a treasure trove without even realising it. Some of the old and forgotten items in your loft could be worth a tidy sum of money right now if you were to sell them on eBay.

Selling forgotten items on eBay for money

At a time when many people’s finances have taken a hit because of coronavirus, selling forgotten items or items that you simply don’t use anymore on eBay can be a great way to make some extra money.

Budgeting fintech company thinkmoney has identified several items that are quite popular with buyers on eBay, and found that selling their top ten items could put an extra £1,311 (before fees) in your pocket.

Here’s the list of thinkmoney’s top ten items (which you might just have in your loft) together with the average amount of money you can get for each:

  1. 1980 Apple Macintosh computer – £330
  2. Vintage turntables (for parts) – £219
  3. First generation iPhone (without box) – £150
  4. Retro Singer sewing machine – £137
  5. Nintendo Wii (with controllers and games) – £97
  6. Vintage typewriter – £96 
  7. Royal Daulton figure – £80
  8. Original Pepsi/Coke crate – £70
  9. Vintage Roberts radio – £67
  10. Harry Potter first edition, first print – £65

Tips for selling successfully on eBay

So, after going through your loft and finding something that could be valuable, how can you make sure that you sell it successfully on eBay and that you get as much money as possible for it?

Well, here are a few useful tips.

Do your research

Go through existing listings of the same item on eBay to see how much it usually sells for and even how often it sells. Also check listings and prices on other sites such as Amazon to get a full picture on pricing.

Use 10-day listings that begin on a Thursday

This will ensure that two weekends are included in your auction period. Traffic on eBay soars on Sunday evenings when most people have free time to go online and potentially indulge in online shopping, so set your auction to end then.

Use low starting bids

Typically, a low starting bid for an item costs less to list and encourages more people to bid.

If the item you are selling is a top seller, for example, and therefore has the potential to draw in a lot of bids, then your starting bid can be lower than the final price you want for it. Otherwise, keep the starting bid low but close to the minimum amount you’ll accept for it.

Offer free shipping

Free shipping can help you build a certain level of goodwill and increase the amount of interest in your item.

Choose your auction title carefully

While you can list the product using its actual name, consider using keywords that relate to it or that might attract potential users or fans of the item you are listing. Also remember to put the item in the correct category to optimise the chances of a sale.

Write thorough descriptions

Its good practice to write detailed but relevant descriptions about your item with any flaws or positive aspects clearly stated. You can even use bold or highlighted text to emphasise key aspects in your description.

Use clear photos

Take good, clear photos of your product that show the condition of the item to ensure that potential customers get an accurate depiction of what they are getting. 

Answer questions

Answering questions, especially if they are repetitive, can be frustrating. But to increase the chances of people biding on your product or buying it, it’s good idea to answer all queries you receive.

Be sociable

It can be quite helpful to foster an easy going persona as an eBay seller instead of being all business. A customer who connects with you personally is more likely to make a bid or purchase.


Selling vintage and forgotten items on eBay can be a great way to make some extra money which you can use to pay the bills, boost your savings or even cover unexpected expenses.

With many of us currently stuck at home with a lot of time on our hands, this presents a perfect opportunity to sort through the clutter and find something of value that can be put up for sale on eBay for a handsome return.

What next?

If you’re looking for more ways to make your money work for you, why not sign up for MyWalletHero’s email newsletter? You’ll receive our team’s top money-saving tips, lifestyle hacks and handy personal finance ‘must-knows’ – delivered straight to your inbox…

Just enter your email address below to sign up now:

By checking this box and submitting your email address, you agree to MyWalletHero sending you emails with money tips, along with details of products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from future emails at any time. You also consent to us processing your personal data in line with our privacy policy, and our cookie statement. For more information, including how we collect, store, and handle personal data, please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.

Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.