As huge numbers of Baby Boomers shift into semi-retirement and retirement mode, they are discovering the power of the online marketplace eBay and cashing in on decades of accumulating possessions that now have value to collectors and vintage enthusiasts. Boomers have a huge advantage over other age groups as they have the basic computer skills needed to navigate eBay, as well as a home full of items that can bring high selling prices on eBay. Do-it-yourselfers and crafters often seek the exact products Boomers have stashed away in closets, basements, and garages to repurpose into a new and interesting item, or use for nostalgic home decor.
eBay isn't just about selling valuable collectibles like Hummel figurines, fine china, or baseball cards, but anything vintage such as vintage typewriters, old license plates, obsolete office supplies, and even broken items for parts. For example, crafters often purchase used or damaged vintage manual typewriters on eBay, remove the keys, and make jewelry or clocks with the keys. Old license plates are being used to make items like bird houses, and old console television sets are re-purposed into aquariums or dog beds. Crafters need to find their materials somewhere, and they are turning to eBay.
A new online school, Unite Commerce, is a convenient way to learn how to sell on eBay and get started making money immediately. The eBay Basics class, about an hour in length, teaches students how to get started on eBay, correctly list an item, collect payment, and ship the item to the buyer. The classes are held virtually through GoTo Meeting and cost only $47- a small investment once students realize how much money they can make selling unwanted items from around their home. Classes are taught by experienced instructors who have been selling on eBay for years, are also currently selling on eBay.
Boomers often have items with interesting social significance such as old magazines, postcards with old date stamps, matchbooks from defunct resorts and restaurants, coffee mugs from gas stations that no longer exist, and even college yearbooks that may have a photo of a current celebrity hiding inside. All of these items, and many more, are sought after by collectors and vintage enthusiasts. The key to making money on eBay is understanding that treasures are often hiding in plain sight.