Business is Booming for eBay Trading Assistants

The consignment business on eBay is booming.  There are over 60,000 eBay Trading Assistants registered with eBay and for the first time in years that number is growing again.

The eBay trading assistant program was started in 2003 to help eBay sellers who were engaging in Consignment sales which were booming.  Consignment selling on eBay peaked in 2006 when all of the eBay consignment franchise operators crashed and burned and eBay franchise consignment stores were failing by the dozens.

The eBay franchise consignment model just didn’t work. But in the meantime, plenty of people were running eBay drop off stores they started themselves and hundreds of others were flying under the radar –operating consignment businesses out of their homes or even from rented storage lockers.

eBay Trading Assistants Report Strong Sales

The business has been alive and well for years, but I suspect the sudden upturn must be due to the continuing recession. With 9.8% official unemployment and real unemployment near 16% there are plenty of people getting rid of their stuff to raise cash and others willing to buy used goods instead of new to save money.

I am a registered eBay Trading Assistant and used to spend a lot of my efforts on consignment sales, but have backed off as we found better sources for new goods. I still do the occasional consignment sale, but I focus on higher priced goods as it takes just as much time and work to sell something for $500 as it does for $50.

I called a few Trading Assistants I know and the other thing that is happening is a surge in business-to-business (B2B) activity. As companies downsize they need to get rid of their computers, furnishings, phone systems and so on.

The other hot eBay consignment activity is restaurant equipment from restaurants going out of business. The B2B area is a great place for a consignment seller to work as the price point of the merchandise is high and the buyers are usually very familiar with what they are buying.

If you Want to Make Money on eBay take A Look at The eBay Consignment Business

So if you are having trouble finding merchandise to sell, take a look at the eBay consignment business. Sellers typically charge between 30% and 40% commission.

You do need to be skilled at selling on eBay before getting into the consignment business, but if this interests you, take a look at my book, Making Money with an Online Consignment Business.


  1. Skip, I tried eBay consignment sales in 2006. The first products brought to me was jewelry and some other collectibles. The set were a set of chrome wheels, and the third were dozens of items some lady wanted me to sell because her family was moving to another state.

    I found it to be overwhelming. First, I had no idea how to price the jewelry. All the stuff the lady gave me sat in my house for weeks until I finally gave up.

    I can certainly see where eBay consignment can be a good business, especially for someone who, like I was at the time, unemployed. But, for me, it proved to be a bigger bite than I could chew at the time.

    1. Author

      Hi Paul – The key to running a successful consignment business is learning how to say NO. I routinely turn down well over 50% of the items I am offered. I always research an item first to make sure there is a market and that it will sell for over $50 –otherwise I am not interested. Even with that strict criteria you have no trouble finding goods to sell for others.

  2. Yikes! Seeing typos in my first comment. “were jewelry”….and “The next set…” was how that was supposed to read.

  3. Skip – Can you suggest how to identify consignors or others in Rhode island who would EBay auction an entire household of upscale goods? Looking for someone who would handle the entire process independently.

    1. Author

      Just go to the eBay site map and look for Trading Assistant. Or just goggle the term eBay trading assistant Rhode Island.

    2. Author

      Just go to the eBay site map and look for Trading Assistant. Or just goggle the term eBay trading assistant Rhode Island.

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