The Spring Cleaning Dilemma: eBay or Flea Market?

Vanellimelli, photo: Philipp Bogle

Believe it or not, but we almost made it through the grey Berlin Winter, yeay! And this means that one old tradition is coming up again: the Spring cleaning. Spending so much time in your home during the cold months has the negative effect that we horde way too many things and it’s time to get some order back into our four walls and clean out everything that we don’t really need anymore.

And once we’ve gone through all the things one big question will arise: Flea market or eBay? In our modern times the struggle to answer this question seems to be quite a luxury problem. But we want an answer none the less. In the last years online market places have become a tough competition for the traditional flea market as they really changed the game. On a platform like that you will reach a much higher audience than any local flea market ever could. And for certain types of items you will be able to sell to much higher prices. On the other hand the flea market booth offers you a social experience and interaction with the potential buyers, and you will be able to sell many things in only one day. So obviously both options have their advantages. But what is the best option for you?

On the last weekend eBay was putting it to the test with the eBay value check here in Berlin. They set up a booth at the Fehrbelliner Platz Flohmarkt and offered the people to bring their items and have them evaluated by experts for selling online or at the market. If the item was more promising for online you could even have it professionally photographed right on the spot and learn a little about the ideal requirements for an eBay offer. At the same time and place blogger Vanellimelli was trying to sell her old clothes at a normal flea market booth. Of course she got quite different results for her items at the eBay value check.

What we learned? Here a few examples of what will likely perform better on eBay:

– Clothes and accessories of known brands

– Any kind of household or entertainment equipment and gadgets such as coffee machines, smartphones, computers

– Rare collectors items

-Toys and baby accessories

-Art from known artists or from popular eras

-Furniture design classics

A few more specific examples with estimate prices you can find here.

And here’s items that are better for the flea market:

– Old pottery and glas items

– Unbranded clothes

– Small decorative items and knick knacks

– Locally specific items

– Art from young or unknown artists or eras

– Cheap and generic pieces of furniture

Generally you could say that products that used to have a higher value when you bought them and are still functional generally also sell for higher prices online than they would on the flea market. People that go to flea markets most likely look for bargains that only cost a Euro or two. These things might of course also sell on eBay, but than again, do you want to make the effort of taking a picture, uploading it, and than going to the post to ship it off, when you can only expect to make a few Euros? It will be more efficient to sell those in one big swoop on the flea market. On the other hand a pair of designer jeans can bring you quite a lot of money on eBay while at the flea market you will hardly be able to sell it for a higher price than a normal pair of jeans.

When you go through your things, you should put the more valuable and unique things on the side and check how much comparable items are selling for on eBay before you bring them to the flea market. You will be surprised how much you will be able to get for seemingly random things such as a water heater or an old gaming console if you set up them up in the right way.

Last but not least here is a video that shows how the eBay value check in Berlin went down, have a look and learn the tricks:

Thanks for the support by eBay

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<a href="" target="_self">Frank</a>



Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of iHeartBerlin. He takes photos, makes videos, and writes texts mostly about what's going on in Berlin. His vision and interests have shaped iHeartBerlin since its conception back in 2007 - and he hopes to continue bringing you the best of Berlin for many years to come.