ebay: Selling from Thailand - What to Sell Online to Make Money

Five to ten years ago selling on sites such as eBay while living in countries like Thailand was not only a relatively easy way to make a living, it was also highly profitable for those expats/tourists/etc. who were willing to invest a little time and effort. And those who made a success of it were living like royalty in Thailand, flush with the riches earned from selling cheap goods made in Thailand to people in wealthier western countries at a high mark-up.

And while the opportunity to make a living on eBay selling from Thailand has not completely vanished, it is however much harder these days, primarily due to the fact that increased numbers of Thai nationals have wised up to the potential of selling their goods abroad via eBay themselves, and are usually able to undercut the profit margins required by the expat necessary to make it a worthwhile venture.
However, while eBay selling from Thailand is much more difficult these days the potential is still there to make a good living from it for those who do it right. And chances of success will rest mainly upon two factors:

Deciding what to sell online

Forget heavy/large goods, forget counterfeit items (eBay will close your account quickly), and forget the crap from the market that only tourists will ever buy. To start with you should find and specialise in one or two items that are cheap for you to buy but made to a high standard, items that are easy and light to ship abroad, items that are relatively unique to Thailand, and items that people would genuinely like to own.

A little research on my end has shown that decorative items for the home sell well, for example the paper table lamps and strings of small lanterns you see for sale all over Thailand (currently) seem to be big sellers. And being light, relatively cheap, well-made, and fairly unique would make them an ideal product for selling via eBay.  And there will be many others to be discovered with a little research and a little shopping around.
eBay selling from Thailand - How to beat the competition

Beating the competition to make a decent living selling on eBay from Thailand is going to take a little effort, especially at the beginning of your venture. But While Thai nationals may be able to undercut you on price, your strengths lie in your familiarity with the ‘needs and wants’ of those back home, and (hopefully) in the fact that you speak the English language (or the language of your target country) more fluently than the average Thai.

The key to your success will lie in self promotion, use articles, videos, blogs, facebook, twitter, and anything else you can think of to promote and ‘link back’ to your eBay store. Thus sending potential customers that may not have stumbled across your listings via eBay directly to your products, hopefully increasing sales, and perhaps (depending upon the quality of service you provide) even creating the repeat customers, recommendations, etc. that are key to the long term success of your online business.


  1. Very interesting tips. Keep publishing.

  2. These days are over, selling on eBay while living in Thailand is almost impossible now. The detailed seller rating policy specifically discriminates against sellers from Asia.

  3. Good advice, There are so many products to choose from in Thailand especially around Chiang Mai area.

  4. Living in Thailand17 November 2011 at 16:42

    I live in chiang mai and did sell successfully on ebay for over a year until ebay closed my account over a few negatives, my advice would not to put all your eggs in one basket if you intend to run an online business.