How to Make Money Selling Rocks on Ebay

Wed, Nov 11, 2009, by Chris Hamilton

Money Making

Have you ever wondered how you can be a successful Ebay seller without investing a ton of money? I’ll tell you how in this article.

In the last 8 months I took a break from freelance writing to explore and try my luck buying and selling on Ebay. I have learned in order to be a successful seller on Ebay you must have desirable products that people want for a good price.

(Gold and Silver)

I started buying and selling gold and silver but I was barely turning a profit so I started to research all items on Ebay and found many other substitutes.

(Australian Opals)

Eventually I discovered Lightning Ridge Australian opals were in very high demand along with other stones like emeralds, rubies, sapphires and so on. So I started buying finished stones from all over the world and turned around and re-sold them. Again this was barely making any money because of shipping charges I had to pay to get the items. This got me thinking maybe I could cut and polish stones myself since when any stone is in rough form it’s much cheaper then a finished stone.

I looked around on Ebay and found many different opal dealers from Australia selling rough opals which was at least 50 percent cheaper then finished stones and reasonable shipping charges.

(Australian Opal Rough)

Alright so I had some rough opals now but had no idea how to cut or polish them which left me in kind of a bind. So again I turned to Ebay and found some very helpful sellers out there that shared their tips with me. I found out that opal cutting can be a very messy process, expensive and time consuming.

I was told I would need a bench grinder and diamond grinding disks to shape the stones, and then I would need 5 different grits of sandpapers or more to sand out flaws and finally some polishing paste. On my budget just starting out I could not afford to do it this way so I had to find another way that was cheaper and works for me.

(Rotary Tool)

I came up with the idea to try out my rotary tool which is very similar to the one in the picture but way cheaper only costing $14 for the Job Mate brand that the local Canadian Tire sold. It came with 1 diamond disk, a bunch of sandpaper, different sizes of diamond grinding heads for glass and rock and finally polishing paste. So I sat down and put on the diamond cutting disk and gave it a shot. To my surprise it worked. It actually worked really well to the point where I was cutting and polishing a stone every hour.

(E Bay’s $100,000 Opal Rough)
After I learned a little more about cutting I started to list my items on Ebay and to my surprise they sold like hot cakes. I mean some of them raked in $100 a piece for a stone that weighed no more then 2 grams or 10 carats believe it or not. Also there are opals on there that people are asking anywhere from $50-$100,000 which literally blew my mind.

See the great thing about opals is they are hard to price and what seems like garbage to one person might be a real treasure to others so it all depends on who is interested in buying the items not so much the quality.

(Canadian Ammolite)

After I got hooked on cutting and polishing stones I started to look for other rough materials and found many that where big money makers. For example Albert, Canada has some of the most beautiful Ammolite stones you will ever see which can only be found in Canada. Also flourite, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, malachite and lapis are just a few other stones people love to collect and buy.

What started out as a money maker now has me hooked and is my new hobby. I also found out that this kind of hobby was called “Lapidary”. I personally love cutting and grinding the opal and other rough to reveal the inside color veins.

Although after reading this you might think it’s easy to do but its not and takes a bit of practice. You must have a steady hand, good eye and know what to look for when buying rough material and cutting.

(Lightning Ridge Opal)               (Mexican Fire Opal Rough)
Opals from Lightning Ridge in Australia are the most desirable opals in the world but they are not for beginners. These black opal parcels in the rough state can be pretty expensive so before you try shaping those just buy some cheap opal rough to practice on. Also Mexican Fire opals is another high demand stone but again can be expensive but if you are good at lapidary then you’ll surely make good profits selling the finish products.

This article is just a base line to get one started but I did leave out steps through out the cutting and grinding process so make sure you do a little research before committing to this hobby.

So if you got sometime to kill or your looking to get a new hobby then why not check out Lapidary as a hobby. It relaxes you and can make some really good money doing lapidary.

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2 Comments For This Post
  1. qasimdharamsy Says:

    Great Information !!

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