Archive for April, 2010

Where to get Stuff to Sell on eBay? (4)

Buying collections to break down and sell as individual items can be a great way of sourcing stuff to sell on eBay.

Years ago before I sold on eBay I used to sell second hand vinyl through the mail, advertising in the Record Collector magazine.  I would routinely travel to see people who were selling their album collections.  Usually I could buy 100 or more albums at a set price per album, usually 50p -£1 each.  There would be some dross, of course but there would almost always be a few gems.

One time sticks in my mind.  I went to an address in Manchester to see this chap who had a 100 or so albums to sell.  They were the usual rock mixture but there were 12 mint copies or 2 different albums by an extinct band called Excalibur. I asked him why he had 24 albums by the same band and he said that his son had had a connection with the band and the albums arrived through that connection.  Fair enough.  I sold one of the albums for £10 each copy (12 x £10).  The copies of the other album fetched £25 each  (12 x £25).  Those 2 albums gave me a return of £420.  I bought the whole lot for £50.  I also sold most of the others for £5 ish.  Not bad for half a day’s work.

The same applies to eBay, but your potential market is greater.

Where do you get collections to break down?  Look on eBay under Job Lots.  There are sometimes some great things there.  Go to local auctions and rummage through the miscellaneous boxes, car boot sales are another source.  I bought 50 DVDs of steam trains last year (not something that interests me) but on Amazon I was able to sell almost half for between £5 and £10 each.  I paid £20 for the lot.

Comments off

Where to get Stuff to Sell on eBay? (3)

This is a great source of products to sell on eBay, from eBay itself!

Have you noticed the daily deals on the home page?  These are items for sale at well below the RRP.  50% and even 75% reductions including postage are not unusual.  So how can we benefit?

An example.  A few weeks ago I saw a box set of the ‘Carry on’ films being sold for £30, RRP £75.  I checked the other listings on eBay and saw that sellers were listing them at £65 including postage.  If I could do that I would show a profit of £35 (less postage, listing fees and PayPal a net profit of £28).

One thing that might concern you is that if loads of the items in the daily deal are sold will there be a market for them in the future?  The answer is yes.  It may be a week or 2 until the market starts again but there will be.  Other eBayers may have the same idea and so for a little while longer the market may be distorted but patience is a virtue.

Once I bought the box set I had a couple of options list them on eBay and wait or list it in another market.  I listed it on Amazon.  I listed it for £70 and it sold inside 3 days!  Another option that I did not think until later was to list them both on Amazon and eBay, see which listing produced a sale and then cancelling the other. (listing on Amazon is free)

I have done the same with other DVDs from the Daily sales and have just bought a couple of watches at 75% off………………..

However, before you rush in do your research.  Are these items being listed by others on eBay?  What prices are the ‘normal’ eBayers charging.  Are they actually selling at those prices?  If it all checks out you are onto a winner!

Comments off

Where to get Stuff to Sell on eBay? (2)

One of the eternal questions (along with the meaning of life, the universe and everything – mind you, that one has been answered and the answer is 42).  Just how do you get stock to build a business on eBay, especially if you have no money?  Well, here is what I did.

I started selling my own stuff as we all do.  However, I wanted to have a regular extra income and selling what I already owned was not going to be sustainable.  What did I do?  I decided what I wanted to sell.  It had to be small, collectable, easy to post.  There are a lot of options, postcards, stamps, Wade Whimsies.  Oh yes, for me it had to be something I liked.  (selling acne cream is tremendously profitable but I could not do it, it holds no interest for me.  I have to like what I do)

My next step was to look on eBay under ‘wholesale’.  There I found a job lot of 4 of the things I wanted to sell.  The cost was a smidgen under 40% of the RRP.  I was amazed that they were so cheap (I was very naive then).  Anyway I worked out that with listing fees, PayPal fees I could list and sell them and then have enough money to buy 6.  I bought them and sold them.  I had enough to buy 6 more, but they were being sold in 4s.  I bought 4 sold them then had enough to but 8.  And so it went on.

Now, my original cost? £20.  My net (after all costs) profit in February 2010? £1,236.54.  I think that that is quite a good return on £10.  The downside? It took 4 years to build to that.  The upside is that I never risked any of my own money (apart from the original £20).  I was able to learn about selling on eBay without fear (if I lost that £20, so what?).  I learnt the importance of dong the maths.  Did you notice how much I made in February?  I did not say about £1,000 or in the region of £1,400 I new exactly, because I keep good records. When I started I needed to keep good records, it is a vital habit to get into.

Finally, I am able to take profit from the business, not much as I am always reinvesting.  I have 3 main lines now 2 different wholesalers (never be dependent on just one if you can avoid it) and am looking to expand my range of products into another 2 areas by the end of 2010.

My point?  Not having a lot of money is no bar to building a sustainable business on eBay.  Having more money reduces the time it takes to build a business.  If the money available is reduced hen the time taken to build the business is increased, that’s all.

Comments off

Where to get Stuff to Sell on eBay? (1)

When I started selling on eBay like everyone else I started selling things that I owned but no longer wanted.  However, that is not the way to build a sustainable business.

I often read people saying buy on eBay to sell on eBay.  It seemed like strange advice but it is true eBay itself is a great source of products to sell, on eBay!

As with most things in life building a business on eBay  is easier if you have some money to start with but it is not impossible without.  Here is an idea for finding stock on ebay if you have money to start with;

Let’s assume that you want to sell books on eBay.  Why not, there is a good established market.  Books are easy to wrap and post.  Everyone who uses eBay will have bought a book at sometime or other and so your potential market is almost unlimited.  Here is a good way to go about getting stock.

Go to the ‘Books, comics, magazines’ category via the buy option at the top of the eBay screen.  Do not enter any search terms (you want all items under books to come up).  Search.  There will be thousands of results (actually there were 7,896,853 when I just did it!)  all sorted by ‘best match’ (whatever that means but that another topic….)  Now go to the ‘sort by’ menu box and select Highest First.  What you will find are some extremely rare and expensive books and wholesale offers.  It is the wholesale offers that should interest you.

These offers give you the opportunity to buy hundreds or thousands of books at pennies each.  Now, be aware some may not be re-saleable.  Some might be damaged, there may be more than a few of the same title.  Read the descriptions very, very carefully.  Also, how long the seller has been using eBay? Look at his feedback.  Do everything you would do if you were spending £10 on eBay but very thoroughly, remember you may be spending more than 100 times that amount.  Be very careful.

Some other things to consider;  600 books, all different sounds good but that is 600 separate listings, time consuming and expensive.  If you are buying a pallet of books how will it be delivered?  Will the seller expect you to have a fork lift truck in your garage to unload the pallet?  (If you do have a fork lift in your garage, why?).  Where are you going to store 600 books?  Plan the storage because no only do you need the space you need a system.  If the books are in one great heap how are you going to feel if the first books you sell is at the bottom of the heap. How do you know where a book is unless you have them sorted and cataloguesd?

You get the idea.

Later I will talk about how to start your business with no money (well very, very little).

Comments off

Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to my Free Newsletter Here and receive a free gift!

Save and make money. Online eBay tool