How to Find Items to Resell on eBay
The trick to making money on eBay is selling the items that people want to buy. It seems like a simple idea, but most of the auctions on eBay are based on what a seller wants to get rid of and not what buyers are looking for, leading to low bids or unsold merchandise.
Before you go to a wholesaler or manufacturer’s rep and start ordering products to sell on eBay, take a look at what items are selling well through your local retailers. For example, go to your favorite store and make friends with the manager. Store managers will often tell you what’s going to be the new hot item next month. After you’re armed with the information you need, search out that item for the lowest price you can, and then give it a shot on eBay.
Keep these shopping locales in mind when you go on the eBay hunt:
Upscale department stores, trendy boutiques, outlet stores, and flagship designer stores are good places to do some market research. Check out the newest items and then head to the clearance area or outlet store and scrutinize the bargain racks for brand-name items.
Discount club stores make their mark by selling items in bulk. When an item is new but has some collectibility, you can buy in bulk, sell some of the item to repay your investment, and save the balance for later.
Dollar stores often carry overruns (too many of something that didn’t sell), small runs (too little of something that the big guys weren’t interested in stocking), or out-of-date fad items that need a good home at eBay.
It’s not unusual for dollar-store warehouses to sell direct to a retailer (that’s you). Find out where the distribution warehouse is for your local dollar store chain and make contact.
Thrift stores are packed with used — but usually good-quality — items, and the money you spend in a nonprofit thrift shop goes to a good cause. Some branches receive merchandise from a central warehouse. Ask the manager (whom you’ve befriended) when the truck regularly comes in.
Garage, tag, moving, and estate sales, flea markets, and swap meets offer some of the biggest bargains you’ll ever come across. The stuff you find at estate sales is often of a higher quality than used merchandise elsewhere.
Liquidation and estate auctions are two great places to pick up bargains. Before you go to any auction, double-check payment terms and find out whether you must bring cash or can pay by credit card.
Newspaper auction listings are an excellent source of merchandise for resale, particularly the listings of liquidations and estate auctions (usually appearing on Saturday) and the daily classified section, which often has ads that announce local business liquidations.
Going-out-of-business sales, some of which run week by week, with bigger discounts as time goes by. Don’t be shy about making an offer on a quantity of items.
Gift shops at museums, monuments, and theme parks can provide eBay inventory — but think about where to sell the items. Part of your selling success on eBay is access to items that are not easily available.
Freebies are usually samples or promotion pieces that companies give away to introduce a new product, service, or, best of all, a media event. Hang on to these — they could be your ticket to some eBay sales!