If you’re not sure what you want to sell for profit at eBay — but you’re a shop-till-you-drop person by nature — then you’ve got an edge. Incorporate your advanced shopping techniques into your daily routine. If you find a bargain that interests you, chances are you have a knack for spotting stuff that other shoppers would love to get their hands on. Half the fun of selling is actually buying!

Knowing where to look for the goods

Check your favourite eBay category and see what the hot-selling item is. Get onto the Web Google and research, research, research. Browse websites and online stores, and visit markets. Look for items that are popular, that you can get access to. After you’re armed with the information you need, search out that item for the lowest price you can, and then you can 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 or flagship designer stores. Check out the newest items and then head to the clearance area or outlet store and scrutinise the bargain racks for brand-name items.

  • Discount and bargain-basement stores. Many of the items these places carry are 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something that didn’t sell), small runs (too little of something that the big guys weren’t interested in stocking) or out-of-date fad items that need a good home at eBay. Often, international clearance product websites have great bargains (but keep an eye out for fakes!).

  • Garage sales, renovation sales and moving sales. Check for vintage kitchen pieces and old toys, and make ’em an offer they can’t refuse.

  • Op shops and charity stores. These shops are packed with used but usually good-quality items. (And you can feel good knowing that the money you spend in a non-profit shop is going to a good cause.)

  • Going-out-of-business sales. You can pick up bargains if a shopkeeper just wants to empty the shelves so the store can close.

  • Flea markets or local markets.

  • Gift shops. Souvenir stalls at museums, monuments, national parks and theme parks can provide eBay inventory (but think about where to sell the items; part of your selling success on eBay is access. People who can’t get to Broken Hill may pay handsomely for a Pro Hart print with Pro’s signature on it).

Making money without spending (too much) money

If you’re interested in making money in your eBay ventures but you’re starting with limited cash, follow this list of eBay inventory dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t spend more than you can afford to lose. If you shop at boutiques and expensive department stores, buy things that you like to wear yourself (or give as gifts) in case they don’t sell.

  • Do try to find something local that’s unavailable in a wider area. For example, if you live in an out-of-the-way place that has a local specialty, try selling that at eBay.

  • Don’t go overboard and buy something really cheap just because it’s cheap. Figure out who would want the item first.

  • Do consider buying in bulk, especially if you know the item sells well at eBay or if the item is inexpensive. Chances are good that if you buy one and it sells well at eBay, by the time you try to buy more, the item’s sold out. If an item is inexpensive (say 99 cents), buy at least five of it. If no-one bids on the item when you hold your auction, you’re only out $5. (Anyone out there need any Bicentennial Commemorative coffee mugs?)

Purchasing from wholesalers

You can find hundreds of thousands of wholesale sellers on the internet. Many true wholesalers and manufacturers require you to buy in large quantities to get the best price, and with a little hard work and perseverance, you can find the right deals. Click through to the following websites — you’ll soon realise the vast opportunities that await you:

  • Alibaba: This website lists hundreds of thousands of Asian suppliers, mainly from China, offering millions of products.

  • Global Sources Direct: This site provides access to smaller quantities of goods manufactured in Asia, and organises shipping to your door. Beware of the cost of shipping. Global Sources Direct uses DHL and Fedex for delivery, which could send your costs skywards if you’re buying bulky or heavy items.

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Making Money on eBay For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australian Edition)

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