Online Buying Tips for eBay Resale
If your eBay business plan involves buying items online for resale, you will need to take measures to protect your investment. There are many legitimate sources of goods on the Internet. But the Internet is loaded with scam artists; it’s up to you to check vendors out for yourself before spending your hard-earned money.
If you haven’t visited Craigslist in a while, you’re missing quite a bit. You’ll find anything and everything listed in the free local classifieds, and you never know when there will be something worthwhile to resell. This site is always worth at least a once-a-week visit. Much of the stuff on the site is listed by people who are too afraid (or maybe just technophobic) to sell on eBay. Focus on your category of interest and go to town. This Cartier Love bracelet was selling for $150. This item sells on eBay for up to $3,000!
Before buying an item like this one, definitely check the authenticity. Buyer beware — it’s most likely a fake.
Tips for buying wholesale online
Because the online world can be fraught with problems, keep in mind the following:
- Look for an About Us page. Be sure the site has an address and a phone number. Call the number to see whether it is a “real” business, not a fly-by-night. While you’re at it, see how you’re treated on the phone.
- Look for safety seals. Seeing the Better Business Bureau Online, TrustE, or SquareTrade logo on the website can bolster trust in the company.
- Check out the shipping costs. Sometimes the shipping can cost more than the item. Before placing your order, make sure you know all the shipping costs and terms.
You must have a Federal tax ID number (that’s your identification to do business) to even register on most legitimate wholesale sites. Finding wholesale websites with this restriction is a good thing. It’s another way to verify that you’re dealing with a true wholesale supplier.
B2B wholesale clearinghouses
Legitimate online sites for retailers are rare. Many of the business to business (B2B) merchants and wholesale directories reflect nothing but flea-market goods and highly marked-up drop-shipping items. Don’t be disappointed. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal on some great merchandise. The benefit of the Internet is that you have access to many sources. The challenge is to find the good, solid, reliable sources of information, like the following:
- MadeInUSA.com: One of the best ways to find an item to sell is to find that item in your everyday life. If you have the manufacturer’s name but no contact information, go to the company website, which has a huge database of manufacturer contact info.
- GreatRep.com: Here, you find a website directory where buyers (that’s you) can hook up with manufacturer’s representatives that carry lines of merchandise in the wholesale giftware, home furnishings, and furniture industries. It’s fantastic! After you register (and provide your state resale license), you have access to listings of thousands of manufacturers. In the listings you may find out how much they require for a minimum order, and you can also request a catalog.
Buying directly from online wholesalers
Following are a few sources that have some unusual merchandise.
- Liquidation.com: If you like auctions, check out Liquidation.com. This is a massive all-auction website that has incredible deals on all types of merchandise. One of the greatthings about this site is that most individual auctions provide a link to the manifest — a list of every piece of merchandise in the lot. If you click the View Manifest link at the top of the auction page, you see a piece-by-piece list of the items included in the lot you’re bidding on..
It’s best to buy from vendors closer to your geographic area because after you add the shipping fee, you might be paying too much for your lot. Liquidation.com can refine your searches to your location in the country, and it has a shipping calculator to help you know ahead of time how much your shipping may be.
- Oriental Trading Company: The Oriental Trading Company has been in business for a long time. This site offers everything from crafts to costumes to party goods — and all priced perfectly for resale on eBay. Use your practiced eye (and completed search) to ferret out the unique items that will sell.
- Big Lots Wholesale: If you’re familiar with the Big Lots stores scattered around the country, you have an idea of what you can buy here. A quick click to their website showed that they were loaded with great deals on everything from health and beauty items to toys to lawn and garden tools. A seller’s tax ID number is required to get pricing on this site.