You need never complain about having nothing to sell on eBay! That’s because there are millions of places to obtain stock, some of them featured today and others in April’s main issue of eBay Confidential.
In a few months I’ll compile a long list of places to source profitable stock, for you to download free of charge in our main monthly newsletter.
So if you’re not already a subscriber to our main newsletter, you might like to take out a risk-free trial subscription right away. You won’t have to pay a penny if it isn’t 100% perfect for you.
So, as you see, you have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.
These are just four places to find profitable products…
1. Flea markets. I will never tire of telling you these are my main source of quality products – notably collectibles – to resell at high prices on eBay.
But the big money-maker isn’t always the low price tag you’ll find on thousands of items at these events as much as the discounts you can ask from sellers.
Four ways to cut the cost of your acquisitions are as follows:
- Arrive early and tell the organisers you are ‘trade’, which as an eBay seller you are. You probably won’t have to pay an entrance fee and you’ll also get in before the visiting public on the day.
- Ask sellers at the event ‘How much for trade?’ and expect at least 10% off the price for your chosen items.
- Buy in bulk where possible. While you are still interested in buying more stuff from the same sellers, ask ‘Is there a discount if I buy more?’
Most will offer a discount and offer even bigger reductions the more items you have in your pile of items to buy.
- Pick up a few items and put them to one side. This is your ‘buying’ pile. (Probably!) Tell the seller you have seen a lot of items you’d like to buy on his stall and then inspect more of his stock.
A few minutes later make it look as if you are losing interest. Do a bit of imaginary whispering to a friend – make it appear you are reconsidering buying those items.
Look around at other sellers, look again at your pile, and then look around the room again. The idea is make it look as if you are about to move from this stall to spend your money elsewhere.
Next pick up your buying pile and make it look as if you are thinking about returning your selected items to stock. Hover the pile over the area where you found the contents. At this point, most sellers will offer a really big discount if you buy the items you already have in your hand, and an even bigger discount if you buy more.
Find flea markets advertising in local and regional newspapers a few weeks before the event and on the weekend preceding it.
2. Car boot sales. The goings-on at car boot sales are similar to what happens at flea markets, with the exception that one usually takes place out of doors and the other is normally held under cover.
So everything that was said about buying from flea markets and learning about forthcoming events applies equally to car boot sales.
But by far the biggest benefit of buying from car boot sales is that a good many sellers are families offloading unwanted household items, and children’s cast-off toys and clothing.
Most such sellers want a quick sale and have limited knowledge of how to price and display their stock. So you can haggle for even bigger discounts at car boot sales than at flea markets, and you’re more likely to find treasures called ‘sleepers’ at these events.
Sleepers are items priced way below their true market value because an inexperienced seller doesn’t know he’s offering a valuable antique or a rare piece of art for low pounds, and he doesn’t expect you to sell it on eBay for hundreds or thousands of pounds.
3. Pound shops. Along with 99p, £2 and £5 shops, these are a source of inexpensive goods offering decent resale profits on eBay, especially from local only retailers with their own exclusive suppliers and not selling online or in other geographical areas.
Such firms buy in massive quantities at huge discounts, which are passed to customers in the form of low prices.
Some bundle similar or related items together for even bigger price discounts.
Many items, single or bundled, can be resold on eBay for a few pounds pure profit per sale, with even bigger profits possible for sellers who:
- Bundle items priced singly at pound shops and other price-specific shops. So where they sell, say, one tube of skin cream for £1, and one bottle of astringent for £1, you put cream and astringent together and charge a fiver per sale. Bundle four or more related items and grow your profits exponentially.
- Add new and high-perceived value packaging, such as soap in a box or with ribbon or wrapper made from antique maps or sheet music, or in small baskets of two or three soaps with cellophane and a ribbon added. You’ll see soaps packaged this way on Etsy fetching really high profits per sale and attracting plenty of buyers.
- Use these low-price goods as incentives to buy other items on eBay, such as those prettily dressed bars of soap to accompany silk pillowcases, or a children’s comic book with school clothing and accessories.
Try to keep your prices equal to other people on eBay selling similar main products without the add-on. That way you’ll make your listings very different to others at the site, generate more sales and reduce rivalry.
4. Find dropshippers who don’t dropship… yet! Get some business cards printed with your own name, trading name, your address and phone number. Add ‘eBay Trading Assistant’ and something like ‘Expert eBay seller will sell your goods on commission’.
Now go to the nearest main high street – one with at least 200 shops. Pick shops selling items you can resell on eBay, obviously ignoring purveyors of items that can’t be sold on eBay or which deteriorate quickly, such as foodstuff and alcohol, live animals, and flowers.
If you’re shy, leave your card next to the till; if you’re not shy, hand it to the shop owner as you tell him or her about your offer.
Take your cards and make a similar offer to traders at flea markets, in antiques malls, market halls, collectors’ events, trade and gift shows, county shows, and so on.
Very important: Try to get product owners to deliver goods direct to your buyers. Get the seller to pay delivery costs from his share of the product’s finishing price. Then you get to keep whatever buyers pay for delivery.
Some people you approach will also be selling on eBay, so some of your cards will hit stoney ground, but a fair percentage of those people won’t also be selling online and many will take up your offer.
I’ll soon be updating my book about operating as a trading assistant on eBay and you will receive it free of charge in a forthcoming weekly eletter.