July and August tend to be poor for making money on eBay but great for sourcing goods to resell when the summer season ends.
Let me suggest a few reasons why.
• School holidays typically take place from late July to early September, when parents are very busy entertaining their offspring and spending all their hard earned cash on days out and family holidays. So parents have less money to spend on non-essential items like antiques and collectibles, and they steer clear of collectors’ fairs and flea markets, especially with the family in tow.
That is one reason people selling antiques and collectibles find their profits dip during the school holidays and why they offer higher than normal discounts to individual buyers and sometimes bigger discounts across the board. Visit those events yourself – without the kids, they’ll only hold you back – and buy as much low cost stock as you can, but only having researched its pre-July resale value on eBay. Keep those items to sell when school restarts and parents resume buying on eBay.
• Still at one-off events like those just mentioned, as well as in shopping malls and in many retail premises – not just for antiques and collectibles, but including countless different product types – you’ll find traders with taxes to pay at the end of July and little money coming into the business. And that’s another reason many dealers offer big discounts in July for sales made on and off the Internet, including on eBay. That tax deadline also results in small manufacturers and wholesalers, also dropshipping companies and private individuals selling goods off cheap to satisfy the taxman. As always, research the likely future value of those items, then invest in stock and hold off selling until the summer season ends.
Tip: Some traders at itinerant events leave goods behind in preference to transporting them back home. Look for items that haven’t attracted sales locally but could appeal to eBay’s massive international audience. Ask owners – or events organisers if owners have already gone home – to let you have leftover stock for a contribution to their favourite charity.
You will also find sellers willing to offload their entire stock to someone making a decent last minute offer. Look round the venue for sellers who aren’t smiling, meaning they probably didn’t have a good trading day, approach them and say something like ‘How much to take this lot off your hands?’ Some will be offended and others will set a price that ultimately makes big money for you.
• Prices also tend to be lower in offline auction salesrooms when most bidding traders have impending taxes to pay and private buyers are too busy taking care of the children. It’s the reason many offline salerooms close down during July and sometimes August too and those that do stay open experience reduced bidder numbers and low finishing prices. As before, study resale potential and invest in stock likely to multiply your investment a month or two later.
• Back to children and their long summer holidays and parents buying new school uniforms and desk accessories which results in a whole new range of products for you to make money from, even for just a few weeks. You won’t necessarily buy back-to-school stock at lower prices in July but you will find some eBay customers buying goods in bulk, such as multiple skirts, trousers, shirts and blouses for each child. So unit product profits might be low but cumulative margins can be very high for sales made to parents with several children.
• Church fetes and village fairs take place mainly in summer, when the weather’s good and mountains of homemade cakes and jam won’t be spoiled by rain. They are also places where most goods for sale are handmade by parents and parishioners and often bear low price tags. Buy goods to resell later on eBay. Add ‘homemade’ or ‘OOAK’ – One Of A Kind’ – if that’s true to your eBay titles and expect decent profit margins.
Tip: Enquire about product makers and seek exclusive trading deals for you to resell better items on eBay.
• The Christmas spending spree gains momentum round about early August, making July a good time to begin sourcing seasonal goods and novelties to resell on eBay and another good reason to buy potential Christmas gift stock during July’s profit slowdown.
Tip: Buy goods in July and early August at low traffic events like flea markets and car boot sales, in small offline auction salerooms and low footfall malls and high streets. Buy and sell new and slightly used items as they are; buy older and damaged items like toys and Christmas decorations to clean and repair and add pounds to their resale value.
• Limit your own selling on eBay during the low profit months and spend time sourcing or making boxes and greetings cards and gift tags to turn your acquisitions into attractive ready-to-go Christmas presents. This makes your goods stand out from the crowd of similar items on eBay in the run up to Christmas each year and saves your buyers having to obtain packaging and greetings cards and tags separate from gifts.
And if all that travelling to boot sales and flea markets, auction rooms and other outdoor events leaves you cold, you could always stay home in July placing low offers for fixed price goods on eBay and reselling those items on eBay a few weeks later. Just remember to use different eBay accounts for buying and for selling because some dealers accepting low offers might see how much you are making from their goods and decide not to sell to you in future. You can have as many eBay accounts as you like, as long as each one has its own email address.
So now you know how to make big money and lots of July and August days left to grow your profits on eBay.
Go get started right away.
This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here