Save Time By
I Finding merchandise like a pro
I Visiting marts and trade shows
The single most-asked question I get, whether in person or in e-mail is: "Where do I find merchandise to sell on eBay?" This, of course, is followed by "What can I sell to make the most money on eBay?" Good questions. But what successful seller has an answer they want to just give to the competition?
As an eBay seller, you find yourself inundated with e-mail — as well as auctions on eBay — offering wholesale source lists. These messages guarantee that you'll find items you can sell on eBay very lucratively. Yes, but will they sell? More importantly, will they sell at a profit? Not everything on eBay sells like hotcakes.
When profitable eBay PowerSellers have a good, solid source of merchandise, they're not likely to share the name of that source with anyone — nor would any brick-and-mortar retailer. (Think about it a minute.) When I was teaching a class for advanced sellers at eBay Live 2003 in Orlando, Florida, I was asked the question in an auditorium-size room filled with PowerSellers. I answered a question with a question: Were there were any PowerSellers in the audience who would like to share their sources with the rest of the group? You could have heard a pin drop. So I upped the ante — "I'll pay anyone $10 for one solid source" — still silence. Business is business.
The bottom line here is that all successful sellers tweak out their own sources. What works for one may not work for another, many types of financial transactions and personal relationships work for many different vendors. Methods for finding goods that I include in this Technique are gleaned from my own research, as well as from interviews with successful online retailers.
Don't make the liquidation mistake
I once also got an e-mail from a young couple planning to borrow money to purchase a pallet of liquidation goods to start an eBay business. I immediately wrote back to try to dissuade these young people. They had no idea of what liquidation merchandise meant — and the challenges involved in making a profit with it. They just thought they were buying a load of top-quality merchandise for pennies on the
dollar. Don't make that mistake. If a deal seems too good, it usually isn't worth what you're paying for it. (Be sure to read Technique 6 for information on how to make informed decisions about liquidation merchandise.)
Always exercise some caution (and a little healthy skepticism) when someone sells (along with his or her "wholesale" merchandise) tips or newsletters on how to "get rich quick" or "make big money" on eBay. Legitimate wholesalers are there to move goods quickly from their warehouses to retailers. Their business is not to teach you how to "make it big" on eBay. And before you stock up on anything, consider this bit of wisdom from Danny Goodman (the guy in charge of merchandise for Dodger Stadium): When a vendor told him that an item would "sell like hotcakes," Danny replied, "Hotcakes don't sell at all in stadiums."
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