Don’t forget to read the first part of the series, Making Even More Money on eBay – Part 1: Picking What to Sell.
Once you decide on your niche, it is time to build up inventory. Sometimes inventory takes a lot of time to track down and find. Be sure to calculate how many hours you spend looking for and buying inventory, to ensure you are not working too many hours for a measly profit. Here are the best places to get your inventory:
Garage Sales, Estate Sales, and Thrift Stores
These are my preferred places to get inventory because the prices are usually low, and there is always a chance you could stumble on something extremely valuable. For thrift stores, you will need to find out when your favorite shops restock items and when the special discount days are. You want to continually be looking at the new arrivals, and you also want to be sure to get the biggest discount possible.
Many eBay sellers have expressed that some thrift store managers do not allow resellers to shop there. This is definitely a YMMV (your manager may vary) situation. It is best to always look things up discreetly instead of being rude and obvious that you are an eBay seller. I can’t tell you how many garage sales I have hosted and have had individuals tell me they sell on eBay while they look up an item. This behavior is not going to win you good deals.
Craiglist and eBay are also a good resource for reselling items. There are many times you will run across something in your niche that the seller sells under priced. This allows you to buy the item quickly and turn around and make a profit on it. I have done this a few times. The first time with Yo Gabba Gabba dolls, that made a quick $15 profit. The other time my husband bought a fancy baby stroller for $150 and then resold it for $300.
Browse the sites daily and set up notifications for certain items in order to get the best deals. Craigslist and eBay are also a great place to buy huge wholesale lots. This will cost you more upfront, but you can then sell individual items and see your money come back to you 2-3 times.
Extreme Couponing and Clearance
Your favorite retail stores might become your best places to get inventory. Since people will pay more for new and sealed items, you can benefit from flipping an extreme coupon or clearance find. I have had success with Kohl’s and Target. My best flips at Target were clearance Lily Pulitzer clothing items that quickly made me 200-300% of what I paid for them.
If you are into extreme couponing, you can also sell huge lots of your items on eBay. This works best for make up, clothing, and household products. Many eBayers have success selling Gymboree outfits that they bought with a coupon at the end of season, meaning they got each outfit for 90% off the retail price.
Wholesale Suppliers or Local Distribution Warehouses
I don’t have much experience with these two, but the serious eBayers use them. I suggest doing more research before purchasing from a wholesaler, as there will be time and money commitment upfront. You want to make sure that each item allows for a good enough markup to make your effort worthwhile. Also, you want to know how well the item is selling. You don’t want products that take too long to sell, which can make the whole experience frustrating.
Are you an experienced eBay seller? Where do you find your inventory?
Be sure to check out Part 3 – How to Drive More Business to Your Listings.