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Old 12-11-2001, 02:06 PM   #16
Vito
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I'm learning a great deal from a book I'm reading:

Title: eBay The Smart Way (2nd Edition)
Author: Joseph T. Sinclair
Publisher: Amacom
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Old 12-11-2001, 06:01 PM   #17
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Not sure if it's an urban legend or not, but I've heard told of a man who made a mint buying stuff from dollar stores and reselling them on ebay. Anyone else hear the same story?

Well I did some homework and went to the dollar store, wrote down some of the better items and prices (got some funny looks while I was at it) and checked ebay to see if the same items were selling.

In almost all cases, identical items were listed but without any bids. For SOME items, there were SOME sales, but most of the auctions ended without bids, and those that were bid on were sold at the same price the dollar store was selling them at.
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Old 12-12-2001, 02:08 AM   #18
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I've been researching eBay sales since July of this year to see if there was a product that could be bought cheaply and resold easily on eBay for a nice profit. What I have found is there is no easy solution to this. Below is some of my thoughts from researching eBay sales. I'm sure there are many more people with more knowledge than me in this area and I'd love to hear from them. Anyway, here we go:

First, I looked into drop shipping. I've contacted about 15 merchants who are listed in drop ship directories and offer drop shipping on brand name items. The biggest problem with drop shipping is that you usually aren't going to receive bulk discounts and there probably is a $1-$5 drop shipping fee (which can definitely cut into your margins). What I concluded was that drop shipping just wouldn't be very effective on eBay (or the profits wouldn't be worth the time).

So, I realized that I had to stock the merchandise myself and send it out myself if I wanted to be effective with eBay sales. I found several places where I could buy wholesale products in bulk quantities (no idea if these were the cheapest though), but I've yet to find any place where I could buy items at a wholesale cost that would be profitable on eBay. eBay's prices for most items was so close to what I would be buying the merchandise for that it wasn't worth it.

I have no personal experience with what works on eBay, but from what I have read, the "one-time" deals seem to be the most lucrative. For example, you go to your local neighboorhood thrift store/flea market and pick up something that you can resell on eBay for 2 times what you buy it for there. This is usually not reproducable and probably won't appeal to most members of this board (I know it is does not appeal to me). For an example of this posted to our own boards, read this thread: http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...highlight=ebay (SearchNerd's post)

What also works well is deals you set up with a manufacturer that are not offered to the public. Of course, the big manufacturers will not care to deal with you. But, if you find a product that seems to be produced by a small company, you may be able to set up a special deal.

The best book I have found on Internet Auction selling is SiteSell's Make your Net Auction Sell (http://mynas.sitesell.com -- Not an affiliate link). The author gives a very good background to selling on eBay. However, if you are looking for a quick product source, don't turn to this book. It does discuss the best way to find companies to buy from though (I haven't put any of their suggestions to the test yet).

To summarize, here's what I've found with eBay:

- There is no fast way to find a product to sell. If there is a source of goods that is easy to get in, chances are the margins are pitiful on the item since other sellers can just as easily buy it. Unless you value money more than your time, this isn't worthwhile.
- If you plan to buy from a wholesaler, buying in bulk is a must to keep your margins reasonable. Thus, you will need a lot in start up cash.
- The biggest money seems to be in "one-time" deals. For example, buying up a box of old records at a garage sale for $20 and reselling it on eBay for $40. This type of situation does NOT appeal to me at all. I'm all about long term revenue that can be reproduced. However, to many people, this can be a lot of fun.

What's my idea of the best strategy?
Don't concentrate too much on eBay and Internet Auction selling. Set up an online store selling your products and you don't have to deal with eBay like margins. If you don't have a supplier, you may even be able to buy up eBay products and resell them on your own online store (before you find a better supplier). If you do use eBay, be certain you have an online store as you can use your eBay selling to promote your store (maybe include a piece of paper with discounts at your online store in any eBay package you send out).

Last edited by Jack; 12-12-2001 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 12-12-2001, 12:58 PM   #19
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I've pretty much come up with the same conclusions as Jack, except for opening a store. Lots of people are doing it and making profit, but it's a whole different beast to tackle. I was just hoping to take advantage of the free traffic ebay would send to my auctions.

Final thoughts....

Selling a niche product on ebay could probably do well. Some information products do OK, so if you can develop one, ebay might be an avenue for you to sell it on. Otherwise the only hope is find reasonably rare items at garage sales, auctions, flea markets, etc, and resell them at a profit on eBay.

I couldn't find hope in bulk buying low/selling high overstock products. The wholesale sites I've surfed (and spent several hours doing so) are selling junk either not even ebay surfers would want, or some few might want but the supply listed at ebay FAR outpaces the demand. So much so that it would be a losing proposition.

This leads to me to believe lots of people are losing money on ebay. One of the bulk items I found for sale while surfing was nice looking gift chopsticks with a matching case corresponding this ebay search....

http://search.ebay.com/search/search...t&BasicSearch=

...not a single sale, and this was repeated over and over with various of these wholesale items. Some items had hundreds of ebay listings with only a couple of sales at prices lower than even the bulk price I would be paying. I'm pretty sure ebay charges the seller a listing fee regardless if the item gets sold, so it's a losing proposition.

Too bad I wasn't independantly wealthy. Combing through flea markets looking for good finds seems like a fun hobby, might even be an OK business, but is just too time consuming. I'd have to give up my other websites.
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Old 12-13-2001, 04:14 AM   #20
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I would love to open an online store right now... It's the Holiday Season... people buy everything... and lots of it!!!
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Old 12-13-2001, 02:30 PM   #21
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Opening a store is not a bad idea at all, just it becomes a huge venture in it's own. You need traffic, so reasonably you need an affiliate program. You'll need to accept credit cards, so you need merchant accounts and fraud prevention. You need inventory, delivery solutions, etc.

It is a good way to make money, and absolutely a venture to take pride in, it's just a BIG venture. That's all I meant.

I know I'm getting repetitive but it still blows my mind to see all the ebay auctions that close without any bids. People must be losing their shirts paying ebay fees trying to sell **** that no one wants. There's literally thousands of such no-bid listings ending everyday.
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Old 12-13-2001, 02:42 PM   #22
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There is an inital listing fee based on the price of the item (I believe the maximum is around $3) but if the item does not sell, it can be relisted without having to pay that fee again (and continue to be until it sells). If the item does actually sell, there is an additional fee based on the final bid price. So, those who aren't selling aren't losing money as at some point they will likely sell it.

Of course, there are extras that can be added in such as making it a featured item, bolded, highlighted, etc. which are not refunded.
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Old 12-13-2001, 02:45 PM   #23
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Are you sure it's not a single re-list of your auction if there's no bids?
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Old 12-13-2001, 02:52 PM   #24
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You'd almost think that eBay makes more money on the half a buck charged for listings that don't sell, than commissions on listings that do...

Jack, you're able to re-list for free, but not over and over again. I think you're allowed one free re-listing.

If you set up a store, there's alot more work on the front end setting up shopping cart, merchant account, shipping, developing a list of products and stocking up, making a few drop-shipment arrangements( hard to find willing suppliers), an affiliate program etc.

Then you have to keep finding new products to introduce so that you keep the fresh, and so that you get more repeat business.
Once set up, you also have to calculate the time it takes to pack and ship orders.

It's alot more labor-intensive than affiliate sites. I'm looking forward to the new year when I'm planning to launch a few affiliate sites.
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Old 12-13-2001, 10:09 PM   #25
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Is there a way to see what people are search for at auction sites?
like most wanted items
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Old 12-13-2001, 11:59 PM   #26
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Hi,

I think the only people that make serious money out of eBay are eBay,lol. Having said that,i have sold things at a nice profit that i have picked up at local car-boot sales (garage-sales),usually out of the norm things that i know i would be interested in myself and like myself.I'm not convinced at all people are doing well selling "clearance items"on eBay but eBay has it's "power sellers" and they seem to just sell a vast amount of "interesting" things.

I spend an hour or so a day scouring the eBay pages,just being nosey and seeing what things are fetching,this payed off recently when i saw a 1970's Paddington Bear sell for 80.00+,being surprised by that price but not taking to much notice a couple of days later i managed to pick up the same Bear for 2.00 at a car-boot sale! (guess where he's going after Xmas ) so the scouring DOES pay.

Karl.
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Old 12-14-2001, 12:53 AM   #27
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Default We were pulling in over 5k per month

Two years ago we were profiting over 5k per month with ebay.

The secret isn't available on the web. Well okay it is now but it's not going to be found at any website especially the ones listed like liquidation.com.

The secret is to buy whole semi truck loads of liquidated items and not just one but you need to contract for dozens of them. If you do you are able to get whole loads for 3-5000 dollars and up.

What happens is you get a load of mixed merchandise. This may include notebook computers (sold some for 1200 and up on a $4k load), other good stuff and lots of garbage.

I paid $10.00 for a bowflex and sold it for $700

You need to have a lot of room to store things, a forklift to unload semis etc.


It is a lot of hassle but what other business can you start for under 10k and make instant profits?

Ebay fell slow these days and I wouldn't want to consider going to that extreme these days as you may loose big time.

PS we are no longer in that business because there are never ending negotiations and squables with suppliers. Someone always finds and contacts your supplier with a higher price.
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Old 12-14-2001, 02:39 AM   #28
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from my experiences...

when you first list an item you pay a listing fee.
if the item does not sell you can relist it.
eBay charges you for the second listing,
but will refund the second listing charges
if the item sells on the second auction.
If it doesn't sell, you are charged for both listings.

Scott

Last edited by tropezar; 12-14-2001 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 01-10-2002, 11:57 AM   #29
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I just wanted to add to this post that I have found some niches to make some cash. After a fair bit of reading and research, I can now see how people can make good money on Ebay. It does require a good eye though, and some luck, but mostly research and time.

I won't share where or what my niches are (sorry!) but money can be made.

Last edited by JP Sauve; 01-10-2002 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 01-10-2002, 12:20 PM   #30
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I know of a few people that do really well selling autographed pictures of celebrities and athletes on eBay.
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