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Old 12-10-2001, 05:28 PM   #1
JP Sauve
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Default making money with auctions

Anyone here ever tried to make money buying and reselling products at online auctions? Seems like an interesting idea, and I hear good money can be made, but I don't know anyone who's ever tried it.

I'd love to try it out, but I think the biggest problem would be to find stuff to sell. Where do you look? Most of the garage sales I've even been to sell junk.

Last edited by JP Sauve; 12-10-2001 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 12-10-2001, 05:38 PM   #2
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I would stick to items that somehow relate to your site (for your site that has the PS2 contest you might try videogames). Look at prices at garage sales and small stores as well as prices on discount websites that you can trust. If you find something that appears to be underpriced, see if you can buy several of them. Then list them on eBay and advertise the link to the auction on your site(s). I know there are many people that have mastered this technique, and they can make thousands every month. I think that right now it is a more profitable approach than website advertising. You just have to try to buy in bulk to make lots of money because shipping and listing costs will cut into your profit and it takes a lot of time to search around for the best deals on items.
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Old 12-10-2001, 05:40 PM   #3
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suave,

I had a cousin who was doing this very successfully for a while.

She was buying "b" goods watch winders and reselling them on e-bay. She was selling one or 2 a week and making about $100.00 profit each.

The problem seems to be two fold: a) it's hard to find a niche that isn't being exploited this way. b) once you do find the niche 50 other people try to do the same thing.


My lone bit of advice would be to try and find a high dollar item to work with. On eBay there seems to be just as many questions and problems with $10.00 items *** with $100.00 items.
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Old 12-10-2001, 05:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. I never really thought of finding a niche. I just assumed these big ebay sellers simply found and bought bulk quantities of items of no typical matching theme, and resold them. Like a crate of CDs bought for a couple of dollars each and resold for ten bucks. The same seller might have got his hands on 50 VCRs cheap and resold them. Etc...

David, I thought about just looking in stores, but I think to make any half decent profit you need to get repo'd, unsold, surplus items and work in bulk. At least so I think.

The question is where do you find the stuff to sell in such cases?


I also guessed many big sellers don't actually have any stock in hand, but just sell various items on commission and get whatever company producing the item to drop ship the product directly to the end buyer, while the ebay seller keeps the profit.

The question then is where do you find companies who'll drop ship? I know companies can be contacted individually, but I cannot believe there's no central listing somewhere of such companies.

Last edited by JP Sauve; 12-10-2001 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 12-10-2001, 06:17 PM   #5
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Suave:
I've been thinking about selling on ebay for a while now. I'm gearing up to start in January.

I just had lunch today with a guy who's been selling on ebay now for about a year. I wanted to pick his brain to get some of the benefits of his experience. He sells about 50 - 75 items per week. It takes him about 12-15 hours a week in total (about half of that is packing and shipping the items). He makes a living out of it.

Much of what he sells he buys ay CashConverters (a second hand store/pawnshop). He also buys at close-out sales, garage sales, etc.

If you chose your items wisely, you can make some pretty good money at it. The key is to go to the closed auction section on ebay and research which types of items get multiple bids. Also look to sell items that are not mainstream.

Examples of what this guy bought and sold recently:

1. Travelling Wilbury CD(hard to find): bought for $15, sold for $95
2. Old sheet music books from John Denver: bought for $6, sold for $40
3. 1950's Diner style set of soup bowls: bought for $8, sold for $110!
4. Old Beatles vinyl record (I forget which one) unopened: bought for $20, sold for $70

The point is you'd be surprised what sells, and for how much. Alot of people collect the wierdest things. You just have to look at past auctions and get a feel for what items get alot of interest.

It even comes down to what time of day you start an auction. If you start a 7 day auction at 3:00AM, it'll end at 3:00 AM. Not the best idea. You want it to end when alot of people are online to get the best response in the final moments of the auction. Best time to have an auction end is a Saturday afternoon (around 3-4:00 PST), or a Sunday evening (around 6-7:00 PST).

You'll also want to use an auction manager like www.auctionwatch.com to organize all your listing. A real time saver.

I could go on and on. You can really get this whole auction thing down to a science.

Making good money at it is possible, but like everything else, you've got to research it well, then work hard at it.
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Old 12-10-2001, 07:19 PM   #6
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Hi,

One of the best things to sell on eBay is tickets to events. In the UK for example, many of the events in London sell out very quickly. If you're smart enough then you can buy a load of tickets and then auction them on eBay. In the UK this is legal, providing a) they are not football tickets b) you make sure they buyer knows the original ticket price.

I personally haven't tried this as I make enough from "normal" internet activities - but apparently people make a fair buck!

Regards,

mr_innovate

----------------
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Old 12-10-2001, 08:25 PM   #7
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Default It does work

I don't do this, but I know people who make money doing this.

One notorious villain that I am friends with had a store and closed it down just to focus on the web. He was doing $500,000 per month. Now he is doing a few million per month. But he did have 20 years in the industry, an established name, connections to get the latest and greatest at low prices, inventory, warehouse etc.

Another guy I know was making a few hundred dollars a day with an attic operation selling rare original rock concert t-shirts on E-bay. His supplier just cut him off though (they got wise and decided to do it themselves and keep the spread).

This one blows my mind. Someone I know just launched an e-bay store 3 weeks ago. And she made $500 so far selling clothing that she cuts and sews herself at almost no cost.
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Old 12-10-2001, 09:56 PM   #8
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I found an interesting site for bulk wholesale prices, but you really need to be selling bigtime to compete. around $5-10K minimum purchases. Living in the USA would help too.

http://bizbb.com/CloseOutsNetwork/
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Old 12-10-2001, 10:28 PM   #9
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i know this is supposed to be "making money on the internet", but this is closely related.

I've heard of people buying cheap on ebay, and then reselling those items, but not online. They just sell stuff to people they know, or do advertising for free throughout the community. That way it doesn't cost anything for shipping, to post the auction, etc.

I suppose your best bet would to be a combination of both, or ony resort to selling locally if you can't sell something online.
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Old 12-10-2001, 11:12 PM   #10
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It really depends on what you are selling as to whether it sells higher on eBay or in your local community. For instance, I believe cars selling on eBay generally go for far less than they would if they were sold in your community. But certain items that lots of people collect will definately sell higher on eBay, because there are more people out there (on the internet) looking for that item. When I said "stores" in my previous post I was talking about discount stores and consignment shops. Obviously you're not going to be able to make a profit reselling items from Wal-Mart. And to really make a lot of money with this I think you really have to find your niche. As you begin to sell more items each week you will quickly learn where you can find the best deals and buy the most products and you will perfect your auction selling technique. I think most of the big-time sellers on eBay are actually working multiple-employee operations, with people in charge of buying, listing, shipping, and all the other clerical work that is required to run a profitable auction business. You'd need a lot of people helping you to move massive bulk quantities like they have on that site you (suave) posted. Probably a warehouse too!
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Old 12-10-2001, 11:41 PM   #11
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That site I mentioned is definitely too big for what I had in mind, probably too big for any ebay sellers. I mean how long would it take to get a ROI for 4000 blank VHS cassettes at ebay?!? I just mentioned it as an interesting link showing bulk prices. By the way, I compared the prices of the items on that site with the going prices at ebay, and prices on ebay were significantly lower.

And looking to sell products in your community is way too small for what I had in mind (and too time consuming).

What I had in mind was having enough rotating inventory or preferably drop-ship-allowed items listed at auctions for up to 20 sales per day. Reasonably I would expect this to come from at least 10-20 various items for sale, hopefully listing pretty much the same stuff over and over, and occasionally removing one item to update it with another. That's manageable enough to handle myself or with my wife, and big enough to make enough profit to make it all worth while. I'd hope to make $5-$20 profit per item.

The problem is still in finding enough reasonably quick selling items at low enough prices to make a profit.

Last edited by JP Sauve; 12-10-2001 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 12-10-2001, 11:48 PM   #12
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I have been looking into this as well for the past month or so, some sites that I came across that sell at closeout prices are:
http://www.liquidation.com/
http://www.closeoutcentral.com/
http://www.merchandiseusa.com/
http://www.myusawholesaler.com/

So far the only things that I have sold on ebay so far were a few domain names with little success, but maybe in the future I'll look into it some more.
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Old 12-11-2001, 08:31 AM   #13
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I spent an hour surfing through liquidation.com. There's lots of stuff there available cheap, but in almost every case it's either sold cheaper at ebay or not generating any sales at all at ebay. It would be a good resource for a dollar store, but that's about it.

I think Robert is right about needing a niche. These mass items are too commonplace at ebay.

Last edited by JP Sauve; 12-11-2001 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 12-11-2001, 09:13 AM   #14
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Someone had mentioned cars on eBay and that is an area that I think is waiting to be exploited.

I am friends with a gentleman who sells only high line repossesed cars (Mercedes, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW & Land Rover). He is older and not internet savvy and he frequently calls me to look up prices that the cars are actually selling for on the net (not "blue book" prices but actual transactions.)

I would say that there is a solid 12% discount to what vehicles sell for on the net as opposed to the exact same vehicles selling locally. On many of his cars it's a $5k to $15k difference. Same exact cars, just different sales places.

I think this could be translated to normal, fast turnover vehicles for the right person. In the USA it's very easy to sell Ford or Chevy pickup trucks. I doubt the 12% price difference would still hold true on mass produced vehicles, but even a 5 or 6% price difference between eBay and local could generate a meaningful profit.

Of course, like any business, it will take research, effort, capital, and time.
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Old 12-11-2001, 02:01 PM   #15
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Suave,

It's been awhile but I've seen books that deal with this subject at Borders in the past. If I remember correctly, one of them was even written by Ebay. It might be worth it to visit the bookstore and check it out...

Tim
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