While a large number of full and part time eBay sellers are “pickers” and get their inventory at yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores, many don’t have that luxury. Some areas of the United States don’t have many choices for buying used inventory to resell. Small towns many have one or two thrift stores with sparse inventory.
Many sellers come to eBay because of a life crisis, often health related, and they aren’t physically able to go shopping very often. Or, perhaps a seller is a caregiver and has chosen to be at home all day to care for a loved one. If you fit into one of these categories, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to buy inventory online, have it delivered to your door, and resell it on eBay for a profit.
Major retailers’ websites have great deals in the online clearance section. Just like in a retail store, check out the clearance deals online and combine with discounts. For example, Kohls department store has a large selection of clothing, household goods, toys, cosmetics, and baby items. Combine great sale prices with discounts for credit card holders of up to 30%, and inventory can be purchased cheap. When ordering online and paying by Kohls charge remember to:
1. Look for discount codes on sites like RetailMeNot.com and FatWallet.com. Many Kohls cardholders think a discount code or special offer must be received in the mail. Not true! Savvy shoppers pool their knowledge and share discount codes on savings websites. A Kohls credit card holder can usually find an active discount code any time.
2. Order enough to get free shipping. This threshold is usually $50-$75. This is a smart move and will help cut expenses when ordering online.
3. Items ordered online can be returned at a local Kohls store. No need to pay return shipping if you change your mind or the products become restricted on eBay (like some Disney Frozen items).
4. Always do research before ordering any products online.
eBay 99 cent auctions. Sellers often become desperate or impatient and want to unload slow moving inventory. Thousands of 99 cent auctions end every day on eBay unsold, and many of the products will sell at a higher price if the seller had only been more patient. While some sellers run 99 cent auctions with free shipping, others don’t, so always check the shipping cost to determine the total investment for the item.
Amazon’s Movers and Shakers reports. Thousands of sellers are flocking to Amazon to use the FBA system to sell retail products. A growing trend on Amazon is sellers undercutting or out pricing each other to get sales faster (and losing money in the process). Look at the Amazon Movers and Shakers lists to see the most popular products, as these usually have a large number of sellers competing for the sale. The more sellers offering a product, the more likely the price is to drop and continue dropping over time. The toy category is notorious for this problem. While hundreds of sellers are often fighting for a sale on Amazon, a savvy eBay seller can buy cheap on Amazon and sell for a higher price on eBay, especially if offering international shipping.
Buy wholesale or in bulk – but do so cautiously. Large companies like Doba, Alibaba, Ali Express, or any others that try to recruit eBay sellers are in business to make money off eBay sellers - not to provide good service or outstanding products. Horror stories about these companies abound on the eBay forums and Facebook groups. Choose small to medium-sized companies that sell products in a well-defined niche. When choosing wholesale products to sell on eBay, consider these factors:
1. Is it easy to ship?
2. Is it easy to store?
3. Are the items consumable or do they need to be replenished? (Repeat buyers!)
4. Are the products unique?
5. How many other competitors are selling the same product?
Check out this directory of 300 suppliers who make products perfect for eBay and Amazon sellers.