Selling on eBay is exactly like selling in any other marketplace except that the usual barriers to entry (such as cost, employment, etc.) are virtually non-existent and, instead of just a few thousand potential buyers, you have access worldwide to over 181 million potential buyers!
In fact, people who have already experienced selling through garage or yard sales or swap meets are already well and truly familiar with what it’s like to sell on eBay.
Customers want three things: instant gratification, clear, fast communications and to get what they were promised.
- Use PayPal to get payment quickly and then ship quickly.
- Answer emails immediately
- Reveal any flaws or shortcomings your item has
- Never over-promise or over describe an item
- Package your items carefully and professionally
- If you can, toss in something for free (I recently bought a collectible beer mug and the seller included a few free beer coasters.)
Buying at Costco, Sam’s Club, Big Lots, and Outlet Malls to sell on eBay
Don’t laugh. A lot of eBay sellers make money this way. I recently went to Costco to buy a pair of Avia running shoes (for $19.95). These shoes normally retail for around $60.
I decided to check out what they were going for on eBay. Sure enough, there were several pairs selling at prices between $29 and $49 pair on eBay, and yes, they had bids.
Just before Christmas, my wife spotted a Fitz & Floyd Santa cookie jar selling at Costco for $39.95. She had seen the same cookie jar in a high-end mail order catalog for over $100. We bought 10 of them and sold them on eBay for $69 each right before Christmas.
We have a friend who does flea markets and sidewalk shows. The day before a weekend market he always drops into the local Sam’s Club and buys anything he sees that might sell at a profit and buys them. A week before Easter he scored 20 beautiful Easter Baskets full of goodies for $19.95 that he got $35 each for at a street fair.
Tools are another good bargain. Costco and Sam’s Club always have great values on sets of tools, fire extinguishers, fire detectors, and other similar products. Last year Costco was selling a set of Hoffritz BBQ tools for $17.95. We have sold them repeatedly on eBay for over $35 a set.
Another source of goods to resell is Wal-Mart. Watch for their sales where you can often get goods at excellent prices. My wife and I are doing the Atkins Diet program. The Atkins diet bars sell in the supermarket for $2.29 each, but we watch for the sales at Wal-Mart and buy several boxes at a time for about $15 for a box of twelve ($1.25 each). I have seen people selling these on eBay for as much as $25 box.
If you live near an outlet mall, you should also check there for sales. I was in Jones New York store looking for a gift for my mother when they were having a big sale. A Chinese lady from Vancouver, Canada came in and bought over $10,000 worth of clothes. I heard the clerk ask her what she was doing. She said she sells them on eBay and sells them to her friends in Canada. She was buying high-end blue blazers for $40 that retail in regular Jones New York stores for over $150.