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Where Do You Get things to Sell on EBay?

Updated on July 21, 2015


Sourcing Goods on EBay

Where Do You Get things to Sell on EBay?

By Carl Mitchell

Most people who are new to EBay start off by listing their own personal possessions for sale or auction - things that they own but no longer want or need. This is in keeping with the old adage ‘one man's trash is another man's treasure’. Eventually, however, as people begin to sell their items they usually get to the point where they run out of items they either want or are able to sell off. The question for them then becomes - Where do I get items to sell on EBay to make a profit? This is called sourcing.

There are several sources to find items to sell on EBay

1) Flea Markets and/or Thrift Stores – Some of my favorite sources for inventory have been flea markets and thrift stores as nearly everyone lives close to one or the other. They can be excellent sources for items to resell. If one chooses items with care, cleans and restores them where necessary one can make a quick sale on EBay. For example, I once paid a dollar for a leather Bernini purse I found at a thrift store and sold it on EBay for $39.99. Granted that’s not a lot of money in absolute terms but it is a profit of 3,899%!!

2) Sell on Consignment: Here is what the woman in The 40-year Old Virgin was doing. This is where you sell items for friends or strangers on EBay or other auction site for a commission. You don’t need a storefront like in the movie. You only need to convince others to let you sell their unwanted items.

3) Drop-shipping: This is where retailer (you) takes orders for from customers and then arranges for a manufacturer who actually holds the product to send it one to the buyer. Usually the drop-shipper charges a fee per item or sometimes charges a subscription in order for you – the retailer – to order and send items on to buyers. There are many, many dropship companies online whose fees for the retailer range from modest to very high. The advantage to drop-shipping is that you don’t have to actually hold inventory. The disadvantage is that the supplier can run out of the item between the time the customer orders the item and you order it from the manufacturer.

4) EBay itself: For more savvy users of EBay there is the option of buying items from EBay and then turning around and re-selling the item back to another EBay user. I have done this many times myself. The trick is to be very aware of pricing for various objects. EBay has many tools to help you determine what certain items are currently selling for, what items of the type last sold for, etc., You can take advantage of someone who may have sold you the item at less of a price than they should have.

5) Government Surplus Auctions – These are places to bid on government surplus and unclaimed property including heavy equipment, cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, and so much more. One such site is Government Liquidation. The one disadvantage to using these sites is that they may want you to order in large bulk quantities.

6) Wholesale Sites –Some wholesale marketplaces only claim to offer goods at a discount. Real wholesale sites are relatively difficult to find and often involve more than just a random search of Google or other search engine. It can take month to vet these sites to find which ones are on the up and up so to speak. Here a genuine list of wholesalers has been sorted, vetted and classified. It is available for a nominal fee to retailers or people wishing to make a profit on their own sites or on auction sites such as EBay.

7) Pawn shops – Pawn shops have the advantage of being close to almost anyone wherever they are. The offer a variety of sued goods that one can usually get cheaply. The trick to sourcing for potential pawn shop goods is the ability to haggle with owners. Anyone skilled in the art of haggling has a distinct advantage..

8) Craigslist and other classified sites – Craigslist is also one source people use to get merchandise to resell. This site also allows for haggling. The trick here is to note the length of the listing. Those items that have been listed for a particularly long time usually have owners who are more motivated at a negotiated price.

9) Prize Winnings – I once sold some power tools won in an online sweepstake. The advantage here is that since it was a free gift I keep 100% of the profits (minus what one has to pay EBay). The items are brand new and can be resold at whatever price you choose after carefully researching your competition on those auction sites.

With all these as sources you should have no trouble replenishing your stock of items to sell on EBay and other auction sites. You can find a list of sorted, prescreened list of 200 Wholesalers here for only $5


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