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Where To Buy Things To Sell On eBay

Updated on January 11, 2013


eBay can be a profitable hobby or full-time business if you are willing to spend necessary time and effort. The biggest challenge in running a successful eBay business is finding things to sell because you will soon run out of things to sell within your own home. Having a steady stock to sell is necessary to any retail business, and this hub will give you some of the sources to look into.

1. Your Own Work

Unless you can knit 50 scarves a day, selling your own handmade items on eBay may be bit hard to make you a full-time income. But selling your own item is always an option for people who have more time than money to buy the initial stock to get the eBay business going.

Your own item doesn't have to be a physical item, but a service you can offer. Be creative, and be sure to choose item(s) that you can either produce in bulk for many small profits or one that sells less often but for a bigger profit.

2. Garage/Yard Sales & Craigslist

You can source your items to sell locally, from garage/yard sales. When you actually start looking for items to sell on eBay, you will notice a lot of yard/garage sales. Stop by yard/garage sales, and see if you see things you may be able to sell on eBay. With few trials and errors, you will know what sells and what doesn't. For few tips, few popular yard/garage sale items that sell well on eBay are used books (especially hardcovers and old books), art works with good frames, and antique items.

You can also find items on Craigslist. Some people will even give out items for free if you are willing to pick them up.

One inconvenience to remember when using this method to source items is that since all the items will be different all the time, you will have to take pictures and write description for each item. But sometimes there is a pleasant surprise, finding out that a picture you bought for $5 on yard sale is worth hundreds of dollars when put into auction on eBay.

3. Generic Products

Every major supermarkets have a generic version of many of the brand name products. Buy generic products that have big price difference from big name brands, and resell them online. One of the good generic brand is Equate, the generic brand from the WalMart. Equate brand price is low enough to make enough profit to keep your business going. But you have to remember that there are many sellers who are selling many different generic products, so you are going into a market where competition exists. But do your research and look for a product that not many sellers are offering. There is always an opportunities for people who are willing to do the work.

Sometimes some sellers sell at a price that is too low to be profitable. Don't try to beat them with price. They are most likely making zero profit or a profit that is too low to be worth engaging in the activity of selling that particular item. Just look in other direction to find other items that can be profitable.

A thing to remember when selling generic items on eBay is that you have to avoid using the actual brand name in your item title. For example, don't put "generic Tylenol" if you aren't selling actual Tylenol. Instead, you can write something like acetaminophen to describe your item.

4. Local Wholesalers

Where do you go to buy things cheap? Your local wholesalers like Costco, BJ's, or Sam's Club can be the one-stop shop for all your eBay business sourcing needs. You will have more than enough varieties to choose from, and you will have a consistent supply. You will most likely have to pay an annual membership from $50 to $100. Think of the annual membership as an initial investment, and look for a membership option that offers cash-back option. For example, Costco's Executive membership offers 2% cash-back for qualified items up to $750 per year, when you pay $120 annual membership fee.

Some wholesalers require business license to become a member. You can choose other wholesalers who doesn't require business license, although a business license is a good idea and will broaden your opportunities as an online business owner.

5. Dropshippers

Dropshippers are businesses who are willing to ship their products directly to your customers. You can use dropshippers as your product source for eBay. The following website are the most popular and trusted websites for finding dropshippers.

    With one-time membership, you can find dropshippers contact them directly. Worldwide Brands is the leader in dropshipper directory. I personally use them.


There is opportunity for making money on eBay. You just have to spend time to find items that will be profitable, and are worth spending your item to actually sell them. Don't make the same mistake of many sellers who spend their valuable time selling items for pennies. If you look carefully, there are opportunities for profitable selling.


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    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      Some very good advice on sourcing eBay items. There are many opportunities out there and once you become a eBay seller your focus will become much sharper and, in time, you will learn what to buy for resale and what to stay away from. Research....research and research some more. Find out what sells on eBay and what doesn't. Good hub..voted up.