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My eBay Powerselling tips - Buying & Selling

Updated on November 7, 2013

Sourcing Your eBay Store

Having listed on eBay as my primary source of income for almost 2 years now, I have always struggled with sourcing -- finding great things to sell. I can find things everywhere, but not always a good price to make a good profit off. Sourcing depends a lot on the area of the country you live in, whether it is urban, suburban or rural. I live in the suburbs and have plenty of access to thrift stores, outlets, garage and estate sales.

When sourcing, you must consider a couple of things. Can you get the merchandise for a low cost up front? Is it feasible to ship -- not too big or weighs to much? If used, is it in good shape for resell? --- All of these are great, but the most important to think of first is "Will it sell? Is there anyone out there just having to have this one particular item?

I find that unique things will usually sell, if you can market them well with great keywords. I have sold some things that I thought NO ONE would want. I have listed some things that I thought would fly off my shelves and it sat there until I gave up and put it in my own garage sale. Some things definitely take longer than others to sell, because you are needing to find a specific type buyer.

I just sold some Tupperware trays that I had had listed for a year. I sold them at a higher price than I thought that I would get and it took forever, but they sold!!! Yippee!!!

Sourcing to me is like a fun treasure hunt. If you think about it, that is what it is -- you are searching for someone's own personal treasure. It might be trash to you, but the old saying holds true that it can be another man's treasure.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

— Lao Tzu
Women's Clothing is one of my niches
Women's Clothing is one of my niches

Finding the Niche that Works for Your eBay Store

What do you like? What Interests you?

I will sell almost anything that will turn a good profit. I will sell anything occasionally, but for my niche/specialty I have preferences that I lean to. I like to sell women's name brand clothing & shoes and I like to sell plush. I have friends that specialize in mugs, dishware, and lots of breakables. I, personally, steer clear of glass items. I don't like to have to pack them to ship, nor do I like having to balance out the large shipping costs.

I did not find my niche until about a year into selling. It will take feeling out different categories. It will also depend on the availability of items. I tried many things and sold a vast array of items, but now I am glad that I have 2 main items -- the clothes and the plush. Some people hate selling any clothing or plush -- for me though it works. Find what works for you.

If you have NO interest in the item personally, chances are that you won't want to stare at it, day in and day out, while listing it. For me, I don't like men's clothes!!! I find them boring and blah! So, I rarely will buy any. The only time I will buy it is if it is my only choice for something, or if I know it will do really well. The more interest you have the better you will be in creating the listings. Listings take insight into the category. The more you work with a category, the more knowledgeable that you will become about it. Knowledge is key is avoiding pricing pitfalls.

Women's Clothing
Women's Clothing

Selling Clothing on eBay

Some things to look out for when selling clothes

I have both bought and sold clothing on eBay. In buying clothing, I have had some huge disappointments with the quality that a couple of sellers sent to me. I have received "excellent condition" clothes with holes in them, piling all over, faded and stained! I try, as a seller, to think of what I would want to receive. I look all my clothing over and only sell what is almost new looking or is new. Not to say everyone has been perfectly satisfied, but my clothing does well and I am proud of what I ship out. Don't sell only to make money -- sell to get return customers!

When I shop at thrift stores and garage sales, people must get amused, because I give those clothes the once over. I check for any defects, or "used" look to them. If I find it there I don't buy it, if I miss it and see defects when I am listing I donate or put in my own garage sale. I would rather lose a couple of dollars than lose a customer that might return to my store and by much more.

Some name brands that I have had really good luck with are: J CREW, ANTHROPOLGIE, LILLY PULITZER, UGG, BANANA REPUBLIC, TALBOTS, CHICO'S and many more.

Great One for eBay Sellers

Raiken Profits has TONS of great videos to help know what to buy to source your store!!

Selling Plush on eBay - Things to think of before selling plush

Stuffed Animals -- Plush
Stuffed Animals -- Plush

Selling plush is much like clothing on wanting the condition to be SUPER! Think about the fact that these stuffed animals are most likely a replacement for a child to hug on and love. They also can be for the collector. Don't sell garbage just to make a quick buck. Returns are not fun and unhappy buyers will not return. On the other hand, sell quality and you will earn return customers.

There are some plush that the market is flooded with, but some you need to be on the lookout for. I have found. for instance, that unicorns sell well. So, anytime I see a unicorn in great condition, I pick it up regardless of the brand. Other plush you might choose, solely, for the brand. Starbucks Bearista Bears for instance are one that is a good seller.

Usually plush will sit in your store for awhile. The market for stuffed animal is select, but it is out there and with patience it will sell.

Make Money
Make Money

Some of my finds....

Here are a few of my items that I have sold.... Price paid -- Amount Sold for

Set of 9 The Firefox Books - Paid $10 -- sold for $128

Anthropologie Women's Top -- Paid $1 -- sold for $38

34 DMC Embroidery threads -- FREE - Sold for $35

Tupperware Trays -- 50 cents -- sold for $16

Tickle Me Elmo -- 50 cents -- sold for $18

The lists goes on and on, buy for under a buck and sell for a ton more. I listed smaller items to show what normal everyday items go for. I love sourcing from garage sales because I get the stuff for next to nothing.

I bought high end clothing from one garage sale for 75 cents a piece. Each one is going anywhere from $20 up to $80!

Selling on eBay

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      It's a lot of work but a very fulfilling business for someone who truly cares about their customers, as you described.