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Selling on EBay© Part 2

Updated on November 14, 2014
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Time to Find Some Products and Make Some Money

In part 1, I discussed figuring out your price. Another important thing to figure out is what to sell. Some people like buying lots from overstock auctions. I don’t usually like doing this for a couple of reasons. My first reason goes back to what I said in Part 1. Many of these pallet purchases have a variety of things on the pallet. This violates my rule of never buying less than 10 of an item because it takes so long to do the research and list each item. Sometimes it is a pallet of the same thing. That is fine as long as you have done your research and know you can sell that many. You also will need the space to store them. We try to sell mainly small parts so we have more room to store things.

There are a variety of other reasons why I don’t like buying overstock and return pallets. One problem I have with buying mixed pallets is that you often get a lot of junk that nobody wants. You have to figure out if the goodies are worth the price. You will be paying, through shipping weight and size, for all that junk that you will have to dispose of give away. I recently saw a pallet that had DVD players and 500 pencils. Such a weird mix. Also, if you are getting a pallet of returned items, the original packaging is usually messed up and you will have no idea how many items actually work.

So if you don’t buy liquidation, overstock, or return pallets, what do you buy? You can go straight to the distributor if you have a resell certificate. There are problems with this as well. One issue is that some distributors don’t like to sell to you if you don’t have a brick and mortar (physical retail store) and some will not let you sell on 3rd party selling sites like EBay or Amazon. There are some retailers who also will not keep selling to you if they find out you are selling under the MSRP and if you try to sell using an alias, they can usually figure out it is you. Before going to a trade show, I like to look up the companies at the trade show and their products to find out what sells and for what price. I am upfront with them that I will be selling it online. By doing this, we don’t waste each other’s time, and I can get a price sheet to see if their items are worth selling. Make sure to always ask about their online product rules so you don’t run into problems after the purchase. Once we have been given the okay to purchase from the distributor, I like to place an order at the trade show because vendors tend to give you better deals at the trade show than any other time. This gives you a little more wiggle room as well on your price.

So you have your product, what is the best selling price? After looking at the completed items to see what things have been selling for, I usually like to sell slightly under the average selling price of the last 10-20 items like what you are about to sell. If you are selling an off brand that is similar in nature, you will obviously have to be considerable cheaper.

Getting paid means watching your bottom line. Let me tell you a few ways to save your money. EBay has all these extra features. Should you get them? I think the majority of them are a rip off. Pictures and a good description will sell the item better than paying for the other extras. Also, people like free shipping and will often buy something that costs a little more to avoid the extra shipping. Silly but true. The advantage for this is also that you don’t have to combine shipping so if they buy 2, you are getting paid the price of shipping 2 items separately but since you are shipping together, it will save you some shipping costs. I also like free shipping on items that I have to sell at MSRP because this is really selling it under MSRP but the vendors/distributor don’t seem to mind that.

Another way to save is by picking the best shipping. I don’t know how many people have told me they won’t ship internationally via USPS. We have shipped all over the world through USPS with only a few problems. We use them because they are cheaper and they get it there pretty fast usually. The only hang up we occasionally have a problem with, on international shipments, is an item getting stuck in customs. Customs can keep a package as long as they want and sometimes they exercise that option. Domestic shipping through USPS is usually fantastic although the constant price changes are frustrating. 13 ounces or lower can go by first class which is fairly cheap. Once you go over that, compare parcel select to Priority. Priority is often cheaper. You also get a discount on shipping through EBay so that is a nice little savings as well.

Happy EBaying and until next time,

Barb Wilson, MBA/IT

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