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How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay

Updated on May 19, 2012

The guides and books I recommend reading before starting to sell on ebay

How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay

Selling wholesale products on ebay is a very good place to start if you are looking to make some money using the online auction site ebay. It is in my opinion the most consistent and easiest method for making money 'online' (as opposed to affiliate marketing and online advertising which both takes a lot of time with no gurantees of any meaningful financial reward at the end of it).

Having made, and still making excellent money through buying wholesale to sell on ebay for the last 6 - 7 years, I know what is required when selling wholesale on ebay. I'll give you a quick breakdown of what I have earnt over the last 6-7 years buying and selling on ebay so you can get an understanding of the kind of figures I am talking about.


  • 2001 - 2002 - Just over $600 (£380)
  • 2003 - 2004 - Climbed to just over $1300 (£822)
  • 2005 - 2006 - Using the previous two years as a test to see if I could make worthwile money doing this and after realising it was possible, I bought more wholesale items to sell on ebay, therefore the money I made increased to just under $6000 (£3800)
  • 2007 - 2008 - Carrying on extending the range of wholesale items I made $18000 (£11000)
  • 2009 - 2010 - Had a bit of an off year and made the same as the previous year even after buying more ranges of wholesale items that I then had to either get rid of or sell at cost price to get rid of
  • 2011 - 2012 - This year things have picked up once again and this year I've already made - $22,500 (£15000) and we are only halfway through the year


This wasn't from selling 'rare' items or buying expensive products like laptops or other electronics. All of my money has been made from cheap to buy wholesale items such as womens clothing and jewellery for example earings, tiaras and bag-charms - because they are easy to package,because they are small and delivery from the wholesaler is cheap and delivery to the customer is also cheap. When buying to sell on ebay I have also bought small Disney childrens items such as bedlinen, pens, badges, clocks, mugs and small toys.

THIS IS ALL DONE WHILST HAVING A FULL TIME JOB. I LEARNT HOW TO BUY WHOLESALE AND SELL ON EBAY IN MY FREE TIME AND AM STILL SELLING IN MY FREE TIME. When I get home from work all I need to do is look at what I have sold that day and package the items up ready for posting or getting picked up for delivery the next day. Once you get into the rhythm of doing it it is no problem whatsoever.


The reasons I believe buying wholesale to sell on ebay is the best online method of money making (it is where I have made the most money at least) is for a number of reasons. These are:

  • You can buy small amounts of wholesale to sell on ebay to start with until you are confident you can make money from it (like I did to start with).
  • You can return items to the wholesaler (often for free) if you are not happy with the items, change your mind about selling them on ebay and so on.
  • Literally anything you buy from wholesalers to sell on ebay will sell eventually, no matter how weird, what the condition of it is or how old it is.
  • There are so many wholesale products to sell on ebay that the range of products is endless.
  • You can set the price of whatever you are selling on ebay and change it accordingly if required.
  • You will be dealing with a physical product that people want as opposed to affiliate marketing where you are often trying to sell online ebooks for example.
  • Can all be done as an extra income in your free time with little effort.


When thinking about what to sell on ebay or when buying to sell on ebay you do not need to worry about whether the product will sell. When selling on ebay any product you list will sell eventually because even if it is a strange item or even broken someone will want it or have a use for it. When thinking about what to sell on ebay the main concern should be how much profit will I make once every cost has been taken into consideration.These costs include:

  • The cost of the items from the wholesaler including delivery to your address
  • The cost of packaging the items for delivery
  • The cost of delivery itself (taking into consideration weight, size and how fast it needs to get there.
  • The costs of listing the item on ebay (usually so minimal you don't need to worry about it).
  • The small percentage Paypal will take on each sale (if you use it as a payment method).


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 1 - There are wholesalers out their for any product that you can think of. Using Google you will be able to find any product you want to sell on ebay


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 2 - There is no need to buy expensive items in order to make good money (as I have proven over the last 7 years). Small items easy to package with a low delivery cost that sell in large number (such as Disney pens or mugs) will make you more than enough money. If you are looking to buy wholesale items to sell on ebay I would stay away from electronics completely for this reason as they are usually expensive to buy, chances are something will go wrong with them and you will have to refund people, difficult to package. I don't really see any upsides in selling wholesale electronics on ebay at all to be honest so steer clear.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 3 - THIS ONES IMPORTANT - If you import wholesale products from countries like China for example, that say they are genuine Disney or some other well known brand product don't be fooled. Do you honestly think well known brands would just let hundreds of amateur Chinese manuafacturing companies sell their products in cheap wholesale bulk to members of the public to sell on online auction sites? OF COURSE NOT. IF IT'S a WELL KNOWN BRAND AND EXTREMELY CHEAP TO BUY IT WILL BE FAKE SO DO NOT LIST IT AS 'REAL' OR 'GENUINE' when its not. This is not to say you still cannot buy cheap wholesale items from places like China. I import the majority of my wholesale products from China such as unbranded plastic childrens toys as they can be made incredibly cheaply which means I can get them for excellent prices (shipping from China is usually very good as well).


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 4 - Obviously the more you buy the cheaper prices you will get from the wholesaler, consequently meaning you will make more profit. If you know that you are going to buy more of the same product once you run out, just buy more in the first place. I can't imagine the amount of money I have wasted not doing this over the years.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 5 - Before you buy and wholesale products to sell on ebay make you look at other listing from your competitors on ebay to see if you can compete with their prices. Many people make this stupid mistake. Often on certain products some professional companies selling on ebay cannot be beaten for price because they are able to buy the products to sell on ebay in such high volumes at such good prices that they can sell them for much cheaper than you can. If this is the case, do not even think about trying to go up against them.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 6 - When buying wholesale to sell on ebay buy small items that can be easily packaged. Packaging costs quickly mount up (and take up a lot of space in your house - trust me). Delivery costs also rocket once you go over a certain size and weight, so its really not worth the hassle for no more reward.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 7 - If a problem with a product you are selling does occur, i.e arrives broken or does not work, be nice to the buyer, in most cases just send them a replacement as quickly as possible. When selling small cheap items this is the best method of keeping people happy and making it look like you are a good guy when they leave you feedback.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 8 - Whether you become a TOP RATED SELLER when selling wholesale on ebay depends entirely on the amount of products you sell and your feedback. So small cheap items if the sure fire way of quickly become a TOP RATED SELLER. This means more people will trust you when buying from you and you will also appear higher in search listing. All of which will increase your sales and your profits.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 9 - It has taken me a few years but now that I know how to buy wholes and sell on ebay there is no need for me to keep changing the way I do things or what I am selling. I have now found a good list of products that keeps selling year after year so once you have found your own wholesale products that sell well just stick with them. Theres no need to change and try new things if what you are selling on ebay is actually selling. It is the main reason I have made so much money from it. In my garage I have loads of the same products that people keep buying day after day. When I get close to running out I order some from the wholesaler to sell. SIMPLE.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 10 - Do your research online before buying wholesale to sell on ebay. The chances are somewhere will be able to do it cheaper,especially when delivery/shipping costs are taken into account, so it pays to look around. It is even worthwile playing different wholesalers off against themselves to get better prices. If your not particularly good at negotiating or haggling on the phone then using email is usually just as good a way of getting a better price fromt the wholesalers (I wasn't particular good on the phone to start with so emailing them worked for me). Just say in the email that on a different wholesalers website you can get them for this price and then ask whether they would be willing to beat it. 9 times out of 10 it is still worthwile for them to beat their competitors price in order to get your custom.


How to buy wholesale and sell on ebay - Tip 11 - If people do give you bad feedback for whatever reason. It does happen and has happened to me a few times. Often through no fault of your own, just simply because the buyers are fussy or one of those complaining types. Unless you want to spend weeks on the phone trying to duspute the feedback and get it removed the best way to deal with it is to provide an excellent comeback. By that I mean one that proves you are not to blame and that it is not your fault. This provides confidence to future buyers that you are a reputable seller and can be trusted.

A good example of a piece of bad feedback I got was relating to a product not being delivered. It happened in the second year of me buying wholesale to sell on ebay. The customer complained they never received the item. The item was the very last one in that size and I had no way of sending another within a reasonable timeframe. However the reason they never received their item was because they had failed to change the delivery address when they had moved house. Although this was entirely their fault it didn't stop them putting a horrible piece of feedback about how they never received their item.


KEY POINT TO NOTE - Like anything in life you will not become an expert without learning the basics and then moving onto some really advanced things as well. I learnt the basics about how to buy wholesale to sell on ebay a few years ago now, however to this day I am still learning new techniques and way of getting better wholesale prices and getting more profit by selling more on ebay.

I have done this over the years by reading the books published by REAL experts, those people who are making a fortune and a living out of doing this kind of thing.

All of the little hints and tips that I've been able to pick up from the books has really helped me become better at this game, to the point where I will hopefully be able to make a living out of doing this and do it full time in the future. Links to some of the books I've used and recommend you reading can be found on this page so just take a look.


There really is money to be made doing this as I have proven over the last few years (even if you only do it in your free-time like I do). When compared to online marketing and affiliate marketing there really is no comparison in my eyes. Selling wholesale items on ebay is the best method for making money online. The risks are low as well as you can buy as much or as little wholesale products to start with as you like or can afford, just to test the water (like I did for the first few years).


I know it is quite a long read about how to buy wholesale and sell on ebay but hopefully you found it useful, if you have any questions or comments just let me know and ill get back to you.


In future hubs I will provide more information about how to actually list the items you are going to sell such as, how long to list them for, the amount of photos you should take and I even have some useful HTML code to show you that can easily be added to your adds to make them look much more professional so that people will trust you more and be more likely to buy from you rather than one of your competitors as it is often the little details that make the difference.

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    • kmaskreations profile image

      kmaskreations 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for sharing. I been selling for nearly 2 years on Ebay and was considering electronics, but you make some good points about the risks. I totally agree about small items, small shipping costs. Great hub. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      manoj 3 years ago

      Does any license is needed for an individual to sell on Ebay

    • kmaskreations profile image

      kmaskreations 3 years ago

      @ manoj - No license...just register

    • profile image

      Jerry 3 years ago

      Can you please give some genuine sellers you have bought from china or anywhere else. Some of them I have contact are scammers . Thanks

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