Finding Items to Sell

There are many places for powersellers to find items to sell, and make a profit from, on eBay. With a little bit of research and as little as 4 or 5 hours a week, you too can find yourself running a successful e-business using eBay as your marketing vehicle and e-commerce engine. Here are some suggestions for where to begin searching for merchandise for sale on eBay which can result in the highest profit margins and therefore more money in YOUR pocket:

• Flea markets. It is possible to find many hidden treasures at flea markets in your local area. It is common for attics to be cleared out and surplus stock from a variety of retail outlets to be emptied into the flea market ecosystem in the hopes of making at least some amount of money from what is considered to be “surplus” or “salvaged”. It is here that you can find the best deals, but you can also uncover hard-to-find collectibles, electronics, and many other categories of merchandise that are ripe for the picking for resale on eBay. Another thing to look out for when scouring flea markets is geographically-specific items. Items which may be hard to find in one part of the world may be very easy to find in another. Due to the fact that eBay is a global market, it can pay off very well to keep your eyes peeled for these little nuggets of profit.

• eBay itself. Another great place to find the types of things to resell on eBay is right there on eBay. Although at first thought it may seem a little counterproductive, what it all really boils down to is getting a good deal at a good time. Try to focus on types of merchandise you have more than a cursory knowledge of. For example, if you are a comic book buff who has been collecting for years, you will have a great eye for that particular subsection of eBay (and a much greater chance of knowing a good deal when you see it). Of particular focus should be auctioneers letting go of entire lots of merchandise for events like estate sales, unclaimed freight, or store closings. Digging through eBay’s mountain of merchandise when you know what you are doing can prove not only profitable but a lot of fun as well.

• Swap meets/conventions. It can also pay to take note when your local area is hosting special interest conventions and swap meets, such as gun shows, comic book conventions and the like. With a little research on eBay regarding the current market for the particular classes of merchandise focused on at these meets, studious, and diligent individuals can profit greatly from very little initial investment. In addition to the diverse collections of various types of items that these meets and conventions will place at your fingertips, you can also usually acquire a lot of freebies (or schwag, in convention nomenclature), which can be easily resold to enthusiasts of the particular subject you are participating in the meet for.

• Buying in bulk. This is less of a “where” and more of a “how”, but it’s definitely applicable: It seems like a lot
of powersellers find something they get a good bargain on locally and sell it to a wide market that doesn't have that same access. For instance, you might discover that computer desk shelves are selling on eBay for quite a bit more than your local bulk retailer charges. This is an excellent opportunity for you to profit from your location and what you have access to. To take this another step further you may wish to contact the manufacturer and find a wholesaler to purchase it in bulk. Some manufacturers will work with you in this way and some won't, you’ll just have to experiment and find out. Another good idea is visiting closeout stores and outlets. It's a potluck selection that sells for way below catalog price, and eBay sellers are looking to make the profit margin from people who don't have access to these stores.

• Clearance racks at malls. Try searching the clearance racks in your local shopping malls for great deals on clothing. Many people live in areas that are not serviced by shopping malls and therefore don’t have access to the types of merchandise that you do. It’s a good idea to visit these stores during big sales, especially right after the holiday period or at the turn of seasons when retailers will be trying to get rid of their old stock to make room for the new. Particularly focus on trendy stores that deal with inexpensive brand name items. Often you will be able to find very popular, trendy labels for a fraction of their retail cost, sometimes even below cost.

• Garage Sales. Don’t forget to check your local paper for garage/lawn sales. Usually, you can find great deals if you are willing to dig and sift through a few garage sales every weekend.

• Your own attic. You would be shocked what some people, and maybe even YOU, have in the attic. The next time you do some spring cleaning, be sure to take the time to dig through some of those boxes, wooden chests, and footlockers collecting dust in your attic, basement or storage shed. Anything from antiques to unique collectibles can be found by just digging around bit a rainy April afternoon.

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