One of my favorite old sayings is “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”?
Auction sites like "Ebay" (rather than name all the auction site online, I will use Ebay for this blog..I will list them all later.) proves that old saying true. Those old CDs, books, vinyl records, handmade goods, antiques, slacks, video games and any other stuff that is no longer needed or wanted can be sold on Ebay.
Popular items that are selling great on eBay are items such as Michael Jackson memorabilia, Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus)items, Webkinz (stuffed toy animal),Pokemon etc!
Any items (especially the one mentioned earlier) that is in good condition, you'll probably get more money auctioning them off on Ebay than trying to sell them at any garage sale.
If you don't want to part with anything you already have, start with products you know and have experience with. Choose items that have obvious market demand (you know people are buying them). Don't make the mistake of selling only things you like. If your goal is to make a profit then you should only sell things people will buy.
If you are considering selling an item, do a search on eBay and see if that product or similar ones are being auctioned off. If the market is highly competitive, you may want to reconsider selling that product. At the same time, if absolutely no one else is offering the product for sale, you need to figure out why no one else is selling it, or one the other hand..why no one will buy the item.
Depending on the category, seeing a lot of similar items up for sale may work in your favor or against you. For example, you may see a lot of the same item pop up in response to a search because people are buying. Or, It could also mean the market is flooded and there is no demand for the item. You have to do more than just count the listings. Look at the individual auctions and see if people are bidding on the items—that will give you an indication of the strength of the market. Then check the completed auctions for the item you searched for. Doing this will tell you what the item is selling for or it's selling at all).
Garage and Yard Sales. Some EBay sellers that I know make a comfortable living spending a few days a week shopping and checking out local garage sales for items that will sell for many times what they cost when auctioned off on eBay. You sure can find the msot interesting and profitable items in a yard sale!
Flea Markets can be an excellent source to find bargain-priced merchandise that you can sell on eBay.
Stores. Look for clearance items at discount department and drug stores and other local stores. A close friend of mine buys infant's and children's items at the end of the season and stores them until the following year. She then sells them when they are in season!
Friends and Family. Use "word of mouth" to tell people, what you are doing and not to throw anything away. You can even offer to buy the items from them! Of course, I would mention that "I might buy then off you" last! Try to get the stuff free first, because there is more profit for you when the stuff free!
Local Auction Sites. A friend of mine buys items from a local online Auction sites. He especially looks for items that he knows are "undervalued" or "underpriced"! Buys cheap and sell for a profit is his motto! Almost every city has a auction site, just do a search for your cities name and "auction"
Estate Sales. If the estate is being handled by a professional, generally you're not as likely to find any bargains. But you can advertise in your local paper that are willing to buy entire estates or even partial estates. When you make such a purchase, select what will sell best on eBay, put those items up for auction, and then sell the rest through other channels, like local classifieds, yard sales and "word of mouth", etc.
Retailers. To stay profitable and in business, stores have to move items that aren't selling. Visit local retailers and offer to help solve their overstock problems by selling those items on a consignment basis on eBay.
Whether you plan on specializing on a specific product line or are still trying to come up with some ideas for what you can sell on eBay, consider these issues:
Cost. How much will the item cost you? There's more to cost that simply the price on the item. Can you afford to buy the item or do you have to borrow money (and maybe pay interest) to acquire the inventory? in order to sell the item, there be any additional costs, such as shipping to you or repairs that need to be done?
Storage. Do you have space (garage, basement or even spare room) to properly store the item until you sell it? Some item can take up a lot of space especially when bought in bulk>
Shipping. What are the costs that are associated with shipping the item once it sells? Is your product fragile, does your item havea unusual shape or is it very heavy? These are some of the things that you have to take into consideration and that can make shipping your products expensive and somewhat challenging!
Product Life Cycle. How long do you think the demand for the item to continue? You may have something that is very successful today, but next year or in a few months, you might stuck with unwanted inventory. Fad collectibles (example..Beanie Babies, pet rocks etc)are a great example of item having a short product life cycle. Also some high-tech items can have a short life cycle because of new advance in technology as they are constantly being upgraded. If you pay attention to product life cycles, you can maximize your profits while the item is hot and avoid a loss or having extra inventory when the demand for it declines.
Season. Consider the time of year. Heavy coats and sweaters don't sell well in the spring and summer. Lawn and garden equipment are not very profitable sellers in the winter months as they are during the summer season. If you have storage place, you can make a nice profit buying off-season items and storing them until they sell.
As your business grows, you may want to start buying from wholesalers and selling on eBay at retail. This can be very profitable, but do your research and choose your wholesaler carefully.
Don't waste your money, buying list of wholesalers from the Internet. You can find the same and more updated information for free by doing a keyword search for "wholesale," "manufacturer" or "drop ship."
Be more specific in your approach and think about the type of products you want to sell, and then look for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that you can work with. Try to gfnd companies whose products meet your quality expectations, with prices and conditions that you can work with, and that have the service level you want to provide your customers. Also make sure to get sample products! By getting samples, you can see the quality yourself. Some companies offer free samples, while others will charge a small fee. Just don't try to sell something you've never seen and not worth what you want to sell it for.
Make sure you're dealing with a real legitimate manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor, and not a middleman who is marking up their prices and increasing your costs. Ask for and check references. A good idea is to talk with others who are buying from the same sources. Also, check the Better Business Bureau, any industry associations, the consumer protection agency where the supplier is located, and any other sources that may be able to verify their claims
Legitimate manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors will also want information about you, including proof that you are a legitimate business and that you have any necessary licenses and tax identification numbers. A supplier who doesn't ask for this information is probably a middleman who is just in business to make a fast buck.
Finally , keep track of eBay's hot categories, items and search words, doing this will help you to become a better trend spotter.