Friday, March 11, 2022

Where are the best places to find items to sell on eBay?

 I've been selling on eBay for over twenty years now.  I often get asked "Where do you find your items?"  So I'm going to be talking about places you can get items to sell on eBay, Etsy, Poshmark, and Mecari.  These are in no particular order.

1. Your Home

Most people have clothes they no longer wear, books they have read, games that no longer get played.  When first starting out, this is what I recommend because you will have listing limits, and it allows you to get a little experience without any risk or cost of goods sold when you sell items you no longer want.

2. Yard sales / Garage Sales

I sourced almost exclusively from yard sales for a number of years.  I personally have found that fundraising sales often have the best prices because the people selling the stuff aren't personally attached to the items.  A t-shirt Great-Aunt Maude brought back from Cancun often costs more at a yard sale if the seller remembers Great Aunt Maude fondly.  Where I live, it rains.  A lot.  All summer.  Because I don't like to be wet, I don't go to many sales anymore, and when I do they tend to be charity ones.

3.  Retail Stores

This is known as "retail arbitrage".  Buying something and selling it for more.  Closeout stores are often a great place to do this.  Sometimes things get discontinued or are hard to find.  I paid for my entire trip to a weight loss camp by selling limited edition Lay's potato chips at a markup.  I made a couple hundred when the coated aspirin "Ascriptin" was discontinued but I found several at a store near me.  Your profits are often smaller than if you source other routes, but it always depends on the product.

6. Bin Stores

These are stores filled with Amazon returns and closeouts.  Prices often vary from one day to the next, the highest prices on days they restock.  I know several people who source mainly from these.

7. Pallet liquidation

This is where you buy a pallet of Amazon returns.  I have heard of varied results on this.  I have not tried it.

8. Create Your Own Product

This isn't exactly what most people who sell on eBay want to do, but if you craft, it's a possibility.

9. Thrift Stores

This is one of my favorite places to source.  Of course, I live in a low cost of living area and thrift stores around me show this.  Most don't care if you resell or not, at least where I live.  I used to be shy about getting out my phone and researching in store, but no longer -- I have my phone out a lot unless something is cheap enough I don't mind losing the purchase price.  Books are something I almost always scan if they have a barcode, and I at least look them up if it's something without a barcode.

10. Online

If you watch, you can often find deals on one site to sell on another.  Some people do well with this, but personally I think it takes too much time.

11.  Goodwill Outlets

I know what you're thinking.  "But Goodwill is a thrift store."  True.  But I consider Outlet shopping a whole different breed of puppy.  Everything is sold by the pound, with a few exceptions -- books are usually individually, ceramic and glassware is usually a low fixed priced.  Nothing is sorted.  You need to dig.  You might find garbage (I once found a urine specimen.) or you might find treasure (same Outlet I found the urine specimen, someone found a World Series baseball bat that sold online for a quarter of a million dollars.  This is, when spending money, the most bang for your buck.  The outlets vary from region to region.  Some places they are dirty and icky, other places they are fantastic.  Some allow children on the sales floor, others make them wait outside an area at the end of the aisles on their parents.  I've been in outlets in almost a dozen states, and have seen good and bad stores.  I usually spend $30 - $40 each time I go to one.  Your milage will vary depending on where you live, but as for me, this is the main place I get items for resell.  

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