Tips for making money on ebay?

@jsgrand0 (246)
United States
February 9, 2007 11:33am CST
Hello. i was just wondering if anyone has any tips for selling on ebay? Where do you get your merchandise from? Yardsales, wholesalers, auctions? Just wondering if anyone can let me in on where they get their merchandise from? I have seen some good items at yardsales, but these are far and few between. Does anyone buy lots of clothes and other items from wholesalers? I have found some good sites for that, but could always use more. Also, it seems like by the time you pay the wholesaler, ebay fees and paypal fees...it's really hard to MAKE any money at all? Also, I have found several "dropship" companies..but when I check my cost against the selling cost on ebay..i wouldn't make any money...any ideas, or tips? thanks!
1 person likes this
5 responses
@megs85 (3144)
• Australia
10 Feb 07
Dont bother with dropshippers, I searched for ages, but couldnt find anything. Searching op shops, and garage sales for used qualoty brand name clothing is a great idea. Here in Australia, Osh Kosh, Pumpkin Patch and Fred Bare do really well in Childrens Clothing. I have compiled a list of tips that I have in my blog, as to how to sell, and maximise profits on ebay... The link to my blog is in my profile, so feel free to check it out. This is basically what I wrote, hope you dont mind me pasting in my own words, but I think its relevant (and dont think it breaches teh rules) Anyway heres my tips, hope they help a little... If you don't already have an ebay account you'll need to register, it is free to join, and it allows you to buy and sell. A paypal account is also another great thing to sign up for if you don't already have one. It is also free to get one of these and allows you to receive payments from buyers in this way. This money can then be transferred to your bank account. 1. Before you do anything else work out what kind of product/s you want to sell and do some research. Find out how much they are going to cost you and then look at the average price they are selling for on ebay. There is no point in selling something that will cost you more to buy, then it will sell for. Check out the listing fees, and take them into account. Remember that ebay charges you a final value fee as well. Taking all these things into consideration, is this the product you want to sell? 2. Once you have researched and sourced your product, you need to make a goal. Work out how much you want to earn in profit on a weekly basis and how many items you will have to sell, at their average selling price which you have previously researched, and taking into consideration ebay's fees- to reach your target. Say your goal is $200 per week, and you sell Handbags that cost you $5 to buy/make. They generally sell for $20, and it costs you approximately $3 in ebay fees. You are making $12 profit on each bag, so would need to list approximately 16 bags per week. But what if some didn't sell. Better to list 20 then to cover the prospect of an item needing to be relisted, or a bag selling for under average price. 3. Before you start listing, learn all about postage/shipping methods and costs. Find the cheapest, and fastest method of posting your item, and work out how much it is going to cost to post it, and how long it should take to get to its destination. Make sure you take into consideration the cost of the box/bag you will buy to post the item, and any materials that will be used to package it. For example, bubble wrap around fragile items. Always charge a tiny bit extra to cover handling charges, and the cost of petrol to get to the post office. Some sellers like to choose a "mailing" day on which they post all their items once a week. Do what works for you. Another alternative is to buy in bulk prepaid satchels to post your items. It works out relatively cheaper and is a much quicker way of getting things in the mail. 4. Buyers love pick ups, so if you feel comfortable with people coming to pick up items from your home, state that this option is available in your listing. 5. Once you have your stock, take clear photographs of the item. One good photograph is better than ten bad ones. Make sure they aren't too large or high resolution, because images that take forever to load are a big turn off for prospective bidders. If the product is damaged ina ny way include a photograph of the damage so that prospective buyers know exactly what they are bidding on. One clear photograph should be sufficient, howeevr if you are listing a bundle of items make sure tehy can all be seen clearly, otherwise invest in some more photos. 6. Now its time to list your item. Auctions that end on a weekend, particularly a Sunday seem to attract more bids and a higher end price so try to list your item so that it ends between 7pm and 8pm on a Sunday evening. This means that if it is a 3 day listing, start it on a Thursday evening, a 5 day listing should begin on a Tuesday evening, a 7 day auction should start on a Sunday and a 10 day auction should be listed on a Thursday. 7. Your auction TITLE line should be used intelligently. You only have a limited amount of space so use it wisely to show the potential buyer/bidder exactly what you are offering. DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, as it looks tacky and unproffessional and is more likely to scare away bidders than attract them. If it is a famous brand name item that you have up for auction make sure to include that, or a size for an item of clothing. Words such as LOOK and WOW only distract the potential customer so avoid them... Same with words and phrases like "SO CUTE" and "ADORABLE". Keep it to the point and clear. Don't mislead the reader. 8. Use a subtitle if there is something that really needs to be stated, particularly for a bulk lot/bundle. Sometimes the extra investment is worth it, but if you can get away without it, don't bother... 9. A Gallery Picture is a must. The extra cost pays for itself, as it is more appealing to bidders. It helps to highlight what you are selling, and distinguish it from the other items in the list. Make sure you use a great, clear photo. 10. Don't list items that are already listed by other sellers that aren't selling, or aren't selling well. It's a waste of time. If someone else can't sell it, chances are noone wants it, and you won't be able to sell it either. 11. List items in the correct category to ensure they sell for their best price and attract the right type of viewers and bidders. If in doubt list in multiple categories, but be aware that all of your listing fees will be doubled in doing this. If you know where to put it, don't bother listing it in more than one category. 12. A great way to encourage bidding competition is to list more than one item per auction, for example: two size 3 girls t-shirts that look completely different and are two different brands. One bidder may be desperately after that pink frilly pumpkin patch top, the other has their eye on that electric blue singlet top with the beads on the front. Thus a bidding war between the two ebayers erupt and your items sell for more... 13. When describing your item make sure you do it in a logical order.Don't use large font, or all CAPITAL LETTERS as this is annoying and turns the buyer away. Don't overuse words like "gorgeous", "sweet", "rare", "awesome".Be clear, concise and informative in yuor description. Write what the item is, the brand, the year if applicable, any labels/tags/marks, the material/what it is made out of, dimensions/size/measurements, condition of the item, any special features it has. Make it enticing, but to the point. Don't be lazy and say "refer to picture" or "ask questions if you want". People are turned off by this unproffesional type of behaviour. Make sure you spell words correctly. Proof read your listing before submitting it. If you are lsiting clothing include measurements, if the garment has stretch include measurements both stretched and unstretched. 14. Put the most informative photo first so buyers are immediately attracted to your listing and can see exactly what is on offer. 15. Avoid overusing colours, stay away from cute animations, fancy borders and coloured backgrounds. They scare away potential bidders, and look cheap- even though they can be costly to include. 16. Offer a number of different payment options to increase the market you appeal to. Paypal is ebays own payment method so try to include it. They charge minimal fees but the amount of customers it attracts is worth it. 17. Have clear payment and shipping policies, and keep them uniform throughout all your listing. Have a refund policy, even if it is STRICTLY NO REFUNDS. Attach a copy of both these policies at the end of each of your listings. People like to know where they stand and what is expected of them should they be successful in winning the item. Allow flexibility if someone contacts you prior to auctions end, and/or prior to bidding with an alternative arrangement. 18. Start your item at a low price, partcularly if you know it will attract a lot of buyers. This encourages healthy early bidding, more interest from a greater number of bidders and also helps you to keep your insertion fees down. 19. Another way to attract more buyers is by offering some sort of "freebie" with your item. Whether it be a free upgrade to express post (they pay regular, you send it express), free postage for using the Buy It Now option, an extra item if bidding goes over a certain threshold. Whatever you think is appropriate and enticing. 20. Answer all emails in a prompt and friendly manner. Be business like in all your transactions. People will feel more secure buying off a friendly, approachable but professional seller. 21. Do everything you can to maintain good feedback. Feedback can make or break you in the wonderful world of ebay. Make sure you hand out good feedback and you'll get it in return. Another way to boost your feedback is prior to selling buy a few cheaper items, particularly ones you can pay with using paypal. Pay for them immediately, leave good feedback and you will get rated well in return. Great way to start off your ebay selling career. 22. Keep a record of all your sales. Expenditure, Profit, Details of the Transaction. Know which item is going where, at what time, when it is ending, when to send off a payment reminder and all that kind of information. Have it written down in a little notebook that you keep beside the computer. Small enough to transport to the post office, but big enought to keep detailed records. 23. Save all correspondence between yourself and other ebay members. Print it and file it away, just in case things turn sour- which lets be honest, occassionally happens, no matter how good your intention
• United States
10 Feb 07
I have just started selling on ebay and I have fallen for some of the lists that they sell on there and let me tell you, I was truly disappointed with them. I would not recommend buying the lists that they sell. I have found that because like you said the yardsales and such are so far and few, I go to the outlet centers and look at all the discount and clearance items, you can usually pick these up and make a little profit off of them. As far as the wholesalers just do a search and expect to spend a few hours going through all of them.
@CRiley27 (984)
• United States
9 Feb 07
I would never pay for lists. If you just invest some time into searching, you can find some good sites for wholesale items. I have one wholesaler that I buy sterling silver jewlery, and another for dvd's. It did take hours and hours to find, but I am thrilled with both of them. I can relate to the fees. Next fee hike, and I will leave eBay. To get some money you should start by selling whats in your house that you no longer need/use. Try looking at upscale department stores for the clearance racks. Try and spend 30 minutes a day searching, you will find something. Before finding my dvd wholesaler, I considered getting a job at the local video store,just so I could find out where they get the videos from. ;)
1 person likes this
@jsgrand0 (246)
• United States
9 Feb 07
yeah, thanks..i have never paid for a list..i have SEVERAL wholesalers already, it's just, like i said, my cost+all fees=NO profit....i thought about the clearance racks at the mall...
@cabergren (1181)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I have been selling on ebay for about 2 years. I make custom made doll clothes. I have been doing pretty well with it. You are right the fees have gone out of control. They just raised them again. They do make it harder and harder to make any money. That is why people are moving away from the site. But I believe you can still make money selling on ebay. You have to adjust your prices and shipping charges. Good luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
i have a list that i am selling on ebay for $5.50 which includes all the wholesalers,discounters and liquidators for you to get your inventory. if interested please email me at tkantesaria@gmail.com and i will send u the item number for the list or u can just pay me through paypal and i will send u the list. other than that u have to research items which u want to sell and see what they go on ebay and compared to what u are getting .obviously any business will not make profit right away. they first will try to release their capital first and then look for profit. so do research first and let me know . u wont find a cheaper list anywhere.