The vast majority of people selling on eBay today, started out by selling a few things they had lying around the house. They soon realized that, not only was it incredibly easy to find hungry buyers on eBay, but also these buyers were prepared to buy just about anything.
If you’ve seen the amazing potential eBay offers, and have decided you want to increase your eBay sales, what next? However much unwanted clutter you have lying around the house, garage, or attic, sooner or later you are going to run out of things to sell.
Many successful eBay sellers will crawl all over yard sales, second hand shops, and the classified ads to try and find something cheap which they can then sell on for a profit. But this is unlikely to offer a reliable supply, and what if you want to sell items that aren’t available?
If you’ve decided you want to develop your eBay business, or any e-commerce business where you’re selling products, you’re going to need to find a wholesale supplier. A reputable and reliable supplier should be able to provide you with a volume of products at discounted prices, which you can then resell to make a profit, often with very healthy profit margins.
For some, the idea of working with a wholesaler might be a little daunting. How do you go about finding a reputable supplier who won’t rip you off, and when you find one, how do you approach them and what can you expect from them? The growth of the internet and the increase in the number of professional eBay sellers and other small businesses selling online has meant that the traditional image of a wholesale supplier has changed.
They are now much easier to find, easier to approach, and prepared to offer much more flexibility when it comes to dealing with small businesses, or traders who are starting out. Occasionally, you might come across a supplier who insists they are “trade only”, but as long as you are buying their products to resell in some shape or form, then you are a trader.
So you’ve decided you want to grow your eBay business, and to do this you are going to need a wholesale supplier. Before you start contacting suppliers, making agreements and ordering goods, you need to do a bit of planning. You’re taking the first steps towards building a business, and any good business needs a plan.
Firstly, you need to decide what you’re going to sell. You’ve probably already sold a variety of items on eBay, things you had lying around the house that you wanted to get rid of, or second hand items you picked up cheap from a yard sale. If you haven’t, then this is a great way to start as it gets your familiar with the selling process, and gets your some capital built up that you can use for buying in bulk. Deciding what you are going to sell will help make your search for a wholesaler easier. It’s always best to decide on a product and then try and find a supplier, rather than just pick a wholesaler and try and sell what they are offering.
Do you want to focus on low-priced items that are easier to sell? They’ll probably have lower profit margins but if you can sell a high volume of them you should still make a good profit. Or do you want to look at more expensive products that have more value to your customers? You might sell less, but the profit on each item will make it worthwhile.
The easiest way to answer these questions, and to be successful, is to sell what people want. If you spend some time now finding markets that are full of buyers ready to spend their money, it will make choosing products, and selling them, a lot easier. Notice that you are looking for hot markets rather than just hot products. Popular products come and go, but if you find a market that has people who are passionate about a topic, and prepared to spend money on it, you can then source a range of products to sell to them.
There are obvious hot markets; designer clothes, bags, sunglasses, and anything to do with iPods and mobile phones. However, there’s going to be a lot of competition and finding a reputable supplier who’ll provide stock at a price that makes you competitive, without having to invest a small fortune, is going to be tough. There are plenty of other successful categories on eBay, so take some time to look around and find a good niche.
There are plenty of free tools that can help you see what’s selling well, so you can decide what market you want to get into. eBay Pulse is great for seeing the most popular items in eBay’s categories, as well as what people are searching for, and should give you some ideas. There are other tools you can pay for that can give you much more detailed information, such as Terapeak, which many professional sellers use to find potential markets.
Once you’ve decided what market you are going to focus on, and the kind of products you want to sell, you can check out the completed listings on eBay to a) make sure these products are selling, and b) see what price they are selling at so you know if you are going to make money when you start sourcing them from wholesalers. Deciding on your market and your products can take a bit of work, but it will help you find suppliers, and give your business a greater chance of success.