Authored by Lee Wright in Small Business
Published on 12-18-2009
For most people who want to maintain a steady selling business on eBay, they need to find a reliable source of wholesale merchandise. While many people start out on eBay selling personal items or items found locally at garage sales, auctions, and thrift stores, they quickly find that the items from these sources are not enough to establish and maintain a sales business on eBay. Sellers on eBay that want to establish a long-term business need a reliable source of wholesale products to keep their eBay business going.
Although there are many advertised wholesale product sources, separating the legitimate sources from the many scams can be tough. The first step is to decide what types of merchandise you want to sell. Some eBay sellers rely on bulk sales for profits meaning they sell many items for small amounts, while other eBay sellers focus on larger ticket items and make fewer sales, but have a larger profit margin. Once you have decided what types of items you want to sell you need to research the eBay marketplace to determine whether other sellers are successful with that type of merchandise. Note any gimmicks used such as free or reduced shipping and whether a successful seller takes credit cards or deals mainly with PayPal payments.
Once you have decided what types and volumes of items you want to deal with you need to find suppliers. The eBay website has many tools to help find wholesale suppliers and a search of the web can provide a large number of resources. Be wary of companies that charge money up-front for membership or lists. Although, they are not necessarily scams, they are also not usually valuable when you are first starting out. Once you have established your business and gained valuable experience, these can be valuable resources but to a beginner it is an unnecessary expense. The eBay user forums and other marketplace forums can also be a great place to find the names of business you don’t want to deal with. Use the knowledge and experience of people who have already sold wholesale products on eBay by reading and researching forums for information on scams before you do business with anyone. You can also search any state’s Better Business Bureau website to see if a specific company has complaints filed against them.
Also keep in mind that eBay sellers rely on a good feedback rating to attract customers. You may want to take some time and find some locally available overstock or clearance merchandise and establish a record of positive feedback before you try and sell wholesale products. eBay buyers are reluctant to take a chance on an unproven seller, particularly when you will rarely be the only seller offering a certain item. Wholesale suppliers likewise do not like to deal with unknown businesses. You will probably need to register for a business license and/or at have a tax id number before wholesalers will deal with you. Most wholesale suppliers require a minimum size order from small businesses, so you have to be prepared to buy a large number of items. Sales research is essential to be sure you have a reasonable chance of selling the merchandise you buy.
Selling wholesale products on eBay can be a great way to build a sustainable business. With careful research you can find the right product and sales niche to make your business successful. After some initial positive feedback and establishing a relationship with a few legitimate wholesalers you will be ready to sell wholesale products on eBay.