Increase Your eBay Sales With This Common Item

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I surprised myself when I found the Panasonic Electronic Pencil Sharpener niche.  I was just strolling through a thrift store when I saw an item that was not out of the ordinary.  I have passed over it many times before.  For some reason this time was different.  I had a nagging voice in my head that said: “If you check it, money will come.”  I made that last part up, but I still felt the urge to check the eBay completed listings.  When I did, I was surprised to find out that these were in high demand!  All the listings were sold, and they sold for a decent amount of money.  I thought back to all of the electronic pencil sharpeners I have passed up and wondered how many were Panasonic.

In case you were unfamiliar with the pencil sharpener industry, let me fill you in.  Panasonic is the top of the line brand when it comes to these things.  The leading businesses who need electronic pencil sharpeners only look for Panasonic because of the perfect sharpness of the pencil that it can produce.  They say that Panasonic takes sharpening to another level (not kidding).  Panasonic uses thick plastic which makes them stronger and more durable throughout the years.  Many sketch artists say that they will only use this brand because of the sharp stainless steel blade.

So how much are these worth?  Since I now know how popular these are, I have found quite a few.  You can usually get them for $1 – $4, and they can sell for as much as $60!  Here are some completed listings:

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Make sure you don’t overlook the old Panasonic Pencil Sharpeners because they can go for even more money than the new one’s today!  You should be able to find these at thrift stores, garage sales, or even marked down to clearance at some office supply stores!  The lesson I have learned from this is never to assume that an item is worthless.  If you have a feeling, look it up!

How to make $100 a day on eBay.

 

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The number one eBay related question I get is, “Where do I find eBay inventory?” Over the past couple of years I have outlined many places you can go to find eBay inventory, but for most, this can be overwhelming. It can take time to find inventory, and if you’re like me, you probably don’t have all day to search for new items to sell. So, how do you make $100 a day on eBay? There are several ways to accomplish this – below I’ve outlined a simple and easy to follow formula:

The key to this program has a consistent inventory stream. This may sound hard, but in reality, it’s not. Ebay inventory is all around you. It is a numbers game, and this is how to play.

1. Look at the stores that are around you e.g. Target, Grocery Store, K-Mart, Dollar Stores, Malls, Shoe Stores, Thrift Stores, Costco.

2. Pick three or four stores, and walk through them with a notepad in hand. You will be looking for items that are SMALL and unique enough that a buyer might not even know that they are there e.g. Fake Lottery Ticket, Stickers, Lip gloss, Toy handcuffs, Party Supplies, shoe laces.

3. Out of all the stores you visit, you want to come up with a list of 100 – 150 items and their prices (each store has thousands of SKU’s so this may take time, but it shouldn’t be hard to do)

4. Take your list home, and visit this eBay profit calculator HERE. You need to figure out how much you would have to sell each item for if you wanted to profit $.50 – $5. (That’s right, $.50 – $5).

5. Compare each item with the completed eBay listings. See if any items are selling in this price range.

6. List your items using a fixed format.

It’s important to remember that you have free listings every month (unless you have an eBay store). This process takes some time to get up and going, but once you set up your listings, you can set it and forget it. There are two key goals we want to accomplish here. First, we want the items to be small enough that we can send them in an envelope. The reason behind this is that filling out an envelope is quick and it doesn’t take up much space. Secondly, we want to find items that are consistently available in the store (see number 2 for ideas). If you can locate and sell the same item, then you only have to set up the listing once.

If you are making $.50 – $5 per item, then you usually need to sell 50 items per day. If you are selling items that fit into an envelope, then it should only take you a few hours to gather your products and send them out. For me, I like to have my 3 or 4 stores close together (within a mile).

This technique should be used in conjunction with selling the more profitable items. I mentioned earlier that this is a numbers game. Since I have an eBay store, I know that I’m allowed tons of free listings per month. In most cases, I am using them all, so I don’t lose money if my products don’t sell. With newer sellers, you may be restricted to the number of items you are allowed to sell, but you can request the limit to be raised at any time.

The hardest part is making sure that your stores keep the item in stock. You do run the risk of your item being sold out when you go to buy it, so pay close attention to what you are listing. If this happens, make sure you quickly let the buyer know and refund their money.

Like I mentioned before, this is just ONE of the ways that you can make $100 a day on eBay. Just to be clear, it’s not easy. It takes work, but when your business is set up correctly, you will reap the rewards. As always, it’s not guaranteed that you will make any money at all using this system. The amount of money you make depends on your dedication, skill level, and time/effort you put into it.

For more tips and tricks, check out “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE.

Easy to Find – Money Maker

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The Sony Walkman – this brings back good memories. Walking down the street, listening to the latest MC Hammer cassette tape. I thought I was cool! I remember when I bought my first Sony Walkman. It was the latest and greatest technology, and I could either listen to FM radio or whatever tape I could carry. When I was done listening to the first side I simply flipped it over to side B. Technology sure has advanced since then, but the Sony Walkman is still in high demand!

Sure there are “newer” digital versions of a Sony Walkman that allow you to play MP3’s, but those are not the ones that sell well on eBay. The vintage Sony Walkman (from the 80’s) is what’s HOT! There are a few reasons why people want these beautiful electronics again, and it may not be why you’d think. I have sold many of these on eBay before, and just out of curiosity, I asked the buyer why they wanted an old Sony Walkman. Here is what they said:

1. Battery Life: A couple of buyers stated that they only wanted it for the FM radio and that the Sony Walkman has the best battery life.

2. Collectors: I had some buyer tell me that they are just a fan of older technology, and they wanted to add it to their collection.

3. Party: One other buyer told me that they are going to an 80’s party and wanted it as an accessory.

I’m sure there are other reasons why people want these, but whatever the reason is, I am happy to sell it to them! Let us take a look at some completed listings:

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As you can see, the Vintage Sony Walkman is worth some real money! So where do you find these? The answer is, EVERYWHERE! A lot of people don’t understand the value of the Walkman, so they sell them for $1 at garage sales or $2 at thrift stores. Even some people on eBay will do a buy it now for under $5.

Make sure you are paying attention to the model of the Walkman, and utilize the Completed Listings feature. Not all Walkman’s are worth the same amount, and of course, the older, the better. Try to stay away from any cassette Walkman’s that have a digital display. Those are too new. Lastly, make sure it works. You may have to buy a cassette tape from Goodwill for $.50, but it will be worth it. The last thing you want is to have an angry buyer!

f you are wanting more tips and tricks, you can get my ebook, “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE

Want an easy sale? List some Hair Curlers!

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I’ll never forget the first time I was shopping at Goodwill and found a pair of the blue Remington Tight Curl Curlers. If it wasn’t for the TalkBoy sitting right next to these money makers, I probably would have walked right past them.  At the time, selling items from Goodwill was completely new to me.  In order to find out whether or not I could make money – I had to check the completed listings on the eBay mobile app.  My mouth almost dropped when I saw that those same curlers were selling for over $50 used. Goodwill was selling them for only $2, so I knew it was a home run.  But why?

The Remington Tight Curl Curlers are not the only set that will bring you in the big bucks. Let’s take a look at a few that have recently sold, and pay attention to the titles of each of these completed listings. You will see a theme. Every listing makes reference to Pageants. These old and used hair curlers provide the perfect curl for the toddler and tiara type of shows. It doesn’t matter that they are used, if it helps win the competition, then the parents will fish out the dough.  Take a look at a few of the sold listings below:

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This is an excellent time to point out the value to checking every “eye-catching” item at thrift stores. You truly never know what an item is worth to someone else! Using this type of thinking has to lead me to some crazy finds in my day. Here is a list of my most interesting finds:

  1. A box of tampons: YepI bought for less than a dollar and made over $60.
  2. Three bottles of cleaner: It was to be used in a machine that was discontinued. (Bought for less than a dollar per bottle and make over $30 each.)
  3. Water damaged ink: I found several boxes of old ink that were heavily water damaged for less than $3 each. I sold most of them for $30 and some for over $50. It turns out that they were solid ink bars and the water did no damage.
  4. Old Coke rugby shirt: This shirt had several holes and looked like it was worn in an actual rugby game. Bought it for $4 and sold it for $150.
  5. Electronic Face Shocker: That’s not the real name, but it does a good job describing what it does. It’s called a face exerciser. I found it in a zip lock bag for .50 cents and sold it for $70.

I really could go on and on, but the point I’m trying to make is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. It may not look like much to you, but someone else may be willing to pay big bucks for it! What is your craziest find?  Share in the comments below.

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Cracking the Costco Code

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When buying inventory for your eBay business, there are many places you can go. With that said, I still have a few favorite places. They are (in order) Goodwill, Target, and Costco (or Sam’s Club). When I first started finding eBay inventory at big box stores, I was afraid to go to Costco. Yeah, the free food samples were great, but it would take so much time to try and find an item that would make me some money on eBay.

That was until I understood the Costco “code.” That’s right, Costco has a code, and until you figure it out; you may spend countless hours roaming the aisles. Before I tell you the “code,” I want to give credit where credit is due. I didn’t figure this one out on my own, but I did find an article online that opened my eyes. The article is by Len Rapoport and the title is “Secret Codes Will Save You Money at Costco.” I will put the link at the bottom of this post.

Understanding the Costco code is easy. It’s all about quickly looking at the price tag and making a quick decision on the item is on clearance, closeout, or full price. There are a few indicators that give this away. You are going to be looking for three things:

1. A price ending in $.99
2. A price ending in $.97
3. An odd price ending in $.79
4. An asterisk in the corner of the tag.

So what do these prices and symbol mean?  Well, let me break it down.

  • The items that end in $.99 are full price and although they may still be a good deal, more than likely they will not make you any money on eBay.
  • The items that end in $.97 may be a great deal. These are the things that were full price but didn’t sell well, so the store has to clear them out fast.
  • The price tags that have the * in the corner indicates that this may be a great item to buy! It is an item that is not going to be reordered and could be marked down. Even if it is not marked down, think about how you could list the item as “hard to find” when they are out of stock. I recently did this with Cherry Almond Crunch cereal. The price was not marked down, but I was able to save it until it was a hard to find the product. I sold this item on Amazon, and I doubled my money.
  •  The items that of odd prices like $.79 could be ideal for eBay. They are the products that Costco got a special price on, and now they are passing it on to you!
    Remember to do you research first before you buy an item. Even though itself marked down does not mean it is a money maker, but I hope this cuts down on your time spent while searching for eBay inventory at Costco.

Again, I can not take credit for cracking this code. It was Len Rapoport’s article that inspired me, and if you would like to read it, you can find it HERE.

Where to Find Inventory to Sell on eBay – DSW

img_0302DSW is a great place to find inventory for eBay.  DSW provides a HUGE selection of high-end clearance shoes that change almost daily.  I’ll be the first to admit that I know almost nothing about shoes, but I do understand brands.  I usually shop at DSW once a week, and look for brands that I have heard of before.  That way I am not stuck in the store for hours trying to research each pair of shoes.

DSW has their own mark down schedule.  They start a pair of shoes off at 30%, then it is marked down higher and higher weekly (50%, 70%, 80%).  I only buy shoes when they are marked 70% or 80% off.  eBay is a buyers market, and if you buy a pair of shoes at 50% off, then you would most likely lose money.

My favorite brand of shoe to look for is Coach.  These have the highest sell through rate, and I usually make a higher profit.  Other brands to look for are:

  • Coach Shoes New Style In Black & Gray_1Dr Martian
  • L.A.M.B
  • Mark by Mark
  • Gucci
  • Coach
  • Ralph Lauren
  • and more

Here is an example of one of my recent pair of shoes that have sold:

I bought these for $29.99, so that’s a profit of $38.24 off of one pair of shoes!

Also look for these shoes at the Goodwill.  Even used shoes sell well on eBay.  For more ideas on what to sell (and where to find them), check out my FREE book, “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business”.

Where to Find Inventory to Sell on eBay – Goodwill

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The Goodwill is one of my favorite places to buy inventory for eBay. It is a place that is filled with mystery, but I never leave empty handed.  Rewind just a few years back.  I started looking at Goodwill for inventory in 2005.  I would walk in, and about an hour later I would walk out empty handed.  I could not find anything that I thought customers would want to buy on eBay.  The reality of it was, I just didn’t know what I was looking for.  eBay customers will buy ANYTHING!  Today, I try to visit two Goodwill’s a day for ten minutes each, and I leave with a cart full of items. What’s different now?  After trial and error, I know what will sell for a good profit.

Let me tell you one of my favorite Goodwill finds.  One day, not to long ago, I was taking a lap around the GW (thats what I call Goodwill).  I was walking down the wood aisle, when I accidentally kicked a large bubble gum machine that was on the floor.  Practicing good Karma, I bent down to pick it up.  As I bent down I looked on the bottom shelf, and right there, staring me right in the face was one box of O.B. Ultra Tampons.  To the normal consumer, this is a gross, old, dirty (but sealed) box of tampons at GW?  My heart started to pump fast, and my hands started to sweat.  This item was on my “have to find” list!  I knew that this $.99 box of tampons would sell for $50 on eBay.

Why would someone pay $50 for an old box of tampons?  Because it is O.B. Ultra Tampons, and they were discontinued about a year ago.  Women that used these in the past fell in love, and they have to have them.  Like I said, “People will buy ANYTHING”.  Here is a screen shot of a recently ended auction:

Goodwill is a great place to find inventory for your eBay business.  For more ideas on what to sell (and where to find them), check out my FREE book, “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business”.