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.

Hey – That Would Be Great For….

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When eBay buyers go online to shop, do they know what they are looking for?  In most cases, I would say – yes, but it’s easy to get lost in all the active listings.  Lucky for them, you can help!

Steve Jobs is famous for doing zero market research at Apple.  He thought that customers had no clue to what they wanted.  This goes for the eBay shopper as well!  I’m not saying that us “sellers” need to invent a new life changing product like Steve did, but there is an easy way to open an eBayer’s eyes to your product.

With that said, there’s a small trick I use when repurposing a product on eBay.  This step opens up my item to a whole new group of eBay buyers that probably wouldn’t have seen my item.  So what’s the trick?  Well, the trick is to use the phrase, “Great For…”, and then suggest a use for a product.  For example, I found a Cast Iron “Mickey Mouse” Muffin Pan.  I tried to sell it as is, but no one was interested.  That was until I changed the description to “Cast Iron Mickey Mouse Muffin Pan – Great For Disney Birthday Parties.”  That opened up a whole new niche for me.  Not only was I selling to the collectors, but I now am selling to buyers looking for birthday ideas!  I got great feedback from the customer, and she thanked me for the suggestion.  I doubled the amount I thought I was going to get for it, so from there on, I was sold!

It’s fun to go to eBay and type in “Great For” in the search bar and see what results you get.  Some people have great ideas, and it helps me stay creative with my listings.  Before we take a look at a listing, you can check out the “Great For” search results HERE.

Okay, let’s take a look at how adding “Great For” helped a seller make more money.

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These are similar listings, but one has “Great For Bridal Showers, ” and one does not.  If an eBay buyer was looking for Bridal Shower ideas, then guess what listing popped up?  This technique will greatly enhance your chances of your item being bought!  Give it a shot and let us know how it worked!

For more tips and tricks (plus a list of what to sell), check out, “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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Holiday Success and The Brass Belt Buckle

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I must say, I enjoyed my vacation very much, but I’m glad to be back! Even when I’m not eBaying and “taking a break”, I still feel the itch to look something up and see if I can make money. This drives my wife crazy, and it’s something I really need to work on. We all need to turn eBay off in our minds once in a while. With that said, this time of year is our time to shine as eBay entrepreneurs. If you played your cards right, orders should have been flowing in and your PayPal account should be growing!

I took three different approaches this Holiday season, and it really paid off!

1. One Hot Product: This year I decided to focus most of my efforts on finding one hot item. This needed to be something that was niche enough that I wasn’t bombarded with competition, but popular enough to make several sales a day. I also needed to make sure that I had an inventory source that could keep up with the demand. This year I really hit a home run! Somedays I was shipping out 30 boxes of this particular item! My strategy was to price low enough to encourage shoppers to buy from me, but high enough to average out $10 per item. I’m still making sales on this product, so I’m not going to share what it is just yet, but once the sales are dead I’ll let you know. This will help you with next year sales and finding niche items in general.

2. SaleHoo: This is the first Holiday Season that I used SaleHoo as a inventory source, and I couldn’t be happier. About 20% of my sales came from inventory that I got by using SaleHoo. About half of them were drop shipping items, and then the other half were wholesale items that I bought beforehand. I initially was nervous about buying wholesale items in bulk, but the risk paid off. Most of my wholesale items were bought from one merchant that sold gag gifts and party supplies. Who would have thought that the rattlesnake egg prank, can nuts prank, fake loto tickets, and various other gags were popular to give as Holiday gifts. If you haven’t checked out SaleHoo yet, Cick HERE! You won’t be disappointed.

3. Thrift Store: Although getting eBay inventory from online retailers is much easier than sourcing at Thrift Stores, there still is something really exciting about finding home-run items at a Goodwill! This is something that I love to do, and most of the time, you can find an item that pays out much more than those at a retail store. I have told many stories of different items I’ve found and how they have brought me in a lot of cash, but one item that took me by surprise was in a box that I found over my break. I was driving by a Goodwill and decided to stop in. I gave myself 2o minutes tops, then I was going to leave. The very first aisle I go down had a box of old brass belt buckles. This is something that I know nothing about, but it still pulled my interest enough for me to check eBay’s competed listings. I was blown away when I found out that most of the items in the box were going for $30 or more! These are definitely on my radar now!

It’s important to remember that the Holiday Shopping Season actually extends into January, so keep going! Many people will be receiving eBay gift cards as a present, and will be looking for you to sell them your item.

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”.