Where Do eBay Sellers Get Their Merchandise?
The million dollar question in the eBay reselling world is “where do eBay sellers get their merchandise?” It’s usually one of the first things people ask when you tell them that you sell on eBay.
So where do eBay sellers get their merchandise? Every seller is different and has their own business model, but it usually comes from thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, auctions, wholesale lots, etc. It also makes a difference where you live. Some places have really good local thrift stores and others rely on online wholesale sites.
Here is an in-depth break down to show where eBay sellers get their merchandise.
Yard Sales, Garage Sales, and Estate Sales
Local sales are some of the best places to go to. We like to wait for entire city-wide or neighborhood garage sales so we can hit multiple sales in a short period of time.
If you’re going to source merchandise to sell at local yard, garage, and estate sales you’ll want to make sure your eBay app is handy for research. I still remember the days before we had smartphones! It wasn’t as quick and easy that’s for sure 🙂 We used to call home where someone was standing by at the computer ready to do research for us. It was very time-consuming!
Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Yes, there will be some people who think their stuff is worth retail prices, but there are also a lot of people who just want to get rid of their junk. Those are the people us resellers like to meet! Just don’t get yourself talked into paying more for an item than you’re willing to pay. You are running a business and the point is to make money – which you can’t do if you pay to much for the item.
Bundle and save. If you find multiple items at the same sale and it makes sense to offer one price for everything, do it. Again, a lot of people just want to get rid of crap, so when they see your large handful of items they’ll just be happy to get rid of it.
Local and Online Auctions
We have a local auction house that does live auctions both in person and online. We’ve gotten quite a bit of decent items by bidding on them and picking up the items was a breeze. We paid for the items we won online and then just had to give our name when we picked up the loot. Very simple and easy.
You could also check out some other online auctions such as shopgoodwill.com or even some eBay auctions where other sellers are liquidating their inventory. We have sold a few wholesale lots of inventory that was good but we needed to liquidate to get some money back out of it. Just do a search for “whatever you’re looking for + wholesale lot” (i.e. “men’s necktie wholesale lot”).
Another way that we’ve found merchandise to sell on eBay is through Liquidation.com. We actually bought quite a few liquidation lots from Amazon returns and made some money. We’ve also bought shelf pulls and new without tag items that did well. You need to purchase a few lots for yourself and test out the different sellers. Once you’ve found a seller that provides the quality items that are acceptable, you know who to keep ordering from. My only word of caution is to remember when you buy returns that many of the pieces will be broken and unsellable. It can be 25-50% of the lot that is complete garbage.
In addition to purchasing from Liquidation, you can also find other companies who sell wholesale merchandise from retail chains.
All you need to do is a Google search for “wholesale lots from retailers” and you’ll find a whole bunch of companies that you can look into. You can get a supplier for everything from clothing to cosmetics.
It’ll take some research and negotiating, but if you can start a good relationship with a company, you have a good chance of developing a long term partnership with them.
We’d love to hear your favorite places to find merchandise as an eBay seller. Leave a comment below!