Thursday, January 15, 2009

Starting out with online auctions

So, you want to sell items on eBay

Almost 10 years ago I started selling items on eBay. Back then most of the people I talked to had never heard of it. Thankfully I was tech savy enough to figure out how to use it quickly and find items to sell.

For me selling on eBay has definitely been more of a hobby than a business. It is easy to find once in a while opportunities, but hard to find consistent sources of good product to sell with decent margins.

What are some of the things that I have sold on eBay?
  • A pallet load of Macintosh computer monitors purchased at an Auction in Nashville, TN. Cost of about $2 per monitor.
  • Over 100 Super Nintendo Video Games purchased from a local video rental store for $3 per game.
  • My entire used CD collection. Not much money to make when you buy CDs for $10-$15 and sell them for ~ $5
  • Old classic computers and accessories.
  • Macintosh computer parts. That one was fun. Just to prove a point I purchased the whole computers on eBay and then parted them out to make more money. And it acutally worked for a while.
  • One Christmas season I purchased a box full of Playstation/Gamecube to USB converters for the PC. It let you use your gamecube or playstation controllers on the computer. They sold well for a few months, and then sales finally dropped off.
  • Used DVDs
  • Used books
  • Broken computers
  • Computer parts.  CD roms, motherboard, CPUs, memory, Hard Drives, etc.
  • Radio equipment used by the city and county.

So where do you find all this stuff to sell?
  • When you are shopping check clearance isles at the store. Sometimes you can get a steal on several items and keep some for yourself and buy the rest to sell on eBay.
  • You can go to local storage auctions. When folks don't pay their storage bill the storage company will open the lock and then you get to bid for the unit. Be ready to load up some stuff!
  • Local police auctions.
  • Auctions in larger cities close to where you live. In my area that would be Memphis or Nashville.
  • Get up early and hit the garage sales in your area.

How can you find out when this stuff is available?
  • Check your local classified paper.
  • Do an internet search for auction listings in your area.
  • Don't forget to check out the clearance isles.
  • Spend your weekend going to garage sales in search of a few bargins.
  • Drive around to your local storage companies and ask when they have sales.
Don't forget to have some fun too.   Too much work and no play time is boring!  Guitar Hero is lots of fun when you are not eBaying!

My eBay items for sale