How I Decide Where to List Inventory

Here’s a question that comes up frequently when I’m talking to online sellers about selling on multiple venues:

How do you decide which site is best to list certain items?

This is a great question, and it’s part of the reason why I sold exclusively on eBay for several years.  I just didn’t have the time to learn how other sites worked and what their customers were looking for.

Last year I dove into selling on Amazon.  When I started, I went through all of my eBay items that were already listed and listed what was in the Amazon catalog on Amazon.  Pretty much, that’s still what I do.  I don’t go out of my way to find specific items for Amazon or eBay, I look for items to sell online and list the same item on both sites if I’m able to list it on Amazon.

Some items go quickly on eBay, other items go quick on Amazon and sit around on eBay.

Using this method of having items listed on both sites means that I have to stay on top of my inventory.  As soon as it sells on Amazon, I have to take it off of eBay if it’s the only one I have, or update the quantity on eBay if I have multiples of the item.

It also means that as items sell on eBay, I have to go through my Amazon inventory and make sure it’s not still available there. (I do that about once a week since my Amazon inventory is a lot smaller than my eBay inventory.)

Using this method has been an inexpensive way for me to learn more about Amazon and what types of items sell best there.  I’m not spending any extra money for inventory, it’s all items that I would spend money on for eBay anyway.

One item that I’ve done well with on Amazon is Starbucks Bearista Bears.  I pick these bears up and list them on eBay and Amazon.  They’re not a super fast seller, they tend to sell in spurts on both eBay and Amazon, but they are a good “fill in the blanks” sale. (Meaning, they’re not a fast turn around and they’re not consistent, but they’re a good surprise sale once in awhile.)

Another item that has been selling well for me on Amazon is Wilton cake pans.  I’ve experimented with Wilton cake pans on eBay and some have sold, others have sat there and ended up in my rummage sale.  Recently, I found four Wilton cake pans, new with their inserts at a garage sale for $1 each.  I decided to try listing Wilton pans again.  For some reason when I started listing them, I thought to myself: “I wonder if I can list these on Amazon?”

I checked and sure enough, I could sell them.  I list all of my Wilton cake pans on both eBay and Amazon at $29.99+ shipping.  So far, this summer, I’ve sold 4 out of the 7 cake pans I’ve listed on Amazon, and none of them have sold on eBay.

So I’m taking the same approach that I took to learn eBay to learn Amazon.  Experiment and learn a little bit more each day.

Never stop learning.

Rachel

Online Selling Tip of the Week

My selling tip for you this week doesn’t get any more basic than this:

~List the items you’ve purchased before buying more inventory ~

In my early years of selling online, I was famous for having boxes and bins of unlisted inventory and leaving it sit there while I went shopping for more.  Not anymore.  If it’s not listed, it can’t sell, which means I have money invested in my inventory and it’s just sitting there with no chance for it to make me a profit.

Now I’m pretty strict with myself about listing what I have before buying more because so many times when I would list items that had been sitting around for months, the items would sell within days of listing them and I would be kicking myself……..why didn’t I list that sooner?

No more kicking myself.  When I buy it, I try to have it listed within 48 hours, and if I’m not able to list within 48 hours, I list it before I go out to buy more.  So give it a try, I think you’ll like the results.

Rachel

Scoring a Home Run

The majority of the items I sell online are from around the house, thrift stores, yard sales or from consignors.  I enjoy finding new merchandise on clearance at retail stores though too.  It’s a lot less work to list, describe, and ship.  There’s no sewing up a little hole or trying to get a stain out. I especially love it when I’m able to get large quantities of those items.  It makes my life so much easier.

The best is when you find a large quantity of a retail item that flies out the door :D   Those are always a lot of fun.

A couple of years ago, I scored large quantities of Pixos refills at the Dollar Store.  That was an awesome money maker.

Recently, I came across some discontinued Crest Pro-Health toothpaste.  Originally, my thought was that it would be a good item to sell on Amazon, so I purchased three of them to give them a try. At $2.50 a tube, it couldn’t hurt, right?

I listed them on eBay and Amazon and wouldn’t you know that all three of them sold in just a few days on eBay.  Originally, I had them priced at 7.99 each with free shipping.  After those three tubes sold so quickly, I went back for a dozen more, raised the price to $8.99 each with $1.99 shipping and within four days all 12 of them were sold.

Some of them sold on Bonanza, some on Amazon, but most of them sold on eBay.

I ended up selling over 100 tubes of toothpaste in about 8 weeks between all of my selling venues.   I kept going back each week and getting 12-15 more of them.  Buyers were ordering multiples of this toothpaste.  Several buyers purchased 10 of them at a time.
I was super excited to find out that I was the only seller on eBay with this item listed.

A few weeks into my weekly trek to the store to get more toothpaste (I didn’t have the funds up front to buy all the toothpaste they had in stock) the entire store was on sale for 20% off, so I bought out the remaining 43 tubes of toothpaste they had, and within three days, I had already made back the money I spent on that investment and still had 33 more tubes to sell.

The profit on this item wasn’t huge, but the fact that they sold fast and in large quantities helped me make nearly $1,000 of profit off of toothpaste.

I wish I could find more “home run” items on a consistent basis.  I always have fun adding them into the mix of my consistent selling items.

Rachel

Things That Flew Out the Door: June 2013

In my quest to get my store inventory up to 900 items, this month, only 10 items that I listed during June sold the same month.

Partially that’s because I’m already working on listing coats, sweaters and other winter items to get ready for the season change and that’s not what customers are buying this month.

Here’s June’s list:

*Shoreshapers swimming suit

*Croft & Barrow sun dress

*Izod school uniform skirt

*Merona white top

*Crest toothpaste

*31 Purse (x2)

*American Girl dress

*Soybu Tank top

*SAS Sandals

Rachel

This Week on eBay

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on my selling week.  Things have been a little crazy around here, which is one of the best parts of being self-employed: You can work your job around your life.  I live the flexibility of it all.

I’ve been listing for myself and a couple of consignors lately on top having life throw us a few surprises.  I’m also focusing on living and enjoying life with my family rather than being tied to my computer.

I’ve been trying new recipes, sewing, going to the beach, spending long weekends with family and friends and going on a few road trips.

I’m still trying to work toward 900 listings.  Right now, I’m stuck at about 830.  I’ve been trying to list a minimum of 5 items a day.  Some days are more, some are less, but it’s Summer so it’s difficult for me to be focused on my listings.

I’ve been sending some eBay items to auction to see how they’ll do.  Especially items that I have multiple quantities of.

I’m also happy with the fact that I feel like my Amazon sales are picking up.  They’re no where like my eBay sales, but I’m happy to make a few hundred dollars extra a month.

Bonanza has been an interesting venue for me this summer.  I had four (4) items sell there in the month of June.  I don’t have a ton of time to promote my Bonanza items, so I’m happy with any sale that I get there.  I consider them to be “bonus” sales.

Rachel

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