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.
This week on eBay has been interesting as always.
I’ve sold items internationally for the 10 years that I’ve been selling on eBay, but recently it seems like I’m getting more and more international sales. I’m not exactly sure what the increase is due to, but I take any sale that comes my way.
For some reason, I went a few days this week without any sales. No sales, no offers, no questions. That’s something that hasn’t happened to me in almost 8 years of selling online. It can be discouraging, but I try to keep myself focused. I try to use slower times as an opportunity for uninterrupted listing, revising and marketing.
My Amazon sales are increasing, so that’s always encouraging. I haven’t made it “big” on Amazon yet, but I keep experimenting and learning more about what sells best there.
I’m busy getting my store stocked up for Christmas. I’m keeping my eyes open for toys and gift items and trying to snatch them up and get them listed right away.
I hope your week has been great!
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 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.
I buckled down this week and got busy listing, listing, listing for the first time in several weeks I’ve been consistently listing on a daily basis. Guess what? It’s also brought my sales back up. I’m convinced that sales are a direct result of listing. If you don’t list consistently, your sales won’t be consistent.
Not only were my eBay sales up, but I had several Amazon sales this week. For some reason, when I have Wilton cake pans, they seem to do really well for me on Amazon.
This week, I was able to get my eBay inventory up to 860 items and 5200 positive feedback. It’s taking me longer than I thought it would to rebuild my store, but I’m hoping to be back around 900 soon. Of course listing items and then having items sell is a good problem to have, but it makes it harder to reach my inventory goals. I’m busy trying to stock up for the Christmas season already. I’d like to have 1,000 items by then…..we’ll see what I can do.
Consistently sending about 15 items a week to auction has helped increase sales too.
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.