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.


Not Every Inventory Investment Pays Off

As a seller, one of the things I love more than anything is making a nice profit on my items.

That’s the name of the game. Buy low, sell high.  Right?  Of course, the faster, the better!

While my goal is to make a living and to make the highest amount of profit I can off of each item I sell, sometimes I fall short of the goal. I would say that I am able to make a high profit most of the time but high profit margins aren’t always the case.

There are times that I make a bad investment, and it comes back to haunt me.

An item that I’m SURE will be a good seller ends up sitting on my shelf for months on end.  There’s even the really bad investment where not only does an item sit around too long, but I end up either breaking even or worse.

Yes, I admit that there are times that I lose money on an investment.  I try not to make a habit of it, but I’ll be honest.  It has happened to me a few times.

Here are some things that weren’t a good investment for me:

*DVD’s from the Dollar Tree. Even though I thought they were good movies, they sat there and I could hardly give them away.

* American Girl slippers for girls.  I thought these were super cute, but it took me three years to get rid of them and I ended up losing money on them.

* Sports stadium banks from Avon.  I purchased several of these at a great price on clearance from AVON, but they sat in my store a long time plus I didn’t make very much profit off of them.

* Antiques.  I started off on eBay listing antiques and while antiques are a good niche for some people, apparently they aren’t for me.

I’m sure there were others in the past 7+ years.  Sometimes a bad investment can be a good thing as a seller.  No one wants to lose money on an investment, but bad investments help us learn what our buyers want and don’t want.  Bad investments help us think twice before spending money on anything and everything.

Don’t be upset with yourself if you’ve made a bad investment recently or in the past. Analyze it and use it as a learning tool to improve what you invest in in the future.


This Week of Treasure Hunting

I haven’t been treasure hunting much this year.

I stop at the thrift store once in awhile when I have a few minutes, but spending time in a thrift store and stopping on purpose to treasure hunt hasn’t happened much.

I’m constantly amazed at what I find around the house each week to list online.

This past weekend, we decided to get out of town for a few days and visit some friends.  The friends we stayed with are an eBay family too, so the first day we were there, she asked me if I wanted to stop by the Post Office with her and stop to look at the Goodwill…… don’t have to ask me twice :D  She’s lucky because her Post Office is in the same parking lot as her Goodwill (every eBay sellers dream come true!)

I found a few good items there:

When I saw these , there was only ONE of them :(  I put it in my cart anyway and looked at the rest of the shoes, praying the whole time that I would find the other one.  Two aisles over, and there it was :D

I also found these there.

Along with this

I also found a few other pairs of jeans, some athletic clothes and a few other pairs of shoes.  The next day, I went to the Hanna Andersson outlet.  Those of you who know me on facebook and online selling forums know how much I love Hanna Andersson :)  I felt like I did really good at their sale.

I got several pairs of They had navy blue and black on sale, so I got several pairs of both.

It was a ton of fun to see what they would have at the Hanna sale, and lots of fun to just get away for a few days and spend time with some friends.


Buying Inventory to Sell on eBay

September 16, 2010 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Ebay, Finding Inventory, How To..., Thrifting

When I first started selling on eBay, I didn’t know how to approach buying inventory.  I went to thrift stores  and spent $10-15, trying to find the best items I could  to bring a decent profit.

I tried different types of items that I thought would sell on eBay.

I look back now and cringe….I think of all of the items I passed up because I tried to stick to my budget at the thrift store.

I think a small budget may have been a good strategy for me initially since I didn’t really know about what would sell or what wouldn’t sell. I didn’t want to waste money on items that wouldn’t sell.

In the last couple of years, I’ve changed my buying strategy.  Especially when I’m at thrift store or  a garage sale. Most of the time, I can’t go back for the item, if  I don’t buy it now, it’s gone.

For the most part, if it’s something I want, I put it in my cart and then make a final inspection before checking out.

It’s more cost effective in my opinion for me to spend $75 at one thrift store on items that I know  turn a good profit than it is for me to stick to a certain dollar limit in a store and then go to several thrift stores in a week.

I do try to stick with items that are consistent sellers for me and items that I know will sell. I’m willing to wait a few months for an item to sell  if it’s an item that will bring me a good profit.

I also try to look at profit margins when I’m making my buying decisions.

For example, recently I found a pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans in a thrift store marked at $24.99.

Most of the time I snatch up 7 for All Mankind jeans. I had these in my cart but decided to put them back when I found four pairs of jeans in various brands (White House Black Market, CAbi, etc.) marked at $5.99 each.

My investment of $24.99 in one pair of jeans (7 for All Mankind) would bring me a sale around $79.99.  That’s a good sale–a profit of $55.00.
Instead of buying one pair for $24.99, I decided to invest in four pairs of jeans at $5.99 each. I knew that each pair could sell for about $49.99-a profit of $44.00 per pair. When all four pairs sold, I would have spent $23.96 on 4 pairs of jeans and in return, I would have a difference of $176.

That’s $121.00 more than I would make by spending the same amount of money ($24.99) on the 7 for All Mankind jeans.

I look at buying inventory to resell as an investment and the option that I chose by buying the four pairs of jeans yields me a higher return.

It is a little riskier decision, because now, four items have to sell to before I receive the return I’m looking for on my investment. I believe it’s a good investment strategy for my store.

Leave a comment for me with your buying strategy.