My first foray into home working was when I discovered eBay. I sold the family “junk” and then spent many hours trying to find a profitable niche to turn my exciting new hobby into a regular money earner.
As anyone who has ever tried to find the “perfect eBay product” knows this is easier said than done!
I needed items that I could source repeatedly so trawling through junk at thrift stores and boot sales uncovering the occasional nugget was not the answer.
I needed items that I could mark up sufficiently to allow an acceptable profit AFTER all of my costs and selling fees were taken into account.
I didn’t have access to storage space other than a spare bedroom in my home so these items needed to be small and easy to store/ship.
My initial strategy was to identify items that were popular on eBay and then approach a wholesaler to negotiate a bulk purchase. I tried this a number of times but when I compared the wholesale prices to the retail prices on eBay I realized that there was barely enough margin to cover the selling fees let alone leave a worthwhile profit.
In fact, I couldn’t see how the eBay sellers were making any profit at all, they were all competing on price and it quickly dawned on me that the only sellers making any money were the ones who could negotiate the best prices with the wholesalers/manufacturers because of the size of their orders.
This experience taught me that the best way for ordinary people like you and me to succeed on eBay is to sell items that nobody else is selling – in other words I needed to create my own unique products OR I needed to sell unusual items such as vintage collectable items.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the skills or knowledge to create my own products so I began to focus my attention on vintage collectable items.
During my many hours of eBay ‘completed listings’ research I had come across several very successful sellers who were selling book plates (full page illustrations) removed from old books.
I was fascinated by the amazing diversity of different artists whose printed work was being snapped up by eBay’s hungry collectors. These items were fetching very healthy prices and they were certainly easy and cheap to store and ship the remaining question was – could they be sourced repeatedly?
A little more research and I uncovered a price comparison website that specialized in used books. In fact, this one website gave me access to 20,000 booksellers from across the globe and millions of individual books!
My eBay business model was starting to take shape!
Ebay’s completed listings confirmed exactly what the buyers wanted and the prices they were prepared to pay and my price comparison website enabled me to find the cheapest available copies of the source books and have them delivered to my home without ever having to leave my armchair!
After literally hundreds of hours research I had finally found the perfect eBay product!
- Cheap and simple to store and ship (is placing a piece of paper in an envelope simple enough for you?)
- Forget 10% profit margins – I make between 200% and sometimes as high as 1,000% profits!
- I can tap into an almost inexhaustible supply of old books
Oh, and this is no flash in the pan business either, the story you have just read happened seven years ago and I am still making amazing profits selling vintage book plates today!
Remember, this is so simple that ANYONE with an eBay account can do it, you don’t need any special tools or skills, this doesn’t require lots of time or money.
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Best of luck and thanks for reading!
This is a guest post written by Stuart Turnbull, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.