Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shopping at Flea Markets for Items to Sell on eBay

Today's post is brought to us by John S, a fellow seller and flea market extrodinaire.

Whether you call them swap meets, flea markets, jockey lots or a host of other regional terms a flea market as defined by Webster’s is: “usually open-air market for secondhand articles and antiques”. In reality they are so much more, they are even a great source to find items to sell on eBay.

What was once the domain of antique dealers, used car part sellers and farmers peddling their crops has in the last few decades turned into place where a myriad of vendors selling all kinds of items, both outdoors as well as inside cavernous barn like buildings. If there is something you want chances are good that you will be able to find it at a flea market.

They are a wonderful resource for eBay sellers to find items to sell. In the spring and summer families choose to load up their unwanted household items and drive them down to the flea market to sell. It is truly like going to dozens of garage sales all within steps of each other. There are crafters selling all kinds of hand made items. The one business type that I always look for is the vendor selling health and beauty products. Some of the products on the “Hot List" can usually be found there at a great discount.

Tips, Tricks and Hints:

Of course wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and standing.

Watch what you wear. Dress comfortable but not glitzy. Leave the bling and expensive handbags at home. If you want to get good deals, its better if you dress the part. The vendors are very sharp and can read their customers very well.

Do not be afraid to haggle. Remember the vendors only rent their 10 x 10 spot for the day they really don’t want to load everything up at the end of the day and take it back home. They are use to people asking for a discount. Be smart, don’t ask, “will you take less”, name the price you want to pay.

Timing is everything. If you are looking for hard to find collectibles or other garage sale items you need to get there real early. Antique buyers are combing through tables as the sellers are setting up. If you want to get great deals then you need to be there as sellers are putting their items away.

Keep your money separated. You would be surprised how many times you can get a vendor to accept even less when all you pull out of your pocket is $8.00 for a $10.00item.

Bring cash. Few vendors take checks and even fewer take plastic. Besides, with all the identity theft these days, giving those numbers along with your driver’s license is not a good idea.

Don’t bring anything larger than a 20-dollar bill. Counterfeiters are notorious for using flea markets to launder their wares. If you bring large denominations you might go home with some funny money.

Flea markets are fun! And profitable. Some of the markets are huge and daunting at first. Take it slow if it’s your first time. Always keep an eye out for those items you are looking for and keep your mind open for ideas. Most important, have fun!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snoopy Fire King Mugs Still Hot on eBay

This is not a new tip, it has been around for a while. There are specific Snoopy Fire King mugs that are collector's items and bring over $250 each on eBay. The most popular one is the Snoopy Red Baron mug shown above. (The problem is finding them to sell.)

This one went for $285 on November 23. Click here to see the auction.

If you are really into Snoopy and Peanuts collectibles, or want to learn more, Amazon has a book called More Snoopy (R) Collectibles: An Unauthorized Guide with Values that outlines and explains specific Snoopy items and their values.

Add Snoopy items to your list of "things to look for" at thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, and estate sales.

Other articles about what to sell on eBay:

Walmart Items to Sell on eBay for Profit

Make Money on eBay Selling Items from Big Lots

Dollar Store Items to Sell on eBay for Profit

Happy selling!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What to Sell on eBay – Down Vests

Down vests are good sellers. Men's, women's, and children's - they all are good sellers. You can find them at thrift stores for $1 - $2. The higher the down content, the more you can sell them for on eBay. Look for brands like LL Bean, Land’s End, Eddie Bauer, The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, and Obermeyer. Even off brands do well as long as the down content is high. 100% down is optimal.

As always, when shopping for used clothing to sell on eBay, look over the item well before purchasing it. Look for rips or tears, make sure zippers work, make sure all snaps are present, and check for stains.

Another great thing about selling down vests is that they are lightweight and easy to ship. You can offer free shipping on these – just build the shipping price into the price of the item. Remember, free shipping helps get you to the top of Best Match.

Be sure to offer international shipping. Europeans like 100% down vests and coats. Down is high quality, holds its value, and is warm!

Click here for completed listings for 100% down vests.

Related articles on selling used clothing on eBay:

How to Make Money Selling Sweaters on eBay

How to Make Money Selling Cashmere on eBay

How to Make Money Selling Tennis Apparel on eBay

Happy selling,

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hot eBay Tip - Discontinued Mascara to Sell for Big Profit

Welcome to Hot Tip Friday! Check this out. Maybelline Ultra Big Ultra Lash Mascara. Sells for around $8. Completeds on eBay are going for between $80 and $65.

It is out of stock on Buy Me Beauty.com, Drugstore.com doesn't have it, neither does Amazon.

Check dollar stores, Big Lots, Walmart, Target, drug and grocery stores. I can't tell you exactly where to find it because I have not personally found any.Apparently they are out there. Click here to see current listings on eBay. Get in on this one before the price drops! If you find any, be sure to check completed listings to compare price points.

Click here to see my FREE list of discontinued items to sell on eBay.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Time to Sell Halloween Costumes on eBay

Halloween costumes are good sellers on eBay year round and I always look for them when visiting garage sales and thrift stores. Now is the time to get them listed in your store as the Halloween rush is starting.

Look for costumes at members clubs (like Sam’s and Costco), Dollar Stores, Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Big Lots, Kohl's, garage sales, and thrift stores. Watch for costumes to go on clearance after Halloween and stock up on them to sell at Christmas time. Many costumes are reduced up to 75% after Halloween is over.

Click here to learn which costumes to sell and why.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New SAHM eBay Seller Group on Facebook

I wanted to make everyone aware of the new Stay at Home Moms Selling on eBay Group on Facebook. (anyone can join, you don't have to be a SAHM.) The eBay Coach forum will gradually be phased out and I hope everyone will join the group to continue our networking and support system.

I received an email from Free Forums about some changes – changes that I am not happy with. The advertising banners have become rather sleazy and the forum seems to attract a large number of spammers and non-eBay sellers.

Many of us are on Facebook daily doing other things. I think we will have more participation using a Facebook group. The interface is easier for moderating posts, and to be honest, Facebook is the place to be. They recently reported passing the 100million user mark.

If you don’t have a Facebook account, don’t worry. You can create a profile in just a few minutes and it is free. Here are a few tips about how Facebook can help you grow your business, network, and find customers.

I hope this change will not inconvenience anyone, but this is definitely a change for the better! I look forward to seeing you on Facebook, and be sure to send me a friend request!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Plea from Europe for US eBay Sellers to Ship Internationally

Today, I received the following email from a reader in France. I asked for his permission to share this with you, as it may give you the push you need to start shipping internationally.

He wrote,

"My wife and I live in France, and we check in on your site from time to time for ebay ideas. My jaw dropped when I followed your link to Kohls recent sweater sale.

It's so frustrating, though, to not be able to order items from some of our favorite stores : Kohls, Target, Office Depot, etc.

Why? They won't deliver outside the US? :(

Please encourage your readers not to make the same mistake!

As the dollar continues to lose its value against commodities and world currencies, people like us are cruising eBay for great deals.

And if I may, I would encourage Americans to use the US postal service exclusively. Sometimes w/ UPS, we get stuck paying outrageous customs fees or they won't hand over the package! Something that's never happened with the US Postal Service."

So there you have it. A direct request for goods from the USA. If you aren't already shipping internationally, what are you waiting for? If you are intimidated by international shipping, my eBook will help you:

eBay International Shipping Made Easy

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Super Hot Discontinued Item to Sell on eBay - At Your Local Drug Store


Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Care Cream. This item has been discontinued. It works great on eczema, and those who use it are looking on eBay for it. It costs about $10 per tube (retail), and you can find it at your local drug store. It will be in the First Aid aisle, right by the Sarna lotion, or other cortizone or itch-relieving type lotions. I found it at CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart. (Rite-Aid, Target, Kroger, or other grocery stores did NOT carry it. Best to check CVS and Walgreens.)

I must confess, I discovered this hot seller about a month ago and spent a few weeks scouring Atlanta for every tube I could find. It isn't easy to find. My best sale was $81 for two tubes! WOW - $61 profit on one sale! It is still selling for about $20 a tube, which is a nice profit if you can find any.

Good luck finding some!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is Thrift Store Clothing Still Profitable on eBay?

Many of you who follow my eBay store have noticed that I am no longer selling clothing found in thrift stores and that my inventory has shifted to consumer products. This blog post is a response to those of you out there who have contacted me with the question, "If you aren't selling thrift store clothing anymore, does that mean it is no longer profitable?'

The answer - Thrift Store clothing is still a good seller on eBay!

My eBay business and my life are completely different than when I started selling on eBay back in 2003. My children were 7 and 9, and as a single parent, I wanted a way to make money from home. I would make 1 or 2 thrift store runs a week and spend the bulk of my time processing, photographing, listing, and shipping the items - all from the comfort of home on a schedule that worked for my family.

My children are now 12 and 14 and are much more independent. They can be at home by themselves if I have to run an errand, meet with a client, or hold a seminar or class. My coaching business occupies much of my time now as I do telephone consulting, one-on-one consulting, and seminars and classes for other moms who want to learn how to make money on eBay. I also am a compensated writer for other blogs, women's causes, and work-from-home sites. And of course, there are my eBooks which I will continue to crank out as fast as I can - right now I have two in process - all about shoes, and how to market your store on the internet for free. I've also got some new ventures in the works that you will be reading about in the next few months.

So, do not dispair that my eBay store does not contain the items that I describe in my books. Trust me, after selling over 10,000 pieces of clothing on eBay, I've learned a few things. Those of you who sell clothing will agree that it is time consuming and labor intensive, however, a good fit for moms at home with small children as you can work on clothing at your own pace and clothing is something that everyone around the world will always need.

As for my inventory now, I have made some new connections where I am able to experiment with new products at a minimal investment. Keep in mind that your eBay store will continue to evolve as time goes by. I started out selling lingerie, then books, then dishes and kitchen items, and finally clothing. I found that clothing was easy to find, easy to store and ship, and everyone needs it (and needs to replace it eventually) so clothing is a good, reliable seller.

I am not in the thrift stores much anymore, but come winter, I guarantee I will be visting them to look for some 100% cashmere sweaters - for myself this time!

Happy selling!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How to File a Mutual Withdrawal on eBay

If you haven't heard this one yet, you will. Customer emails you, "I've decided I don't want to buy this after all. Please cancel the transaction." You will still be charged the final value fees unless you take action to recover them.

You can do one of three things.

1) Do nothing and don't bother to recover your lost fees.

2) File an upaid item dispute after 7 days and your fees will be credited back to your account if the customer does not pay for the item.

3) File a mutual withdrawal. The customer must agree to this, but it is a more friendly resolution if the buyer made an honest mistake. Follow these steps:

a) Log on to your eBay seller page.
b) Click "Dispute Console."
c) Enter the item number.
d) Under "Why are you reporting this item?" Click, "We have both agreed not to complete this transaction." Answer next question about details regarding the withdrawal.
e) Buyer will receive an email from eBay asking if he/she wants to complete the withdrawal.
f) If the buyer completes the request and agrees to the withdrawal, fees are refunded immediately. You will receive an email with this information.

As long as the buyer agrees to this resolution, it is a much more amicable way to resolve the situation when a buyer has made a reasonable error in purchasing the item. Read more about how to file a mutual withdrawal.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hot eBay Inventory Tip - DSW Shoe Clearance

DSW is a retail shoe seller, with a huge inventory for "the passionate shoe enthusiast." Yep, I love shoes - but not as much as my boyfriend, who has been shopping at this store religiously for over a decade. You all have him to thank for this hot tip. (I was sucked into his shoe world a few years ago!)

DSW has a large section in the back of the store with clearance items. The pricing system is color coded, so each color sticker means a different percentage discount. In my area, purple means 65% off. So, I am on the hunt for purple tag items.

DSW carries brands like Merrell, Uggs, Ralph Lauren, Doc Martens, Nike, Adidas, Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, and many more well-known name brands. So here is what you do. Visit your local DSW and sign up for their rewards plan. Then, start checking the store frequently, say once a week, for new markdowns. I have found Doc Martens for $16 (retail price $60), Merrells for $10 (retail price $80), and Ugg slippers for $20 (retail price $70).

Clearance items can be discontinued styles or colors, so you can get good money for them on eBay - since the styles or colors are no longer available. Case in point - I sold these pink Ugg slippers for $65 on BIN in about 2 days.

The color is not available anymore, not even on the UGG website. Not a bad profit or turnaround time.

After you have made a few purchases, your rewards points will start adding up and you'll receive coupons for $10 off your next purchase, so you can save even more on your cost of inventory.

eBay Coach Disclaimer - you will not become a millionaire selling shoes on eBay. But this is another source for your inventory. The more you look, the more you find. Visit DSW's website to find a store near you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Comes from a smoke free and pet free home..."

I personally don't like this comment on eBay listings. The first think I think of when I read "comes from a smoke free pet free home" is a long-haired sheepdog and a dirty ashtray. It is the power of suggestion at work here, and I don't want to put those types of images in my customers' heads. (Editor's note, I love animals, but mentioning them on an eBay listing about clothing won't help your business.)

Here is another example. Say you go to a fine, upscale steakhouse. The menu will say something like, "8 oz Filet. Thick, succulent cut of USDA prime beef, seasoned to perfection, sure to melt in your mouth." They don't say, "Worm-free, doesn't have a hair on it, and was not sneezed on. Hasn't been dropped on the kitchen floor."

See what I mean about the power of suggestion? Don't even go there. Same concept with "free of rips, tears, or stains." What is the image in your head RIGHT now after reading that? Rips and stains, right?

Words are very powerful. And when that is all you have between you and your customer's mind, you have to be careful.

Just food for thought.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Children's Book to Sell on eBay - Christian Mother Goose

eBay Coach Disclaimer: This is not a collectible book that you will make hundreds of dollars selling on eBay. But, I have found this item consistently in thrift stores for around $1, and it sells consistently for $12.50. (Click here to view my latest sale of this book.) The publish date is 1978 and it is just a good, wholesome story book for children.

Add this item to your "what to look for" list. The good thing about this type of item is that you can take the photos once, create the listing, save it, and just use it over and over again each time you find the item. I used my scanner to scan the pages and the cover.

NOTE: Please do not copy my photos or my text. I've been catching people left and right copying my photos (and entire listings). And I do not hesitate to report these sellers for text or image theft. Maybe I should be so public with giving examples, but I never expected so many people to take advantage of my willingness to help.

eBay offers so many opportunities for you to be creative with photos, auction templates, and text. When I approached another seller this week about copying my listings, she replied with, "You should be flattered." Unfortunately, I don't see it this way - it is insulting. Flattery is complimenting or praising someone for their work. Copying another's work is a sign of sheer laziness. I've done the work, they copy the listing, and they make money. What is wrong with this picture?

If someone is that lazy, that they can't even write up their own listing, I doubt they will be industrious enough to ship items on time or be attentive to their customers, so I probably shouldn't worry about it anyway! Sorry, I digress....

For more items to sell on eBay for profit, check out my eBooks available on my website. My eBooks start at $2.49 and are instant downloads.

Happy selling!

Suzanne Wells

Friday, February 29, 2008

Do eBay Sellers Have to Pay Taxes on Income from Sales?

I have received this question from several sellers this week, so here is an article to help you better understand the issue of reporting income from eBay sales. Disclaimer: I am not an accountant or tax expert. This is just some general information to help you understand how the IRS sees proceeds from online auctions.

The rule of thumb: If you are selling your own personal items, that have been in your possession for a period of time and were originally purchased for your own use, the answer is no. This would be the same situation as if you had a garage sale to sell your own personal items.

If you have purchased items specifically to resell them on eBay, then yes, you do have to report the income from those sales. Many sellers think that selling on eBay is just a fun hobby, and the money generated is not reportable as income. The IRS disagrees.

It is better to be safe than sorry in this situation (especially when dealing with the IRS). In other words, if you are calling yourself an eBay seller, and regularly sell items on eBay for profit, you are responsible for reporting that income.

This page on IRS.gov outlines the online auction situation. Please consult with your accountant for more information regarding your specific situation.

Reporting the income from your eBay sales isn't all bad. You are also entitled to report your expenses as a small business owner and deduct your expenses from internet fees to shipping materials.

Work at Home with Doba

Sunday, February 24, 2008

eBay Not Working for You? List of eBay Alternatives

This is a public service announcement for those eBay sellers who are repeatedly expressing their discontent on the eBay forums and discussion groups. (Chronic whiners.) If you're not happy on eBay, please, by all means, explore other options!

Amazon.com. Users report higher fees, less control over shipping rates, and there is no auction platform. You can take advantage of Amazon's advertising and traffic.

Etsy.com - Marketplace for handmade and craft items. Very economical to list. 20 cent fee for each item, listing has 4 month duration. Commission is 3.5% of the sale price (charged post-transactionally). Handmade, homemade items can be anything from jewerly, personalized items, even computers.

Bidville.com - Free to list. Final value fees 5% of sale price less than $25.

ePier.com - You pay nothing until your item sells.

Onlineauction.com - 5 styles of different auction formats. Free to list your item. No commission or final fee. One monthly membership fee to participate.

Overstockauctions.com - "charges insertion, upgrade (if applicable), reserve price, and closing fees. If an auction closes with a winning bid, the reserve price fee is refunded. Fees are based on a percentage of the selling price. Overstock.com's fees are 33-50% cheaper than our major competitor's."

eCrater.com - Every member gets a free store. You can pay extra for ads place in premium locations.

iOffer - Free to list your items. Final value fee can be anywhere between 50 cents and $5, depending on the final sale price.

Feel free to post this link on your eBay groups and forums. The whining about eBay is getting rather annoying. If people aren't happy, by all means, let's encourage them to find alternatives!

Happy selling-

Suzanne Wells