Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vintage Manuals are Hot Sellers on eBay

Here is one you may not have heard of - vintage manuals. These can be repair / maintenance manuals, instruction manuals, or just plain owner's manuals. These can be collector's items. The best selling niches are automobile manuals or vintage electronics manuals. Here are a few completed listings:

1978 Apple Computer Manual - sold for $49.99

Silver Streak Trailer Maintenance Manual - sold for $55.55

Austin Mini Cooper Repair Manual - sold for $41

Look for these items at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, library book sales, and used book stores. These manuals are an excellent example of an item that looks like trash - something obsolete - but has value to collectors. Learn more about "throw away" items you can sell on eBay by visiting my Facebook group of over 2,000 sellers.

For more niche items to sell on eBay, check this resource:

Ten Little-Known Highly Profitable Niche Markets on eBay

Thursday, October 28, 2010

eBay Strategy for Finding Niche Products from Suppliers Online

Identifying niche products to sell on eBay is an ongoing process that never ends. You must constantly be mining for new ideas all the time. Here is one way:

Here are the steps:

Go to

Don’t research anything on the first page (those niches will be too saturated)

Choose other categories from drop down menu

Click on keywords to see listings using those words

Click on actual listings to see if the product is selling (or check seller’s feedback)

Enter product name into Google

Click SHOPPING on the left

Click on the product

Sort the suppliers by price

Determine if you can get the item at a low enough price to resell on eBay based on the current competition

Need more ideas on how to find niche products? Check these resources:

eBay Niche Product Finder

How to Find Your Niche on eBay

Niche Markets on eBay

List of 395 eBay Friendly Wholesale Suppliers

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why 99 Cent Auctions Don't Work on eBay Anymore

Years ago, when eBay first started, the only listing type was auctions. Now we have fixed price, store inventory, best offer, and second chance offers. Buyers are not forced into participating in an auction if they want to buy an item.

The old philosophy used to be, “Start the listing at 99 cents, get the bidders involved, and watch your price sky rocket.” This does not happen much anymore. And I am doing damage control with many clients who follow this outdated advice.

Here is why 99 cent auctions don’t work effectively anymore:

1. There are many other ways to buy items on eBay. Auctions aren’t the only choice.

2. Buyers don’t want to wait for an auction to end so they will buy from your competitors who offer the item at a fixed price and they “but it now.” If you aren’t offering fixed price to appeal to these “in a hurry” buyers, your competition does, and buyers will gravitate to your competitors. Furthermore, Amazon continues to grow and all items on Amazon are "buy it now." If a buyer can't find it on eBay at a fixed price, they will go to Amazon.

3. As a result of #1 and #2, there are fewer bidders in the bidding pool to drive up the price of auctions.

4. Consequently, your item does not get very many bids, and sells at a lower price than you would like.

5. More sellers are using research software to determine the listing type that brings the highest average price. Many times, fixed price listings bring a higher price so sellers use the fixed price listing instead of an auction.

The solutions:

1.Use Terapeak to determine the listing type that brings the highest average price.

2. If Terapeak says to use an auction, start the bidding at your rock-bottom price. Even if you only get one bid, you will get the price you wanted.

3. 99 cent auctions can work in some situations if a seller is very familiar with how a product performs over a period of time, or if you have a hot item such as the hot holiday toy or concert tickets limited in number. This is not a strategy for beginners. Wait until you have more experience with a product before using the 99 cent strategy.

For more discontinued item you can sell on eBay for profit, check out my latest Hot List.

Know when to sell on eBay

Monday, October 25, 2010

Don't Forget Our Service Men and Women this Holiday Season

The holiday season is an important time to remember the men and women who are serving our country overseas. Many of them are away from home for long periods of time, have children at home, and just wish they could be with their families for the holidays. Here’s how to ship to APO or FPO addresses.

FPO (Fleet Post Office) and APO (Army Post Office) addresses are actually classified as domestic addresses, no matter where the soldier is stationed. Anything that is sent to a FPO or APO address has to go through the USPS. They will deliver it to the military post office, who will then ship it overseas.

Packages should be addressed normally. If you ship through Endicia or, make sure to enter the address as a domestic address. If you’re shipping to a different country, you will be required to include a customs form. There are different forms depending on the weight of your package - the post office clerk can help you choose.

There is a weight limit of 70 lbs. for FPO and APO addresses. If necessary, just ship several small packages. You are limited to a combined girth and length of 130 inches as well. You’re also not allowed to ship perishable food, alcohol, firearms, or some hazardous items.

Be sure to include delivery confirmation or insurance on your package. Because shipping time will vary based on the destination, it will allow you to track your package and file a claim if necessary.

It’s also important to pack your items carefully. Because APO and FPO packages travel such long ways to reach their destination (and go through so many different facilities), be sure that all your items are secure.

If you are an online seller, be sure to mention that you are willing to ship to APO and FPO military addresses. Shipping to the military is an important and much appreciated service.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Make Your Own How-To DVD to Sell on eBay

One area of growing popularity on eBay lately is homemade how-to DVDs. People always want to learn new things, and some things are a lot easier to learn from a video than from a book. Some people are visual learners - they prefer to be shown how to do something rather than read it. The advantage of creating your own how-to DVD is that it’s a onetime process. After you create the video, you just have to sell copies.

Everyone has something that they can teach others. Decide on your subject matter by determining what you’re an expert in. Maybe you’re a great dancer, a skilled handyman, are good at home decorating, can make impressive desserts for parties, or know how to teach sign language . Almost anything can be turned into a how-to video.

You don’t have to create a professional DVD. Your video can be made by a film student or even a teenager with a video camera. You might even know someone who has a knack for filming and editing. Look around and you can find someone who can help you for little or no money.

After you’ve completed your DVD, it’s time to list it on eBay. It will need to be listed under information products in the Everything Else category. It’s best to list your DVD for a fixed price on Buy It Now for 30 days. You don’t need to list it as an auction. (There are benefits to 30 day listings. The page becomes “old” and gets indexed on Google. I sell a lot of items on the 28th and 29th day of a 30 day listing. Re=listing constantly every 7 days gets expensive and your item does not have time to be indexed on Google. My best selling products are listings over 2 years old where I just keep updating the quantity.)

The best thing about selling information products is that you create it once and can sell it an unlimited number of times. This is called passive income. No storage is required for info products and you can create an unlimited number of them. The majority of how-to DVDs sell for $15.99 to $39.99. Make sure you research thoroughly and price your DVD accordingly.

It’s a good idea to keep extra copies so you’re prepared for orders. That will allow you to ship your DVD quickly and save you time.

For example, this horse expert has several DVDs on horse care. Here is one listing:

And you can see from the seller's feedback that the DVDs are consistent sellers (keep in mind that only about 50% of buyers leave feedback, so this seller has probably sold twice as much as you see on the FB page):

So think about what you know that you can share with others - and make money doing it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Time to Prepare for eBay Holiday Selling!

Selling on eBay is always a challenge, but holidays are especially challenging. In order to have a successful season, it’s important to take advantage of all of eBay’s features. Here are a few tips to help make the holiday season easier and more productive.

Add the Buy It Now option to all of your listings. A lot of people procrastinate around the holidays and then panic when they realize that time is running short. By allowing them to purchase instantly and not deal with an auction, you can increase your sales. Do be sure to research your product and set your price high enough.

Also add the Best Offer option to your listings. This can be effective when you have people who just bought an item browsing in your store or when people are trying to use combined shipping. You certainly aren’t required to accept an offer, but it can give buyers are positive impression of you and open up more opportunities for sales.

Make sure you know when shipping deadlines are. You can find a chart for all the different services on the USPS website. (The 2010 Holiday Deadline schedule had not been posted at the time of this article.) While you’re there, go ahead and order all your Priority shipping supplies, such as envelopes and boxes. Furthermore, stock up now on other supplies you may need such as bubble wrap and tape. You are going to be busy in a few weeks and it will be inconvenient to run out of packing supplies.

Keep up with shipping orders. While it might be tempting to put shipping your orders off for a couple of days in order to list new items, shipping quickly is a customer courtesy, especially when the customer had already paid for their item. Plus, you’re already dealing with slower delivery times than normal. It’s not worth a neutral or negative feedback just so you can get items listed more quickly. In addition, you’re later stuck having to ship a lot of items at one time.

Focus on your business. It’s easy to get sidetracked with all the other holiday activities that you want to do, like baking cookies and wrapping presents. But you can’t let your business take a backseat if you want to have a successful season.

Learn from other sellers and meet other people that are doing what you are. By learning what did and didn’t work for them, you can save yourself time and money. If this is your first holiday season selling online, you may need support. Check out my Facebook group of eBay sellers. Many members are experienced sellers who can quickly answer questions and help you if you run into a problem. And the great thing about Facebook is that members live in all different time zones so someone may be online to help you when you need it - even if it is late at night.

Most importantly, set boundaries. If you’re doing major toy selling (complete with trips to Wal-Mart at 3 in the morning to grab the hot toy as soon as it is stocked), recognize that you can’t do everything else, too. Focus on a few hot items to keep from getting overwhelmed. Keep in mind that you’ll have to list and ship each item that you buy, plus keep up with your own family’s holiday activities. A little extra profit isn’t worth missing out on your family’s activities or losing your mind.

Download my FREE guide with all kinds of eBay how-tos

Friday, October 22, 2010

Working with Wholesalers to Obtain eBay Inventory

Today's post is contributed by fellow seller Bruce Jeansonne, who runs the eBay store US Camo Etc. Bruce has close to 1,000 listings in his eBay store and has extensive experience working with wholesalers where he obtains his eBay inventory. Bruce does a fantastic business on eBay - selling over 900 items a month. He is a true success story! (Take a look at his store here.)

Successfully selling of new items on eBay or any other online avenue usually means finding and building a relationship with wholesalers. Finding the right wholesaler for your business can put you on a path to successful sales and profits or lots of work with little payoff.

Do a quick search of the web and you’ll find a huge number of “wholesalers” ready to set up an account for you. Many of these are not true wholesalers but re-sellers that deal in bulk quantities. These types of re-sellers usually do not require the buyer to present a copy of their business state tax sales license (which you should have to stay in compliance with state laws). A few may require an annual fee to purchase from them. These re-sellers purchase directly from “real” wholesalers and then sell to others. Thus the price one pays for product from these types of resellers is more than actual wholesale but less than retail. Profit margins for items sold in an online store purchasing from this type of supplier tend to be very small.

Purchasing from a reseller may be a good option if you want to test the waters on selling new items. It’s usually quicker and easier to set up an account and though you won’t make the better margins, if you find that this type of selling is not for you… easy in and easy out. You didn’t have to spend much to get a few items and most resellers will have a greater variety of merchandise… so start with merchandise you can use yourself, if you decide you do not want to continue selling at the least you can make use your own products.

In order to maximize profits, one should purchase from a true wholesaler. Most, if not all, wholesalers will require you to fax or mail a copy of your state sales tax license in order to set up an account. Once an account is opened for your business, it’s time to place an order. Depending on the wholesaler, you may be required to make a first purchase of a minimum amount… possibly as little as $500 or as much as $1,500 or more depending on the wholesaler and the type of product you are purchasing. Usually after the first purchase, order minimums will $100-$200 or an extra fee or percentage will be added to your total. This minimum and/or fee is to help offset expenses dealing in small amounts of items. Wholesalers are in business to sell in quantity so small orders typically will not be profitable for them, thus the minimums. In addition, a minimum annual amount may be required in order for your account to stay active.

Good wholesalers love to see a business grow and tend to be more helpful with questions and customer service than resellers. Many specialize in specific lines of products and usually offer superior knowledge of their product line.

Both selling options can work together to get you started in selling SUCCESSFULLY online. Happy Selling!

You can chat with Bruce on my Facebook group where he is a regular contributor and gives great advice to both new and experienced sellers.

Click here for a list of 395 eBay friendly wholesalers along with 5 important facts for choosing profitable wholesale products to sell on eBay.

The eBay Wholesale Buying System

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ariat Riding Boots - Thrift Store Find to Sell on eBay

A surprisingly good seller on eBay is Ariat riding boots. People like the boots for fashion as well as to ride in. Some of the used tall boots can go for over $350.

Ariat riding boots are number one in the US currently, and they’re still becoming more popular. Riders from around the world appreciate the technology behind Ariat riding boots - they are very durable, supportive, and comfortable. They also come in variety of colors and styles to suit every rider. Because they have such a large selection to choose from, you can find a pair of boots that are perfect for almost any occasion. The Ariat Gem Baby in particular is perfect for those who are looking for a fashion boot.

One of the best features of Ariat riding boots is the duratread sole. It provides increased durability and traction. Plus, the Fatbaby includes a gel-cushioned insole that molds to the rider’s feet. It also has a fiber shank to give the rider more stability. ATS technology ensures that the boots help reduce fatigue and stress on the rider’s feet, back, and legs. They’re designed to be comfortable and supportive for an entire day. In addition, the Fatbaby is a beautiful pair of boots - the shafts are suede and the uppers are made from full grain leather.

Make sure you keep your eyes open when you’re shopping for inventory. Garage and estate sales are a great place to find Ariat boots. Remember that Ariat boots are good for more than just riding - they’re also great for formal events, work, motor cycle riding, and just everyday wear.

Here are s a few listings for gently used Ariat boots that recently sold on eBay:

Ariat Monaco Boots - sold for $381.99

Ariat Field Boots - Sold for $340.99

Ariat Monaco Field Boots - $275.99

For more thrift store items to sell on eBay, check out this free list, and come join my Facebook Group with over 2,000 eBay sellers focused on the business of eBay.

Find misspelled listings and resell the items for way more than you paid for them! Click here to see my personal examples.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vintage Glass Bottles

In our world of continued advancement and progression there is a yearning for a time when simplicity was the norm. Sadly, nothing can take us back to that time except our memories and objects from that time. Collecting antiques is more prevalent than ever to connect us to our heritage. Recently, antique glass bottle collecting has become popular.

For some, the thrill of the hunt is almost as exciting as the find. The hunt can be easy or difficult with many places to find bottles. Flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, thrift shops are easy places to start.

It’s important to remember that wherever you are bottle hunting find out if anyone owns the property and ask permission to be there. Other places that treasure hunters like to explore are old riverbeds where discarded bottles may have floated downstream. Old abandoned towns, “ghost towns” may yield some vintage glass bottle finds.

Glass hunters refer to their hobby as “bottle digging” or “privy digging.” Diggers who have ventured down old roads or hiking trails may spot a former “dump.” It’s easy to find a promising spot if you see pieces of broken glass or rusted metal poking out of the ground. This usually means there could be more items buried beneath it. Once you start digging you may find a plastic bag, Styrofoam or other trash that will date your piece as a replica.

Is it worth your time to look for these hidden treasures? Only you can decide but besides the monetary value or historical significance there’s also the nostalgia. You may have a memory of a loved one using a product from what is now a vintage bottle. If that’s not the case, then imagine your surprise when you research your find to discover it’s worth $50 or more!

There are many variables when identifying vintage glass bottles and appraising the value. They were mostly handmade and come in all shapes and sizes with very few identical characteristics. It is these unique differences that often make the piece more valuable.

Keep these criteria in mind when you are determining value:

1. Age – Bottles made before the mid 1800’s will have a mark on the bottom where the rod held the bottle while the lip was being formed and was broken off. Bottles made before 1870 had handmade lips. Bottle makers added a piece of hot glass to the molded bottle and formed the lip by hand which often produced a crude or uneven look.

2. Color – Highest value is placed on yellow, olive green, cobalt, teal blue, purple and green. Black glass refers to dark amber and olive amber colors and is most likely the earliest form of American glass. It was used to help protect the contents from spoiling.

3. Design or Embossing—Any marking that identifies a date, producer or location makes it more valuable.

4.Condition – Chips or cracks reduce the value.

5. Category – Medicine bottles, apothecary bottles, flasks, milk, alcohol and soda to name a few.

If you’re ready to get in touch with your inner treasure hunter or history addict vintage glass bottle collecting is a popular and exciting hobby to try.

For more information on fun and collectible items to sell on eBay, check out this resource full of more creative ideas!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Julia Child Cookbooks

Vintage cookbooks are a fantastic seller on eBay. After the release of “Julie & Julia” in 2009, sales of Julia Child vintage cookbooks especially have greatly increased.

A lot of people admire Julia Childs. She was very different from the normal women of her day – she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and was bold in her beliefs. She didn’t begin learning about cooking until she turned 40, and her boldness carried over to that part of her life as well. She liked to cook with rich ingredients such as wine and butter to ensure that her food would taste as delicious as possible. When cooking schools in France denied her entrance, she opened her own. Her cookbook was also denied many times before it was published. But in spite her of failures, she went on to become very successful.

Millions of Julia Child cookbooks have sold on eBay. First editions and autographed copies sell for the most amount of money. According to eBay research tools, the cookbooks have a sell through rate of 57% as well (a sell through rate of at least 50% is what you want to aim for when buying stock). Her most popular books include Baking with Julia, Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, The Way to Cook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.

Remember that most of these cookbooks are still available in bookstores. However, many people like the idea of owning a vintage copy – vintage books have more character than new editions.

Here are a few recent sales of Julia Child cookbooks:

Mastering the Art of French Cooking 1961 - Sold for $167.50

Mastering the Art of French Cooking 1961 - Sold for $120

Julia & Company Signed Cookbook - Sold for $113.61

Click here for a free list of more vintage items that sell well on eBay. Also, join me and over 2,000 other sellers discussing our eBay finds on Facebook.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giveaway - Reusable Sandwich Bags

This giveaway is contributed by The Honeysuckle House Etsy shop. The Honeysuckle House makes all sorts of creative covers for Miche bags, and reusable food bags.

This giveaway is a very cool trash-reducing green product!This handy reusable sandwich bag has a 100 % cotton exterior and an easy to clean water resistant nylon interior. Secure velcro closure secures the top. The bag measures 7"x7'and can be used for sandwiches, crackers, cookies, or any bag lunch type item. To clean, just shake out and wipe with a damp cloth. The bag is machine washable and can be put in the dryer on low heat.

I am giving away 2 bags to 2 winners - the Dora the Explorer and the Very Hungry Caterpillar patterns.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below. (Don't forget to leave a contact email in your comment so I can email you if you are the winner.) For extra entries (and a better chance of winning), do any of the following:

Post a link to this giveaway on:

Your own blog
A group or forum
Your Facebook page
A Facebook group’s wall
Your MySpace page
Bulk email your friends in your email address book

Be sure to leave a comment for each entry. Winner will be announced on Friday October 22.