Monday, March 31, 2014

Free Resource for eBay Sellers - Collector's Weekly

One of the most frequent questions I hear from newer sellers about eBay is, "What can I sell?' I could take the rest of my life to answer that question because the answer is so broad and it changes from day to day. Some things will always be good sellers, others may fizzle out and it is time to explore new ideas.

A helpful and free resource that is beneficial to eBay sellers is Collector's Weekly. According to their website,

"Welcome to, a resource for people who love vintage and antiques. Our aim is to build a great place to explore, learn, and experience the passion and knowledge of collectors everywhere."

Collector's Weekly offers the following free information:

Top eBay auctions in over 1,400 vintage and antiques categories

Most "watched" items on eBay to help you get a feel for trends and what's popular
(Figure out what people want so you can sell it to them!)

Information on fashion, design, home, culture, machines, and collectibles

Informative Facebook page with over 23,000 likes

Pinterest page with thousands of vintage and collectible items

Sign up for a free account which entitles you to a weekly newsletter and the ability to post items for discussion

Collector's Weekly is an interesting site full of information to expand your knowledge of vintage or collectible items to sell on eBay or Etsy. And it is fun to look at!

Check out Collector's Weekly here.

Related articles:

Daily dose of eBay wisdom

Vintage items to sell on line

Learn to sell on Etsy

Thursday, March 20, 2014

300 Suppliers for eBay and Amazon Sellers

While many online sellers find their inventory at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, or retail stores, some have expressed an interest in buying ecommerce-friendly products directly from suppliers.  Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

There aren't many thrift stores in my area so it is hard to find inventory.

Thrift stores in my area have really high prices, so it is hard to make a profit.

I have health issues and either don't feel well or am physically unable to get out and shop for inventory.

I'm a caregiver and can't leave home to source products.

I am already working full-time and there isn't time to shop locally for inventory.

I'm in a rural area and it is too time-consuming to drive around looking for products.

Yard sales and estate sales shut down in my part of the country for the long winter and I can't find inventory locally.

I'd like to go to a trade show and find suppliers, but the trip is outside of my budget.

I'm a stay at home parent and it is difficult to shop for inventory because the kids are always with me.

I've been hearing these kinds of comments from resellers for several years and have come up with a solution. I have put together 3 supplier directories, each with 100 companies suited to work with resellers. Even better, each company:

Is located in the USA. You won't have to worry about knowing how to import from China or pay high shipping or import fees. The website, phone number, and physical address is listed for each company. (No P.O. boxes.)

Offers Eco-friendly, all-natural, organic, non-GMO, non-toxic, or cruelty-free products. These companies operate with high ethical standards and are trying to do right by the earth, animals, and people. Many products are grown on sustainable farms.You can feel good about what you are selling, the effect the product has on the environment, and the people involved in making it.

Produces consumable products. Not only is this good for the environment because products get used up rather than end up in a landfill, but it is good for business because you can create a stream of repeat customers. To take it a step further, the products are suited for resellers with respect to ease of shipping and storage space.

Produces products that are compatible with what I teach in The ABCs of Selling Groceries on Amazon. Remember, health and beauty and pet products are groceries, too.

Makes products that are desired by consumers at this time. This is a current list and will be maintained and updated annually, so no matter when you purchase, the information will be current.

Has a reseller, wholesale, or bulk buying program. This is not a list of wholesalers who offer thousands of products. These are small to medium-sized companies who are set up to work with resellers on a smaller scale. Most minimum purchases are less than $100. Some offer dropshipping as well.

Is operated by entrepreneurs just like you, so you will be supporting small businesses. These suppliers need resellers, and resellers need product. It is a win-win.

I've done a lot of the work for you - researching these companies, selecting the ones whose products are the best fit for an online reseller, and putting it all together in a handy document. Your job will be to visit the company websites, research the products, and determine what products are best for your unique business.

There are 3 directories each with 100 companies in the popular categories of grocery and gourmet food, health and beauty, and pet products. 

Each directory is $19, or get all 3 for a reduced price of $45. All are instant downloads.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Amazing eBay Sales by People Just Like You

I have to brag on the amazing people in my eBay Sellers Facebook Group. We are over 9,300 strong now and I am proud to say the members are a highly evolved group of people who share information, help each other, and respect where other people are in their eBay journey, even if a brand new beginner. These people are smart, creative, and really strive to operate their businesses with integrity. I am honored to be able to interact with them every day.

One really fun thread we have each week is called Money Making Mondays. Members post items that sold, the selling price, how much they paid for the item, and where they found it. This thread is our answer to some of the YouTube videos and blogs where people show all the stuff they bought to sell on eBay - but rarely do you see follow-up videos of if the item actually sold. We feel it is more beneficial to see what has actually been done, than what somebody says they will do in the future.

Money Making Mondays allows members to see the proof - items that actually sold, by who, and when. We also have a document where sellers post their store names so it is easy to see what other sellers are doing, the items they have listed, their feedback, and how they run their business. We operate this group with full-disclosure. Real data is accessible to any member at any time. It makes the business more real and helps motivate others to keep going.

Here are some examples of items posted on past Money Making Monday threads. Remember these sellers come from all walks of life. They are real people with real lives who are making eBay work. The group is composed of men, women, young college students, older and wiser grandmas and grandpas, part-time, full-time, newbies and experienced, Americans, Canadians, Australians, and some other nationalities. We are a very diverse group so there is always something new to learn!

Mary posted about her Starbucks City Mug purchased for $4.94 at a thrift store - sold for $169.99.

Kristen found these Tory Burch pants for $16 and they sold for $69.99

Michael found this fishing rod for $3 at Goodwill and sold it for $78.

Nellie found these Remington hot rollers and sold them for $36 in one day.

Amanda bought this rare violin for $45 at an estate sale and it sold for $1,203.89.

Sherry bought this vintage sweater for $2 at a thrift store and it sold for $79.94.

Christine bought this Polaroid camera for $8 at an estate sale and it sold for $99.

Zandra found these Christmas lights for $1.25 at a thrift store and they sold for $44. (In March!)

Melanie found this Kohl's brand top for $1.75 at a thrift and it sold for $23.97.

Mandy found this hippie dress for $1, and sold it for $99, even with a hole in the shoulder (disclosed in the listing of course)

Lori paid $1 for this vintage juicer and it sold for $62.

Jerry paid $5 for this vintage tool chest and it sold for $69.99.

What a bunch of random stuff, right? This just goes to show that we can learn so much from each other if we just take the time to appreciate how we all do things differently. We all win when knowledge is shared.

Real people selling real things on eBay. No hype. No get rich quick schemes, no drop shipping scams. This is the real way to make money on eBay. If you aren't already a member, come join us and soak up all the free info you can tolerate in this group of outstanding sellers who are paying it forward.

Related Posts:

Top 10 thrift store BOLOs to sell on eBay and Amazon

5 Myths about selling groceries on Amazon

Monday, March 10, 2014

Top 10 Thrift Store BOLOs to Sell on eBay and Amazon

A BOLO, short for "be on the lookout" is an item that resellers highly desire because it can be purchased at a low price and sold for a much higher price online. BOLOs change from time to time as items are discontinued or hard to find yet more highly desired by consumers. BOLOs are often shared in my eBay Sellers Facebook Group so sellers can learn new items to look for when they are out thrifting, at garage sales, estate sales, or flea markets. Some groups charge a fee for access to this information, however, the information flows freely in my group so please come join us if you aren't already a member.

Here is my list of the top 10 BOLOs floating around at this time. If you are in a thrift store or at a garage sale and only want to hit the high points, here are some items to keep in the back of your mind. These items are not items that can be purchased at retail stores - these are items that sellers have been finding in used condition when thrifting or at garage / estate sales. Please do your due diligence and research anything before purchasing for resale as BOLOs change over time.

Mr. Coffee Cocomotion hot cocoa maker. Sellers report finding this in both new and used condition. It can sell for up to $300 in new condition on eBay and about $100 in used condition. Current listings on Amazon for a new Mr. Coffee Cocomotion are around $130.

Starbucks City Mugs. These mugs can sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay even in used condition. The average is around $60 if it is a rare mug. If you plan to sell on Amazon, the mug must be in new condition.

Medi-Rub diabetic foot massager. This one shows up at estate sales a lot - perhaps the person had diabetes. Patients with foot neuropathy use this device to help blood flow to the calves and feet and to relieve pain from leg cramps. Insurance may cover this item which is why it is seen a lot with other medical supplies at estate sales.  This item can sell for around $100 used on eBay, $175 new on eBay, and $190 on Amazon in new condition. (This item can only be sold on Amazon in new condition.)

Here is an oldie but still a goodie - Remington Tight Curls. These are hot rollers used by pageant girls because they produce the desired ringlet curls. These can sell for around $100 in either new or used condition. If a few curlers or clips are missing, go for it anyway - the pageant moms like to have spare supplies on hand. These are not typically sold on Amazon.

 Cranium Games. Cranium has been around since 1998 and has many versions of games. Right now the hot ones are Hullabaloo, Cariboo, and Whoonu. These games can be sold on either eBay or Amazon in new or used condition. (On Amazon, the correct terminology for a used game is "collectible.") Sale prices for used games can be around $50, for new games over $100 on each site. Please note that Amazon has strict rules for listing collectible games with regard to the pieces included, instructions, and the condition of the box. Do your homework before listing on Amazon in collectible condition.

Hiddey Mickeys. Disney enthusiasts will know about this one. For the purposes of eBay, Hidden Mickeys refer to a plush animal, such as a bear or bunny, whose face has the iconic representation of Mickey Mouse. Hidden Mickey plush can be highly collectible but there are very specific criteria about what makes one collectible, so do your homework if you want to learn more about this niche. These can be sold on both eBay and Amazon, in new or used condition. (Again, on Amazon a used toy is categorized as collectible.) It can often pay off to dig through the bins of plush at a thrift store. Hidden Mickeys have sold for over $1,000 on eBay if rare, and often go to Japan where collectors will pay top dollar for this Disney Collectible.

Dale of Norway Sweaters. These are finely crafted wool sweaters for men, women, and children made in Norway that usually have a ski or snow theme and pewter buttons or clasps. They can sell for over $250 in used condition. You can only sell these on eBay - used clothing cannot be sold on Amazon. (Learn more about specific clothing items like this with my course, The Profitable World of Pre-Owned Women's Clothing.)

Bucilla stitchery kits. These are kits for craft items such as Christmas stockings, tree skirts, fabric wreaths, advent calendars, pillows, wall decor, baby items, and other holiday-themed items. Bucilla is most well-known for their elaborate stocking kits. My mother made all kinds of things from these kits when I was growing up - and it was a painstaking process applying the sequins and beads. The needlework is gorgeous and some of these kits can sell for over $200 in new condition, it just depends on if the kit has been retired and what the craft item is. Bucilla also makes embroidery, cross stitch, crewel, and other types of needlework kits. These can be sold on Amazon in new condition only. Look for these at estate sales. Sometimes there will be an entire room full of craft supplies.

Filson vests and outerwear. The Filson company was founded in 1897 by CC Filson, a homesteader and railroad conductor in Seattle, Washington. The company developed during the gold rush, outfitting people who came to the area but didn't have the proper clothing for the climate. Filson makes high quality wool, vests, jackets, sweaters, and fishing and travel vests. Some Filson items in used condition can sell for over $300 on eBay. (Selling clothing on Amazon requires approval and used clothing isn't allowed.)

Tundra Sweaters. These are similar to Coogi and "Bill Cosby" type sweaters. Tundra sweaters are a mens sweater made in Canada, made of thick wool, usually brightly colored with wild stripe or geometric designs. They can sell for over $100 in used condition. My daughter sold one last summer for $80 - we found it at a Goodwill for $5.

Maybe someone out there has these BOLOs and may be looking for an eBay seller to sell them on consignment. Learn how to sell items for other people on eBay for a commission.

Monday, March 3, 2014

If You Live in One of These Cities, You are Special!


Do you know if your city or a neighboring city is a test market city? If so, you have a special advantage over other sellers because you can find retail products other people in the USA are not seeing and don't have access to. A test market city is a "geographic region or demographic group used to gauge the viability of a product or service in the mass market prior to a wide scale roll-out. I lived in Charlotte, NC for 6 years back in the 1990s and we saw all sorts of products that other cities where my friends and family lived did not have in their stores.

If you live in or near a test market city, this is a huge opportunity for selling items online. Of course, you will have to do the work to figure out what products are being tested. A good indication is that not many other sellers have the items listed on eBay or Amazon.

Not everything tested in a test market is suitable for online sales. The types of retail products often tested in test markets that could work online include:

Baby products
Food and grocery items
Household cleaning supplies
Pet food
Soft drinks

Current test market cities include:

  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Charleston-North Charleston, SC
  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC/SC
  • Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
  • Columbus, OH
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Evansville-Henderson, IN-KY
  • Eugene-Springfield, OR
  • Grand Junction, CO
  • Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, NC
  • Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Lexington, KY
  • Little Rock - North Little Rock, AR
  • Nashville, TN
  • Macon, GA
  • Odessa-Midland, TX
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • Richmond-Petersburg, VA
  • Rochester, NY
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Wichita Falls, TX
  • Wichita, KS

The key here is to look for something new or different that you haven't seen before. Many items being tested are manufactured by a national brand - it is just a new flavor, scent, or color. Also, be sure to check Amazon Reviews for what people think of the product before trying to sell it. Do your due diligence to make sure your time selling the product online is worth the cash investment and the effort.

Related Articles:

Selling Wal-Mart Brands on eBay

Thrift store items to sell on eBay

3 Legitimate work at home jobs for resellers