Thursday, December 29, 2011

eBay Seller Success Story - Caroling Bells Set

Recently, I received this eBay seller success story from Mandi Kennett:

I am a member of Treasure Hunters Cove and love that forum!

I held out for a long time to find the right seller for this item, but it paid off!

Dept 56 "Caroling Bells" figurine set, bisque porcelain, found for $5 at a garage sale summer of 2010 & listed since Sept/10. I have had many less than spectacular best offers but held out for the "right" buyer who arrived today during my 15% off pre-Christmas Sale!

I sold Caroling Bells for $84.96!

Below is a screenshot of the closed listing on eBay:

You can visit Mandi's eBay store, Mandicrafts Bears and Collectibles, here.

Do you have a great sale or an interesting eBay item to share? Send your find to for consideration.

Related Posts:

What Opportunities are Available to You?

How to Work Smart Not Hard

It Takes Money to Make Money

Friday, December 23, 2011

eBay Seller Success Story – From Craigslist Find to eBay Success!

eBay Powerseller Alyson sent in this success story:

As a Powerseller eBay mommy, I follow and love your blog! You gave me the idea of picking up freebies from Craigslist for resale, and I have had a handful of successes, but wanted to share this one.

I picked up a vintage 1930’s Radio someone said was headed for the landfill, and it sold for $249.00 in an auction! I am now on the lookout for vintage electronics as I had so many watchers on this one. Thanks so much for your advice, Craigslist is an amazing product source for sure.

A screenshot of the listing is shown below.

You can visit Alyson’s eBay store, Aly’s Alcove here.

Do you have a great sale or an interesting eBay item to share? Send your find to for consideration.

Related posts:

Thrift Store Item to Sell on eBay – Vintage Character Sheets

Vintage Manuals are Hot Sellers on eBay

How to Sell Vintage Cookbooks

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Shrink Wrap Products for Online Selling

Charlie, a member of my Facebook group, was kind enough to share his process for shrink wrapping items. Many of you sell health and beauty, food, baby, or other items that require sealing, bundling, or plastic wrap for shipping or storage. This technique is especially useful if you sell on Amazon FBA and bundle items or sell liquid items that could leak. Charlie showed us a way to make our products look really professional and the tools for this process. Here is Charlie’s demo video:

Here are the supplies you will need:

Easyway 16 inch heat sealer

Shrink wrap film

Wagner power heat gun

This sure beats using packaging tape and Saran wrap! What a time saver. I can see this process working for:

  • Health and beauty products

  • Food products sold in bundles

  • Plush toys

  • Toys in open-faced boxes

  • Clothing items (get them small enough to fit in Flat Rate envelopes!)

  • Office supplies

  • Books, DVDs, and CDs

  • Anything you need to re-bundle

  • Thanks, Charlie for this great demo!

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest 2011

    It’s Ugly Christmas Sweater time again! These are hot sellers on eBay this time of year. Here’s why – hosts have a Christmas party and invite guests - but everyone must wear an ugly Christmas or holiday sweater. The winner gets a prize. Some of these parties are done as charity benefits, held at a public location, to raise money for needy families during the holidays. Some are just for fun. These sweaters are nauseatingly festive and disturbing.

    You can find these gaudy sweaters in thrift stores for less than $5. In past years, ugly Christmas sweaters have sold for up to $100. America seems to have vast reserves of these in thrift stores. If you can’t find one in a thrift store, create one yourself. Here is a video to show how easy it is to make that perfect ugly sweater:

    Head on over to my eBay Seller's Facebook group to participate in this year’s virtual ugly sweater contest. Here is how it will work:

    To be eligible, sweaters must be listed before December 5.

    The sweater selling for the highest price wins!

    You can post links to your ugly sweaters on the Ugly Sweater Contest thread in the group if you like.
    (We can all use a daily laugh during the stressful holiday selling season!) Just search the box in the top right corner to find the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.

    Winner will be announced on December 20 and will receive a $25 Amazon gift card via email.

    Feel free to repost this contest anywhere - your Facebook page, Twitter, or your own blog. Let's have some fun with ugly sweaters!

    Related Articles:

    Selling Toys on Amazon This Holiday Season

    An Ugly Christmas Miracle!

    Preparing for Holiday 2011 Selling – Podcast

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Great News for Children’s Book Sellers!

    I read an interesting article yesterday on the New York Times titled, “For Their Children, Many eBook Fans Insist on Paper.” I have agreed with the points in this article since the beginning of eBooks – that electronic readers are not a threat to all types of printed books. (Refer to my blog post from September 2010, “Amazon Kindle Will Not Make Printed Books Obsolete.”)

    This article should provide comfort and encouragement for those of you who sell children’s books on both eBay and Amazon. The author states that although parents are technologically savvy and may have an e-reader, electronic reading devices are not such a good fit for little children. Any parent knows how messy little kids are and that accidents happen. Printed books won’t necessarily be ruined if a sippy cup turns over on them, or if they are dropped in the bath tub. (Been there, done that.)

    Printed books are also more interactive than e-readers. Scientific research shows that there is a direct connection between learning and brain stimulation when holding a physical printed book while reading – whether a child is reading (or just looking at the book) alone or an adult is holding the child and reading the book to her. Not every learning experience is going to translate to an electronic device. (I had a math teacher tell me one time not to try to do problems in my head. There is a direct connection between the brain and the pencil in your hand that helps you work through the problems and arrive at the answer. Same concept with physical old fashioned books – the tactile experience.)

    So keep those children’s books coming to eBay and Amazon. If you are not yet selling on Amazon, now is definitely the time to get started. Check out my free report about selling books on Amazon.

    Related articles:

    Amazon 90 Day Experiment Nets $80 per Hour

    How to Sell Vintage Cook Books

    Selling Vintage Children’s Books on eBay

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Preparing for Holiday 2011 Selling - Podcast

    My colleague and co-author of The Amazon FBA Recipe for Success book, Kim Tarrant and I will discuss how to prepare for holiday selling. Some topics we will cover include:

    * How to determine what and how much to buy - even without a scouting tool

    * Getting the most for your money - how to determine whether to sell items on eBay, Amazon, or both!

    * Holiday selling isn't just about toys - other popular categories to consider

    * Getting the most out of your mobile device when shopping (some cool tricks!)

    * For Amazon sellers, why you should be prepared to merchant fill as well as use FBA

    * What you can do now to prepare for a successful holiday selling season - make your battle plan

    * How to make money buying items at full retail, and resell them for a nice markup

    *Q&A session for questions from listeners

    During the podcast, we will also give away 2 copies of our book, Amazon Recipe for Success, and 2 1 year memberships to my membership site, Online Selling Coach.

    The live podcast will air on Tuesday, November 8 at 10 AM Eastern time. The recorded version will be available for download shortly after the broadcast ends.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Hot Item to Sell on eBay - Women's Capes Winter 2011

    A recent article by, explains that capes are the new coats for Winter 2011. Capes can be considered an accessory worn with casual wear, every day wear, or evening wear.

    Many fashion conscious women are wearing capes as a substitute for a jacket or sweater. Capes work with skirts, pants, jeans, dresses, or leggings. This winter accessory item is showing up in all the major department stores such as Nordstrom, Macys, and Saks. A member of my Facebook group (shout out to Melinda S.!) recently mentioned that she found a gorgeous wool Coloratura cape at a thrift store for $10, and completeds where showing over $300 for the same cape. Wow, what a find!

    Here are some recently completed listings on eBay for used capes, that you may be able to find at thrift stores:

    Keep your eyes open for capes, wraps, shawls, and cloaks as you are out thrifting!

    Related articles:

    Burberry Jacket - eBay Flip

    North Face Coat - eBay Seller Success Story

    Camel Hair Coat - eBay Seller Success Story

    Do you have a success story to share? If so, email it to me at ebaycoach @ yahoo for consideration. We can all learn more (and make more money) by sharing this information.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Understanding the Amazon Prime Customer - Become One!

    Fulfillment by Amazon is the hot thing in ecommerce right now. Many people don't understand why sellers go to the extra "trouble" to pack up their items, ship them to Amazon, and pay Amazon to store and ship their items to the final customer. FBA is much more than just shipping and storage. In a conversation on my Facebook group yesterday, a member asked this very question, "I just don't understand FBA. Is it really an advantage to pack up your stuff & send it to them to sell? Not easier to list yourself? Seems like a lot of additional fees."

    What most sellers not doing FBA don't understand is the Amazon Prime customer - these customers are the lucrative part of FBA and an FBA seller's best friend. A special group of Amazon customers, called Prime Customers, pay an $80 a year membership fee and anything they purchase with the “Prime” logo is shipped free, within 2 business days. The only way to sell to these customers, and to the ones who choose free super saver shipping with an order of $25 or more with the SSS logo, is to do FBA and have your items in an Amazon warehouse. In other words,


    If you are only doing merchant filled, you can not reach these people and you are missing a huge % of the Amazon customer base. Also, Prime and SSS customers are not as price sensitive, they will pay more than for MF items, and buy more at a time. Point #2:


    When you switch to FBA, some magical things happen:

    1) Your competitors drastically decrease. You are no longer competing against every other seller with the same product, only other FBA sellers and Amazon.

    2) Your customer base increases because you now get to sell to Prime and SSS customers, whom you could not reach before.

    3) Prime and SSS customers use a filter, "Show prime offers only." So many do not even see the MF offers. They don't care if they pay $5, $10 or even more for an item because they aren't looking at the MF items. This is a case of "what they don't know won't hurt them."

    4) Your orders ship 24/7 (media goes intl), and you can spend your time sourcing and shipping box loads of items to FBA rather than shipping items. Once you get your inventory built up, you can spend your time at the gym, going on vacation, or goofing off, and you will still make money because Amazon is shipping your items for you!

    5) AZ handles all post transactional activities like returns, customer inquiries, etc. Again, a time saver.

    6) This is an economy of scale. Maybe now you are selling 100 items a month at an average of $8 profit per item. With FBA, you can sell 400 items a month at maybe $6 profit, with less effort and less time invested. Yes, there are fees, but the increase in sales offsets that. So you can go from making $800 a month to $2400 a month with very little extra effort.

    So, yes, there are tremendous advantages to packing up your items and sending to FBA.

    Thought for the day:


    If you are new to FBA, or interested in seeing how it works from a customer's perspective, why not become an Amazon Prime customer? Amazon offers a 30-day free Prime trial. I highly recommend that you sign up for the free trial just to see what our customers experience. (Holiday time is a great time to try it out for your own benefit!) You start to think differently abut how you shop and how you can utilize your Prime membership - the other day I needed an item that Target carries. (For personal use, not to sell.) It was a rather large item. I was thinking that I may have to go to multiple Targets to find one in stock. Then I remembered my Amazon Prime account - found the item, it was offered on Prime, for only a few dollars more than the Target price. So I ordered it online, it was at my door in less than 48 hours, and I did not lose any time going on a wild goose chase trying to find it. I did not have to hassle with a large item, wheeling it out to the car, putting it in the car, unloading it from the car. I was able to use my time for other tasks while Amazon handled the problem for me - for only $4 more than I would have paid at the store (if it was even in stock).

    The Prime trial requires a credit card, but it will not be billed until the free trial is over, so as long as you cancel by the 30th day, you are not charged anything. (I did the free trial last year, was not charged, and then converted to the paid Prime membership earlier this year.) This is not an affiliate program, I do not make any money or receive any perks if you sign up. This is an easy and free way to get inside your customers' heads and start to understand why Prime customers will pay more for items on Amazon. And once you understand this convenience and enjoy it yourself, you can better serve your customers as a seller and make more money in the future. Knowledge is power.

    Click here to sign up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial.

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Strategy for Using Grocery Stores as a Source for Inventory

    Grocery stores can be a gold mine for sourcing both eBay and Amazon inventory. And its not just about hitting the clearance section - there are other creative ways to find inventory that work for selling online. Grocery stores are a great way to find products that you can sell consistently with very little (or no) competition. It just takes some searching to find products that work.

    When you use your regular grocery store to source products, you don't feel the pressure to over-buy like you might at Big Lots or a closeout store. These products will be available to you any time you need to restock. A grocery store can be like your own personal warehouse with thousands of items to choose from any time you want.

    Did you realize that some stores flag items on the regular shelves with special closeout tags before moving them to the clearance area? If you are only checking the designated clearance aisle or kiosk, you won't find these deals - you are leaving many opportunities behind. Closeout products are offered at a reduced price because they may not be moving well at that particular store, the manufacturer may be doing a packaging change, the store may be resetting the shelves for a new season, or a number of other reasons. These markdowns happen every single week.

    If you know what to look for, and use a scouting tool or have internet access on your phone, you can find these items (and check the online selling prices) as you do your regular grocery shopping. The photo above shows a closeout item on the regular cosmetics aisle at a local grocery store in my area - look at the price cut and look at how many items are available to purchase. Score!

    You may not think selling groceries is very glamorous or profitable, but consider these points:

    Not everyone has access to what you have in your stores or geographic area. This is the #1 assumption that causes sellers to walk right by profitable opportunities.

    Groceries are consumables and buyers will purchase multiples - consumables are where you get those wonderful quantity buyers!

    Grocery items are easy to find and abundant - grocery stores stock thousands of different items and are constantly adding new products.

    More and more consumers are buying online - they like the convenience of having merchandise delivered to their door, they save time and gas by avoiding having to drive around, and Prime customers on Amazon get free shipping, so they utilize their membership whenever possible.

    Baby Boomers are loving the convenience of online shopping, especially in the winter months - trips to the grocery store can be physically demanding.

    Online shopping can be less expensive and is definitely less hassle than regular shopping.

    Knowing what the shelf tags mean and how the store positions the items is crucial to finding these opportunities.

    Related Articles:

    How Kraft Foods Paid my Mortgage in 2012

     Make Money Selling Toys on Amazon

    How I got $500 From Amazon Over the Weekend

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Canned Pumpkin Shortage - Big Money on eBay and Amazon!

    The Northeast has had unfavorable weather conditions this year - flooding from Hurricane Irene, a wetter than normal spring, and fungus problems. The South has suffered record heat and drought. This combination of a tough growing season has caused a pumpkin shortage, which in turn, has caused a canned pumpkin shortage and rising prices.

    Contrary to a press release by Libby's (the major supplier of canned pumpkin), shelves are bare in many grocery stores across the country. Back in August, Libby's stated,

    “While much of the country has been suffering from unusually high temperatures this summer, the weather seems to be perfect for growing pumpkin! That’s right, thanks to Mother Nature and the hard work of the dedicated pumpkin farmers in Morton, Illinois – the pumpkin capital of the world! – Libby’s Pumpkin is happy to report that consumers will be able to find a bountiful supply of their beloved pumpkin on grocer’s shelves in plenty of time for the 2011 holiday season.”

    So, you be the judge. I've checked the grocery stores in my area around Atlanta, GA. There are a few straggler cans of pumpkin, but it is far from plentiful. Retail price for a small can of pumpkin is $1.39 and for a large 29 oz can $3.69 at the stores I checked. Here are some completed listings on eBay:

    Overall, there are not so many completed listings with sales on eBay.

    Amazon prices are even higher and grocery items sell better on Amazon. Check out this listing:

    Stats on some Amazon listings:
    12 can case of 29 oz cans: SR = 37K in grocery, 9 sellers, 1 FBA, AZ does not have it

    24 can case of 15 oz cans: SR= 41K in grocery, 6 sellers, no FBA, AZ does not have it

    4 pack of 29 oz cans: SR= 11K in grocery, 6 sellers, no FBA, AZ does not have it

    (Please note that prices may vary in different areas of the country.) Whether there is a shortage or not, people are sure paying a premium for canned pumpkin online right now. If they are buying online, the prices are steep. Seasonal products can be very lucrative - timing is everything. Check your stores and see what you can find! Be sure to do your own research on this product before stocking up to sell and understand that market conditions can change quickly.

    Related posts:

    The Early Bird Gets the Niche Product on eBay

    Understanding Niche Markets

    Join the Discussion on my Facebook Group

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Invent Your Own Product to Sell Online

    Today’s post is contributed by Beth Sprague Maus, a regular contributor of my Facebook Group. Beth and a partner have recently developed a board game which they have successfully marketed and sell both locally and on Amazon. Here is Beth’s story:

    “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Three years ago my husband and I both lost our jobs. We then spent 2.5 years unemployed or underemployed. Last year, as we were praying about how to increase our income, my husband got an idea for a monopoly type game based on our favorite vacation place, the Mackinac area of Michigan. It is a great tourist destination with hundreds of thousands of people going there every year.

    We wanted it to incorporate all the wonderful things about that area. Discouraging thoughts came to us immediately: “Surely someone else has produced this game”, “How would we, who have no idea how to manufacture anything, figure out what to do”… But that necessity – taking care of our 5 kids – spurred us on. We did our research and teamed up with a friend who had made the Toledo version through her company.

    We then spent 6 months working hard putting all the pieces together. Every aspect of the game, from tokens to money to spaces on the board, all center around the Mackinac Straits area. The game was released on June 30, 2011. Several of the businesses sold out of their stock in just a couple months. Since these businesses are seasonal, we also personally sell the games on Amazon through our FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) account so they are available year-round. The nice thing for us is that it will be residual income - the businesses will re-order each year and we will continue to sell through Amazon. I hope this encourages the ones who are reading to pursue their dreams with hard work and dedication. You can do it!

    You can check out Beth’s game on Amazon here.

    Related articles:

    Become a Self-Builder

    #1 Excuse for a Failed Business – “I Don’t Have Time”

    Make Your Own Instructional DVD to Sell

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    How to Start an eBay or eCommerce Meet Up Group

    I recently recorded a podcast with Stephanie Inge, the founder of the oldest and largest eBay Meet Up Group, Dallas eBaybes and eMales. The Dallas group was established in 2002, meets once a month, and has over 350 members. Stephanie has been successful in starting, growing, and maintaining this group. During the podcast, Stephanie gives us the following tips:

    Where to have a meeting
    Best days and times to have a meeting
    How to use the Meet Up site
    How to invite guest speakers
    Meeting format
    Whether or not to charge guests a cover charge

    Click here to download or listen to the podcast. You can also access the podcast on iTunes here for free.

    Related posts:

    Network With Other eBay Sellers on Facebook
    Small Business Networking
    List of eBay Resources
    How to Overcome Isolation when Working at Home

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Selling Toys on Amazon this Holiday Season

    Today’s post is contributed by my colleague, Kim Tarrant, who co-wrote our book, Amazon FBA Recipe for Success. Kim has sold on Amazon for several holiday seasons.

    If you’re selling on Amazon there’s no doubt you’ve received the “Holiday Selling in Toys and Games” email from Amazon. These guidelines are implemented to maintain buyer confidence in Amazon during the holiday season. If you do not meet the performance criteria you will not be eligible to sell in the toys and games category from November 15, 2011 through the first week in January 2012. These guidelines are only applicable for merchant fulfilled items, they do not apply to items fulfilled by Amazon as long as your account is in good standing.

    In order to sell in the toys and games category from November 15, 2011 and the first week in January 2012 you will need to meet these guidelines:

    - Seller’s first sale on must be prior to 09/19/2011 (sale does not need to be Toy-specific).

    - Seller must have processed and shipped at least 25 orders (do not need to be Toy-specific) during the 60 consecutive days preceding 11/1/2011.

    - No greater than 1% short term order defect rate as of 11/1/2011.

    - No greater than 2.5% pre-fulfillment cancel rate for the trailing 30-days preceding 11/1/2011.

    - No greater than 5% late shipment rate for the trailing 30-days preceding 11/1/2011.

    This email can seem intimidating at first but it’s really quite simple to achieve all the requirements. Amazon will periodically send emails to let you know where you stand on meeting the criteria. On or around September 21, Amazon sent an email to all sellers letting them know where they stand on meeting the criteria for the holiday season. Amazon will send several more notices out before the deadline of November 1, 2011. In my experience, these notifications will come around the end of September, the middle of October, the end of October and a few days before November 15, 2011. If you haven’t met the guidelines yet, don’t panic as there is still time. The sales quota guidelines (first sale prior to September 19 and at least 25 orders during the 60 days preceding November 1, 2011) can be met through merchant fulfilled orders OR orders fulfilled by Amazon.

    If you’ve sold during the holidays in the past, you know it can be a wild a crazy ride. If you haven’t, relax, don’t get overwhelmed and take it one sale at a time.

    More Amazon Resources:

    Podcast - Getting Started on Amazon

    Amazon 90 Day Experiment

    Make Money Selling Toys on Amazon

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    What’s Your eBay Worst Offer?

    I have a good time discussing eBay Best Offers (and worst offers) with other sellers. Sometimes the offer is so low it just makes you laugh. Here is the craziest eBay offer I have ever received. (This same seller offered me a Toyota car fender for the item last week.)

    “Hello .... I am an inventor

    I am doing marketing research on a paint by numbers related product.
    I need some examples of pbn artword for this research.

    My offer to buy your painting is based on the USEFULNESS of that
    artwork in the R and D program NOT on art market value or quality.

    I am an inventor involved in product development and marketing
    NOT an art collector or speculator.

    OFFER EXPLANATION .... My offer to buy is based on a shipping
    allowance + artwork allowance = total offer. EXAMPLE ....
    $8 shipping + $10 artwork = $18 total offer. I you decide to accept
    my offer PLEASE remove the artwork from the frame if included
    in order to MINIMIZE shipping costs and MAXIMIZE your profit.


    At the conclusion of this project I intend to have a CLEARANCE
    SALE on Ebay to make room for the next project .... Artwork will
    be priced about what I paid for it for quick sale .... you may be able
    to buy it back for the price you sold it or less.

    PLEASE KEEP ME IN YOUR DATA BASE .... If you decline my
    offer but can't sell your artwork PLEASE send me an Email at
    .... ....

    THANK YOU for your time and consideration.”

    All I can really say to this is, “Thank you for letting me keep my frame as a bonus!”

    Related articles:

    Beware of eBay Trading Assistant Scam

    How to Cancel Unwelcome Bids on eBay

    How to Avoid Scams by eBay Buyers

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    What to Sell on eBay – Burt’s Bees Brand

    Burt’s Bees started back in 1984 as a candle company operating out of Maine. Candles were made from beeswax as a spin-off of Burt’s honey business. The founders, Roxanne and Burt, attended local craft fairs to sell their products. Sales reached $20,000 at the end of their first year. The company continued to grow over the years, incorporated in 1991, moved its headquarters to North Carolina, and began focusing on natural personal care products more so than candles. Burt’s Bees products are known today as one of the most trusted companies offering natural personal care products and consumers can find Burt’s Bees products in a variety of retail stores including grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Cracker Barrel restaurants.

    If you keep your eyes open and your radar on, you can find Burt’s Bees items on clearance sometimes at any of the above locations. I often see them in Walgreens marked down to 75% off the regular retail price. For the highest profit when reselling, you will want to look for the more expensive items with the biggest discounts. (Make your money when you buy, not when you sell!) Here are a few examples of products to look for:

    Burt's bees radiance eye crème. I found this at Walgreens on sale for $5.99 a jar. I sold both jars on Amazon (through FBA) within 3 weeks for $22.92 each, for a profit of $11 each. I found 2 jars of it at one store. Not a bad flip! Here is the current info on Amazon for this product:

    Burt’s Bees Baby Bee products. When I was selling heavily on eBay UK, I sold quite a bit of the baby products including diaper rash ointment, bubble bath, shampoo, and dusting powder. Here is a listing on eBay for a lot of 12 buttermilk lotions with a free gift:

    Burt’s Bees Sunscreen. I’ve been seeing this on clearance quite a bit lately since we are at the end of summer. Look for this in the grocery store, health and beauty aisle. There is usually a special section just for the Burt’s Bees products. You may be able to double your investment by selling on eBay, but you will definitely make more selling this product on Amazon. Be sure to check the expiration dates before purchasing!

    For more ideas on what sells well on both eBay and Amazon, join my Facebook Group with over 2,500 online sellers networking and sharing ideas.

    Related articles:

    Make Money on eBay Selling Grocery Store Items

    Source for eBay Inventory – Walgreens

    Learn to Sell on Amazon – FBA Recipe for Success

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Did you Miss the Missoni Mania?

    eBayers are scrambling and hitting Target like its Black Friday. Missoni, the famous Italian fashion house has partnered with Target department stores for a short-term offering of a few products. According to an article by, the limited edition Missoni stock will only be available from September 13 - October 22.

    Fashionistas and resellers have hit the stores hard and cleaned out everything Missoni including women's apparel, accessories, baby items, bedding, luggage, dinnerware, and even coffee mugs. This is huge! The demand was so out of control on Tuesday, Sept 13 that the Target website crashed and during that few hours, prices sky rocketed on eBay. Look at these completed listings:

    Set of 4 Missoni Mugs sold for $137.50:

    These mugs sold for $19.99 in the store. Out of stock online at

    This lingerie set sold for $85.81:

    In the store and online, it sells for $29.99:

    I went to a few Target stores today, and here is what I saw:

    No shoes.

    No handbags or tote bags.

    No home goods, dinnerware, mugs, linen, or bedding.

    I think these insane prices are a result of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right information. Will we continue to see such high profit margins on these products? Some things to consider:

    1) is back up and running. People will try to pay regular retail before they will pay inflated prices on eBay. I think the insane prices yesterday were a result of the Target website crashing. (Although many of the items are out of stock on already!)

    2) eBay sellers who purchased Missoni for resale (or maybe even over-bought) are going to undercut each other and this will become a race to the bottom. The examples above show what people will pay. Many eBay sellers are going to start to panic when they realize that they aren't getting 3 times the retail price for this stuff within 24 hours, and they have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on Missoni merchandise. Impatience and inexperience will cause them to drop their prices quickly.

    3) Supply with catch up with demand. Even though the word on the street is that Missoni for Target is a limited deal, it is getting people in the Target stores,and during this economy, Target must like that side effect. Nothing is written in stone between Missoni and Target - for all we know this could become a seasonal or even permanent arrangement.

    This will be a "wait and see" situation. I was able to find about 20 items and will be watching very closely and see how prices on eBay fluctuate as items become more scarce and show up as "out of stock online." We can't be sure that more Missoni isn't on the way to Target - could this be a ploy to cause a shopping frenzy and help Target's numbers during the 4th quarter? A pre-holiday selling blitz?

    What is your Missoni Madness story? Did you hit Target stores, battle the crowds, or find anything at all?

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Brand to Sell on eBay - Joseph and Feiss

    You may not have heard of this brand, but it is a good one to look for at thrift stores. Joseph and Feiss. This brand is sold by Men's Wearhouse and they make dress shirts, polo shirts, blazers, slacks, and suits.

    I often see these dress shirts in thrift stores in what look like donation "dumps" from dry cleaners. You may not realize that dry cleaners need to do something with their unclaimed clothing, and many will donate the items to a thrift store to take the tax deduction for a charitable donation.

    I had a great sale this week on a lot of Joseph and Feiss shirts. Below is my listing:

    Click here to see the completed listing. These shirts cost me $2 each and the lot of 3 sold for $32.97. After fees, I realized a profit of $21.50. (You can figure out your profit using this handy ebay fee calculator.)

    On a side note, although I have moved into selling on Amazon, I am still an active seller on eBay. My eBay sales have definitely decreased over the past 2 years with much of my time spent on private coaching, learning to sell on Amazon, writing information products, and collaborating with other eCommerce experts to create trainings. I still have my finger on the pulse of eBay, although not to the extent it has been in the past.

    Also, I had somewhat of an incident this week with another blogger who took the liberty of plagiarizing material from my blog, eBooks, and Examiner column and passing it off as his own original work. Although legal action for intellectual property theft was avoided in this case, because of the nature of the internet, it is disturbing that anyone can set up a blog and post information and advice about selling on eBay. For those of us who make eBay (or online) selling a source of income, we know how much work is involved in this business. It is offensive when someone with very little (or no) eBay experience poses as an eBay seller with the objective of making money by pirating someone else's experiences and presenting them as their own.

    I want to caution you when reading eCommerce blogs and advice on the internet. Consider the source before following advice. Who is this person? What is their experience selling online, and can it be confirmed? I would be wary of anyone who claims to be an eBay seller who does not openly share his store or user ID with his reading audience on a blog, Facebook Group, or other venue. This seems to be a problem with people thinking they can sell information about eBay and not have the experience or knowledge required to create or disperse correct information.

    Related articles:

    Need Inventory to Sell on eBay? Ask Your Local Dry Cleaner

    Brand to Sell on eBay - Façonnable Shirts

    List of Thrift Store Items to Sell on eBay

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    eBay Coach Top 5 – Kitchen Items

    I am starting something new and different on my blog – Top 5 lists. These lists are my top 5 picks for items to sell in a category. Some of these items I have sold myself in the past, some items I have researched to help you save time and money when sourcing inventory. These items can be sourced at thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, or estate sales, and are in used or vintage condition. Today we will start off with my top 5 picks for kitchen items.

    Vintage Pyrex Bowls. I have talked about this one before, but they are still great sellers. The sets will be your best bet here, such as sets of mixing bowls, nesting bowls, and chip and dip sets. Complete sets can sell for $75 - $100. Patterned bowls are highly collectible. Some common patterns include Cinderella, Amish butter print, Autumn wheat, Sunflower, and Early American. 

    Dutch Ovens. Sometimes when selling cookware, bigger is better! You can often find Dutch ovens in great condition for around $5. Brands to look for include Calphalon, Le Creuset, Griswold cast iron, Lodge cast iron, Cutco, Saladmaster, and Revereware. You will get the highest price if the lids are included. Some of these Dutch ovens can sell for over $150. Tip – look on Craigslist for cookware sets. You can often find the entire set for a low price and sell the individual pots and pans separately for a very good profit. 

    Littonware Microwave Cookware. This item is often overlooked. I have sold this item myself and twice it shipped internationally. This type of cookware was introduced in the late 1970's – early 1980's when the popularity of the microwave oven was increasing. This product was created for use specifically in microwave ovens. The sets will sell for the most – but don’t pass up single units. Littonware made all sorts of different products including casserole dishes, cake pans (including a Bundt cake pan), muffin pans, and Dutch ovens. 

    Martha Stewart cookie cutters. Here is a product that has increased in value over the years. Some of these can sell for over $80 – for one cookie cutter!. If the item has been retired, it will definitely be worth more. If you have not sold these before, do your homework before hitting estate sales or thrift stores. These cookie cutters are usually made of copper or metal, are solid (closed) on one side, and have a little handle on the top. Used Martha Stewart cookie cutters have a very high sell through rate. 

    Fire King Mugs. These are the heavy milky-white mugs that were made in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970s. Restaurants often used these mugs for advertising so you might find logos on them such as Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Sambos. The famous and valuable Snoopy mugs were made by Fireking. Even if the mugs don’t have advertising on them, they are still good sellers on eBay. Fireking comes in a variety of colors other than white including green, blue, red, orange, and yellow. 

    Related articles:

     Check out my book on Kindle - What to Buy at Thrift Stores to Sell on eBay

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Selling Off-Season Items on eBay – Ice Skates

    I often see discussions on different eBay groups and forums about selling off season items on eBay. Remember, eBay is a global community and if you are open to shipping internationally, it is never really “off season” as someone is living in the right climate to use your product right now.

    Just to prove this point, I checked on what seems like an off season product right now (in August) – figure skates. Here are a few completed eBay listings for ice skates and figure skates. All of these items are in used condition and could be found at garage sales, thrift stores, or maybe even in your own home.

    Klingbeil Ice Women’s Ice Skates – sold for $120 ($15 shipping)

    Riddell Women’s Ice Skates – sold for $90 ($20 shipping)

    Jackson Artiste Women’s Ice Skates – Sold for $95 ($14.67 shipping)

    My motto is, “If you have it, list it!” There is a buyer for everything on eBay. Don’t assume that everyone shops, thinks, or plans the same way you do. Although ice skating may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, there are people out there right now looking forward to winter sports and shopping for off season items. Why not be the seller who thinks ahead and provides these items for those buyers?

    Related articles:

    100% Cashmere Sweaters Sell in the Summer, Too!

    Summer Clearance Items to Sell on eBay

    Thrift Store Item to Sell on eBay – Alpaca Sweaters


    Friday, August 26, 2011

    How to Overcome Isolation when Working at Home

    There are immeasurable benefits when working from home including having a flexible schedule, making your own decisions, reduced stress, and increased productivity. If you ask home-based entrepreneurs, they will usually tell you that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. But, one downside to working at home is isolation. You may start to miss the hustle and bustle of a busy office, having lunch with co-workers, social interactions during the day, and a structured workday. Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid the “home alone” syndrome as a home-based business owner.

    Make Local Connections

    We often get so caught up in what we are doing that we simply forget to reach out to our community for support. Even if your business doesn’t rely on local customers, you can still benefit from networking locally. Join small business networking groups, civic groups, the Chamber of Commerce, or if you are female, a women’s business group. Your objective is not necessarily to find clients but to make contacts. You may meet a banker who can help you with a small business loan, an accountant who can answer simple questions for you, or an insurance agent who can help you find more affordable health insurance. Once people in your community learn what you do for a living, they may ask you to sell things on consignment for them or to teach them how to sell on line. Many times, you can trade services with another local business and everybody wins.

    Create a Daily Schedule

    Having a daily schedule will help you be more productive as well as keep you focused. Granted, one advantage to working for yourself is the ability to have a flexible schedule. But if your day is too unstructured, you may find yourself drifting from one task to another and nothing is accomplished. Set aside certain times of the day for specific projects, or certain days for specific tasks. For example, some sellers do their shipping in the morning, listings in the afternoon, and set aside 2 days a week strictly for acquiring inventory. Do what works for you, but try to create a pattern and some continuity in your workdays.

    Do Something Recreational
    Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you have to work 18 hours a day and are not allowed to have a life! Join a gym or yoga studio, take Zumba classes, join a book club, or volunteer at the animal shelter. Get out and get away from your computer a few times a week. Not only will you relieve stress but you can do something personally fulfilling and meet new people at the same time. Who knows, you may even make some valuable business connections, too.

    Be an Organizer
    If you can’t find local functions or groups that you like, why not create them? Visit the website and check out the types of groups others have created. You’ll find common interest groups including eCommerce, entrepreneurs, tennis lovers, networking mixers, single moms, home schoolers, green living, book discussion groups, and much more. You can create your own group and invite your friends (both local and online), post it on your Facebook page, or advertise your group in community publications.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Seeking eBay Sellers for eBay Reality Series

    I was recently contacted by Alex Tresniowski, a senior writer for People Magazine. Alex is working with eBay on a web reality series to profile certain eBay users who have sold common items they had in their homes and used the extra money to make a small but meaningful change or upgrade in their lives.

    Specifically, he is looking for mothers and fathers between the ages of 20 and 40, and also single mothers and fathers roughly in that age range. Alex is seeking stories from people who have unearthed some hidden treasure in their home—a gift they never used, their kids' old clothes, other common stuff they initially thought had no value—and sold it on eBay, then used the extra money to pay for something they couldn't otherwise afford: ballet lessons for their daughter, a new Sony Gameboy for their son, painting the living room, etc.

    To share your eBay story and find out more about the web series, please email Alex at and he will get right back to you. This is a great opportunity to show the world how great eBay can be!

    Alex will keep us posted on the series as it develops and when it launches online.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Amazon Pending Orders – Red Flags to Watch for

    Many Amazon sellers are addicted to watching their pending sales. I have the pending screen bookmarked on my desktop computer, iPad, and iPhone. Checking pending orders is more than just being excited about what’s selling, it is a way to gauge the demand and popularity of an item and make more money because you are “in the know.”

    When an item is in “pending,” it means that a buyer has committed to the purchase. If he purchased multiple items from different sellers, he may have checked the option to have his order sent in as few shipments as possible. If this is the case, your item is marked “pending” until the complete order ships. The buyer may also be waiting for other items to be included in his order and chooses to wait for it to ship. Items can be held in pending status for several weeks sometimes.

    If you are not checking your pending sales, you are missing valuable information about Amazon buyer demand. Let’s say your FBA order hits the warehouse and you have some products in the box that you have never sold before. You want to pay close attention to how quickly those products are snapped up by buyers and how many each buyer wants. For example, a few weeks ago I sent in a seasonal food product. As soon as the order hit the warehouse, all 6 of them went into pending, 3 units going to 2 different buyers. By keeping an eye on my pending orders, I was able to determine that this product was hot, buyers wanted it, and I should go get more as quickly as possible. If I had waited until I received the “Amazon has shipped the item you sold” email, I could have missed the opportunity to purchase and resell some of this product, because the items didn’t actually ship out of FBA until a week later.

    To check pending orders:

    Click here for more information on using Amazon’s FBA program.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Summer Clearance Items to Sell on eBay

    Even though temperatures are still in the 90’s here in Atlanta, we are already seeing signs for Summer Clearance. You may be thinking summer clearance is only bathing suits and pool floats, but it can be much more. Don’t let the climate where you live limit your ability to think outside the box and consider selling summer clearance items all year. Remember that we live in a global economy and your target customer could live anywhere. Here are some ideas for items to look for, even though it may not make sense at first:

    Swim diapers. Don’t assume that babies and toddlers won’t need swim diapers at other times of the year. You may live up north and might be thinking that no one will be using swim diapers during cold weather, but plenty of children take indoor swimming lessons year round. Or maybe Grandma lives in Florida and has a heated pool and she keeps swim diapers on hand for the grandchildren when they visit. Or perhaps a family is planning a Disney cruise in January and needs to pack swim diapers and can’t find them locally. They will be looking online for them.

    Gardening supplies. Just yesterday in Big Lots I saw all sorts of gardening and lawn supplies marked down to 80% off the regular price. Examples include pesticides, weed killer, and yellow jacket traps. These items could be purchased by consumers living in warm climates year round.

    Canning supplies. I am starting to see these items in grocery stores. Here in Georgia, we still have another month or so of “canning season” as the vegetables are still coming in strong. The stores are making room for back to school and Halloween displays. Canning enthusiasts can use these items for another 6 weeks, maybe longer. Don’t assume that because an item is on clearance locally that it won’t sell nationally or even internationally.

    Look for opportunities, not obstacles!

    Related articles:

    Source for eBay Inventory – Hallmark Stores

    Source for eBay Inventory – Famous Footwear

    Local Sourcing for eBay Inventory – Salvage Stores

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    New eBook - Amazon FBA Recipe for Success

    It is finally finished! Kim and I have been working on our Amazon FBA program all summer, and here it is!

    Amazon FBA Recipe for Success

    Comprehensive 105 page eBook explaining how to sell products on Amazon using their fulfillment (FBA) program. Written by Suzanne Wells and Kim Tarrant, two experienced Amazon FBA sellers who earn their living selling online.

    eBook Highlights:

    Understanding the Amazon Customer – When you know why they pay more, you can charge more for your products.

    Sourcing – Not just where to go, but how to maximize your time and use technology to source products.

    Scouting Tools – You can do this without a smart phone!

    Pricing Strategies – How to deal with competitors (Amazon isn’t eBay and you don’t have to be the lowest priced seller to get sales).

    Amazon Minefields – Tips for staying out of trouble.

    Damage Control – Who to contact or what to do when there is a problem with your FBA shipment, damaged products, or returns.

    FAQs – Answers to questions we have seen repeated on seller boards and groups.

    Complete Table of Contents can be viewed here
    Assignments are included after each chapter so you can practice what you’ve learned before you spend money on inventory. These are some of the same assignments Suzanne Wells uses with her private coaching clients. (She has coached over 300 clients worldwide helping them grow their eCommerce businesses.) So roll up your sleeves and let’s get started making money on Amazon!

    100% satisfaction guarantee, money back if not completely satisfied.

    This product is sold through Clickbank with immediate electronic delivery.

    Click here to purchase and receive the instant download now.

    If you have a blog about ecommerce, home business, work at home moms, or being an entrepreneur, our Clickbank product may be a good fit to promote on your site or blog. (Link to affiliate program info is at the very bottom of the purchase page).

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Party City Clearance – Stock up on Halloween Costumes to Sell on eBay

    Party City wants to clean out their clearance shelves completely! All clearance items (excluding seasonal) are now just 50¢. With more than 1,000 items available, you’re sure to find something for a birthday or office party…or any party, for that matter. Of course, the selection varies widely by store. They’re also cleaning out their costume closet with some of their clearance costumes are as low as $5. With Halloween just three months away, now is a good time to stock up on costumes to sell on eBay. The shelves should clear out quickly, so you want to get there as soon as possible.

    If you order online, you can get free shipping on August 2nd and 3rd only. Use promo code PC92NB for free shipping when you order online.

    Baby Frog Costume - $5

    Lederhosen Costume - $5

    Tin Man Wizard of Oz Costume - $5

    Visit my Facebook group for more tips on where to get eBay and Amazon inventory.