One key for business success using eBay is sourcing products to sell. The first questions eBay sellers should ask themselves are: "What can I sell?" and "Where can I buy?"
There are two kinds of sellers on eBay, garage sellers and business sellers. Garage sellers are people who sell products they are not going to use any more and that are usually not new. Garage sellers are not profit driven, their main objective is usually to get rid of some stuff they don't need. They will be happy to make some money by selling something that is no longer useful to them. On the other hand, business sellers are people who will buy and sell products for profit, they consider eBay a business and need to earn profit on the products they sell.
The first key to success for business sellers is an old marketing rule, RESEARCH. The products you need to sell are products that eBay buyers will want to buy. Apart from being a massive market place, eBay offers you a cheap source of research that you can conduct without moving from your computer.
If you are a business seller, it is fundamental that you spend some time researching before you decide which products you want to sell. Follow these research guidelines:
1. Search for the categories that are most popular. The first index is the number of listings that exist under each category. In addition, you need to look at how many bids the products have.
2. Look at the ratings of the sellers who are listing products in each category and study their profiles. See how many products they are selling and how many products they have sold in the past.
3. Analyze prices. You need to become an expert in your category and you need to know at which price a product is worth buying as well as the expected final winning price of your auction.
4. Select no more than one or two categories. "Specialization" is another basic rule of marketing. It is better to become an expert on something, as this will inspire confidence and trust in your potential customers. Online marketing is all about trust.
For conducting good research, you need time and organization. There is different software programs in the market that can help you save time as well as optimize your research.
Now that you are becoming an eBay expert and have conducted a proper search, you are almost ready to start your business. Before starting to sell, you need to buy! Here are some ideas from where you can source products:
1. Write your own e-book and sell it. If you have any passion or are an expert on a subject for which you can find a niche in eBay, do not hesitate to spend some time on writing your own book. The advantage of this is that after your initial time investment, you can sell and sell copies of the book without having any additional costs. Selling information products is one of the most profitable businesses. Even if you are not an expert writer, you can find other people who can write the book for you.
2. Use drop-shipping. There are wholesalers that will sell you products and send them to the address that you tell them. The advantage of this source is that you do not need to carry inventories, so your investments are minimized. After your auction is finished, you send them your customers address and they will do all the shipping. If you decide to use this kind of source, you need to make sure that your auctions winning price can be higher than the price you will pay for the articles. At minimum you should expect to double your costs.
3. Buy from eBay. Many eBayers success comes from knowing how to buy well on eBay and sell the same products at a higher price. If you know your category very well, you can easily find opportunities that will allow you to buy and resell making profit. Again, solid research is fundamental.
4. Buy Asiatic products. If you are willing to carry some inventories, you can invest on Asiatic products and buy them for a very cheap price. You can easily start importing Asiatic products from the Internet at www.alibaba.com.
5. Sell local products. If you live in an area that produces local products which can be bought at a cheap price and shipped to other areas where people would pay more, you should take advantage of the situation.