Using a Wholesaler is Not Necessary to Make Money on eBay
As a Silver Level Power Seller on eBay since 2003, I have made $3,000 or more every month in profit and have never used a wholesaler or drop shipper. One disadvantage to dealing with a wholesaler is having to buy in quantity. Many wholesalers require large purchases, such as $500 worth, and then you may be stuck with the merchandise if it doesn’t sell. By finding your inventory locally, you don’t have to spend as much on inventory up front, you can buy small quantities to test out the products, and you can find vintage items that sell for high margins.
My inventory comes from all local sources. Thrift stores, also known as second hand stores, are one of the best sources for eBay inventory. You can find vintage items, clothing (many times new with tags), household items, and brand new items such as candles, bath gel, and stationery. Valuable vintage items are coming out of basements and attics and appearing at garage sales and estate sales. For example, vintage rotary phones are very good sellers on eBay as they are now collectibles and some sell for over $200. Record players (consoles, turntables, and suitcase style) are popular on eBay. Some sell for well over $100. Vintage Fisher Price toys can sell for up to $300 if a complete set. Examples include the airport and the castle set. You can’t find vintage items through a wholesaler, and they are much more profitable than any wholesale item. You can also find resalable items very inexpensively at garage sales and estate sales. Again, look for vintage items, name brand clothing, household items, tools, CDs and DVDs, and sporting goods.
Visit your local dry cleaner. You may be able to create a partnership where you can sell unclaimed items on consignment. Used clothing in good condition is a great seller. Think about it. People take their finest items to the dry cleaner, since they cannot be thrown in the washing machine. The cleaner may end up with unclaimed items such as cashmere sweaters, business suits, silk blouses and skirts, beaded evening gowns, or down comforters. The items will already be cleaned and ready to list. You won’t even have to buy the inventory; you just arrange to share the profit with the dry cleaner.
You can also find inventory locally by shopping at off-price stores including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Steinmart. These stores carry designer name brands already discounted. If you buy the items on clearance, you can often get name brand labels like Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren at 90% off retail. Unlike dealing with a wholesaler, you can buy just a few pieces to see how the items sell, and then go back and get more.
These are just a few examples of where you can find inventory locally to sell on eBay, without using a wholesaler. You can also check storage unit auctions, local salvage stores, consignment stores, closeout stores like Big Lots, and flea markets.