Product sourcing ideas for your online auction business part 3 – sales on the high street

Happy new year, and may 2010 and the whole decade be a successful and prosperous one for you.

This takes me nicely to the next series of posts in this series of ‘product sourcing ideas for your online auction business’.

The title of this post speaks for itself.  Getting your products from high street shop sales to sell for profit on the online auction site.  But ofcourse, it is not just a matter of going to whatever shop has a sale on, filling your basket with bargains and then listing them on eBay.  There is more to it than that.

After all, you don’t want to be left with lots of stock you can’t sell, or sell but make a loss on it.

Here is what you should do.

1. Decide on a niche area, for example clothing, media products such as DVD’s, Blue Ray, PS3 games etc.  This may well depend on how much you have to outlay in the beginning.    The reason you want to do this, is you are more likely to get a buyer purchasing more than one item from you.  If you have just X BOX 360 games, the chances are someone may bid on more than one auction, but if you have an X BOX 360 game and a Hugo Boss pair of jeans, this is less likely to happen.

When deciding on your niche, I would bear in mind that some items are seasonal, and some items will devalue over time, some very quickly.  Unless you are very confident you can turn over the items that will devalue very quickly, I would steer clear of them.  If you choose seasonal items, such as Christmas items, you need the space to store them safely until the time to right to sell them.

2.  It’s going to be tricky to know what the store will have on sale, but it is a good idea to do a bit of research on eBay before you go.  In my previous post, I done a video showing you how to check completed listings.  Look to see what is selling for good prices and make a note of them, and what they have sold for.  Say you have chosen to sell Nintendo Wii games and accessories.  Just type in ‘Nintendo Wii’ and click on search.  Then look at the completed listings.  Don’t forget you need to be signed in to your account to use the completed listings feature.  If you haven’t already, I suggest you watch the video on my previous post so you get an idea of how it works.  Once you have the completed listings up, sort the search by ‘price and postage highest price first’, then you will know what is the most people are prepared to pay for an item including the postage.

If you have access to eBay on your mobile phone, I would still do this excercise before you leave for the shops, incase you are not able to access it in the shop due to poor signal.

3.  Go to your chosen shop(s).  Make sure you get a receipt for everything you buy.  This may seem obvious, but if when you get back home and checked the completed listings, you may decide you don’t want to try to sell it, so take it back for a refund.  For example, I would imagine DVD’s and CD’s are going to be very difficult to make any profit on, but say you didn’t think of this, and you bought a load of CD’s, and you checked completed listings, and found the most anyone paid for a CD was £4 including postage, and you paid £3, you probably wouldn’t want to try to sell it.

4.  When considering if you want to sell the item, remember your other associated costs when trying to work out your potential profit.  There is your eBay listing fee, final value fee, postage, packaging, pay pal fees. This is a common mistake, especially for those new to selling.  Here are links to the fees associated on eBay:-

eBay selling fees for the United Kingdom eBay site (

eBay selling fees for the Republic of Ireland site (

eBay selling fees for the United States of America (USA) site (

eBay selling fees for the Canadian site (

eBay selling fee for the Austrailian site (

If you sell on any other eBay site other than those mentioned above, use the help link from your eBay home page to find the fees.  I only use, and I found all the above easily enough so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding it for your site.

5.  For any items you have decided you don’t want to sell, take them back with the receipt and get a refund.   Now you are left with a load of items you are confident you will make a profit with.  Simple.

Now comes the question of listing and selling your newly acquired items successfully.  This requires another set of posts, but I have already written some simple listing and photography techniques.  Look in the eBay category of this blog.  They are some of the very first posts I wrote.

This method is one I have used and had success with in the past, so I know you will too.  I would love to hear how you get on.  Drop me an email, or leave a comment below.

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