What Should I Sell on eBay?

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If you are a new seller, my initial advice would be to gain experience of eBay selling by cleaning out your garage or attic.

Start by selling used goods, small appliances, wedding gifts you never use, old books (non-fiction ones are best), used sporting goods and clothing items. Like that leather jacket that doesn't fit you any more!

The experience you gain will be invaluable, there's no cost involved other than eBay fees which aren't too heavy.

The next step is to sell items about which you know something. It might be related to your hobby or interests.

If you are knowledgeable about a collectable or an art object, then you have the ability to do the research to find the products at prices you can resell.

On eBay, anything will sell. It doesn't matter how obscure your item might be, eBay buyers will find your auction.

Once you gain experience try to focus on larger value items. If you only make ?2 ($4) profit per sale, you have to close and ship 1000 items per month to make ?2,000 ($4,100).

Too many sellers think the way to make a fortune on eBay is to buy hundreds of the latest hot selling items and put up dozens of auctions. The problem here is that hundreds of other sellers are doing the same thing. (If you don't believe me do a search for diet pills, or DVDs) There are plenty of companies with enough money to import these items directly by the thousands and undersell anyone who buys through a distributor or wholesaler.

Another technique is to sell items in bulk. If you bought a large box of videotapes at a car boot or garage sale, separate them into categories and sell them as a lot. You will often make more money than selling them individually. This can also work for clothing. There are sellers that buy children's clothing from car boot or garage sales, sort it by size and gender and sell it in lots.

One eBay seller I know purchases large lots of the fast selling items on eBay (lighters, pocket knives, etc.) and turns around and sells them in lots of 10 or 25 to other eBayers who want to buy for resale. I know an eBayer who recently imported 50,000 disposable cigarette lighters from Korea that he bought for about 6p (10 cents) each. He sold them on eBay in lots of 500 for 19p (38 cents) each. He made ?65 ($140) on each lot less his eBay fees.

It seems everyone wants to sell computers, software, movies, DVD's, digital cameras and all sorts of consumer electronics. The sad fact is that SONY, Panasonic, Canon, and others don't sell their latest hottest products to small dealers who work out of their home. (In fact they don't sell anything except through their distributors) Even the big stores have trouble getting a large allocation of really hot electronics products.

It is possible to get into this business if you have a lot of market and product knowledge. You might work in a computer store, and have the contacts to buy the merchandise. The problem is that you are competing with major retailers. One way you can succeed selling consumer electronics is with overstock and returns products. The trick is to really know what you are buying and to be able to work on small margins and turn your inventory over often. It takes quite a bit of capital investment to compete in this sector.

There is also a huge market on eBay for "vintage" hi-fi equipment, cameras, old computers and computer hardware and so on. I heard of a guy who found an Akai reel-to-reel tape deck at a car boot sale for ?15 ($32). He also got 10 reels of tape for nothing. He sold the deck on eBay for just under ?100 ($220) and sold the 10 reels of tape separately in another auction for ?15 ($32).

One of eBay's own product managers sells vintage Apple computers, parts and software. She buys almost all of it at car boot or garage sales, second hand shops and auctions.

When I am asked about what should they sell, I am usually also asked what are the best selling items on eBay.

Here is a list of the currently hot selling items on eBay. Note that this is not a recommendation of what to sell, as each of these product areas requires the seller to have relevant knowledge and expertise.

- Diet Pills
- Nutritional Sex Enhancers
- Pheromone scents
- Glass chess sets
- Low cost jewelry
- Expensive watches and jewelry
- Heirloom jewelry
- Used toys in good condition
- New and used clothing for children and plus-sized clothing for women
- Software (including closed-out or last year's software programs and games)
- Strobe pens
- Tools (power and hand tools)
- Perfume (including perfume samples and opened expensive perfumes that are at least over one-half full)
- Perfume bottles (some with or without perfume)
- Religious books and Bibles (Bibles are always a perennial seller)
- Non-fiction books on hobbies, sports, nautical subjects, history, military science, popular textbooks, and art & photography. Also books containing maps and art prints that can be broken and sold individually
- Maps and old prints of ships, flowers, animals (horses and dogs are good)
- Used parts for speciality cars (Porsche, BMW, MG, etc.)
- Car models and car collectables
- Signed sports collectables

If you want to know what to sell on eBay, probably the single best piece of advice I can give is to be unique and to specialize.

Find a niche market, learn about it, become an expert in it, and work hard at building your reputation in that market. eBay buyers are intelligent, and they like to deal with a knowledgeable and responsive professional seller.

If you can become that seller, you have a good chance of making significant money on eBay.
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