Boomer eZine Logo



The Online Entrepreneur Magazine

Best eZine Logo

Ezine Articles Expert Logo

Volume 1 Issue 10 6-16-06

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer–eZine is posted at

Linda and I are off for the weekend to go to San Antonio to baby sit for Allison, our granddaughter, on Friday night. We then go to Austin where we are taking beginning kayak lessons.

The property that we purchased where we are planning to build our retirement house has a community park on the Guadalupe River. With easy river access, we plan to kayak on the river and on Canyon Lake which is about ten miles from us.

This promises to be a full weekend, but after an intense week of research, development and engineering on a new product on my day job, I am ready to get away.

Except for the first item, this will be an eBay issue. I read a recent quote that over 2 million shoppers spend over $86 million every day on eBay. With that kind of volume, you only need a small piece of it to be successful.

John Publishes New Article

For those of you who remember the article from Boomer eZine Volume 1, Issue 4, that discussed fear and greed on the Net, I rewrote the article slightly and submitted to for publication. It was accepted and published at  Please go there and read the new version and leave some feedback on it. Thanks.

Where do I find things to sell on eBay?

I am using an article from Tim Knox's newsletter for the following. Tim is a well known Internet entrepreneur and is a mentor of mine. This is a great article that answers the most asked question about eBay.

Tim Knox

Copyright 2006

I was part of an eBay Roundtable discussion recently with six other experts and we all agreed that the number one question most new (and even old) eBay sellers ask is:

"Where do I find things to sell on eBay??"

To help answer that question I have compiled 11 ways that anyone can use to find products to sell on eBay. This is by no means a definitive list and depending on your situation, some of the ways may not apply to you. However, if you're a beginner and don't know where to start, this list should help you get on track.

1. Look Around The House:

We all have items lying around the house that we no longer use or need. Have you grown or shrunk in size? If so, you have clothes you can no longer wear and can sell. Did you get a gift for Christmas or your birthday that you will never use? If so, slap it on eBay (just don't let the person who gave you the gift find out). Do your kids have toys they no longer play with? Just looking around your house and garage should give you plenty of things to get your eBay ball rolling.

2. Garage Sales and Flea Markets:

When it comes to eBay, remember this old adage: One man's junk is another man's treasure. Now this is not to say that you should sell junk on eBay. You should only sell products in good condition. The point is you can find items in good condition at garage sales and flea markets that you can pick up cheap and resell for a profit. Remember, nobody wants to buy your old Beanie Babies that no longer have eyes and noses, but they may buy "gently used" items if they're in good shape and offered at a good price.

3. Talk To Your Friends and Relatives:

After you've gone through your own in-house inventory, contact your friends and relatives and tell them you have started an eBay business and will sell their items for a piece of the sales price. Chances are they have as much excess stuff lying around their house as you did. Offer to list the items for them and if they sell, take half the profits. You will probably have to pay the eBay fees out of your pocket up front, but you can then deduct the eBay fees from the sales price before slicing up the pie.

4. Consignment Sales:

Consignment sales are a great way to find a wide range of products to sell on eBay. Consignment selling means that you offer to sell an item that belongs to a company. In exchange for your trouble you get a percentage of the sales price. You can charge up to 50% plus fees for smaller items like clothing, lamps, jewelry, etc. and around 15% for larger items like cars, boats, and bulldozers (yes, I said bulldozers).

Contact every business in town and offer to list their excess goods on eBay for a piece of the action. Most businesses have returned items, liquidated products, used equipment, etc. that they would love to get rid of, but don't have the time to do so. Many will see you as their hero if you can help them get rid of this merchandise and you'll make a pretty profit for your efforts. For business customers you should have them pay the eBay fees on the front end, not you.

5. Thrift Stores:

Thrift stores are an excellent place to look for things to sell online. Stores maintained by the Salvation Army and non-profit organizations are best. Many church thrift stores price their goods at almost retail level, so you may not find too many bargains there.

Much of the merchandise you will find at thrift stores has been donated by middle to upper income families, so many times you can find high quality merchandise in excellent condition. And don't be afraid to make them an offer, especially if you are buying in bulk. Nobody pays sticker price at thrift stores.

6. Mini Storage Unit Sales:

Mini storage companies are everywhere and most of them are filled with stuff that people no longer want, but have no other place to store. Did you know that if someone who is renting a mini storage unit fails to pay the rent the owner can confiscate their stuff and sell it? This is bad news for the renter, but great news for you. Call every mini storage company in your area and ask that they notify you if they ever have items to sell. Many will put you on a notification list for their upcoming sales. Some may even say, "Sure, come on over!"

7. Local Auctions And Estate Sales:

I'm a live auction nut. I'm not talking about the hooty snooty art auctions. I'm talking about the good old fashioned auctions with hard benches and hot dogs and cheap, good stuff. I love going to auctions and digging through boxes and bidding on things. My problem is I don't know when to quit buying. It's just so dang much fun holding up that little paddle and winning a sale, even if it's something you don't really need.

Check your area for auctions and sales you can attend. Just make sure you don't pay more for something than you should. Your goal is to buy low and sell high. Don't get so caught up in the bidding that you pay more than a product is worth (voice of experience here).

8. Closeout Stores:

You can find some great bargains at the big warehouse closeout stores. Look for liquidated items or items you can buy in bulk. And don't be afraid to make them an offer. I never pay sticker price at closeout stores and neither should you. Call the manager over and ask him what he'll take for the entire box of something you're interested in. You may be surprised to find him more than willing to deal.

9. eBay And Other Online Auctions:

Did you know that you can find great deals on products you can buy and resell on eBay and other online auctions? If a seller does a lousy job on his ad chances are he will get very few bids and you can snap up the item at a deal, then create a great ad and sell it for a profit.

You can also find wholesale bulk lots on eBay that you can buy and piece out for sale one at a time. This requires the cash to buy the inventory and a place to store it, but this is the best way to get the lowest price on most wholesale goods.

You should also visit the other online auction like Yahoo and to look for bargains. These sites do not have the traffic and customer base that eBay has, which means auctions there get fewer visitors and lower bids. Do a Google search for "online auctions" to hunt for treasure there.

10. Wholesalers and Dropshippers:

Once your eBay business is rolling you can move it up a notch by establishing relationships with wholesalers and dropshippers who can provide you with merchandise to sell. You will get the lowest price by buying in bulk from wholesalers, but that is a level you should build up to. Don't buy a truckload of liquidated products until you are sure you can sell them.

11. Contact The Manufacturer:

If you find a product that you think would be a good seller just pick up the phone can call the company that manufactures. Tell them you are interested in the product and were wondering if they had a distributor in your area. If they do, contact the distributor and inquire about buying the product wholesale. If the company does not have a distributor in your area simply say, "How do I go about becoming your distributor."

There may be costs involved that make it prohibitive for you to become a distributor, but you never know until you try. Again, research the market thoroughly to make sure there are customers who will buy the product and if you do have to invest money to get started, only invest the minimum allowed and consult an attorney if there are legal forms you're asked to sign.

You can visit Tim's site at

eBay Affiliate Program

Did you know that eBay has an affiliate program? This is sometimes overshadowed by the sheer size of eBay, but you can make affiliate income from eBay.

This is how it works. You go to the and sign up. This will direct you to Commission Junction ( which handles the commissions for eBay. You should spend time on Commission Junction after you join to see all the other affiliate programs that you can join as well as eBay. You will be amazed, but a full article on affiliates is for another BeZ issue.

You will notice that you can become an affiliate of eBay in several countries. If you speak the language of another country, you can become an affiliate of that country if you desire. I am an affiliate of eBay USA, Italy, France, UK, Canada, and India. I am not active except in the US and Italy. Italy you say! No, I do not speak Italian, but I found an Italian translator through who helps me with my Google Adwords ads that drive traffic to eBay Italy. When they join and buy, I receive my commissions in US dollars through Commission Junction.

If you refer a person to eBay who is not a member and they join and purchase an item, you get referral fees and a commission on the sale. eBay recently announced that they were increasing their fees. These fees are to help the smaller affiliates make more money at lower transaction volumes.

Currently, the initial fee for causing someone to join eBay is $12.00. Under the old structure, this covered the first 499 people. Then the fee rose to $16.00 each over 499.

The new structure still pays $12.00 for the first tier, but the tier is for 1 - 49. At 50 - 499 the fee is $16.00. This structure is much more favorable for the little guy.

To understand how this all works, go to eBay and study it. The old structure is at The new structure that will start on July 1 is located at

Learn about the eBay affiliate program and other affiliate programs on the Net. Affiliate programs when used correctly can make you money without having to monitor them constantly.

Site Build It

I have reported on Site Build It for a few weeks, and I am taking a break in this issue. I have added a few pages to it last week so check it out at I am still very impressed with what Site Build It can do. It is especially good for the beginner Internet Entrepreneur.

Linda and I will report on the kayak lessons. This should be a hoot. I wish I had a cameraman along to shoot a video. We would probably win "America's Funniest Home Videos".

Till then, Stay tuned.


Boomer eZine Home

Table of Contents   


Copyright 2015 John Howe, Inc.

Please visit the other Boomer sites