Do you know how many people in US are earning their livelihood
with the help of eBay? According to a new survey conducted on
July 2005 by ACNielsen, a leading research firm, an astounding
724 thousand Americans respond that they rely on eBay for their
main or supplemental income. Apart from these professional
sellers, another 1.5 million people confirmed that they generate
additional income by selling goods on eBay. Last year alone,
around 150 million registered users have sold over US$ 34 billion
worth of goods on eBay. Isnt it amazing?
Why entrepreneurs are flocking into eBay? Some of the reasons are
Starting a business on eBay is easy and quick
You dont require large investment
Anybody can start an eBay business, no special skill is required
You can sell virtually anything on eBay
With your eBay business you can have flexible work time
You have a ready-made market of over 150 million people and
eBay get 1.5 billion page views each month. You get access to
this massive traffic almost paying nothing.
So, there is no wonder that anybody with slightest penchant to
have their own business will jump into this great opportunity.
But, there are two major problems that many of the would-be eBay
sellers encounter. The first is what to sell and the next is
where to find it.
What to sell?
According to Forrester Research, a major research company, this
year, categories with products purchased by women will have the
most growth in online retailing. Some categories are already
getting more than ten percent of their overall sales through the
Internet, which include: computer hardware and software, tickets,
travel, books, consumer electronics, cosmetics and fragrances,
toys and video games, and flowers, cards and gifts. While
choosing items to sell on eBay, you should also explore the
features available on eBay and other places on the Internet that
show items people search and items people actually buy.
eBay has a complete section called Seller Central dedicated to
delivering utmost information to help you succeed in selling
products through eBay. Two links from this section should
interest you. One is Whats Hot
) and the other
one is Category Tips
When you go to the subsection Whats Hot, check out the
following three areas:
Hot Items by Category
This is a comprehensive report of categories, and products within
a category by the ratio of bid to listings growth rate in PDF
format. The report gets updated monthly and shows which products
have increased demand in comparison to last month. Super hot
products, for example, have over 35 percentage point difference
between bid growth rate and listing growth rate. According to the
latest report, by the way, Sunglasses for men, in particular
Prada sunglasses are super hot.
This is another area where you can see the top ten searched
categories, ten most widely watched auctions, list of stores with
most active listings, and other cool stuffs on daily basis.
eBay Summer Catalog
This is a new subsection. Its a real catalog with pictures and
average price of products. In each category of products there is
a list of top ten summer trends. You, definitely, should check
this out if you are planning to start selling now.
On the page Category Tips under each category you will see a
link under the name In Demand. This area will show you a list
of ten most sold items of this category as well as most searched
items for each subcategory.
You might also like to see what people buy on non-eBay part of
the Internet. The Shopping.com Consumer Demand Index (CDI)
([http://www.shopping.com/CDI/cdi.cmp]) makes a weekly list of
most sought after items. This list could give you the needed
glimpse to the future market trend!
Where to find items to sell on eBay
Your own home
If you are just planning to start selling on eBay, your first
option is to go through your attic, closets and garage. Find
those long stashed items that you will probably never need. These
may include: books that you will perhaps never read, CDs that you
out grew, gifts that you received but did not like much, the list
can go on! Take them out, brush them off and post them on eBay
Flea markets and garage sales
Every body knows that garage sales and flea markets can be real
treasure troves! Well, now you can look at them from a business
point of view. Your sales experience with own home items,
hopefully, will help you understand what will sell well and what
wont. Dont go for any costly items as yet.
Local liquidators and auctions
Classified sections of local Newspapers week-end editions are
good place to look for estate auctions. While buying items from
local auctions determine what are you going to buy and for what
price beforehand and stick to them no matter what! At an auction
there is always a risk of getting carried away!
Go visit some local business liquidators. These are excellent
places to find items for bargain price.
Drop shippers (
When a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or importer, after
receiving an order from their retailers, individually pack and
deliver the product to the customer of the retailer with
retailers address as shipper, this selling technique is called
drop-shipping. This is an excellent way to find products to sell
on eBay. Drop ship source directory
) is the place to go if
you are looking for drop-shippers.
eBay itself can be a great sourcing place for you. Check out
wholesale items and eBay business marketplace from your chosen
fields. In order to find wholesale listing, while searching a
product select Items listed as lots. You can buy goods in
wholesale and then sell them piece by piece and make decent
money. Of course, you have to develop good knowledge of the
products before doing this.
If your business has grown and you are considering importing
products to sell on eBay, read my article Importing Products to
sell on eBay (
The bottom line is there was never a better time to start a
business. If you feel this is really your cup of tea, just go for