The information in this eBook is based on the core product of my business â a product ... If you plan on selling used shoes on eBay, there are a few tricks and ...
Great eBay And/Or Amazon Niches By Skip McGrath 2013 If you are just beginning with selling goods in niche markets it can be difficult to find the right thing to sell. With that in mind I am going to share some profitable niches with you so that you can benefit from my experience.
1. Jewelry Making Supplies This is a very interesting niche because the profit margins are quite high if you source the product right. I was spending some time on AliExpress – that is Alibaba’s site where you can buy products from China and Asia in small quantities and get escrow service protection. I can’t remember how I ended up in jewelry and bead making tools, I was looking for hardware items and just came across it. But when I saw sets of jewelry making pliers at really cheap prices it got me to thinking so I looked over on eBay and Amazon. I found pliers I could buy for $6.81 a set going for over $30 a set on eBay. That is a nice margin. Take a look at this:
You can buy these pliers for $5.97 in quantities of 20 (I contacted the manufacturer and he gave me that price) with free shipping from Hong Kong. These types of pliers go for between $10 and $30 on eBay and Amazon. The higher priced ones are typically very high quality German brands but there is plenty of room to sell these pliers in the $15 to $25 range – or you can buy the Third Hand magnifying kit and create a unique item of the Third Hand and the set of pliers (or even add in a cheap soldering iron) and you have a unique product no one else has and it can sell for over $40 –about a 3 to 1 markup. There are several vendors on Ali Express selling these tools.
In all honesty I know nothing about making jewelry --or the tools involved. There are probably a few of my readers who do know this niche, and are laughing out loud as they read this. For all I know I could be way off base and full of BS because I haven’t really researched this. But if I wanted to get into this niche I would spend several hours researching, including going out and talking to folks who make jewelry. That is how you find a niche. I just want to show you that you can find niches in lots of places and sometimes you find them by accident. You could spend a few hours on a site like Ali Express and find tons of niches.
2. Men’s Golf Shirts This niche was submitted by Suzanne Wells who used to work with us as one of our eBay/Amazon coaches. I suggest that you keep an eye on the season, when looking for niches. Warmer weather only means one thing to some people – golf season! In my eBay selling career since 2003, I’ve sold over 12,000 men’s golf shirts to buyers all over the world. March and April have historically been months with the highest sales volume. Men’s golf shirts are a lucrative niche on eBay. I have been involved as a volunteer at charity golf tournaments. Through this experience, I learned a lot about golfers, their preferences, and what happens to extra or overstock golf shirts created for fundraisers or tournaments. Here are some tips for sourcing, listing, and selling golf shirts on eBay. Golf shirts are easy to find, especially if you live in an area with an abundance of golf courses. Golf shirts are given out at tournaments as gifts, prizes, or inside goodie bags. More often than not, the golfer doesn't receive his size and takes home a shirt he can’t wear. These brand new shirts end up at the Goodwill store and other thrift shops by way of a charitable donation. The extra golf shirts created for tournaments are often donated to thrift stores after the tournament. You'll often find batches of brand new shirts, with tags, all in a cluster on a rack in the thrift store. Shirts from more prestigious tournaments and clubs often appear in off-price stores like TJ Maxx, Steinmart, Ross, and Marshall's. You can easily find brand new, designer golf shirts with country club logos at these stores for less than $10 each. Men’s golf shirts are a good seller on eBay for several reasons. Golf shirts are a wardrobe staple. Men wear them to work, for casual day at the office, as casual wear with shorts or
jeans, to church, and of course, to play golf. As corporate America loosens up on its office dress code, golf shirts are becoming more popular, and more in demand than ever before. Men's sizes are more universal than women's, therefore, a good item for selling online. Men know what size they wear and usually the sizing holds true between brands. Men's sizing is not as complicated as women's sizing as women's clothing includes petite, plus, maternity, and other sizing categories. Men's clothing is less complicated to sell, and simply lends itself to Internet shopping. Generally speaking, men prefer Internet shopping to the traditional kind of in-store shopping. Men would much rather go online, order 5-10 shirts at once, and have them arrive at their door within the week, rather than spending hours in the mall looking around. (They would rather be golfing!) Internet shopping is more time efficient. Golfers are meticulous about their wardrobe. They like to look sharp on the course. They like to wear the leading brands with the prestigious course and tournament logos. (Even if they have never played on a particular course, they can buy a shirt on eBay and tell whatever story they want!) An avid golfer can log on to eBay and find a particular course logo on a shirt and have it in his hands in a matter of days. Golf shirts are relatively easy to find, easy to photograph, lightweight and easy to ship, and most men wear them so golf shirts will always be in demand. For more information on how to profit selling men's golf shirts on eBay, read The Golf Shirt Bible, a comprehensive 40-page eBook that explains all the important details such as the most profitable brands, most popular colors and sizes, images of top-selling logos, and important key words to include in your title and listings. This comprehensive 40-page eBook contains all the pertinent information about making a profit selling golf and polo style shirts on eBay. You’ll learn the entire process from start to finish, including:
Why Golf Shirts are Easy to Find Creative Sources for Finding Golf Shirts My #1 Selling Golf Shirt The 5 Top Brands to Sell for Big Profit 25 Good Brands that are Consistent Sellers (Includes images of their logos) Course Logos – List of my top selling golf course and tournament logos (Includes images of 24 logos) Best Selling Colors All About Fabrics – Descriptions, photos of examples, and best sellers Sizes – Which sell best and why Writing the Description – Important details to maximizing sales Photos – What to show and why Pricing
Key Words to Drive Traffic to Your Listings Storing Shipping Numerous photos, examples, links, and actual customer comments
The information in this eBook is based on the core product of my business – a product that has helped me profit over $100,000 on eBay in 5 years. If you follow the information and advice in The Golf Shirt Bible, it will pay for itself in about 2 golf shirt sales.
3. Used Shoes Yes, there is an excellent market for used shoes on eBay. I got this idea from Suzanne Wells who is one of our coaches and my former partner in OnlineSellingCoach.com. Let me show you a few things and then I’ll just include Suzanne’s Blog post below so you can see her tips and tricks to selling used shoes. First of all – Why sell shoes? The answer is simple –insane profits. Anytime I can buy something for a buck or two and get $30 or $40 or even more for it, that is a market I like. I want to show you three screenshots. Now being a guy I don’t know much about Ladies’ shoes so I just researched men’s shoes but I am told you can do the same thing with Ladies’ shoes. The first shows results for everyday shoes –the kind you will find at garage sales and thrift shops.
Look at the prices you can get for shoes that are fairly easy to find and buy for just a few bucks. And look at the sell-through-rate. (All of the prices in green sold). Now let’s go up a step. These are still shoes you can find from garage sales, thrift shops, estate sales and small town auctions –but you will usually pay a little more –yet still some very nice profits:
Now let’s look at the really expensive ones. You won’t come across these very often, but when you do you can make insane amounts of money.
Now that you know why you want to sell shoes, let’s look at some tips that Suzanne came up with to help you maximize your sales. It’s very logically written, you might say, stepby-step. (I apologize, but I just couldn’t help myself.) Tips for Selling Used Shoes on eBay – by: Suzanne Wells If you plan on selling used shoes on eBay, there are a few tricks and techniques you should first know. There is a lot of competition on eBay, so therefore you want to make sure you understand and have knowledge of the different shoe types.
Athletic shoes such as Chuck Taylors, Keds and Nikes are probably the easiest to maintain. These shoes are usually made out of fabric or canvas. Depending on the shoe’s material, a quick toss in the washer machine can have them looking good as new. You also want to pay attention to the shoelaces, and whether or not you need to replace them. Shoelaces that are extremely dirty, or otherwise damaged, will need to be replaced with a new pair. A $3 investment in new shoelaces can help increase the sales price. You won’t want to place a photo in your listing containing shoes that are missing the laces or the laces are damaged in any way.
For other type shoes, look closely for any imperfections such as scrapes, scratches or blemishes. A good tip for those handling children’s black patent leather shoes is a black magic marker to fill in any discoloration. With leather shoes, you will probably want to add a coat of shoe polish. In fact, it is a good idea to invest in different colors of shoe polish, if you plan to become a successful shoe seller on eBay. Next look at the sole of the shoes. Don’t try to sell shoes with holes in the sole. The soles won’t look appealing and the shoes will require too much repair to be wearable.
Cleaning is a big part of selling used shoes. Especially if these shoes are found in second-hand stores or yard sales. The cleaner the shoe, the better they will look in photos. I keep a small kit of different colors of shoe polish, a small brush, brown and black sharpies, and some sneaker white to spruce up old shoes. A few minutes of cleaning can help increase your sale price.
When scouting for used shoes, you will want to keep your eye out for expensive designer brands. Used designers shoes will still sell for a decent profit. Get wide widths and larger sizes, as these are the most popular on eBay. A good guide to go by: Men’s size 12 and up -- Women’s sizes 9 and up. Click here for my free BOLO (Be On Look Out) list for good brands that sell on eBay.
When you create the listing, add all the relevant information concerning the shoe. This includes the measurements, condition, color, gender, and shoe size. Include plenty of photos, so the shoe can be seen at different angles. Always include a photo showing the bottom of the sole, as it is one of the buyer’s main concerns.
One last tip from me: If you come across really small sizes, be sure and list them on eBay Japan. I once had a pair of size six Gucci loafers and sold them to a buyer in Japan for over $400.
4. Old Postcards Old or vintage postcards are one of the best-selling and potentially most profitable collectibles to sell on eBay. But not just any old postcard --there is just ONE postcard type that virtually anyone can sell, without experience, without prior knowledge and without risk. This one postcard type regularly breaks auction prices; rarely goes unsold, can be picked up for pennies and uploaded to eBay in three minutes flat. They call this type of postcard 'topographical' and they depict known geographical locations, such as towns and cities, small villages and hamlets, in the US, UK and many other countries. Topographical postcards are hugely popular and highly collectible, and they can be bought for under a dollar at auctions, flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, thrift shops and even on eBay itself. They can be resold for ten, twenty, sometimes hundreds of times the price you paid. And they are collected all over the world. You can sell cards to buyers in almost any country including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, India, Australia, Ireland, and Japan. Topographical postcards can be relied on for markups of 100% to 1000%, and sometimes more. If you are interested in exploring this easy-to-enter and very profitable niche, my friend Avril Harriman has written a quick-start guide to selling old postcards on eBay. It is called Bank Big Profits Selling Vintage Topographical View Postcards on eBay. I followed Avril’s advice when her book first came out a couple of years ago. I bought a box of about 200 postcards at a local country auction for $135. I ended up throwing about 30 of them away, but sold all the rest over an 8-week period for a total of $700 (This worked out to a cost of $0.79 each). Just one of the postcards in the box sold for $55 and over a dozen or so sold for prices between $10 and 25. Most of the others went for between $2 and $5. Once I was down to the last ones that didn’t sell, I put them in a lot and sold the lot for $70. All in all it was a very profitable exercise. Here is a screenshot of some recent postcard sales on eBay:
One word of caution: If you do a completed items search on eBay it looks like the sell through rate is very poor –and it is because there are thousands of postcards listed, and the market has corrected somewhat with the poor economy. But when you look closer, one reason so many cards are not selling is that a lot of them are new –or just junk. If you are going to do this it is important to know what sells and what doesn’t. Here is some of what you will learn in Avril's book:
Where to find secret vintage postcard treasures - forgotten about and neglected for DECADES - that will fetch you fantastic prices on eBay. Avril has been hunting down these postcards from the same secret sources for nearly 40 years. These places are rarely divulged by most people selling postcards.
How to buy postcards so inexpensively you're guaranteed to profit massively on every sale. These are the basics you need to know immediately so you can hit the ground running. Within days you'll know what are the best postcards to obtain which postcards are worthless - where to find the most valuable ones - how much they're likely to fetch you on eBay - and what you should be paying for them. This info alone could make you thousands of dollars and put you well ahead of even the most experienced postcard seller and collector.
The one type of postcard that's despised by dealers - but which YOU can regularly find for 10-cents and sell on eBay for$25 or more! Most dealers won't touch this specific type of postcard. They believe it has no resale value. But Avril shows you how to turn these ignored postcards into a fantastic source of profits! You can buy many of these for a quarter and sell them for prices as high as $40.
Get your copy of Bank Big Profits Selling Vintage Topographical View Postcards on eBay
5. Gourmet Foods, Sauces, Spices and Rubs I have sold gourmet foods, sauces, spices and rubs for several years. Usually I do it around the holidays, but with my new line I am going to be selling these year around. Here are a few listings from eBay as examples:
I sell my sauces and rubs on both eBay and Amazon, but my sales on Amazon are much better. This is strange because there is less competition on eBay in terms of fewer listings. I suspect the reason may be that buyers just don’t think of eBay as a place to buy gourmet foods For example, one of the products we sell are gourmet sea salts, but the closest eBay category is Salt & Pepper mills (which we also sell). Here are some of the things I am selling on Amazon:
Click on the image to see the listing on Amazon. The best place to find these products are at wholesale trade shows, kitchen shows and your local merchandise mart. If you happen to be in a gourmet store and find a product you would like to sell, look on the bottle or package for the name of the manufacturer (there will usually be a website). Then simply contact the manufacturer and ask them for the name of the nearest distributor or rep in your area. Once you contact the manufacturer, if the product is not currently being sold on eBay or Amazon, then write them offering to represent them exclusively as we pointed out above. One thing you need to be careful about when selling Gourmet food is expiration dates and freshness. Don’t try and sell anything fresh, which requires refrigeration, or has a short (less than one year) shelf life. Some of the best products to sell include salts, peppers, spices, rubs and bottled sauces because they all have long expiration dates. If you get into this niche one of the best things you can do is start a newsletter to build a mailing list. Once you have even a few hundred names, you can start marketing to them directly. If you don’t have a website, just set up a Facebook page and install a program such as Ecwid. This combination will allow you to list your products right on your Facebook page. The gourmet food crowd can be very loyal if you give away a lot of free information such as recipes and cooking tips and they respond well to discounts and coupon offers. There are a few things you need to know about selling food on
If you sell through Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) then you can not send any liquid or gel (this means jams) to Amazon in a bottle that exceeds 4-ounces. Both the outside carton and the individual product must have a expiration date that shows clearly. This date must be at least 6-months out from the date it is received at the Amazon warehouse. Since you are dealing in packaged foods, you do not need a food handlers license
6. Personal Services Do you have a skill that you can sell?
Do you own a high-quality photo printer that you could print professional-quality photos for people? Are you an expert in Photoshop? Do you know how to use QuickBooks (remote bookkeeping)? Do you know how to make great screen capture videos? Can you write a resume? Can you write compelling sales copy? Can you build a website or design an eBay store? Do you know how to work Google AdWords or Yahoo/Bing PPC campaigns? Or maybe you know how to set up custom Facebook pages. Can you copyedit a book? Can you design logos, letterhead or business cards? Are you a quilter or expert embroider- could you design and produce personalized quilts or event quilts (weddings, anniversary, baby, etc.)? Are you an artist --could you paint a portrait from a photograph?
I think you get the point. Most of us have some type of learned skill that other people will pay for. This is a very partial list of skills that are highly saleable and many of them can earn as much as $50 hour. If you look on eBay you will see thousands of listings by people with skills and services that other people will pay for. But what if you rack your brain and you don't have a saleable skill? Well if you know how to sell on eBay, you can represent people who do have those skills by placing eBay listings and eBay classified ads for them. For example there are a lot of sellers on eBay who represent artists and craftspeople. It's not that these people couldn't learn how to sell on eBay themselves --it's just that there are a lot of people who don't want to bother, or maybe they don't have computer skills and have no desire to learn them. All of these folks are candidates for your business. The other thing you can do is provide online marketing services for local businesses. Jim Cockrum has a fabulous membership site called Offline Biz. He offers both a free membership and a more in-depth paid membership. But his members are really making money. Most of them have little or no computer skills, yet Jim shows them how to make money offline by providing online services to local businesses. Check out Offline Biz. Try the free membership and I think you will quickly see the value of the paid membership.
7. Collectible Owls While the title says owls, the reality is people collect almost anything: owls, roosters, frogs, Labrador Retrievers and so on. They don’t collect the real owls and roosters (I hope), but millions of people collect ceramic figurines, plates and salt shakers or woodcarvings of various animals. Collectible animal figurines are an excellent niche for the eBay seller. They are easy to source and easy to sell. You can find a large supply of new figurines from numerous wholesale sources and there are plenty of used items to be found at garage sales and thrift shops. I am not going to claim any expertise in this niche. I have only sold owls on two occasions. A few years ago a lady gave me a collection of about 30 ceramic owls to sell on consignment for her. I did and they sold for over $600. Another time, I bought a really cute pair of owl salt and peppershakers at a garage sale for $5.00. I bought them on a whim but it was a good whim. I sold the pair for something over $75.00. Some owls can get very expensive. A stoneware owl recently sold on eBay for over $400 (see below).
But the vast majority of the owls that sell are priced anywhere from $10 to $100. Take a look (on the next page) at the sell through rate of these owls in the $65 to $80 range. Personally I would stick with used owls as they are far more profitable. All of the animal dealers use the same wholesale sources such as RJB Stone, or on DHGate. You can also find a good supply at any gift show or local wholesale merchandise mart. I like the used ones as I can often pick up an owl figurine or carving at a garage sale for a buck or less and get more than $10 to $20 on eBay. And as I pointed out earlier –its not just owls; People collect all types of animals: birds, dogs, cats, frogs, turtles and so on. I looked and couldn’t find her, but there used to be a lady on eBay called The Owl Lady and when I last saw her store she had over 400 owls listed –almost all of them used. So I think there is a pretty good supply out there.
If any of my readers decide to do this and make a lot of money, write an eBook: How to Make Good Money Selling Owls on eBay. I will help you publish it.
8. Vinyl Records I bet you thought that Vinyl records were dead. Well, not only did they never really die, they are making a comeback. A recent news article in the UK showed that vinyl record sales grew over 55% during the past year. And in New York City, four new vinyl record stores have opened in just the past few months –joining ten other stores that were already there. And as I was sitting here writing this article, Kim Kommando came on the radio with a story about how vinyl records and tube type amplifiers are making a comeback. Why are they so popular? True audiophiles believe that analog is inherently better than digital. If you think about it, all music is analog. CDs and other digital recording devices reproduce the analog music by sampling, digitizing and recreating the music. I had not heard a vinyl record in over 5 years, but a new restaurant opened in out town last week and when I was eating there I notice they had a turntable and were playing records –and they sounded fantastic. Here are some completed auctions for LP record albums on eBay.
The other products that are hot are 33 RPM LP Turntables. Some of the new turntables on the market cost as much as $1000 or more. Look at these on Amazon:
And they are hot on eBay too:
So where do you find these records and turntables. You can hit garage sales and thrift shops and you will find the occasional record in good condition, but the single best way is to advertise. Simply place a classified ad in your local paper(s) that says: I will pay cash for 33-RPM Vinyl records in good condition. And a second ad that says: I will pay cash for vintage stereo record players and turntables in working condition. You will be amazed at how many replies you get. There are millions of people out there with boxes filled with vinyl records and record players and turntables gathering dust in basements. When you are out looking for turntables, keep your eyes out for reel-to-reel tape decks and other vintage stereo equipment, as all of those are good sellers too. Two things to remember: 1. Check the records for scratches and make sure the album cover is in good condition. When selling records – condition is everything. An early Beatles album in excellent condition can bring $50 or more while one in poor condition might not get more than a buck.
2. As for the turntables –the main thing is to make sure it works. A lot of them are belt driven so make sure the belts are in good condition. Take an album with you to try out. Make sure the needle tracks and doesn’t jump around. When you get home plug the turntable into an amplifier and play a record to make sure it’s running at correct speed and everything is working fine. Next give it a good cleaning with a damp cloth. If it has a wood base, you can use furniture polish or something like Pledge. I also use a can of dust spray to get the dust out of nooks and crannies. A couple of my readers with lots of experience selling vinyl sent me these tips: “I have been listing them for 5 yrs and use the goldmine standard. Focus on Near Mint and excellent condition and you'll do better profit wise. I have sold vinyl for 60 dollars that cost me 50 cents and I ship USA for free. There is a lot of junk around and sellers unloading them. That will quickly get you Negatives and kill your sales. People will pay premiums if they know you can be trusted and know your vinyl. Second is we repair and sell vintage audio in our own shop and on turntables always opt for Direct Drive ones. They run more true and will bring better prices even if they need work. Purists know this. Just thought I would pass this along to others. I do not mind sharing my knowledge. Thanks for your time and your books and newsletters have been money well spent.”
“My husband and I have been hosting a vinyl record show for the past 29 years here in Toledo, Ohio (3x a year), so vinyl has never really died, LOL. Check out record shows of america. com for shows by date or city - they can also be a good source for items to resell!”
9. Quack Medicine Collectibles The history of quack medicine is thousands of years old. The early days of the United States were a wide open market for quack remedies. Once you got out of the cities there were few doctors and a lot of the early pioneers were illiterate. Traveling salesmen sold all types of elixirs, potions and just plain weird devices. Today, thousands of people collect these devices. Here are some of the things that have sold on eBay over just the past few weeks.
Machines and devices are the most desirable to collectors but bottles and potions also sell very well. The sell through rate in this category is one of the highest of any niche collectible category on eBay.
Here are some tips to maximize sales and final value:
The weirder or stranger the better Devices with all parts and in working order get the highest prices Devices in the original box with instructions sell for much more than those without. Bottles or potions must have an intact label. The better the label the higher the price. You can also cut out and mat or even frame advertisements for quack medicals devices from old magazines As with anything you sell on eBay good photos, good titles and good descriptions matter. The more you can write about it the better. The best way is to just Google the name of the device and you will find plenty of information on the web. Don’t copy/paste the work of others, but use the information to create your own description. Even though you are selling something that is obviously an antique or collectible, you should add the following statement to your listing:
“Not FDA Approved. Sold as a collectible only – no representations made or inferred as to the efficacy of the device.” Where do you find them? I have seen them at flea markets but the dealers usually know what they have and it’s hard to buy them at a good price, although you will occasionally find a bargain there. Mostly they show up at small country auctions and that is where you will always get a good price. You can also advertise. Take out a small classified ad on Craigslist and in your local paper that says: “Collector pays cash for old quack medical devices and potions. Call Skip at 360-555-1212.”
10. Quilting Fabric My wife, Karen, is a quilter and often buys fabric squares on eBay and one day she suggested quilting fabric as a potential niche. So I asked her to write this entry on quilting fabric. According to a study by Quilters in America, there are over 21 million quilters in the US and more than 30 million worldwide. So quilting is a huge market. For quilters, there's never an off season or a time when we're not thinking about a quilt for a child, grown or infant, a special friend, or someone in need of a bit of quilted love. Whether it's a niche of the month may be left up to the reader. For me, it's my niche of the year or perhaps decade. But I'm one of those crazy-mad quilter types who never seem to leave a fabric shop without a bit of fabric to add to my stash. In a quick search on eBay for "Quilting Fabric" I found 38,359 listings, and that was just eBay. Try Amazon or a broader search on Google or Bing and see what you find. I was putting a little crib quilt together for the newest addition of family in England and found that the perfect fabric for the back no longer existed in my favorite brick & mortar stores. But there it was, on Etsy: Two yards of Beatrix Potter's 2006 Quilting Treasures. How did the seller have that special fabric that was no longer in print? It will often need the discriminating person to have a feeling or hunch about something. In fact, as I type this, I'm having a hunch that some of the fabric I saw on the sale table at a favorite shop should be bought in bulk and put away for a future offering. But back to where to find the fabric... The sale table at your local fabric shop is a good place to start. Also many fabric stores hold shop-hops where discounted fabric is offered for everyone participating in the event. Typically, sales in fabric shops happen during the finest weather seasons since there are so many outdoor activities to distract indoor quilting. Summer is add-to-stash-season. (Don't tell Skip.)
The sale tables at many quilt shops offer the best deals in any given store. Buy in color-ways if you plan to package a grouping of fat-quarters together. Six or eight pieces of fabric with similar or relatable patterns, colors that are contrasting & complementary. Look for specialty prints, vintage prints, fruits & vegetables, Nascar, motor cycles, boats, cars, Dr. Seuss, Dinosaur Train, Thomas trains, location icons, batik and designer-named fabric, etc
Quilters clearing out an old stash of fabric will often be enticed to sell their fabric at a church sale, garage sale or a community club store such as Rotary, Moose, Elk or Soroptimist. It allows them to look for new stuff and gives you an option of picking up the fabric for much less than the store price.
You can buy new fabric wholesale -just Google "wholesale quilting fabric," and you will come up with several sources. Even fabric retailers such as Fabric.com often have huge 50% off sales.
Most sellers offer their fabric in 4 x 4 squares, 2 x 4 strips, jelly rolls, with companion thread or patterns. Here is a look at some items offered on Amazon:
And here are some recent sales on eBay:
If you get into this niche, you can also source other quilting supplies and tools for quilters. If you would like to learn more about quilting and find resources, check out www.americanquilter.com or www.allpeoplequilt.com.
11. Easy Bake Ovens This one may be a stretch and it does take a leap of faith. The Easy Bake Ovens have been a favorite kid’s toy for over 40 years. The current versions of the Easy Bake ovens use an incandescent light bulb as the heat source. If you don’t know it by now, recent regulation in the US means that the ordinary incandescent light bulb may become hard to find and will be replaced on store shelves by other light bulbs that don’t put off as much heat. Because of this move, Hasbro, the folks who make the Easy Bake Oven, came out with a new model that uses the same amount of energy –but does not use a light bulb as the heat source. Look at the listings below from Amazon.com
The one on top for $26.97 is the current model that has now been discontinued, but there are still plenty of them in the stores. Notice that the new model is almost double the price at $49.96. As they are sent to liquidators I suspect the price will drop drastically –they could go down to the $19 price range or even lower. So if you can find them you may want to snap up the old ones and sit on them until we get into Christmas buying. There are a lot of environmentally conscious parents who will buy the new model thinking (incorrectly) that it uses less energy, but there will be just as many parents who want the older and lower cost model. And as time goes on I think there will be so much desire for the old model that price on those could actually exceed the new one. I know that sounds crazy – but I have seen crazier things than that happen in the toy category. If you are really brave and you have a few hundred dollars laying around, you could be really adventurous and buy a dozen of the light bulb model and store them for a couple of years when I bet they will become a hot collectible and people will be paying $50 or more for them.
I have also seen Easy Bake ovens at garage sales and thrift shops and there is a good market for used Easy Bake ovens on eBay.
12. Tearing Up Old Magazines I first wrote about this niche several years ago. It's something I learned when we were in the antique business –but it works well on eBay today. I used to go to small country auctions to source antiques and collectibles for our shop. I would often see boxes of old books and old magazines –many of them quite old, selling at auction for as little as ten or fifteen dollars. When I looked at the magazines, many of them had old colored prints – some of them by famous artists such as Currier & Ives. Not so many of the books had prints but the ones that did were really profitable. I soon learned not to buy boxes of books as so few of them contained prints. Instead I would actually attend book auctions, go to book fairs, flea markets and estate sales. (You don't often find really old books at garage sales but I have found a few). One of my finds at a flea market in Connecticut was an oversized book that contained large maps of every county in New York State. The book was printed in the late 1800s and the maps were really beautiful. We kept the map of the county we lived in and I still have it framed hanging in my den today. The rest of them we matted and sold for prices ranging from $40 to $250 (The maps for the counties that contained New York City and nearby counties went for the biggest money). One of the most prolific print publishers was Currier & Ives. Today their prints can sell for hundreds of dollars and they are fairly plentiful and easy to find as they appeared in dozens of old magazines. Here are a couple of typical Currier & Ives prints:
When you find a print first make sure it’s in good condition with no tears or stains. There will be some aging and that is OK, just as long as there is no damage. You don't have to frame the prints, but you may want to matte them –although that means you cannot ship them in a shipping tube, which is the easiest way to do that. But in my experience I find I get more money if the print is matted. If you would like some really detailed instructions in this niche, Stu Turnbull has just updated his best-selling eBook, Prints Make Profit. This is a complete primer to this very profitable and fun niche. Stu's book is all about taking prints from old books, but his
techniques work for old magazines as well. And best of all he is reducing the price for my readers. And while you are at it, those old magazines also contain old advertisements. These don't sell for as much as prints but you can get in the $10 to $20 range for many old ads. Here are a couple examples:
Did I mention that this niche is also fun? If you enjoy art and old things this niche provides the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of seeing lots of bidders on your auctions.
13. Anything That People Buy During the Holidays That may sound like a silly niche but it’s not. If you sell in some collectible niche and it’s the sort of thing someone might give for a gift then you are OK. But most collectible niche sellers see soft sales during the holidays, as people are spending money on others rather than themselves. So this is the time of year to buy those things that people will give as gifts. That covers a lot of ground. Of course one of the best things are toys. Jennie Hunt released her Holiday Toy Guide to help others with this niche. I have been promoting this to my readers for the past six years and there are hundreds of my readers who have taken advantage of this service to make up to several thousand dollars of extra cash during the holiday season. Whether you are a member of www.onlinesellingcoach.com or not, if you want to make money selling toys this holiday season, you definitely want the Holiday Toy Guide. Beside the toys that Jennie can help you source the other big resource for both toys and other gifts and household items are your local wholesale merchandise marts. They all go by different names, such as design center, gift mart, merchandise mart and so on. Here is Seattle our merchandise mart is called The Pacific Market Center. The center has over 200 showrooms full of merchandise that you can handle and get wholesale pricing on. You don’t walk out with the goods, instead you typically place an order and the goods are shipped to you. My experience has been that I can place an order and get my goods within 2-3 weeks, so there is still time to order for the holiday season if you start now. To gain entry you will need a business card and your sales tax certificate for the state you live in. Some marts also require that you show them a check or deposit slip from a business bank account –but most of them don’t. Rather than travel to the mart and then find you can’t get in, it’s best to call them and ask what they need and make sure you have that. The thing you will find most attractive is that you don’t have to order in large quantities. Most vendors in the marts have a minimum opening order (MOO) of between $150-$300. A few have no minimums at all. But a few product lines such as Cuisinart have larger minimums such as $1,500 but that is fairly rare. Here is a list of the major merchandise marts in the US. (Sorry I don’t have these for Canada and Europe but you can usually find them with a Google search) Merchandise and Gift Mart Directory Here is a list of the major merchandise and gift marts around the US.
Bedford, MA The Center, 59 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford, MA 01730. (781) 275-2775, (800) 4352775, www.thegiftcenter.com Charlotte, NC Charlotte Merchandise Mart, 2500 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28205. (704) 333-7709 Chicago, IL The Merchandise Mart, 200 World Trade Center Chicago, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 527-7580 Columbus, OH Columbus Gift Mart, 2000 Westbelt Dr., Columbus, OH 43228. (614) 876-2719 Dallas, TX Dallas Market Center, 2100 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207. (214) 655-6100 Denver, CO Denver Merchandise Mart, 451 E. 58th Ave., Denver, CO 80216. (303) 292-6278 Detroit, MI Michigan Gift Mart, 133 W. Main St., Northville, MI 48167. (248) 348-7890 High Point, NC International Home Furnishings Center, 210 E. Commerce St., High Point, NC 27260. (910) 888-3700 Indianapolis, IN Indianapolis Gift Mart, 1220 Indianapolis Ave, Lebanon, IN 46205. (765) 453-1687 Kansas City, KS Kansas City Gift Mart, 6800 W. 115th St., Overland Park, KS 66211. (913) 491-6688 Los Angeles, CA The L.A. Mart, 1933 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007. (213) 749-7911 Miami, FL Miami International Merchandise Mart, 777 N.W. 72nd Ave., Miami, FL 33126. (305) 269-4811 Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis Gift Mart, 10301 Bren Road, West Minnetonka, MN 55343. (612) 932-7200
New York, NY New York Merchandise Mart, 41 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010. (212) 686-1203 225 Fifth Avenue, 225 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. (212) 684-3200 230 Fifth Avenue/The Marketcenter, 230 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. (212) 5129555 Seven West, 7 West 34th Street, New York, NY (over 300 dealers on site) The International Toy Center, 200 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. (212) 675-3535 San Francisco, CA San Francisco Gift Center and Jewelry Mart, 888 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94103. (415) 861-7733 San Francisco Design Center, Two Henry Adams Street, Suite 450, San Francisco, CA 94103 Seattle, WA Seattle Gift Center, 6100 Fourth Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98108. (206) 767-6800 Seattle Design Center, 5701 Sixth Ave, Seattle, 98108 This is not a complete list. If you don’t see your city on this list, just Google terms such as “gift mart or merchandise mart + the name of your city.
14. New (and used) Toys & Games for Christmas Remember the TV Show – The $25,000 Pyramid Game –The show even had a board game. Find one of those used and you can sell it for up to $20 –Find a Like new condition one and it will bring $70. Or how about any one of the Clue games? Find one in really good condition and you could get up to $100 near the holidays. And then there are toys. What will the hot toys be this year? The ones you can buy at full retail at WalMart or Target and sell for double or triple as we get near Christmas. Don't believe me – Watch this one:
A week prior to that screenshot the toy was selling on Amazon for only $86.95. A couple weeks later (closer to Christmas), I am betting it was selling for close to $150 –or even more. But what to buy and where to find it? Every year Amazon publishes a Holiday Toy List - This helps buyers navigate toy selections by age and gender. It also shows you, the seller, what Amazon predicts will be the hot toys based on early sales. It always amazes me, but during the holiday season, people will pay far more than retail to get the hot toy or the right toy for their child or grandchild. There are two great tools to help you with your holiday toy shopping 1. Jenni Hunt's Holiday Toy Guide shows you which toys to buy, and where to buy them at prices that you can make money at. I used one of her tips to purchase the Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon shown above. I paid $55 and they are now selling for $124 on Amazon and more on eBay. (I have mine priced much higher since I expect they will be selling for over $150 by early December). Jenni's guide will tell you exactly which toys to buy and where to buy them to make money this holiday season. And – here is another reason to join Online Selling Coach(OSC). All OSC members get a substantial discount off of Jenni's guide. 2. Jordan Malik, who runs FBA Finds has come out with a great shopping guide called: 101 Toys & Games You Can Buy Locally and Sell for BIG Profits on Amazon. Jordan's 101 Toys & Games…has the following benefits:
No scouting tools required - readers can 'print and go' with the guide Jordan shows screen shots of my ACTUAL sales for various toys and games mentioned in the guide He provides 'wanted ad' copy and a photo for EACH game, if they want to place (say) a craigslist 'wanted' ad. He offers a 60-day, no-questions asked guarantee (I know Jordan personally – he is very reliable about honoring his guarantee).
So either or both of those resources can help you make money during the next holiday season –and remember – both come with a money-back guarantee if you are not happy. And remember –if you need money to buy merchandise to sell over the holidays, you can get some quick cash from Kabbage if you have an Amazon and/or eBay seller account.
15. “As Is” Broken Items for Parts A few years ago I was puttering around in the garage and I came across an old espresso maker that we hadn't used in years. So like any good eBay seller does, I cleaned it up, took a few photos and put it on eBay. My wife saw the listing and turned around and said to me: "does that thing still work?" "Hmmmm," I thought, "It was working the last time we used it a few months ago." So she went down to the kitchen and tried to make a cup of espresso. When she turned it on the machine shot coffee and steam all over the place. Turns out all the seals had dried out. So I pulled the listing from eBay and renamed it "Broken Espresso Machine As Is for Parts Only." Whereas before I was thinking I could get about $100 for the machine, now I figured out I might still get $10. Boy was I surprised when the auction ended and the machine sold for $78 with three bidders fighting it out at the last minute. It turned out all three of them had the same old model. They loved it, but needed a spare part they couldn't get anymore. Lest you think this is an unusual event, take a look at eBay. If you look at almost any category you will see lots of listings for items that are being sold for parts or sold AS IS. This is being done with everything from computers to coffee makers, cameras to iPods. When I searched the term "as is + Parts" in the eBay search engine, I got over 12,000 results. Here is a screenshot of just a few items for sale:
As you can see there is everything from a coffee maker to a camera to a seaplane. I even saw a broken pasta machine that sold for $49.00. Oh yes, there was also a listing for a Saeco Vienna Espresso Machine "as is" for parts that sold for $123.95. I emailed one seller who sells a lot of broken items and he told me he finds most of his merchandise at garage sales and thrift shops. A lot of the items actually work, but he doesn't bother with that. He just sells everything AS IS. If it works too, then the buyer is really happy, but if it doesn't then the buyer is still satisfied.
16. Used Designer Clothing Buying used clothing from garage sales and thrift stores can be a profitable niche to sell on eBay or other online venues. The key to making a profit on the items you buy is making sure you know what to look for amidst the tens of thousands of articles of clothing that are presented in front of you. How do we decide what to buy? Brands For an item of used clothing to resell and turn a profit, one of the most important qualities is the brand name. The brand name is what will draw people into your online listing; it is what people will search for. For example, not too many people search blue shirt on eBay; but many people will search Eileen Fisher shirt. The brand drives the people to your listings and because of that it is advised you navigate towards high-end designer brand names. Think of the high-end stores at the mall and the brands they have. How expensive the item was originally is a big factor in the potential profit on eBay. If you are not familiar with the high-end designer brands, we suggest you visit the stores with a notepad and jot down the high-end labels. Or, go to their websites and make a note of the brands. Use this list as a reference when you are shopping garage sales and thrift stores so you know what to buy. Do not waste your time and money on buying cheap name brand clothing, just because you think something is pretty or cute. Off brands or low-end brands do not resell well. Skip any brands you can find at Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart or the like, and move on. It takes the same amount of effort to list a Ralph Lauren sweater as it does one from Target, and the Ralph Lauren will sell and will most likely make you money. Exceptions include themed items like holiday sweaters, cat themed items and the like but I would still recommend you stay away from items you can pick up at discount stores. Watch out for boutique brand names. These brands are a bit harder to learn as they tend to pop up within a specialized market of shoppers and are not as widely publicized as the designer labels. As you sell more designer clothing and research the clothing niche you will learn which brands are valuable. Keep adding names to your list so you can quickly pull it out and identify if something is hot or not. Search the completed eBay listings and watch for the brand names that sell well. Changing the search results to sort by price, highest first is a quick way to see what has brought in the best resale prices. One example of a profitable boutique name brand is the women's clothing brand Blue Fish. Their clothing is sold online and has a very unique look. Most people don't realize its resale value. We stopped at a garage sale where the owner had over ten pieces of Blue Fish clothing for sale. It was late in the day, but the items were still there because people didn't realize how valuable they were. Since the sale had just a few hours left the owner was willing to bargain on the prices and we scored the entire lot for about $40. Each piece sold for between $25 to $125, so it was a worthwhile garage sale stop.
Condition Condition is very important when you are buying clothing to resell. Potential customers will want to know how the item was previously cared for and how it looks. Customers will question the condition of the garment so it is best to know what to watch for before you decide to buy an item. Check for stains and spots. Items should be clean and spot free for the highest resale profit. Check the garment under good lighting (which may require you to take it outside the garage at a garage sale) for marks. If it has a spot that you think you may be able to get out, it may be worth it to purchase the item (check if it’s machine washable). Check the brand name. Some brands will bring in more money than others. Sadly, stains at the collar and underarm are often impossible to remove, so I wouldn’t bother with those. Is the fabric pilled? Check under the arms, the bottom of the sleeves, on the front chest and the waist for signs of pilling. Some pilling can be removed from knits with a shaver, but not always. Unless it is a very good brand name, I do not buy items that are pilled. Are all the buttons or snaps present? If one is missing, look inside the side seam to see if there is an included spare button. If there is and you can sew on the new button, buy the item. If not, pass it by unless it is a very good brand name. If it is a good brand name, buy all new buttons at a fabric supply store and replace all the buttons. Snaps are difficult to repair and replace; generally, skip items with broken snaps. If the item has elastic at the waist make sure it is in good condition. Make sure the zipper, if there is one, works freely. Check the hemline on slacks, skirts and dresses to make sure it is not coming away. Repairing a hem isn't difficult if you can sew, but if you cannot then you should not buy the item if it has a hem issue. Type of Clothing to Buy When you deciding whether you should buy an item or not, you'll want to keep in mind how easy it will be for people to shop for online. The simpler it is for the customer to envision if the garment will fit, the better your chance of making the sale. For instance, a T- shirt in your size will most likely fit you but a pair of jeans in your usual size may or may not fit. This is especially true for women's clothing. If an item is tricky to shop for in a department store, it is trickier to shop for online and thus your pool of potential shoppers is smaller for some items than others. Here are tips for the types of clothing to buy, starting with my favorite on down.
Shirts are easy to measure, easy to photograph and easy to resell. Most people are comfortable enough to feel confident that a medium (for example) will fit.
Sweaters are much like shirts in as far as they tend to fit people as sized. Women's blazers and jackets are easy to measure and photograph and people that tend to be partial to certain brand names know if blazers and jackets by that brand will fit. Take for instance Talbots clothing. Many women buy Talbots clothing because their items tend to have a universal fit. A size 10 will typically fit like a size 10 across the board be it a shirt, sweater, blazer or dress. Skirts are plentiful, and those with elastic waists especially are forgiving so that women feel confident that they will fit if they buy them online. Pants and jeans are my least favorite item to buy for resale because the fit is so complex. You will need to specify the style of the pant (relaxed, pleated, etc.), the cut (boot cut, skinny, etc.), the rise (low rise, mid-rise, classic rise, etc.), the pant leg style (straight leg, flare, tapered, etc.), the wash, the waistband (elastic, button fly, zip fly, etc.) and more. Unless it is a high-end designer brand, I would suggest you stay away from pants and jeans to resell. If you choose to sell pants and jeans, be prepared to provide many details to your potential customers.
Designer Clothing You Should Always Buy Here is a list of brand names and items that I would suggest you look for:
Eileen Fisher Coach Tory Burch Burberry Blue Fish Chanel Ralph Lauren, especially blazers with the embroidered logo on the pocket Anything cashmere Dolce & Gabbana Diane von Furstenberg
Lucky Brand Columbia coats and jackets Betsey Johnson Dennis Basso Escada Christian Dior Bebe Ed Hardy Juicy Couture Akris Punto Prada Michael Kors
Roberto Cavalli Anne Klein Ellie Tahari Hollister Abercrombie & Fitch J Jill Chicos life is Good Ann Taylor (not Ann Taylor Loft) St. John (not the brand found at JCPennys, which is St. Johns Bay there is a huge difference)
My Home Run A recent score from a thrift store is a dress by Diane von Furstenberg. We paid $1 for the dress at a thrift store during their five items for $5 once-a-month special. The dress sold for $150. I bought it because of the brand name, and it was in great shape. It looked like the kind of dress you splurge on for a special occasion and wear one time.
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