How To Buy Items From eBay To Resell (Sourcing Inventory Online)

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Sometimes we don’t want to thrift.  For as much fun as the hunt can be, grubbing through another rack of clothes or elbowing my way past some neckbeards to look at some crappy electronics does get old.

At times like this, we do what every reseller should do, we source products on eBay!

If you’re an eBay seller, finding products to resell on eBay can be both a challenging and fun way of diversifying your sourcing.

Sourcing products from eBay to resell has been done for years by Amazon sellers. In fact, there are software options for automatically buying eBay items that sell for 2-3x the price on Amazon! This is the whole premise of dropshipping on eBay/Amazon.

How We Find Items On eBay To Flip (With An Example)

Sourcing on eBay however is something that requires patience and a bit of technique.  Here’s what we do: we follow several searches on eBay to alert us when people post an item for sale at or under a certain price. That’s it!  Then eBay does the searching for us 24/7 and lets us know when something to our liking is listed!

One of the searches that we follow is for “Wesco Boots” under $60.  Wesco is a valuable brand of firefighting/logging boots that resells very well.  Because we’re more patient than many sellers we can snap them up for a low price, put a little bit of elbow grease into them, and let them sit while we wait for them to sell again.  In this case, however, they didn’t have to sit long!  3 days and they were on their way to their new home!

–> See Our Other Favorite Used Shoes Brands To Resell

Purchase Price: $58.99 + $12.50 Shipping
Selling Price: $129.95 + $18.65 Shipping

Time Invested: 25 minutes

In under 30 minutes, I was actually able to get these out of the box, stuffed with newspaper, photographed, and listed (using the Sell Similar function on the listing I purchased them from).

Total Profit: $38.99

Why we were able to sell them for so much more:

  • We took better pictures!  To accomplish this we stuffed the boots with newspaper, laced them up, and gave them a quick polish
  • We researched the name of this particular boot (which turned out to be “Jobmaster”)
  • We weren’t looking for a quick sale (even though we got it)

​While we admit that the ROI isn’t the best here, $1.56 a minute (almost $100 an hour) sounds like pretty good pay to us!

In our time as resellers, we have also sourced remotes, cosmetics, perfumes, clothing, and electronics from eBay to flip.  We typically stay away from large lots that are targeted at resellers, however.  If the stuff was really that profitable they’d be selling it themselves…

So there you have it!  Sourcing without ever leaving your couch!  Or your chair at work 😉

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