Most people buy from eBay for one of two reasons; either to save money or to find a rare item which is unavailable anywhere else.
On the other side of the equation, sellers are constantly trying to find worthwhile, readily available products to sell at a profit.
The problem with selling on eBay is finding a cheap product which you can resell at a profit whilst at the same time attracting buyers who are looking for a bargain.
RRP or Recommended Retail Price means nothing on eBay. It is, after all, a worldwide marketplace and buyers expect either something out of the ordinary or rare, or rock bottom prices. If a buyer wants to pay RRP for an item they will shop at their local store, not on eBay.
And if you try to sell any old item, you will not acheive your major goal - profit.
Take, for example, all these “Wholesale Lists" that are sold on the internet. The vast majority are almost useless. It is fair to say that you can pick up a bulk load of items wholesale with a fair discount on RRP but what you will probably find is that these items go for less than the wholesale price on eBay.
Because the eBay buyer sets the price for any product - the eBay Value.
Your product will only ever sell for the price the highest bidder is willing to go to.
Let's say you have found a wholesaler that will sell you 1GB memory sticks for £40 a piece (a random example)
You may think this is an excellent price and snap up 20, fully expecting to sell them all on at £50 plus for a nice profit. The problem you will find is that when you do list your products there are 101 other sellers who are offering the same item for £30 + £2.50 P&P.
What happens is you quickly begin to realise that you cannot compete. You can then either sell the memory sticks at a loss or try and get your money back. . . and getting your money back will be pretty much impossible.
Before you even think about trying out a product on eBay, you must research and make yourself aware of the “eBay Value" of that particular item. This is nothing to do with RRP, nothing to do with how much you think it is worth and nothing to do with the price the product is available for wholesale.
The eBay Value is simply the price that similar products have sold for on eBay very recently.
The best way to get a good indication of the eBay Value of a product is to search for “Completed Items".
Quite simply, you search for the product and make sure the “Completed Listings" box is ticked. Sort the results by “Price: Highest First" and the very top listing will show you the maximum eBay Value of your product. If this value is lower than the wholesale price you have been quoted, dump the idea immediately.
So, how can you find products to sell which cost less than the “eBay Value"?
If I knew that, I would be a millionaire. The fact is that eBay constantly changes and you have to keep up with the times and keep your eye open for opportunities.
If you do find a product that sells well, start slowly and do not over-burden yourself with stock. Also, be fully prepared for other sellers undercutting your prices (which they will do). As soon as a pricing war starts, get out of the market. A pricing war is only won by one person - the buyer.
The best products to sell on eBay are rare or hard-to-come-by products. Rare DVDs were always a winner for me.
For example, I often used to buy Region 1 DVDs from Canada, Brazil and America and sell them on in the UK. The particular DVD titles were not available in the shops in the UK and I could make an excellent profit from UK eBayers.
One particular product I sold fairly regularly cost just £4.50 but would sell for £20 Buy It Now. I started off by buying just one and auctioning it off to find the eBay Value. When this first “tester" sold for £18 I knew I was onto a winner.
Of course, someone soon noticed what I was doing and started to undercut me but I was onto the next winner by that point.
You can beat the “eBay Value" problem by only buying and selling rare items or items that you know well. Find badly listed items on eBay or underpriced bargains on or offline, list them properly and you should be able to profit.
Ben Catt is an active eBay buyer and seller and runs an eBay Tips and Tricks website found at http://www.BenCatt.com . He also runs a business opportunity information site - http://www.BizOppsUK.com