Where to Find Inventory to Sell on Ebay

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I mentioned yesterday that I helped pay for part of my masters education by selling things on Ebay.  In that post I suggested ways you can Make Money on Ebay: 15 Strategies.  Today I want to tell you where to find your inventory.  Making the change from selling your stuff to selling things you purchased specifically for Ebay is exciting, but also adds some extra risks.  First, here are some of my ground rules.

  1. Let your business pay for itself. You are going to find in your first few weeks a deal that is so awesome you are going to want to go out and borrow some money – don’t.  There will always be another deal.
  2. Remember, money you earn from Ebay is taxable, so set some money aside for taxes.
  3. Keep records. How much did you spend to buy the item?  What did it sell for? What were the fees? What was your packaging and shipping cost?  This helps you determine if you actually made any money and helps when tax season rolls around.
  4. Avoid unsolicited sales pitches.  If someone starts spouting about a way you can make $1,000 per month on Ebay if you use their plan – run.

Where can you find things to sell on Ebay?

  1. Garage Sales

    You need to be sure you enjoy garage sales or this likely won’t produce much profit for you because you will probably quit after not finding anything at the first place or two.  What I did was checked out garage sales to see if there was something I thought looked like a good deal.  I would call my wife and ask her to search that item on Ebay.  It would give me an instant idea of what people where paying for the product.

  2. Thrift Stores

    Again you need to go into the store with the understanding that you might have a great find, and you might find nothing.  When you do get a nice find, it often pays off.

  3. Outlet Malls

    When you go to an outlet mall always look for those great big red signs that read ‘Clearance’.  One time I found a whole bundle of Jansport backpacks on clearance for $5.  I bought $100 worth and sold most for between $15-20.

  4. Costco or Sam’s Club

    Again, watch specifically for their clearance items.  Some stores have a rack in the back where they put all those items.  Be sure you know and understand the policies.  There are Costco policies people don’t like.

  5. Any store where you regularly shop

    Remember, you are not shopping for yourself, but for deals.  This means check departments you might not otherwise check.  Just take a quick glance at their clearance items.

  6. Ebay

    There are some sellers who sell bulk items to the public.

One last tip:

The best deals I have found require a little delayed gratification.  Buying items off season presents some amazing buying opportunities.  However, the best way to maximize your return is by waiting until that season rolls around again.  For example, you might find some a great price on swim wear in September, but you won’t be able to turn around and sell them for much.  If, however, you wait until the following June you will be able to maximize your returns.

Anyone want to share where you go to get more Ebay inventory?


  1. says

    I know someone who buys baby clothes in bulk off of Ebay and then turns around and sells the items individually. She now has enough experience to know what items sell better than others etc so she can spot really good deals when she sees them.

    You can probably do this with just about anything sold in bulk on ebay.
    .-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..Who Can You Count on For Retirement? =-.

  2. says

    Craig , the winner is #6 in your post! I have sold full time on Ebay for many years and when I discovered that I could get all or most of my inventory from other Ebay sellers, it opened up a whole new world for me. I now never worry for one minute about inventory. It comes quite easily. I buy in lots and individually from Ebay sellers, professional and amateur but admittedly, mostly from the amateurs. I did strike gold at Big Lots once and bought and entire basket full of Sponge Bob lego sets. Nice post!

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