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GOLD! [AMA] Importing & wholesaling for resale on eBay.

Ecom man

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I have been lurking on the forum for about a month and have gleaned so much information I knew it was time to give back. I currently run an import/ resale on eBay business. I started the business about 3 years ago but just dabbled in it up until about 6 months ago.

6 months ago, I quit my job and started working the business "full time". I use that term loosely because full time for my business is abt 1 hr a day packaging up sold products and a few hrs a week researching new products.

I have been pretty much in the same niche since I started selling things 3 years ago but because of reading TFM I have started to branch out to reach more people. I added one product in the last two weeks that has already translated into a $1500 a month extra PROFIT!!!

I have sold mainly through eBay and a little through Amazon. I have imported a lot of things as well as bought things wholesale by the pallet. I would love to be able to help anyone in any way that I can.
 

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DrkSide

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Why eBay vs Amazon? Seems to me that products on Amazon command a premium that what I list on eBay.
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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That normally is very true. Amazon commands a $20 to $30 premium over eBay for many of my products. I had started on eBay and gradually have been branching out into Amazon.

If I started selling from scratch I would begin on Amazon and then transition to eBay. One other warning about Amazon, they are VERY particular about selling metrics. If just beginning selling I would get my feet wet on eBay before jumping to Amazon.
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Hi there, what does your process of researching new products consist of?
Normally my process is just time spent on my iPad looking through import sites and Amazon and eBay completed items sold. I use Amazon best sellers list a lot and I use eBay's completed listings and sort that by price high to low.
 

Kevin90

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What advice/tips do you have for someone who is just starting out?

How do you go about discovering what products are selling?

Is finding the current "hot item" the way to go or do you suggest selling consistent and long term products?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to the knowledge shared in your thread.
 

DrkSide

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Normally my process is just time spent on my iPad looking through import sites and Amazon and eBay completed items sold. I use Amazon best sellers list a lot and I use eBay's completed listings and sort that by price high to low.
Do you sell others brands or do you private label underneath your own?
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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What advice/tips do you have for someone who is just starting out?

How do you go about discovering what products are selling?

Is finding the current "hot item" the way to go or do you suggest selling consistent and long term products?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to the knowledge shared in your thread.
I normally try to find items that will stand the test of time. Many times the "hot" items are either too competitive or the margins just don't work for importing.

I start looking for products based on things i use. One of the products I am selling right now is selling to purely businesses. I am not selling many of these items (15-20 per month) but the profit is $100+ on every item. It's large and expensive to ship but at $100 profit each I can deal with carrying something to the post office.
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Do you sell others brands or do you private label underneath your own?
I do both depending on the product. When starting out I didn't even know that putting my own brand on an item was even possible. I just found things with good margin and would order a decent amount. If the product failed oh well on to the next one.

Failures are a part of any business. A couple years ago I bought someone's inventory of "vintage" clothes so I could resell them. Spent $3,000 on the inventory and in the last year sold $200 worth of the inventory :( finally just chalked it up to clothes not being my thing and donated them all to Salvation Army.

I am always learning, always growing, always looking for the product that people need.
 

j_lpz

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Thank you for the thread Ecom man; I am in the beginnings of selling on ebay. The struggle I have been having is finding wholesalers who sell on lower volume, with margins after shipping. I have bought wholesale lists from ebay, and amazon books on the subject. Wanted to ask if you had any recommendations, for web sites. thanks
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Thank you for the thread Ecom man; I am in the beginnings of selling on ebay. The struggle I have been having is finding wholesalers who sell on lower volume, with margins after shipping. I have bought wholesale lists from ebay, and amazon books on the subject. Wanted to ask if you had any recommendations, for web sites. thanks
I struggled with the same thing when I was starting. I still have lists in my email that I paid a lot of money to buy and most websites were inactive or not good margins.

I use three main sites for importing dhgate.com alibaba.com and aliexpress.com. A lot of people will tell you that these sites are tapped out etc etc etc. I can tell you with millions of products available in the world they are not even close to tapped out.

I was doing research on alibaba this morning and found a product that I can double my money on. It can be time consuming to find products but it is well worth it.

A couple of tips for you, stay out of any electronic market (phones, tablets, cords, etc.) most of those are run by high volume low margin folks. Second, look for things that people need to use. Look around at business places at friend's houses etc. what do they need to use every day. Once you have a list go on all three sites and see if it has margins that will work.
 

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smartman

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just about every market has a messageboard or trading place where you can usually meet other retailers/wholesalers. I would suggest for those that do not want to go through the chinese importing sites to search those out. Trying to get approval to be a wholesaler for some companies will take a ton of cash up front, or will be a more difficult journey than the lord of the rings.
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Just wanted to say there are opportunities to buy things wholesale and resell at good prices all over the place.

Today I was spending time at the zoo and shopping with my wife and daughter. We went by a store that is closing and doing final liquidation. We went in and they basically only had the shelving left. In the corner they had a huge box full of electric dryer cords. I asked the lady how much they were and she said regular retail was $15 and they were liquidating at $5 each. I asked her how much if I buy the whole box and she said $1 each (quite a difference). I bought all 110 she had at a buck each. I can resell them on eBay for $10. After shipping and fees I will make $4 profit each. I will make $440 profit on taking one little item and reselling it to those who need it.

Deals like this are all around us at physical stores and especially importing from China. Get off your butt quit making excuses and go get it!
 

crownbjj

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Hi Ecom man, just wanted to say thanksyou for the awsome post! I do have a question, how can you tell if the product is authentic or knockoffs on site like dhgate? I see a few stuff with great profit:) or is it one of those things i just have order to find out? Thx for everything!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Hi Ecom man, just wanted to say thanksyou for the awsome post! I do have a question, how can you tell if the product is authentic or knockoffs on site like dhgate? I see a few stuff with great profit:) or is it one of those things i just have order to find out? Thx for everything!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
Most anything that you would find on those sites that has a brand (Sony, Apple, etc) is most likely a knockoff or a back of the truck item (meaning stolen from manufacture or ones that were "damaged" and then resold) There are tons of products that are generic/ only Chinese type brand. Those are the way to go and the profit margin is there on a lot of items.
 

D11FYY

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How do you go about the MOQ?
On Alibaba a lot of their vendors/sellers have crazy MOQ's.

Also what bad experiences have you had? You sound pretty experienced so surely wasn't always plain sailing.
 

smartman

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could you explain how you branded a product on your own? I'm more interested in the physical process, than how you found the item and your costs, etc. I have been trying to brand a sporting good item, and have had little luck in the matter. what was your methods for finding a manufacturer, contacting them, packaging and then most importantly, SELLLING. Thank you again for doing this thread, I have been hanging on every word of it.
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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How do you go about the MOQ?
On Alibaba a lot of their vendors/sellers have crazy MOQ's.

Also what bad experiences have you had? You sound pretty experienced so surely wasn't always plain sailing.
Most of the sellers will give you the MOQ that you need to make the deal work. The item that I most recently started imported had a MOQ of 100 and it is a $100+ Per unit. That would be 10 grand just to try it. I messaged them and asked if they would do a sample order of 5 units and they agreed. After receiving and selling those, I then ordered ten more and so on.

Most suppliers will work with you as they want and need sales. You will pay more for shipping when ordering in lower quantities but it is worth it to be able to test the item and the market for yourself.
 

mars

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Do you use any website like Terapeak of any type of software to give you some insight on products?
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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How do you go about the MOQ?
On Alibaba a lot of their vendors/sellers have crazy MOQ's.

Also what bad experiences have you had? You sound pretty experienced so surely wasn't always plain sailing.
Pretty much every bad experience I had was because of my lack of knowledge.
I have ordered things before and completely lost my money (paid by western union) btw don't ever pay by western union or wire for first shipments til you get a feel for the supplier.

eBay and Amazon can be a huge pain in the neck if you try to buck what they want. eBay has gone to almost forcing you to offer free shipping long return periods etc. Fighting them is a losing proposition! If eBay wants it shipped free then ship it free. Learn as much as you can about the rules of any selling platform.

One other thing: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG! Yep you read that correctly. 99 times out of 100 there is a problem it is because of customer error, (if you are selling right) but ALWAYS PUT THE BLAME ON YOUR SHOULDERS. If a person didn't read the description properly take the blame! Take the loss and always say it is your fault and you will make it right.
 

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Ecom man

Ecom man

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could you explain how you branded a product on your own? I'm more interested in the physical process, than how you found the item and your costs, etc. I have been trying to brand a sporting good item, and have had little luck in the matter. what was your methods for finding a manufacturer, contacting them, packaging and then most importantly, SELLLING. Thank you again for doing this thread, I have been hanging on every word of it.
The products that I have branded were ones I found and was already selling under the generic name. The company asked if I wanted to add my brand name to the items and I of course agreed. That's how I have done all the branding for my items up until this point. Sorry that is not much of a help in your situation.
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Where do you keep your inventory?
Inventory was kept in a spare bedroom in my house until my wife finally got the better of me. Lol We moved to another house with a LARGE garage and that is where I am currently keeping all the inventory.
 

smartman

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do you have an older product you were selling, that you no longer deal with that you could use as an example to the rest of us? if that's not possible or you are uncomfortable with it, that's totally fine. I would love to just see a product someone had success with and do the research from there on my own instead of asking a ton of questions.
 
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Ecom man

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Do you use any website like Terapeak of any type of software to give you some insight on products?
I have used terapeak before but the problem is there is no work involved for anyone to access that information. Most of the "hot" items are way too competitive to make any reliable profit. I have found searching for an item that is currently not selling in the US or maybe with only one other seller of the item works far better than terapeak.

An item I found today that I thought about using but don't have the time is on Alibaba. It is a mosquito repellant patch. There is not one US seller of the item on eBay. It is all natural patch and supposedly lasts up to 72 hrs. Some even come in packaging for resale. They are pennies a patch and you could easily resell them on eBay, your own website, or start a business selling it to all the local gas stations in your area.

See how easy and fun it is to find items?
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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do you have an older product you were selling, that you no longer deal with that you could use as an example to the rest of us? if that's not possible or you are uncomfortable with it, that's totally fine. I would love to just see a product someone had success with and do the research from there on my own instead of asking a ton of questions.
As of right now I am still selling every successful item that I tested. That is the main reason that I stay away from the "next big thing". That "big thing" will be long gone and I will still be selling the same products over and over again.

As for unsuccessful items I have tons of those: women's underwear, iphone cords, baby animal bath robe/towel, and on and on and on lol.
 

D11FYY

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Most of the sellers will give you the MOQ that you need to make the deal work. The item that I most recently started imported had a MOQ of 100 and it is a $100+ Per unit. That would be 10 grand just to try it. I messaged them and asked if they would do a sample order of 5 units and they agreed. After receiving and selling those, I then ordered ten more and so on.

Most suppliers will work with you as they want and need sales. You will pay more for shipping when ordering in lower quantities but it is worth it to be able to test the item and the market for yourself.
Yeah iv noticed this upon contacting a few of them on Alibaba.
One guy I'm dealing with the now he is extremely friendly and is willing to try match my MOQ.
However a woman I dealt with last week however wasn't as nice, going from $10 to $40 for the same item just due to manufacturing costs.

So you just ask for sample orders? Does this fluctuate the price significantly or do you say that you will try get some interest and then see how it goes to hopefully match their MOQ in a short time?
 
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Ecom man

Ecom man

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Yeah iv noticed this upon contacting a few of them on Alibaba.
One guy I'm dealing with the now he is extremely friendly and is willing to try match my MOQ.
However a woman I dealt with last week however wasn't as nice, going from $10 to $40 for the same item just due to manufacturing costs.

So you just ask for sample orders? Does this fluctuate the price significantly or do you say that you will try get some interest and then see how it goes to hopefully match their MOQ in a short time?
Shipping costs for sample order should be the only thing that goes up. They should not quadruple the price of the item just because you want a smaller sample order.
I just tell them I need the sample to test quality of the product. Once I receive the item I open it and make sure it looks and functions like it should. If everything looks and works right I will post it for sale and see how long it takes to sell the samples. If it takes me 2 weeks to sell 5 items I can assume that I will sell approximately 10 a month.

If the profit margin is there I will turn around and order ten more of the same item. If it takes a month to sell all ten then when near the end of the month's time I will order 20. By doing this the only amount of "my money" I am risking is the orginal put out for samples. I use the sample money plus the profit to buy the next order than you that order amount plus profit for the next order and so on.

I pretty much ignore what their MOQ is and tell them what quantities I need to buy. There are enough sellers of almost every item that at least one of them will work with you to give you what you want.
 

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