Posts Tagged ‘Flea Market’

How do you make a good side business on Ebay?

December 24th, 2012 7 comments

If you do, PLEASE give us some tips 🙂 After years of trying different things and asking on Ebay I’m still having no luck. The "suppliers" always seem to be either too high priced or they are selling broken junk. The clothing side is such a headache with all the fake stuff, trendy items changing every week, etc. I’m just looking for something reliable. I don’t need to make a lot of money say a few hundred per month. TIA for any tips!

PS. My "main" business right now is computer service and consulting. Again, I couldn’t figure a way to sell that on Ebay. I do new custom computers and those naturally go for ridiculously low prices on Ebay. I couldn’t even figure a way to cover my costs doing that.
Can you guys talking about the flea markets give some specifics? Believe it or not, I’ve tried that. Don’t get me wrong, you *might* be able to clear 5 or 10 dollars per item but SORRY in this day and age that’s not cutting it! Going to a flea market, spending all that time, buying all that stuff, paying all those Ebay fees to make a few bucks. Not worth it. In fact, usually you’ll be in the hole if that’s all you make.

Go to Flea Markets and tag sales in your area. It will take a while getting to know which items will go for high prices on Ebay but i did this one summer, I made a decent amount of money. Just make sure you arent buying junk, anything that is REALLY pretty can usually sell if you buy it for a couple dollars. Brand names do help a lot.

Any tips for a guy who has never sold anything on ebay?

June 20th, 2012 2 comments

I have a number of things I’d like to get rid of before I move and I suspect I’ll get more for them from ebay than from a garage sale or at a flea market/swap meet.
Is it normal to profit a little off of shipping?
What should I beware of?
Any general tips would be appreciated.

You are correct in that a garage sale is ‘down and dirty’ but you won’t get maximum profits. A basic business tenet is. ‘The greater the potential market, the greater the potential profits.’

Your greatest potential market is ebay WORLDWIDE, not just the USA.

You can go to ebay for a tutorial on how to be a seller:

The basics in getting started can be found via online tutorials and books. But to get to the nitty-gritty:

Be honest and accurate in your descriptions – One-sentence descriptions are for lazy sellers. One paragraph should be sufficient for most items. My general guideline is the more expensive (read higher priced) an item, the more you should ‘talk it up.’ It won’t be time wasted. Use lots of adjectives in your descriptions. Adjectives make prose and your items come alive. Without them, prose is dull and your items less appealing. Just add a little ‘sizzle’ and even have a little fun with it. In short, make your descriptions stand out above the crowd.

Be professional – use good English with no spelling errors


Including one picture is a MUST, more pictures for higher priced items. Make sure your pictures are clear. There are far too many pictures on ebay that are dark. If prospective buyers can’t see your items clearly, your items, more than likely, will not fetch the closing prices they deserve. To remove darkness, use any photo editor to add some brightness and a wee bit of contrast.

Eliminate clutter. Prospective bidders don’t want to know what kind of cereal you eat or what kind of kitchen table or bedspread you have. Use a SOLID backdrop when taking your pictures as you want to focus all of the attention on your item. In short, the one and only thing you want in your picture is the item being sold. A SOLID white or light blue backdrop is best. However, there are certainly items that won’t show well on a light backdrop. In these cases, use a darker backdrop. And for gosh sake, don’t even think of using a plaid blanket as a backdrop for your pictures as I once saw on ebay. You should also crop the photos in your photo editor. Good pictures can add 5% to 10% to final closing prices.

GOOD DESCRIPTIONS + GOOD PICTURES = GOOD PRESENTATION. This is what you should strive for.


GOOD Communication is a must – Always notify buyers when you mail their items. It is not only a courtesy you would want and expect as a buyer but it is also both good customer service and good business practice. After all, you are the ‘President & CEO’ of your ‘company’ running your business but using ebay as your selling medium. In short, conduct your business so that it reflects well on you as a person. Treat everyone as a human being, not a living being and this includes people who have inquiries about your items, not just your buyers. Prospective buyers making these inquiries could ultimately be the winning bidders and possible repeat customers.


Do not limit your auctions to one country. SELL WORLDWIDE. The reason is elementary. You now have access to the largest market ebay has to offer. Limiting your auctions to only one country also limits your potential profits. A basic business tenet is, ‘the greater the potential market, the greater the potential to maximize profits.’ But do note in your listing that PayPal is the only form of payment you will accept from overseas bidders/buyers. Through experience, you will learn that there are certain problem countries. Italy seems to be one of them. Mail sent to buyers in Italy very often ‘mysteriously disappears.’ If this is the case, just note in your listing you sell to all countries EXCEPT (name(s) here).

However, if you decide to limit sales to only one country, such as the USA, never say NO when you receive an email asking if you would ship to Taiwan, Germany, Australia or wherever. The reason is that you have a ‘FISH ON THE HOOK!’ This person will bid! When he or she does, this may force a previous bidder to enter another, higher bid or force later, first time bidders to come in with higher bids. So always say YES to these emails if you want to maximize your profits. But do say that PayPal is the only form of payment you will accept from these overseas bidders

Avoid selling ‘nickel and dime’ items. People who list and sell a steady stream of items that close for $5 or less are wasting their time. Less expensive, similar items ($5 or less) are best sold as a group to save time. If you have a large number of these cheaper, similar items, divide them up into sub lots of three, four or five.

More expensive (higher priced), similar items are best sold individually to maximize profits. There are ebay ‘vultures’ who just love to swoop down on similarly grouped items in one listing. When they win these auctions, they turn around and sell the items individually and, in most cases, get one and a half to 2 times and sometimes three times what they paid for them on an average item basis. I know this works. When I had more time (read unemployed), I was one of these ‘vultures.’ This is one of those situations where the parts are worth more than the whole.

If you want to do your listings OFFLINE, download the TURBO LISTER program free from ebay. Once you have finished with your listings, you can upload them anytime or schedule a date and time when you want your auctions to start.

Lastly, keep in mind that experience is the best teacher. Start off slowly listing only two or three items and see how that goes for you. Once you get your feet wet and gain confidence, start listing more items on a weekly basis. You will soon learn the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts in short order and ultimately settle on a system that works best for you. The more items you list, the more items you will sell, the more $$ you will make and the harder you will work. Nothing in life comes easy and that includes becoming a successful seller at ebay. If you are conscientious and put in a little extra effort, you will do well. If you are lazy or indifferent in selling your items, you won’t. Good luck & happy selling!

Don’t gouge on shipping – buyers resent it. Be reasonable.

Tips for Getting Started With a Jewelry Business

May 19th, 2012 3 comments


First, it is important to have a good plan. A formal business plan isn’t necessary unless you aim to get a loan or investors, but the plan should be thorough, especially in the financial section. The bottom line for most of us is: can I make a profit doing this? How long will it take to turn a profit? And, is this worth my time? Below I have outlined a few key factors to think about while devising your plan. I want to be clear that this is just a guideline, not a “how to” since everyone’s circumstances is different – what may work for one person may not work for another.

1. Why do you want to do this?

Is this something that you want to do for strictly for the money? For the thrill of starting something from scratch? Because you need to make extra money to pay your bills? Etc. The answer to this question will create the context you need to think through your plan. For example, if you want to start a jewelry business because you absolutely have to have extra money to survive – that consideration will limit your choices greatly because you will need to make decisions that lead you to a quick profit.

2. Market & Products

What do you plan on selling and why? Think about whether the jewelry or other products you intend to sell are right for your intended market. Diamond jewelry is probably not the right product for a flea market! Some good ‘off-line’ venues that I have used include:

Craft fairs and outdoor festivals – generally in the summer time. You can usually get a table at these events for $20 $50 for the day. You will want to have a good selection of inventory; if you do you can usually gross anywhere between $150-$400 (based on my experience). Your sales will be directly related to your quantity of inventory.

Winter bazaars, church sales, holiday festivals—Oct-December. Check the local paper. Many churches have these annual events and tables are pretty inexpensive. These events are nice because people come to spend $ on gifts.

Home-based jewelry parties. You can host an event yourself, or have a friend host it and give her some free stuff as compensation. I like to have a good friend or relative host – that way I am pretty sure they will follow through. Ask your friend to invite her friends, relatives, etc. for the party. You provide some light snacks and bring all your stuff. Again, people come to buy and you have no competition! If you get people to one of these you will make out pretty well, and you don’t need to have as large a selection. I have made up to $1500 in an hour and half! Typically, I’d gross $300-$500 in a pretty short time.

Flea markets—usually in summer and holiday season. These can be boom or bust. It depends on whether, traffic, etc. Generally people at these want to spend very little, so the low-end stuff sells best. Good place to experiment since the tables are usually only $20 or so. I know people that go to the same flea markets every week and do very well with lots of repeat customers.

Store/ mall-cart. This is a much bigger leap since the overhead is so high compared to the above venues. I have done neither so cannot offer any good advice in except to plan really well and consider all the costs involved.

3. Where will you get your inventory?

This is the place you will need the best research. Unless you are selling in large volume, you will probably want to get a markup of about 3 times (what you paid for inventory). The lower the price you pay for your goods, the lower the price you can offer your customers/ the more profit you will make. You will always save more when you buy in bulk, so look for a supplier you can form a long-term relationship with who can give you good deals, service and selection. Buying a large quantity now may seem like a big expense now, but the result is you make more profit on every single item you sell.

The more you spend the more you save. Find a few good suppliers and see what sells well and who is willing to work with you. Find suppliers who provide good service and are committed to your success.
Buy off ebay- many people buy stuff at good prices then just re-sell

Search the web for other silver jewelry wholesalers.

Search the web for manufacturers. Most are in Asia. And you will get the best deals this way – but you are going to have to spend $3000+ to get the best prices and give yourself 6 months to find the right vendors, get your inventory and develop a relationship. It seems simple, but trust me, the cultural differences alone will add 3 months to the process! Unless you need 20+ designs of each design you order, or actually want to get a mixed batch of random leftovers that you will not see in advance, this is not a great option for most small businesses.

4. Is an online business right for you?

I make a living through my website. My business is successful because I:

• Have an efficient system to manage business operations

• Provide excellent service

• Have several great, inexpensive sources for products – suppliers that I know well and trust 100%

• Purchase a high volume of jewelry each month (enabling lower margin on each item)

• Spent time researching/ testing products and marketing strategies and learning about ecommerce

As I said, everyone’s situation may be different, but this is what works for me. I started about 6+ years ago part time, and within about 6 months had a full time internet business. I never expected it to work out this way, but it’s still going strong. Now it is much easier to get started from the technical side—the major auction sites offer good services for beginners and there are products out there to manage your business. You can even start a fully-functional ecommerce website without knowing any html! It is the “systems” that are the key factor for me. I have a system for inventory, a system to communicate with customers and a system to manage the fulfillment and customer service process. Most of my systems are computerized but I always take the time to get to know my customers in person when I have the opportunity.

5. … Is an offline business right for you?

Many folks are intimated at first by the whole ecommerce thing. The truth is an off-line business can be just as successful. Unless you have a lot of capital you want to start off (and continue!) with low overhead. So, you don’t need to go out and buy a store front! You can start by buying a small amount of inventory and testing the waters.

Try selling to friends and co-workers

Host a jewelry party (or better – have a friend host it) and invite a lot of people. I once made $1500 in an hour an a half! Typically, I would make about $400 or so in a couple hours.

Rent a table at a craft show (summer fair or church bazaar around holiday time). Tables are usually only $20-$40 for the day.

Get a spot a flea market

Put stuff out at your or your friends garage sales. It really works!

My advice is until you really know your market and have a handle on your revenue stream, start small. This way you are not going to lose much, if any, money.

6. Business licenses, TaxID numbers, merchant accounts, etc.

Check with your state to see what is required to do business. My experience is that it is very simple. You can get a TaxID, which takes about 1 hour and you can do it by phone, and this enables you to buy inventory without paying sales tax. But keep in mind that most vendors will be out of your state and will probably not charge sales tax anyway. In this case most vendors may not even need a TaxID. In terms of taxes, you can file under your TaxID or your social security number. If using your social security number and keeping the business under your own name, I do not THINK you need a TaxID, as long as you claim all your income appropriately. If you plan to have a business checking account you will need a TaxID number.

As far as I know you do not need any special license to sell retail. But you should contact your state tax office to get all the paperwork you will need to remit sales tax to the state. You are required to collect sales tax on retail purchases (most internet companies only charge sales tax to customers that live in the same state as the business). And at the end of the year, you have to pay this tax to the state.

As your business grows, it’s a good idea to take credit cards, especially for online businesses. Nowadays this is pretty easy. I get about 20 offers a day via email to setup merchant accounts and accept credit cards online. Do a search on and you will find hundreds of places to do this for you! The cost is about $25/ month + $200-$300 setup fee. Another option is to use only a PayPal account. The account is free to setup. Get a paypal account regardless of what you do because it’s essential!! I’d say 50% or more of online shoppers now, and 80% of ebay customers have paypal accounts.

  • I am NOT an accountant! This information is just based on my experience and may not be accurate.

Aaron Rome

Selling Ebooks on Ebay is Really Very Lucrative

February 8th, 2012 No comments

bay is widely considered the digital flea-market of the Internet. But for many savvy infopreneurs, Ebay is a goldmine. And to them, selling ebooks on eBay is wildly profitable.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they are banking big checks from selling ebooks on eBay at $1 for a bundle of 100 of them! No. These smart infopreneurs are looking on eBay in the right sense – as a huge gathering place of eager, ready to buy customers.

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You could get into their midst, scream yourself hoarse about your ebooks, and make a few sales. Or you could go about the process of segmenting and selling your ebooks to the perfect targets – and make a lot more sales at far less effort or expense.

To get it right, you need to understand the process.

#1 – Having your product funnel

Are you planning to get rich by selling your ebook on ebay for $19 – and doing it over and over, many times? Forget that. It’s hard work.

Instead, create your own product funnel. This means having a series of products or services – ebooks, reports, courses, homestudy programs, seminars, coaching and mentoring sessions and more – on the theme of your expertise.

#2 – Segment your audience

Then, write an ebook and offer it for sale on eBay – at a mouth-watering low price that’s hard to resist.

This is the wide mouth of the funnel, designed to attract as many interested prospects who are good candidates for buying your other products and service. The main purpose of your ebook here is to find those people on eBay who are interested in your niche or theme.

#3 – Educate your buyers about the value you offer

Once you’ve got a list of customers from selling ebooks on eBay, communicate with them regularly. Give them valuable information, coaching, education and resources to improve their life. While you do this, educate them about the value you offer.

For instance, don’t just give away a collection of links to helpful websites. First, mention how you spent 14 hours surfing the Web, checking out hundreds of other websites, looking for only the very best resources that offered the highest value without wasting a user’s time. You should visit us at Then share how you sifted through the list, and compiled the best of the lot into this special report, which you are sharing with only valued clients, because you care about them!

#4 – Sell your eBay list your higher value items

Once you have established a trusting relationship with the list you build from selling ebooks on eBay, you can now offer them more value at a higher price point and still have a fair number of them take you up on it.

This sequential approach has helped you turn a $1 buyer on eBay into a life-long client who willingly spends increasingly higher amounts with you because you offer more value.

Selling ebooks on eBay is not a route to instant profits. But if you know what you’re doing and have a structured approach to business building, it can be very lucrative. eBay being a dynamic marketplace, things change very rapidly. To stay on top of things, you must constantly study and educate yourself on the nuances of being a better infopreneur. This way, you can make eBay your goldmine too.

Akshay Sharma