To prosper on eBay or any other online selling venue, you need a ready source of inventory: a source with constant variety, that’s nearby and convenient to shop, one that won’t involve a lot of time or gas.
You need a friend in the business. You need the consignment and resale shops in your area.
What, you say? How can I make a profit online by paying retail…even secondhand retail? It’s easy: all you need to do is build a give-and-take relationship with the shopkeeper…and shop the edges.
Building a relationship
To a retail shopkeeper, a reseller can be a dream come true or a nightmare.
To be that dream:
Understand that the shopkeeper has a limited marketplace while yours is the world. If none of her customers needs a pair of size 26 jodhpurs, those jodhpurs are worthless to her but may be priceless to you. If you have rapport, she’’ll let you know she needs to move that merchandise on. The shopkeeper has limited space as well. She can’’t afford to warehouse something; she must sell it.
Let the shopkeeper know that you are buying to resell. Tell her what you are interested in and she will keep you in mind as she selects her stock. There may well be something you’re looking for in her back room, and unless she knows it’s what you want, you may never see it.
Give back. If she asks, give an unbiased assessment of things mismarked or mispriced. A shopkeeper is a generalist, you are a specialist. Share your knowledge.
Pay cash. Don’t ask for discounts when something is already priced reasonably enough. And never gloat! The surest way to get the cold shoulder is to tell a shopkeeper that you made a 1000% profit on something you bought from her. You can do it, of course…just stay mum on it!
Spread the word about the shop. If you’’re at a garage sale and you see merchandise that the homeowners could make more on, and it’’s not something you want, pass on the business card of the shop. The more traffic the shop has, the more merchandise they will get, and the higher your chances of finding treasures.
Shopping the edges
So how do you find those treasures you can really profit on? Shop the edges! Look for the unusual things, for the things that don’’t fit the profile of the shop. That’’s where you will find your deals and steals.
Shops put things on the edges that they don’t know what to do with. If they’re a baby shop and they get in something that does not apply to children, they kind of tuck it in a corner and hope it will disappear. That’s the kind of thing you want to look for. They don’t want it, it won’t sell to their market. They would be more than happy for you to take it off their hands.
Always be prepared to find the find of your life.
You never know when that might happen. Shop these stores often and keep yourself in mind as well. Things go in and out of shops at the rates of thousands a day, you don’t want to miss the one item that really would be something that you want yourself, or that a friend would adore, even if it isn’t something for your resale business.