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Where Do They Get the Stuff They Sell??

By Natalie Williams
Posted Thursday, December 23, 2004

When I fist began researching how people made money on eBay, I wondered what we all probably wonder... "Where do these people get all this stuff they sell?" I was under the impression there was this one big answer, one particular place, where everyone purchased their merchandise and sold on eBay. I've come to realize there are many different places and many different ways that people acquire items to sell. Here are a few:

1- You may already have a physical retail store somewhere and the items you sell on eBay are the same items you sell in your store. You are using the same distributors you normally use. Why is it that we never seem to walk into a Walmart and think "Where does Walmart get all this stuff they sell?" They set up accounts with the companies that either manufacture or distribute the product they sell.

2- Sell your personal items from around the house.

3- Go to yard sales, pawn shops and thrift stores. Buy inexpensively and sell the items on eBay.

4- Set up accounts with drop ship companies. These companies usually sell a lot of different types of products for usually 10%-25% below retail cost. You can advertise an item for sell (on eBay, to your friends, an online store, wherever). Once you sell the item and collect the money for it, THEN you purchase the item from the drop shipper who in turn will ship the item directly to your customer. You never have to have inventory in your home. Normally, your customer won't know it didn't come from you. This is called "Blind-Drop Shipping".

5- Buy in bulk from a wholesale or liquidation company. You would normally pay about 30%-40% below retail for the merchandise.

6- Most wonder where these people are getting the laptops and good electronics they sell and actually make a profit. Quality, New merchandise.... Here it is: They have set up accounts with the manufacturer of distributor of that product. They became a legal business, obtained licensing, built a credit history and purchase in bulk. Also, there are a few companies I have listed that pay you commission on your sales. So say I sell a laptop for $1400, which is the same price the company sells it to me for... I don't make a profit from the sell to my customer, but I make $100 commission for selling the laptop.

Decide on what product you would like to sell and then find out who manufactures it. You can usually find that information right on the packaging of the product. Contact that company and express that you would like to retail their product and how would you go about setting up an account. You will need your business licenses. They will never sell to an individual. If you have a company telling you they are the manufacturer of a product or that they are going to sell to you wholesale, but they do not ask for your license, then they are not telling the truth.

About the Author
Natalie Williams
Founder of the Online Sellers Association (
Author of the OSA eZine


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