Small Business Basics Part 2a; What to Sell

Small Business Basics What to sell
What to sell is tricky but if you pick the right items and purchase them
at the right price you’ll do well. First of all if you are selling a service
you are pretty much there but if you are planning to sell an item
you’ll have to think about it.

Artist & Crafts folks
They already know what they are going to be selling.

People selling product
Now this category is the challenge that will separate winners from losers fast.

Let me tell you about my own experience here.
I registered with the state of Florida and received my Tax ID number.
At that point I could buy directly from wholesalers and manufacturers.
I set up accounts with a bunch of companies all of which had minimum
orders in the thousands. Bought product and calculated my cost and
determined the selling price for the profit I wanted.
Then went to eBay to get started selling. That is when reality hit me
People on eBay were selling the same products for less then
I paid wholesale!
This was a big expensive lesson to learn.
I wasn’t getting such a good deal
from the wholesalers and manufacturers.
I found it better to buy directly
from people on eBay rather than my suppliers!

Now I buy online and resell those items locally.
People locally could do the same thing that I’m doing but
I’ve learned most don’t want to be bother.
They would rather pay me a profit so they can just get the item now!
They don’t want to wait a week or maybe 5 weeks for an item to come in
from China. I take advantage of that all the time.

ebay buying for profit
I bid on as many auctions as I can.
I lose most but if I win something I get the lowest price possible and
resell the item. Many people put up auctions with no reserve so they have to
accept the bid you make. If nobody else bids against you, you win.

If the item is worth more I’ll bid low with the hopes of winning.
It’s surprising how many times you can win the auctions.
Then when the item comes in I’ll relist it ASAP for a higher price.

Used product is where the money is
So where do I get the best return for my investment?
If it isn’t services and it’s not wholesalers and manufacturers
then it is the USED product market.
Used products can be purchased for dimes
on a dollar.
Nobody knows how much something is actually worth if it’s used.
They do know how much a new item sells for at the local store or on Amazon.
So my plan is to pay between $.25 and $5.00 at the most and expect a return
of no less that 100%. 
Many times I get much more 500%.
Where to find used items; everywhere; Thrift Stores, Flea Markets, Craigslist, Yard Sales
and anywhere people are. I have found that the $1.00 or less stuff
usually get me the best return!

Thrift Stores
We go to thrift stores as often as possible looking for the treasures.
The hunt is what we enjoy the most and every now and then we’ll find something to sell.
There is lots of competition there because there are many people doing the same thing.
Persistence will pay off in the end so have patience looking for that gem.

Yard Sales
These are a treasurer trove to explore and you’ll find the best deals. The beauty of yard
sales is the person selling the stuff is through with it. They only want everything gone.
The old saying “Lets make a deal” will work well here you should try it.

Flea Markets
These places are much harder to find the treasures at the best price.
Most of these folks are in the business and know the value of the stuff they are selling.

Community and Church Sales
These are the best place to look for treasures you’ll find them on every table.
Nearly everything is at give away price or for just a small donation.
You’ll find everything from furniture to tools, make sure you look everywhere.
Sometimes the best things are underneath tables or inside unmarked boxes.

What if I buy something and it doesn’t work?
When I get something that is broke I try fixing it.
If the repair is easy and cheap. Sometimes that doesn’t work and you are stuck
with a lemon. That’s when you make some lemon aid.

This is one example of what happened to me.
I bought a cassette deck that needed to be repaired.
I’m an electronics technician and thought “no problem”.
Well in the end I couldn’t fix the thing but I noticed
that it had beautiful knobs on it. I spent $5.00 on the
deck at the local Goodwill and figured I might be out of the $5.00.
For giggles I took pictures of the all the knobs on the
face of the cassette deck and put them up on eBay for $4.95 each.
In two weeks I sold two knobs for $9.80 plus shipping.
I didn’t lose any money! Better yet I still had more knobs to sell.

Some Folks always disassemble stuff and sell the parts!
I have a friend that sells online also. When he buys anything it’s with the intention of
selling all the parts. That works against what I always want to do. 
I know he is right about taking everything apart and selling all the parts.
He always says a car’s parts are worth more that the whole car.
Many times people will list an item on the internet for sale “Parts or Repair”.
There are many people that might have a need for the parts.
So consider sell the broken items “as is for parts” you will still get some money.
Another story to tell, a friend bought a broken Nakamichi cassette deck for $10.
We looked it over but couldn’t fix it. He listed it on eBay and sold the
broken cassette deck for parts or repair he got $500!!!!

Small Business 2b Where to sell next

About Rick Mercier 189 Articles
Retired, Building Trailers and seeing America

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