Love Salehoo, but need advice.

Full Member
buckeyescoot
Posts: 6
Joined: 21 Jan 13
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4 Feb 13 06:03:41 pm
Hello everyone! I am absolutely green to this venture. I am excited, but a bit overwhelmed. Like most in my position, I have other duties, and have been doing research for a couple of hours per day (which is easy to do). I want to make sure that my first time buying wholesale, and selling, will at least lead me to break even. I do not want to dropship, at this time, because I like the security of having my own inventory.

I would like to start off by selling no more than two items. Of course, I look at items that are in demand at any time of year, have a low buying point in bulk and yada yada. One item I am interested in selling, is the backpack. I made contact with Surplus Giant, and they seemed to have backpacks being sold for very cheap per unit. (We are talking about under $10) But when I go on Ebay or Amazon (both of which I do not like, but have unparalleled traffic), I see the same backpack being sold (with free shipping) for around $5 more per unit than what I can buy for, from SG. Taking into account Ebay and Paypal fees, if I were to do the same, I would make $2 per backpack, if I did the same. Sounds great if I sell a few hundred; I have no doubt I COULD sell that much.. over the span of a year or more. In which case, the effort would be in vain, considering the time I would spend packing and shipping.

What is more perplexing, is that the sellers who can offer such rates are not necessarily gargantuan, established entities with 5000+ feedback (and obviously have great buying power). Some of them seem to be relative newbies. I have looked for these backpacks with other wholesalers, and failed to find similar prices (albeit I admit I have only contacted a few others).

Earphones are another item I looked at with hope, at first. But then I realized that while I could buy some of these cheap earphones for around $1 each, on Ebay they are selling for that much, with free shipping.

Just for the record, I have read many threads in the forums, and the beginner's guides offered by Salehoo. I take to heart that I must distinguish myself from the crowd, for example by emphasizing I am a US seller, and having creative listings. I know that I must utilize other areas such as Craigslist and the paper. But finding my niche seems like hardest part of "getting up and running". I have found niches that seem open, only to realize upon further inspection that the sell-rate is very low and/or I just don't know enough about the items to feel comfortable describing them (e.g. jewelry).

Argh.. I am not sure where I was going with this. I don't want to dawdle for too long making a decision, thus being in a perpetual limbo. Anyway, any advice is appreciated, and sorry to ramble.

Site Admin
richelle_salehoo
Posts: 5226
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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5 Feb 13 02:27:22 am
Hello buckeyescoot,

You're not alone! Many new sellers feel exactly the way you do. But once you get the ball rolling you should soon feel otherwise :)

You have to remember that ebay has become an extremely competitive marketplace and it is not uncommon to find products selling at prices the same as or lower than wholesaler. How can this be? Because lots of wholesalers sell on eBay directly to the public! Unfair yes, but its the reality.

What can you do about it?

* Order in bulk quantities to drive the wholesale price down
* Sell on another auction site other than eBay – there are heaps to choose from and profit margins are usually better. Craigslist is also a good place to sell if you live in the USA. (Let us know if you need more suggestions for places to sell online)
* Buy liquidation – this lets you get product for pennies on the dollar. (This is how lots of powersellers make money on eBay these days)
* Find a niche market with few competitors – collectibles and one-off items have amazing profit margins, even on eBay.

These days, you have to be pretty savvy to survive on eBay, so I hope we’ve given you some ideas.

Jewelry is actually a very saturated market so not very ideal to sell these. Have you tried using our Research Labs? If you haven't give it a try to help you find a profitable niche.

Also you can refer to our Monday Market of the Week blogs, where we feature a viable niche every Monday :)

All the best!


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!
Full Member
buckeyescoot
Posts: 6
Joined: 21 Jan 13
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5 Feb 13 02:46:00 pm
Thanks Richelle! Yes, I am aware of the other sites on which to sell, as denoted in a stickied topic. I have already perused some of them, but am skeptical on whether or not I could move product.

As for ordering, I am willing to spend up to $1000 on my first order, no problem. (I knew coming into this, I would have to spend a decent amount, even at the start) When I spoke of the backpacks in my previous post, that was the wholesale price!

Anyway, I will keep working on this, as I am invested in it. I have some other ideas as well being bandied about in my head.

Site Admin
richelle_salehoo
Posts: 5226
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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6 Feb 13 01:44:12 am
That's the tough part of selling on ebay oftentimes you will come across wholesalers of the same item that you intend sell. It may take time but I'm sure you will find something to sell!

All the best! And should you need any help please feel free to let us know :)


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!
Full Member
fm1234
Posts: 838
Joined: 14 Dec 05
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6 Feb 13 06:48:43 pm
Buckeye, many of those newer sellers who are selling so cheaply are basically "buying reputation." ie. selling at break-even or even a nominal loss in order to get the feedback needed to boost future sales. This prospect makes many people's hair turn white when they consider it, but it is a good way to get around established sellers.

Many people - presumably including potential competitors of yours, and notably including myself - don't even use eBay as a source of sales so much as a source of leads. In my main business (books) almost everything I sell on eBay is crap, stuff I have not been able to move via any other means, incomplete sets, damaged or overly worn products etc. It's sold incredibly cheaply and with free shipping, and I generally lose a solid $5-10 on every sale at a minimum once postage and labour is factored in. Some cost quite a bit more than that. But consider the flip side of the coin, so to speak: Who on earth would pay good money for a damaged, worn, incomplete etc. book from some guy online? The answer is, simply, people who spend a lot of money on books, who are passionate about either the topic, author or time period in which the book was written. Serious buyers, people who will come back to me again and again looking for stuff, and to whom I can always upsell a set of bookmarks, reading lamps, and more tangential merchandise. $5-10-20.00 is actually not a bad price to pay for those people's names, addresses, and some insight into what they like to buy.

Short version (too late!) is that, when considering selling something on eBay, you need to take a very good look at your competition, because not all of them are selling for the money made on the sales. Many are building reputation for later price increases/selection expansion, and many are using eBay as a source of leads rather than income. It's a complex economy to be sure.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
Full Member
buckeyescoot
Posts: 6
Joined: 21 Jan 13
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7 Feb 13 06:37:18 pm
Thanks for the advice, FM! I read a previous post by you stating the same (about using Ebay as a tool, rather than a platform). I wish I had the money to do what some of these other sellers do, in selling at a loss to build a base.

In any case, I am looking at Addoway, with glee! (I hope their traffic has picked up in the last couple of years) There are also a couple of online markets for my local area.

Site Admin
richelle_salehoo
Posts: 5226
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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8 Feb 13 12:31:31 am
Hello buckeyescoot,

According to Link hidden: Login to view with improving traffic rates -

Traffic is improving for some sellers. One seller noted, "You need to do your own promoting to bring people but that's pretty much the way with most of the smaller (sites)." Another noted, "Until the Google Search changes, we were selling very, very well on Addoway. We still love the site, team of tech gurus, ease of selling there and blog for each member. Hopefully 2013 will yield sales again."

About traffic, another seller said, "Their traffic is increasing more and more each year. The sellers' time invested in creating an Addoway store is well worth the effort. The additional sales that I've gotten here have been worth my time." And, "I love the free listings, no expiration, pay as you go feature. It makes it affordable for anyone."


By the way Addoway and SaleHoo are officially partners - Link hidden: Login to view ;)

Happy selling! Enjoy Addoway :)


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!

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