Didn't make it to eBay Live on Location in Orlando 2011? One of our most industrious Yard Salers readers, Susan Calderon, did, and she's sharing her notes with us! (You can check out Susan's eBay Store at http://stores.ebay.com/Susans-Emporium).
Here are her impressions and notes from the Orlando event, and from "Queen of Auctions" Lynn Dralle's class on product sourcing (more class notes to follow):
I'm back from eBay Live on Location here in Orlando last week. I learned a lot! I am so glad I spent the $59.00 to go -- it was awesome! EBay sold out; there were over 1000 people there.
I took four really great courses on Thursday -- it was a long, very informative day. The one thing I really liked about this event is there were no bad seats; everybody could see and hear the speakers and the speakers were well-prepared and well-versed in their topic. Below are some highlights from Lynn Dralle's class as notes taken by me:
Lynn Dralle on "sourcing products for sale locally" presented one of the classes I took. Lynn is an excellent speaker; very engaging and funny with lots to share.
There were three types of places she talked about for sourcing products locally as a general reseller like a lot of us are. Lynn recommends trying to get 10 times what you pay for something as a ball park. Again, check completed listings on eBay or Terapeak.
Check on Craiglist for days and times and addresses. Use keywords in the Craigslist search engine to find sales selling what you are looking to buy.
Mark times and days down.
Get a GPS and use it. Google maps are awesome!
Once you're at the sale: scan quickly. Always buy one item, if merchandise is priced too high or junk, leave.
Quality items - stay and spend some time.
Go early or late in the day.
Also make a pile of items and negotiate prices.
Tell the people having the sale that you will buy a lot.
Arrange a staging area to hold your treasures. If the seller won't do that, bring someone with you.
You can always edit items later.
Grab without being pushy.
Estate Sales: return on last day of sale for 50% off, but be prepared go early or the sale may be really picked over.
Pick your favorite. Check out all the thrifts in your town go at least once monthly.
Visit best ones often.
When out of town, drop in to new thrift stores; never know what you'll find.
Check signs at front to see what's on "Sale."
Be patient and wait for the right price on items.
Use phone to scan and check out completed prices on eBay.
TJ Maxx and Macy's
Sign up for credit cards to get coupons and flyers about sales.
Sign up for emails and coupons.
Make relationships with sales people so that they will contact you when new merchandise you're interested in comes into the store.
That is what I learned about the where to look for the merchandise: Most people starting out struggle with figuring out what to sell. Here is a small list of some ideas that were mentioned:
Replacement items of dinnerware and flatware, along with home décor.
Clothing is always popular, especially the largest sizes. Free ship with lightweight clothing.
Mid century modern retro items.
New Gift Items.
Sporting goods/"Manly Things."
Tools, fishing rods.
Books, especially cookbooks - a recent first edition Julia Child sold for 224.00.
People should also think about: What do you love that is quirky? Quirky sells on eBay.
Look to your background; What's your past work history? Look to your schooling.
What do you love to do in your spare time? Reading=Bookseller.
Broad > Narrow > Narrower.
All-encompassing > more targeted > more specific.
Who do you know? That might could help you in your search for items to sell.
Contacts are king: Friends, think Christmas card list.
Acquaintances: think Facebook and Twitter.
Business associates: other eBay vendors.
People you see every day.
Lynn recommends having a mix of both new and used merchandise and not keeping anything in your store past two years.
Also having more than one id on eBay. One for buying and one for selling.
Business cards made up without eBay being mentioned when buying locally.