The Most Successful eBay Sellers
Have you ever wondered what products the most successful eBay sellers offer?
That's a poor question because the definition of success varies.
Is success about money? Lifestyle? Working environment? Peace of mind? Self respect?
I think it's about all those things and more. Let me give you my basic definition of success:
A successful person has these six things:
Before we go on a quick note - These six ingredients were originally written by Brian Tracy in his book "Goals!"
Now that we know what success is, lets go back to the original question. . .
What products do the most successful eBay sellers offer?
Lets look at some different items people sell on ebay.
I don't think people selling extremely competitive items like IPods, big screen TVs, and cell phone accessories meet the definition. Knowing that at anytime someone else can come in and undercut them, or tastes will change leaving them with hundreds of bright pink cell phone cases no one wants puts a damper on any feeling of satisfaction.
How about people flipping fad items? Last year it was the game systems. This isn't a path to financial freed0m, it's just a quick way to pick up some cash if you happen to be in the right place at the right time. If you have the opportunity, go for it, but you cannot make long range plans on fads.
Should we look at drop shipping? Sure it sounds easy. Just list an auction and let someone else do all the work. Ignoring the problems with competition because anyone else with a few dollars for a list has access to the same products, what happens when the wholesaler makes a mistake? There really isn't any freedom here either.
What else do people sell on eBay? I mean as an ongoing business, not as a hobby. Cars? Maybe you could do well selling cars on eBay if you had enough money to buy and polish them up. There are probably quite a few successful eBayers who specialize in selling cars.
Anything else? I am sure there are successful sellers in many categories. I know someone who sells trees on eBay and meets my definition. I know someone else I'd call successful who sells toothpaste.
But they are exceptions. They are actually exceptional because they bring passion to what they do.
However, there is one category with tens of thousands of successful active eBay sellers. Passionate people doing what they want on their own terms and succeeding quietly.
I am talking about antiques and collectibles. By collectibles I don't mean the garbage you see advertised in the Sunday paper. I mean older mass produced items people now collect.
Things like baseball cards, Barbi dolls, kitchen accessories, childrens books, tools, and my specialty toy trains.
Why are the antiques and collectibles dealers the most successful?
Simply put, because they enjoy what they are doing. Take me for example. I get to meet some really interesting people when I am out buying things.
Just last month I spent an hour and a half in a man's home looking at a lifetime's accumulation of neat things. I could have been in and out with the trains in about 10 minutes, but it was fun. It was interesting.
The man has lead an interesting life, and even if I hadn't walked out the door with his trains, it would have been time well spent.
Now every deal isn't like that. Sometimes I have to deal with the sad sacks who are desperate for cash and are selling off their possessions in order to pay bills, but a lot of the times I meet interesting people.
I also get to meet interesting people when I sell the items. I've met actors, politicians, generals, doctors, CEOs, janitors and other fascinating people from all walks of life. Even a few friendly lawyers.
Even better, they are dedicated. I have a rolodex filled with their names and in many cases I can sell items with one phone call.
I doubt anyone with a drop shipping list could buy something and then sell it on the phone for a nice pr0fit an hour later. Antiques and collectibles dealers do this all the time.
I run into people all the time who bought items from me decades ago. They still have the items and still enjoy them. That's being part of a community. I even get Christmas cards from my buyers.
Now you are probably saying, "But Terry, I don't know where to get antiques and collectibles. It's not like I can buy a list of them."
The truth is antiques and collectibles are easy to find. After all what we deal in are mass produced items.
In 1954 Lionel sold a half million sets of trains. Even if only a fifth of those trains are still out there in attics basements, closets, and garages that's 100,000 sets of trains from one year. I mention 1954 because I once bought 11 sets of trains in one week, and every set was from 1954.
How many sets of dishes do you think were sold in 1954? How many Hot Wheels cars were sold in 1968? How many of those dishes or Hot Wheels are still out there waiting for you?
I was reading an article a few months ago about people collecting typewriter ribbon tins. Imagine someone actually paying $150 for a old box from a ribbon. It happens and these things are everywhere.
In fact, I was able to dig a dozen of them out of my junk boxes because I get them with nuts and bolts in. Sadly none of mine brought hundreds, but a few did sell for surprising amounts. Since they were all basically free I was glad to get anything for them.
That's why antiques and collectibles are the biggest market on eBay. Because there are so many of them.
Can anyone do this?
Sure it takes some specialized knowledge to separate out old items from old items worth selling, but other than that anyone can do this. Once you've learned about a specific type of collectible, it's just a matter of flipping items.
I cannot teach you what items to buy. You'll have to learn that on your own. But it's not hard. The ribbon boxes article I read said to buy every one you can get for under five dollars because enough of them will bring more that you'll make money.
I can teach you how to find and buy almost any type of collectible.
It's more than going to garage sales, or attending auctions. Sure, you can do those things, but there are many other productive - even free ways to find antiques and collectibles.
For the next few days you can get all my collectible buying strategies together in one package for a great price.
You'll learn everything I've learned in over thirty years. (I sold my first trains in 1977, and since then have sold more trains and toys that I can count.)
Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.