Susan enjoys answering questions and helping her readers solve problems while learning more about education, business, and other fun topics.
Find Answers to Your Product Sourcing Questions Here
Looking for stuff to sell on eBay, on Amazon, or on your own website? Not sure where to find cheap inventory? Still trying to pin down a sales niche? Don't know where to start? We have information to help!
If you're like millions of other Americans, you may be thinking about starting a business of your own to help make ends meet. If you've been considering an eBay, Amazon, or other online sales business, your number one question might be, "What will I sell and where will I find it?" Okay, that's two questions but they're certainly related. "Wholesale, drop ship, garage sale finds? How do I find inventory and where do I start?"
Or are you already an experienced eBay seller looking for new, better, and hot merchandise to sell? Either way, you've come to the right place. While we can't choose the perfect selling niche is for you, we are here to point you to some great product sourcing resources and information that you can use to help make the decisions that will be important as you develop or grow your e-commerce business.
On this page we'll help you learn about purchasing wholesale items for resale, consignment selling, and more. Besides our own comments, the materials that we present here for you include websites, e-books, print books, and more. Many of these resources are free; some are not. We believe every resource and provider to be legitimate and trustworthy and have used or reviewed many of them ourselves. Some will answer "how" while others answer "where" and even "why."
If you're an experienced online seller already, you may find a few fresh ideas for finding inventory, too. We would be happy to have you add a link to your listings or your store in the section provided further down on the page.
Very best of success with your ecommerce business, and thanks for visiting this page!
New Poll: What are you most interested in selling online?
How to Buy Wholesale
Hate Researching Wholesale Sources?
Yeh, me too.
Good news: Ryan Reger did the research for us!
This is a new book that's receiving rave reviews from those who are looking for the best wholesale sources for products for their eBay or other online (or offline) business.
You'll read how Ryan built a business from zero to $800,000 in four years, and you'll get access to his list of 200+ wholesale sources that he has done business with and recommends.
This resource will be extra-valuable if you'd rather not handle inventory yourself. And if you don't know how time-consuming that process is, take it from me, you'd rather have someone else do it.
Wholesale Lots: How to Find and Resell Wholesale Goods on eBay
Buy it on eBay, re-sell and make a profit. What an easy way to get started buying wholesale!
If you're already a buyer on eBay, you may have noticed the category called "wholesale lots" when you are searching for an item. There is a "wholesale lots" sub-category included within most of the main categories, which you can access on this page.
A word of caution about lots advertised as "wholesale." More often than not these items are not listed by true wholesalers but are repackaged lots from sellers who are cleaning out their own inventories. Sometimes they will be items that the particular seller could not sell individually. Often, though, they are smaller lots that the seller has acquired in bulk and broken down into smaller, more affordable lots for other sellers on a budget or without a place to store a large inventory.
You'll also find that some people don't take seriously the definition of a "lot" and use this category to offer single items at what they consider to be wholesale prices.
So, as should always be the case, buyer beware. Make sure you understand exactly what it is you are bidding on. I have found real treasures from the "wholesale lots" page and you will, too, if you spend some time being a wise shopper. Highly recommended!
A Sample of Wholesale Lots for Sale - Buy from eBay then resell for a profit.
Here's a sample listing of a wholesale lot for sale on eBay. This particular lot might not appeal to you, but you can search based on your choice of niche, choosing from categories available on this page.
Part of the fun of being a seller is that you can specialize in a category that YOU find interesting. Use eBay's advanced search page to research the possibilities. Believe me, it's much more fun and you'll enjoy selling much more if you identify a niche (or a few related niches) and concentrate on those as you build your online business.
How to Sell On Consignment
Consignment Selling on eBay, With a Twist
Let Experienced eBay Sellers Sell Your Stuff
If you already have a good selection of designer clothing, electronic items, or collectibles to sell but don't want to go through all the work it takes to sell them yourself on eBay, then you might be interested in eBay's Valet service.
How does it work? You send the items to eBay, experienced selling experts list it, and when it sells, they send you up to 80% of the sale price (depending on the sale price of the item).
Of course the items you send in should be popular items that are likely to sell, but the good news is that you don't pay shipping on your items to get them there or, if they don't sell, to get them back. This really is a genius system that should work very well for those who have high-quality merchandise to sell.
So if you're better at sourcing than you are at selling (which is true of many people), click right here to learn more about how the eBay Valet service works.
Finding Products Locally
How to Make Money Selling Books
Everyone needs books. Have extras? Know where you can find some?
Books are a great product for a new seller to start with on eBay; most of us have too many and, if not, books are very easy to find at yard sales, church sales, and library sales. Books are among the easiest items to locate, store, pack, and ship, and everyone buys books at one time or another.
Now's a great time to get started selling books. Of course the secret is finding titles that people actually buy. That's why I suggest investing in resources like this one that clue you in on what to look for - and what to avoid. Here's a great resource for learning exactly how to sell books online.
Find Stuff to Sell When You Shop at Your Favorite Local Stores - "The Ultimate Guide to Savings By Store"
You shop anyway, right? You may be overlooking a gold mine when you shop at your favorite stores because you don't know the secrets that are revealed in this amazing book, The Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.
In this awesome guide, you'll learn how to get the biggest discounts and bargains from stores where you shop anyway, so this book is great for any consumer. But for online sellers, you'll be able to turn right around and re-sell your finds - and see a huge difference in your business's bottom line!
Not sure you want to invest in this book? Read it, follow the advice, and you WILL make that money back in no time. (No guarantees, of course, as your results may vary - but if you don't make that money back, you're not trying!)
From Aldi to Walmart and everything in between (it's alphabetical), learn from the authors, experts Danni and Kat, when to shop, where to shop and, most importantly, how to save money so that your favorite thrift and department stores - even your grocery store - become awesome resources for finding products to sell online.
This is a great resource! Full disclosure: I was given a copy of the book to review. I love it! Learned a whole lot, too, about how to save at some of my favorite stores. In fact, I was blown away by the amount of information covered in this book. It's absolutely stuffed full of information.
NOTE: You don't have to own a Kindle to read this book! Just look in the Kindle Store on the left margin for a free Kindle reading app for your PC, Mac, iPhone or Android phone or other electronic device of your choice.
Barcode Booty by Steve Weber - "How I found and sold $2 million of 'junk' on eBay and Amazon, And you can, too, using your phone"
Got a smart phone? With that, an app, and the information you'll learn from this fabulous book, you'll be buying low and re-selling high, on eBay, Amazon, or elsewhere, in no time.
This is a recent resource and it's fantastic. If you can't find an idea in this book that gets you excited about finding good, re-sellable inventory, I'll be very surprised.
The process involves using your smart phone to scan barcodes on items you find at retail stores to see, in real time, if you've found an item that would be profitable to re-sell. If you love treasure hunting, you'll love using this method. I'm reading this book and loving it. I got really excited about the possibilities and I think you will, too. Highly recommended!
Where to Find Ephemera or Vintage Ads to Sell Online
Enjoy Ephemera? Consider Specializing in Selling Vintage Ads or Postcards
I love vintage advertisements! Fortunately, so do lots of other people and the market is good. If you have access to old magazines, check through and look for ads that are appealing from a décor point of view as well as a simple nostalgia point of view. This is another great baby boomer market. Estate auctions and Craigslist are great places to source magazines.
Vintage postcards also sell well. Do a search on eBay and look at the prices these are going for. Now look around your house, your mom's attic, your neighbor's garage sale. Attend estate sales and auctions.
Old postcards are actually pretty easy to find, and now that the baby boomer generation has grown up, nostalgia sells well. Below you'll find a current postcard auction as an example. Click on it to see more and take note of the prices some of them are commanding. No reason you can't do what these sellers are doing. If it's an area that interests you, give it a try!
Another advantage of selling paper? It's easy and inexpensive to ship. Just take care to pack it very well (between two stiff pieces of cardboard, perhaps in a plastic bag). A good way to learn how to pack is to buy a piece from a seller with great feedback and comments that mention how well packed the item was. Learning from those who are already successful doing what you want to do is great strategy!
Good Luck With Your Online Selling Business!
Thanks so much for your visit. If you enjoyed this article, please pin to share it.
© 2007 Susan Deppner
GUESTBOOK: I love reading your comments!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on June 28, 2016:
My pleasure, DawnRae! There's lots to know about eBay. I think this is a good start.
Dawn from Maryland, USA on June 28, 2016:
I've wondered how people use and earn on ebay. Thank you for this information.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on June 28, 2016:
Thank you, Olivia. I'm very glad you found some helpful information.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on June 27, 2016:
Sylvestermouse, sellers have had their ups and downs with eBay, but overall it has been a good place to work. I'm glad you found some other useful information here, too. There are lots of alternatives for both sourcing and selling and I'm happy to share. Thanks for stopping by!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on June 27, 2016:
When other sites have failed me, Ebay has consistently been a good place to work. I have never heard of Salehoo. I will have to take a close look at that site for sure. No doubt, there is still plenty I could learn from the other referenced resources in this article too.
Olivia on June 27, 2016:
Wow Susan, you sure have given us a lot of valuable information. I will definitely be looking at this more closely. Thank you!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 25, 2016:
I'm glad you found the information useful, meretailpteltd. Continued success with your eBay business!
meretailpteltd on May 25, 2016:
I've been selling on eBay for about 2 years and really enjoy it.Thanks for
the useful information
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 16, 2016:
You're welcome, Peg! When you go into eBay with a good inventory of items that you already know people love, then you certainly go in with an advantage. Glad you had good success with your excess store inventory! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 16, 2016:
What a great collection of ideas for the home-based entrepreneur. Years ago I sold most of my excess store inventory on eBay after closing a collectibles shop. It was fun, easy and profitable without the expense of high overhead expense. Now, with your inspiration, I'm tempted to try it again along with so many other options and sites. Thanks for this useful info.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on October 29, 2015:
Appreciate that, Wednesday-Elf, very much! Best of success in your eBay business!
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on October 28, 2015:
I've been selling on eBay for about 5 years and really enjoy it. You have some handy tips in this article I found helpful. Thank you.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on October 28, 2015:
Thanks for stopping by, Paintdrips!
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 27, 2015:
Very helpful. Thanks.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on April 08, 2015:
Very happy that you found some useful information here. Selling online is challenging, but it can be lots of fun!
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 08, 2015:
I've always thought about selling online, and although your article caters mainly to a US readership, many of the tips and resource books can still give me valuable information. Thank you so much.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 27, 2014:
MarleneB, you might want to explore selling the books on Amazon, too. I've done both and Amazon was easier for me. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope it works out well for you.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on September 26, 2014:
Lots of good, solid information here. I already see one area which I might explore. I have a ton of books. I never thought about selling them on eBay until now. It sounds like a great idea to make a little extra cash. Great hub.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 26, 2014:
@sheilamarie78: My pleasure!
Sheilamarie from British Columbia on August 25, 2014:
Thanks for this information, Susan.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 25, 2014:
@astevn816 lm: You're welcome! I hope you found some information you can use.
astevn816 lm on May 25, 2014:
Thank you for the great ideas on finding inventory
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 13, 2014:
@firstcookbooklady: I know about those irons - my fire is full of them! Thanks so much for your visit and comment!
Char Milbrett from Minnesota on May 13, 2014:
Thanks Susan. I am very inspired to 'take it from here' and get yet another iron in the fire since viewing your page. Also, thank you for visiting my page!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 25, 2014:
@Maggie42: Oh, I agree! Easy to get distracted. Thanks for the visit!
Maggie42 on March 24, 2014:
Thanks Susan plenty of opportunities to get distracted from what I should be doing here!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 20, 2014:
@blestman lm: Glad you like the ideas! Thanks!
blestman lm on March 19, 2014:
I like the ideas you have here. Thanks for all the great tips.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 02, 2014:
@Babu Mohan: Thanks!
Mohan Babu from Chennai, India on March 01, 2014:
Very useful tips for budding online professionals.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 26, 2014:
@AnonymousC831: My pleasure. Hope you found something helpful!
AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on February 25, 2014:
Very detailed lens. Thanks for all the advice.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 11, 2014:
@DeborahDian: Glad you found it helpful!
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on February 10, 2014:
This is really useful information!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 06, 2014:
@PeacefulHeather: She's quite the eBay seller! Glad you checked her out. Thanks for your visit and kind comment!
PeacefulHeather on February 06, 2014:
Great lens. Thanks for sharing. I went over to the lens of your friend the Mug seller and she has some great information too.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 03, 2014:
@Zeross4: Wow, great turnaround on those bookends! Thanks so much for dropping by and for your great comment.
Renee Dixon from Kentucky on February 02, 2014:
I used to sell things on Ebay all the time and enjoyed it very much! I found stuff at thrift shops and yard-sales quite often that would sell for much more online. This is another passion of mine (thrift shopping and yardsaling). My favorite score was some vintage Moses bookends that I bought for a dollar and resold for 90.00! Loved your lens, right up my alley :) Thanks for sharing!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 27, 2014:
@evawrites1: I really think it takes a certain personality to really succeed in an eBay business. You're right, there's no get-rich-quick involved at all so if someone isn't willing to work hard to make their business work, they'll be disappointed in the outcome. For those who enjoy the process, though, it truly can be addictive! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
evawrites1 on January 27, 2014:
These ideas are very interesting. None of them is a get-rich-quick scheme though, I suspect you must work hard (scanning bar codes, etc) if you want to make a living with it. But it sounds much more fun than working in a factory or a very boring office job.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 11, 2014:
@Pam Irie: Very wise words, veryirie! Passion certainly can make the difference between failure and success. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!
Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on January 10, 2014:
I think whatever we do, we have to start with the passion for it. That and knowledge....look out! Great resources here!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 08, 2014:
@CrossCreations: Excellent news! I've been tempted to do the same, though when I'd fit it in I'm not really sure. Wishing you the best of success with your FBA business!
Carolan Ross from St. Louis, MO on January 07, 2014:
Hooked on FBA! Just getting started but finding it exciting. After many hard hits to my online projects last year, it was time to go an entirely new direction. Nexus laws hit my state, so I can no longer affiliate with amazon, but I can sell there, and the sales are coming in. Thumbs UP!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 07, 2014:
@John Dyhouse: You're not alone. Many people have moved their products to Amazon (Fulfillment by Amazon). Others are opening their own online businesses. Retail is challenging, but many people thrive on it. Thanks so much for your visit and comment!
John Dyhouse from UK on January 07, 2014:
I used to sell on ebay but gave up when they changed thing to the disadvantage of the small seller. For me it was a hobby and not a business, I did not want to carry on and so closed my account.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on December 10, 2013:
@esmonaco: Finding the right product can, indeed, be a challenge. Glad you found some helpful information here!
Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on December 09, 2013:
Thanks for all of the great information, I have been selling on eBay for a while, so far I've done okay with it. I'll sell for a while then stop and start up again. This is one of my biggest problems is finding the right product. I like the polo shirts, as I thought about selling them many times. I think I'll be back after the Holidays to buy the book. Thanks.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 22, 2013:
@legomanultra: I appreciate that!
legomanultra on November 21, 2013:
Awesome lens with great information! Thank you.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 17, 2013:
@Barnowl LM: I really appreciate that. Glad you enjoyed the lens!
Barnowl LM on November 17, 2013:
Thankyou for a great lens. Being an internet marketer myself, I enjoyed the value this lens brought me... thanks for the great content.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 15, 2013:
@Lowdown0: Awesome! I wish you the best of success!
Lowdown0 on November 15, 2013:
This is great info, I think I'm going to try an ebay business, with the help of this lens I've found salehoo. Thanks for making a great lens.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 13, 2013:
@SweetTeaPam: Glad you liked it. Thanks so much for the visit!
SweetTeaPam on November 13, 2013:
Awesome lens! Thank you for the information.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 12, 2013:
@mstcourtjester: Me too!!
mstcourtjester on November 11, 2013:
The barcode booty gives me one more reason to invest in a smart phone ;)
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 09, 2013:
@ToyTrainsGScale: I'm not Mrs.Wells, but I thank you!
ToyTrainsGScale on November 08, 2013:
This is a very good lens!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 08, 2013:
@jponiato: My pleasure!
jponiato on November 08, 2013:
Great info - thanks.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 03, 2013:
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 03, 2013:
@kepezzo: Great! So glad you were inspired! :)
kepezzo on October 27, 2013:
Just given me an idea on selling stuff on ebay..thnx !
grrbtn on October 26, 2013:
Loads of ideas on here how to make money by selling on Amazon and Ebay. I have used some of these methods myself in the past, especially using drop shippers. Great lens.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on October 21, 2013:
@newyorkdude: Thanks! You know, I did have a dropshipping section. Must add that back in.
newyorkdude on October 21, 2013:
You left out two biggies: drop shipping and Fulfillment by Amazon. Otherwise, great lens!!!
VictoriaHolt on October 10, 2013:
Thank you for Squidliking my FHE lens!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on October 09, 2013:
@Adventuretravels: LOL Maybe that's another advantage of having your own ecommerce business - work when you want to and stop when you get bored!
Giovanna from UK on October 09, 2013:
Hi I inherited a huge bundle of old postcards and decided to sell some on Ebay. To my amazement some sold for more than $20! - Then I got bored lol! Thanks for this lens great info.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 28, 2013:
@CharMarie: Thank you!
CharMarie on September 27, 2013:
Great lens, Susan! Very informative, too! Thanks!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 27, 2013:
@VictoriaHolt: eBay can be a very fun business!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 27, 2013:
@samsmom7: Thank you so much!
samsmom7 on September 26, 2013:
Wow! Some great information and resources here. Thank you Susan!
VictoriaHolt on September 26, 2013:
Great resource...makes me want to try a new business!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 25, 2013:
@Diana Wenzel: Thanks for the feedback. Yes, that app is very cool and could be very useful!
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on September 25, 2013:
Appreciated this comprehensive guide to eBay sourcing. Though I have done lots of research in the past, it was great to pick up some new tips and resources. I'm at the point where I would like to go more to scale. Thanks for packing so much into this compendium. Quite a bit of value-added here. The Barcode Booty app intrigues me.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 22, 2013:
@Coffee-Break: Hmm, you may be onto something there. Thanks for the idea!
Dorian Bodnariuc from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on September 22, 2013:
This is probably one of the best online work guides I have found. It could be easily turned into a little book.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 18, 2013:
@anonymous: Why, thank you! Very glad you stopped by!
anonymous on September 18, 2013:
Great lens. So clearly written and full of great information. Thanks.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 17, 2013:
@smine27: Thank you for the feedback - very glad you liked the information!
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on September 17, 2013:
This was an invaluable source of information. Thank you
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 06, 2013:
@KerryVor: Awesome! Hope you find a really good product source that you love!
Kerry Voronoff from Sydney, Australia on September 05, 2013:
Wow this is a fantastic article and I am excited to try some of your resources.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 31, 2013:
@Louise0711: You sound motivated. Go for it!
Louise0711 on August 30, 2013:
This is really interesting and informative with some excellent resources. I've always been tempted to have a go at making some extra money on ebay. It may be something to try in the future!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 27, 2013:
@Pipa-bipa: Shipping can be a huge obstacle! I hope you can find a good product to specialize in, something that's much smaller and easier to ship worldwide. Glad you're inspired - and thanks for the kind comment!
Pipa-bipa on August 26, 2013:
This is fantastic, I mean all this info and links. It has really made me want to buy wholesale lot and sell it right away and become a super-working mom... I tried to do it once when I promoted an artist friend - tried to sell his stuff on eBay. But the BIG problem was the shipping fees (I live in Europe) to the U.S. They were dramatic, considering the weight of the painting etc. Basically, the fees ended up to be 3 times more than the item price, so I dropped the idea. Still shudder of the thought of the shipping fees, have no idea how to solve it. If I choose to ship to Europe only I'm losing a big market share <*sobbing quietly*>
Anyway, thanks again for the wonderful lens!!!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 26, 2013:
@anamana: Thanks! Thanks for adding your store link to the page!
Molly Evans from Los Angeles on August 25, 2013:
Wow, great lens!!!!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 14, 2013:
@Ruthi: I hope they do! Thanks, Ruthi!
Ruthi on August 14, 2013:
One of these days I will take the selling on eBay plunge and your tips shall come in handy.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 11, 2013:
@maceemiller123: Why, thank you! Glad you found it helpful.
maceemiller123 on August 11, 2013:
What a valuable lens.... a very impressive source of information that I will keep forever..... thankyou for sharing this.
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 02, 2013:
@Gypzeerose: Thanks for the link! You've created a really good resource for potential sellers. Great job!
Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 02, 2013:
@anonymous: I will check them out. Thanks so much for the visit and your kind comment!
anonymous on August 02, 2013:
Great Article...If anybody here looking to buy gift items or handmade items in any quantity please visit www.craftscape.com . Personally I love these guys and in first month sell around 20 of their items. it looks like bit expensive but contacted them and asked for the price at which I can post on Amazon they welcomed my intentions and gave me a very competitive prices. Hope this will help anyone looking for handmade accessories (My personal top selling item is their chess board, though I never even touched their products but I sold 12 boards in just one month)