There is. One of the most common small business models on eBay is that of the thrift store sourcer—someone who spends half of their time shopping for quality used goods of one type or another at exceptional prices, and the other half of their time selling those goods on eBay at a profit. There are sellers like this working in collectibles, books, technology, cameras and photography, and even in fashion and clothing. If you have the right personality type, you might succeed at this game, too.
What it Takes to Be an eBay Thrift SellerThere are several personality traits and habits that eBay thrift sellers use to maintain their edge in the business. If you have all of them, you're likely to do well in this niche. If you lack one or several of them, you might still be able to make it pay, but you might not have as much fun as others in the process.
In no particular order, the characteristics in question are:
- An unfailing love of shopping. This is, first and foremost, a job for compulsive, savvy, dogged shoppers who aren't merely okay with treading the aisles of stores and the front yards of yard sellers all day, but who absolutely live for it.
- Knowledge of a distinct niche. This type of eBay seller generally knows one type of customer and knows them well. Whether this customer is the ladies' vintage dance shoes aficionado or the 35mm manual camera aficionado, these sellers know what buyers in a specific niche market want.
- A good set of potential sources. For the most part, this means residence in a metropolitan area of some kind, though there are some exceptions (for example, when dealing in regional craft goods of some kind for which a national or international demand exists). The key here is to have available to you a large selection of thrift stores, antique stores, consignment stores, yard sales, or other types of used-item sales venues. One or two is not enough; an eBay used-shoe seller I know visits literally dozens of thrift stores during every outing and invariably comes back with a car full of sale items.
- A nose that can smell a bargain a mile away. To succeed in this type of niche, you need not only to be in love with the goods, but to be able to maintain enough distance from your love of the goods to know when to buy and when not to buy. The goal, after all, is to make a profit, not just to stock goods you like.
All of the factors above are important to your success as an eBay thrift seller, but there are other sets of skills that most eBay sellers (even small sellers) must have before they begin to see a livable profit on eBay: business skills and eBay skills.
Read on to find out more about the unique set of skills and practices that must be employed if an eBay thrift seller is to become successful.