BEFORE YOU BEGIN
124 About Selling on eBay
126 About Banned Items
If you get serious about making money at auctions, you're going to need a way to find inexpensive goods you can sell. The first place to look, obviously, is in your house, attic, and garage. But if you're going to get more serious, you need to find other sources. Here is a rundown of the best sources.
Schools and churches frequently hold fund-raisers. Often, the most popular parts of these fund-raisers are "white elephant" sales in which people donate items to be sold. You can find items of surprisingly high qualityeverything from clothing to books, toys, and software. You'll find very low prices here. Make sure to come early, though, because within an hour after the sale opens, the best items are often gone.
In the spring and fall, people hold garage, yard, and tag sales ( tag sales mean the same thing as garage and yard sales) in which they clean out their garages and houses and sell what they no longer want. They're great places to find treasures of all kinds. Come early to get the best selection. Come late to get the best deals because, at the end of the day, sellers often simply allow people to haul away what hasn't yet been sold. But keep in mind that what is left at the end often is the dregs of the sale.
Every spring, students leave college to go back home or to leave for summer vacation. They often sell things before they go, and they often sell them dirt cheap. Check areas near universities around the time that students leave, and look on college bulletin boards at that time of year for notices of sales as well.
Surprise! Auction sites are good places to buy things to sell. But only do this if you're a smart bidder, and if you do your homework. You'll need to be able to sell things for a much higher price than you buy them for if you're going to turn a profit.
Newspaper and Internet classified ads are great places to buy things inexpensively that you can then sell at auctions. And they're also good places to find out about flea markets and other similar kinds of places where you can buy inexpensive collectibles and goods. So check out the classified ad section of your local newspaper, both in print and online.
Estate sales are excellent places for finding collectibles to sell at online auctions. Estate sales advertise in the newspapers, so make a habit of checking the newspaperboth in print and onlinefor them.
You should show up several hours before an estate sale is set to open and give your name. Sometimes you must have your name on a list to get in. Then come back when the sale opens to find the best items.
Depending on how long the sale lasts, you might or might not be able to buy items discounted. You might be able to get discounts a day or two after the opening.
Other great sources of sellables are flea markets and swap meets. Many flea markets are held on a regularly scheduled basis (weekly, monthly, biannually, or annually), so find out the schedules for those held in your area. Both flea markets and swap meets are generally advertised in newspapers, so check your local papers.
As with other types of sales, get there early; the best deals are usually gone within a few hours of the opening. If you find a regular seller at a flea market who often has goods you're interested in buying, get a business card or contact information from him. That way, you can get in touch without having to go to the flea market and can get his best items before he puts them up for public sale.
Bric-a-brac stores are places that are often just one step above a yard sale and are filled with a variety of used items for sale. Depending on the store and its location, a bric-a-brac store can be an excellent place to find items to sell at online auctions.
Look for bric-a-brac stores in inexpensive neighborhoods because stores in more costly neighborhoods won't sell things inexpensively.