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Are You Playing Offense or Defense with Your eBay Business?

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Last Edited 04:24:49 PM by News Team



Did you catch David Shea’s cautionary tale about the pitfalls of one-of-kind selling?


The moral of his story goes something like this: flipping is great for hobby-selling. But when it comes to business growth, you’ll always be limited by the inventory you can find and how many hours you have in a day.


And, he’s right. If your goal is next-level growth, you’ll probably find that sourcing, photographing, and listing hundreds (even thousands) of one-of-a-kind items severely limits your growth potential.


It reminds me of the offense vs. defense concept in business. When you’re playing the offense as an eBay seller, you’re always working on ways to grow and not lose sight of the big picture. When you’re on the defense, you focus on what’s in front of you and what needs your immediate attention.


In other words, if you’re sourcing on the offense, you choose items that will help you grow and scale. When you’re sourcing from a defensive position, you’re going with what you can find.


It’s hard to grow when you’re heads-down in tactical mode, especially if that’s how you come by your inventory.


Granted, many of you are in this business for the thrill of the hunt and the element of surprise. You’re looking for that $4 Tumi laptop bag that you can flip for $175. That’s your payoff—and it’s addictive. I know, because that’s my personal example.


But, if you want next-level business growth, that’s another story.


If you want sustainable growth, go on the offense.




Going from selling one-of-kind treasures to multi-quantity items is a big leap. But not in the way you’d think. It’s more of a mindset shift.


You’ll need to trade in the quick-flip rush for a long-term high - it’s infinitely more rewarding in the long run. And, despite what you might think, it doesn’t take much to get started. Just follow these steps:


  1. Get your wholesale license (steps vary by state).
  2. Use the Sourcing guidance tool in Seller Hub, Terapeak, HammerTap or another historical data site to find items that both have growth potential and interest you, personally (it’s important to be excited about the items you sell).
  3. Buy your first lot from an easy wholesale source like Bulq, eBay Wholesale Deals (small lots), or com (larger auction lots).


Then, once you get the hang of multi-quantity selling, you can branch out and dig deeper, like eBay seller Dan Riley. But that’s not necessary in the beginning.


Go at your own pace.


Before you know it, you’ll be reaping the benefits. And, there are many. With a steady source of inventory that pretty much comes to you, you can work on streamlining the listing process, standardizing on packaging supplies, selling around retail moments, getting a better feel for your return on investment, forecasting future sales, and maybe even hiring help.


Suddenly your day-to-day eBay life will be less about tasks and a whole lot more about big-picture strategy. Can you see it?


Feel free to share this article via email and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

by r.c.p.b · Thrill-Seeker

That's my goal!  Listing one of a kinds is a lot of work!  I'm addicted to the Treasure Hunting and the sweet sound of the "Cha Ching" my phone makes!

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Verified Blogger

I totally get it, @r.c.p.b! Flipping treasures is exciting! It's just a hard business model to sustain. Smiley Happy

by 702bees · Adventurer

I'm with r.c.p.b....treasure hunting is what I enjoy! I did the business partner and wholesale thing...too much inventory and complicated!

by onye_chin · Adventurer

Nice piece. I have very little time to be taking picture/ listing different kind of products.  I got an idea of what to do from now on, I picked something from your post and my creative mind travelled to the banks. lol. I will inform you how it went.

by sglifeandhome · Adventurer | Updated

For me, I guess it's the "business" end of doing that this a little intimidating.  I definitely want to go bigger and buy wholesale . Right now, I shop "Clearance" tables at different places and have had HUGE success building inventory dirt cheap.  It's the large scale "paperwork" end of things that I'm unsure of, like sales taxes, payments to the state, and such.  This is where I need help to grow.

by jurneyphotographic · Adventurer | Updated

Well done article, thank you. Rich in information. I think it best I perfect my "hobby" first. But intriguing, very intriguing...