What is the best selling item on eBay you ask?
I’m not going to play you out with lame ideas for eBay businesses that don’t work, or tell you to go out and research everything yourself. Nope, not here! All you need to know right now is that sunglasses are an easy money machine selling in eBay. Even with summer ending soon, sunglasses remain popular year round. I know you’ve probably seen a lot of articles like these throughout the years, but this isn’t your typical fake out. I’m going to tell you everything that I’ve done (recently) this past summer to buy a car, get my own place, and conquer eBay.
When people ask me “what is the best thing to sell on eBay”, I usually don’t tell them. I’ve decided to spill the beans on here now because I have moved on from eBay, and have started my own company. Why waste good advice when I can offer you (the people) great eBay tips for selling and the ability to make money?
So here’s what you do. Create an eBay account. If you don’t have one already it’s easy so I won’t explain it here. Now while creating your eBay account think of a business name you want to go by. Something catchy like shademebaby or whatever. It’s not a big deal if you don’t like it, because eBay lets you change your name after a month anyway. Also, most customers on eBay don’t care about your name and won’t repeat shop with you anyway.
Now I’m going to give you an eBayer ID I want you to look at, and copy as much as possible. They sell the most sunglasses on eBay, and are good at it. They sell like 10,000 pairs of sunglasses on eBay a month. The name is “SHARPKO”. Search for it on eBay and check out how he sells sunglasses, and see what his listings look like. This is going to come into play later when I tell you how to create your listings effectively.
Some other notes about your eBay account you should take into consideration is the following: setup your paypal account and link it to eBay. You’re going to need to create an eBay store at some point so look into that. It costs 16.00 a month.Don’t buy it yet though. If you’re not familiar with your eBay account you should be by now.
The next obvious step we have to take is to look for inventory to sell. Well, instead of sending you off and wishing you good luck on your search I’m going to provide a link to the best sunglasses wholesaler out there right now. Olympic Eyewear has the best quality sunglasses out of any other wholesaler website out there. Trust me, I went through this process already so I know first hand. If you want to search for your own wholesaler feel free. Simply type in wholesale sunglasses on Google and you’ll find plenty. Be warned though, other quality of sunglasses out there suck balls.
So now that you’re at Olympic eyewear’s website we need to focus on 3 brands. The DG sunglasses, XLoop sunglasses, and Aviators. These are the three most popular brands of sunglasses on eBay. Don’t bother with most of the other brands unless you see something you really like. Now depending on how much money you have, will depend on how much stock you buy. The average cost is around $30 a dozen per box. But, wait! Guess what? You can sell your sunglasses without buying them first. Here’s how…
Pick a group of 5-10 sunglass styles you like. Now right-click and save the images for the sunglasses. Now when you go and create listings on eBay, just use the stock images the website provides and “act” like you already have the sunglasses. Now, when you start selling them you can use the money other people pay you and use that to buy your inventory. Since Olympic Eyewear accepts paypal it makes it even easier. Words of caution though… you are not going to sell all 12 pairs of a certain style before you have to purchase them. So you’re going to have to pay some of it. Also, look at Olympic eyewears shipping times and see how long it’s going to take to arrive to your house. You don’t want to keep your eBay customers waiting or they will leave you negative feedback and ruin your eBay account. It took like 4 or 5 business days to reach me. As soon as they came to my house I shipped them out and it was never a problem.
Of course that is the risky way to do business. The proper way would be to pick 5-10 styles and purchase them upfront. Don’t worry you will sell them eventually. A word of advice is not to go overboard on the styles you choose. Stick with 5 to 10 styles of the brands I mentioned above. If you discover a certain style sells a lot, I recommend buying multiple dozens. The only flaw olympiceyewear.com has is that their sunglasses sell FAST. They run out of stock quickly, so if you find a good seller buy as much as you can afford. It sucks when you sell out of a style and go to purchase more and they have run out… trust me I’ve been there multiple times.
Oh, one more note. Try to purchase in bulk. If you only buy one or two dozen at a time you’re going to get killed with the shipping costs. The best way to do it is find what sunglasses sell first, and then spend over $500 on an order at a time. I frequently spent over 1k on sunglasses. The positives to this are that you don’t have to worry about stock for awhile, and olympiceyewear offers discounts the more you buy. I think I saved like 10% on my order for spending over a thousand dollars, so that paid for the shipping costs right there.
Now that you have your sunglasses picked out and ready to sell, you have to find shipping supplies! Forgot about those didn’t ya? Don’t worry I have the hookup. Purchase your tape from Walmart. You’re going to need a lot of it so buy 3-4 rolls at a time. Also, I recommend buying “stuffing” for your boxes so that the sunglasses are more secure. It’s not necessary but I found that the customers liked it better this way.
It doesn’t matter what sunglasses you buy, they all fit into 6x3x3 shaped boxes. I scoured the internet for the cheapest box prices and formed a relationship with mobe packaging you can find here. I know there website looks a little bad, but the prices are great and shipping is SUPER fast. I received my boxes within 2 days every time! Here is the exact page to get the boxes. I always bought white corrugated boxes because I thought they looked better, but you can get brown if you prefer. They are pretty much the same price. So for 50 boxes it costs 9.75, and the shipping is also a great deal. Make sure you select the FedEx option for shipping. I would recommend buying at least 100 boxes to start.
Okay, now that you have the shipping supplies and sunglasses it’s time to start listing them on eBay. I hope you know HTML/CSS because it makes it a lot easier to create listings on eBay that look good. If you don’t, no worries. I’ll post the outline that I used to list my sunglasses. I’m not expert in this area, so feel free to design your own outline. Think of eBay listings as a one-page advertisement for your product. Did you look at SHARPKO eBay profile yet and his listings? You want your listings to look like his.
Anything that looks like the above example is what we are aiming for. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same. For more ideas look at other eBay’ers selling sunglasses and what their listings look like. Make sure though that you come up with an outline you like, and use it for all of your listings! You want all your listings to be identical except for the sunglass images. It makes it a lot easier for you and your potential customers to identify you and organize your listings. When you have over 1000 listings up at a time, you want to make it as easy as possible for you to make changes.
Designing an outline is going to take a day or two. It’s probably one of the biggest details you have to pay attention to. It’s not as easy as slapping up an image with a simple description anymore. If you need help designing an outline there are a few programs and websites out there to help you. Simply type in eBay outlines or designs on Google, or search eBays forums for help and advice. If you know someone who can design a sweet outline for you, then you’ll have a huge advantage over the competition.
Okay, so now that you have your stock, shipping supplies, and listing outlines ready to go, it’s time to post them for the world to buy. The single, most important aspect of selling on eBay is your posting strategy. Here are some questions you need to take into consideration before posting anything. How much are you selling for? How many listings are you going to have? Are you going to sell auction or fixed price format? What days and times should you post your listings? How many days should your listings run for? How much should you charge for shipping and handling? etc.etc.
I can’t answer all of these for you, but I’ll focus on the more important ones in this article. Shipping costs. I know exactly how much it costs to ship sunglasses, and lucky for you, I’m nice enough to share it with the world. Sunglasses (including the box) weigh around 4 ounces. Sometimes you’ll have them weigh a little over that depending on if the sunglasses are heavy, but no worries. You are going to ship via the USPS (regular post office). Each box going out anywhere in the USA is going to cost you a little less then $2.00. Packages leaving the US are around $4 depending on exactly where. All you need to know is how much the box weighs because you’re going to be printing all your shipping labels from home.
Before all of this though, you need to decide how much to charge customers for shipping. I recommend charging more then the actual cost. People don’t know how much it costs for you to ship so take advantage. I was charging 2.99 per package, and 4.99 for international. I made an extra dollar every time. Some people charge more, some people charge less. Play around with whatever works for you. You also have to take into consideration the price you charge for the product vs the price for shipping. If your selling sunglasses for 6.99, you can get away with charging more for shipping. If you sell for 9.99 a pair, you probably want to charge only 1.99 shipping. It’s all relative. Find your sweet spot.
If you’re not familiar with printing your own shipping labels, it’s really easy. Make sure you have a printer. It can be any old printer, nothing special. If you’re shipping a lot of sunglasses though, you’re going to need to buy ink a lot. After someone makes a purchase from you on eBay, you go to it and find the link that says print shipping label. Fill out whatever information it asks for, and it will create a label for you that you print. Since you know the sunglass packages weigh 4oz, the label will automatically calculate the cost. After you print the label, cut it down to size, and tape it to your box. Now you can walk right into your post office, and drop the boxes off without waiting in line. It was funny walking in the post office when there was a long line, walking past everyone, and setting my boxes on the counter and walking away. Oh, and you pay for the shipping labels through your PayPal account so its really easy. They just deduct the cost right from there for you.
How much to sell for? This question is really up to you. Like I talked about with the shipping costs, you have to find what people are comfortable paying for. I will tell you that people prefer a lower overall price vs the higher one (obviously). I charged 7.99-8.99 per pair with 2.99 shipping and it worked great. You may want to charge 9.99 w/1.99 s&h or even higher then that. I will also tell you that the eBay average selling price is 10 bucks for a pair of the sunglasses you’re selling. So work with that and develop a winning price strategy.
Remember, selling sunglasses is about VOLUME! You’re going to be making around 4-5 dollars per profit per pair. The more you sell, the more money you make. Since they are so easy to sell, it shouldn’t be hard for you to grow into a power seller.
How many listings should you have? My advice is A LOT. As many as you can afford. The more listings you have up, the better chance you have of selling something and attracting attention to your store. It’s a numbers game, and if you want to compete you’re going to have to put up big numbers. It’s okay if you start small though. Focus on growing your inventory so that you have at least 200-300 listings up at one given time. I know a lot of sellers that have 1k+ listings going at once, and I know that SHARPKO usually has between 4-5k listings rotating around the clock. Think more listings = more exposure = more customers = more money!
How should I list my items? This is the big question you need to answer. Will you sell auction style or fixed priced? Well before you can answer that question you need to see how many items you have available to sell? You see the problem lies in how eBay lets you create listings. You can’t post duplicate items when you sell via the fixed price format. So every fixed price listing has to be a different color sunglasses. eBay will remove duplicates real fast. Auction style listings though let you create as many duplicate listings you want. So it would make more sense to sell auction style then right?
Well, yes and no. Auction style lets you reach the front page, sell duplicates, and more. However, auction style costs more overall. Its 25c to post an auction style listing. If you purchase the basic store, and post a fixed price listing, it’s only 20c. However, the big difference is fixed price listings can be set to the “good till’ cancelled” duration. Auction listings can only be set to 7 days max. Huge difference here.
If I have 200 pairs of sunglasses and decide to list them at fixed price it’s only going to cost me $40 a month, plus the selling fee. If i take those same 200 sunglasses and list them auction style its going to cost $50+selling fee, and only last 7 days until I have to repay another $50 to list them again. The fees will begin adding up really fast. Yes, you will sell more using the auction style because you’ll receive more exposure, but in the end, eBay fees will kill you.
The best method I found to work is this. List all of your sunglasses via the fixed price method and set the duration to “good til’ cancelled”. Also list the quantity to more then 1 (even if you only have 1 of them, you can buy more). This way, your listings never end and you won’t be paying crazy fees. You can test the auction style waters if you’d like, but be warned, the fees do add up fast.
What times/days should I create listings? It really doesn’t matter what day you have your listings end for. You would think that the weekends would be a good time right? Well, after months of thinking that, I came to find that I sold more on Mondays or Tuesdays then the weekends usually. With that said, Saturday still seems like the best day to have your listings end. There are programs on eBay that can give you information on how many people are searching for your listings and things like that. You can use those to your advantage since most of them are free. One of the eBay apps I used was outright. It shows you how much money your making vs spending. It’s a great tool to see if what you’re doing is working or not.
Make sure when you create listings that you spread the time out a little. Don’t have all your listings end at the same time. I would use a timer (you can Google timer), and set the timer to 2-3 minutes at a time, and every time the timer goes off post one of the listings. If you’re going to use the fixed price format, it really doesn’t matter because they run for a month. Setting your listings by time is a strategy you should use when listing by auction format because it makes sure you have listings on the front page of eBay every time someone searches for the word sunglasses. This helps get your listings more exposure, which leads to more bids.
Well, that’s all I got for now. There’s a lot more I could probably go into, and I might in a future article, but my fingers hurt right now – Thanks for reading and I hope you can make as much money as I was selling sunglasses this past year! It’s really not that hard, trust me.