Looking to do some selling on eBay and Amazon, I pulled the trigger on a wholesale order. But now, I am kind of regretting it. There were a few pitfalls I clearly ran into, but I was rushed to get an order placed in order for it be delivered in time to capitalize on holiday shopping.
So far, everything has been terrible, though. Just getting 400 pounds of stuff delivered to my apartment wasn’t fun. To make things worse, the boxes were really beat up when they got here, and the retail boxes of the items inside also weren’t in the greatest condition.
Trying to get those all patched up to be able to re-ship them to Amazon took way more time than I wanted. I spent a couple of days and 3 rolls of tape trying to get the boxes in a usable condition. I also had to get a friend to come over with a van to take all of them to FedEx. I was left with 3 boxes, and I struggled to fit them in my car.
Running the numbers, most of these items won’t end up being that profitable. Amazon fees for selling plus the fulfillment fees eat up most, sometimes all, of the profit. Combined with the amount of work it took to re-tape the boxes, it doesn’t seem worth it.
Some items I couldn’t even list on Amazon due to brand restrictions. Others don’t have proper packaging, so they also can’t be sold. Luckily, most of those items can still be listed on eBay where they are selling better anyway.
Overall, I have a feeling that selling fees and shipping will eat away all the profit. Some of the Amazon fees come out to being greater than 50% of the selling price. I have very little chance of selling those items and making a profit.
Realistically, I probably could have done a better job researching the products and selling history before buying them to begin with. The other issue that I probably could have done a better job with is the size of items. Some of the products were 5 foot tall making Amazon fees high.
Others were smaller, but heavy. However, despite being heavy, they are cheap. That causes a shipping issue since the cost, even flat rate, is more than I would get for the item.
Right now, I am just hoping to sell out before the holiday season is over. I did do case-quantity shipments to Amazon, so anything that was left over and not a perfect case I kept for eBay. I am hoping I can get it all gone before I have to move.
Some of the numbers have been far worse than originally thought. First, I am running into damaged items that are not being listed on Amazon. That’s reducing inventory, but I still have the costs of the items plus shipping to, and even back, from Amazon. Second, just the shipping fees are killing me. A $12 item is over $11 in fees.
At this point, I will be removing the eBay lists that would be fulfilled by Amazon just to avoid eBay fees for selling and Amazon fees for shipping. If I don’t have the item to ship, it cannot be on eBay.
I was able to sell 1 thing on Craigslist. I sold it for the sale price I had on eBay, and while it wasn’t the highest price I could have gotten for it, I do get out of paying eBay, PayPal, and shipping fees. That should still make this one come out as the most profitable.
The interesting thing that happened was, while waiting to meet the Craigslist guy, I ended up selling the item on eBay…it was my last one.
Instead of canceling the Craigslist sale, I went ahead and sold it. Then, to make up for the eBay item, I contacted the distributor to buy another one, but asked to have it drop shipped. It was doable for an extra fee of $3.50.
It would have cost more to have it shipped to me and then for me to ship it back out. At the $3.50 price plus shipping, I still made over $30 profit on the sale.
Two other items that I bought were delivered to Amazon, but for some reason, not being checked in. I sold them on eBay, and couldn’t use Amazon to fulfill.
I had to get those items also dropped shipped, but they were small orders. The drop ship fee killed any chance of a profit.
When sourcing products, the key is definitely light and small, but expensive. If they aren’t light and small, shipping eats up most, or all, of the profit.
If they aren’t expensive, all the fees from selling, accepting the payment, fulfillment, and shipping burn through the amount received.