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Old 01-15-09, 10:34 PM   #1
C_Heath
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Your Very Own Ebay Store?

I like sellin stuff, heck its how I feed my kids and pay the Mortgage but I want to do something for fun. There is a guy on Ebay that I have on my favorites list. To my knowledge, hes just a plain'ol guy but he has regularly a ton of used parts on ebay. Mostly Mountain..Wheels, Cranks, Stems, all higher up stuff, no junk. For Example, Race X lite Disc wheels, XXX lite bars, Maybe from time to time, some Mavics.

So I drop him an email. "Whats up man? Just wanted to ask..........How are you keeping in so many parts to sell on and off?" I furthered explained to him that I just wanted to do it for fun and to keep myself a good stock of stuff but I was still stumped on where he got so much used stuff and how and where I could do the same.

He did return the email but he was not giving up any info.

Sucks. I got a little dabble money, Id love to have me a little Ebay store going on down stairs.

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I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
....

http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg
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Old 01-15-09, 11:11 PM   #2
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He could be buying them from a LBS, or buying used bikes at good deals and parting them out. Or, and I hope this isn't the case, stealing them and then selling. There was a guy at one of my local LBS'S that was stealing big time from the owner of the shop, ordering brand new parts, having them shipped to his home then would sell them online. The SOB got caught!! And went to jail for a bit.
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Old 01-16-09, 07:01 AM   #3
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Ask Santiago.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:19 AM   #4
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Who is Santiago?
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I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
....

http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg
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Old 01-16-09, 11:39 AM   #5
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A member who posts in the MTB forum and sells things on ebay.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:47 AM   #6
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Be ready to buy a dozen Third Eye Chain Watchers to get your answers, though.
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Old 01-16-09, 12:21 PM   #7
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LOL! Make that two dozen!

In all honesty here's a bit of background so that you understand why I do what I do and how I go about doing it.
- I am Canadian. I have to deal with different duties, taxes and regulations than 'mericans. In general, things are much simpler in the US.
- My professional background is in retail systems and processes. Ever since I was in college I've worked at the head offices of various retailers throughout North America so I understand the full process at a grand scale of purchasing, importing, receiving, shipping and retail accounting.
- I enjoy my Ebay hobby but I'm weird that way. I previously started an online venture with a buddy selling spark plugs (free plug to http://clubplug.net, pun intended). I have since left that venture to pursue other projects but it's still going strong.
- I took the 'complicated' approach to doing what I do simply because I enjoy it. What that means is that I have myself set up to write purchase orders, I have a customs broker, etc. even though the volume I generate doesn't truly justify those systems but this falls back to the whole 'I-enjoy-this-as-a-hobby-in-a-weird-way.'

So, some thoughts I'd like to share with you:
- Don't expect to make a lot of money. If you choose your products incorrectly you may actually lose money. What you hope to do is pick enough variety that the winners off-set the losers. My personal goal is to have enough winners that the profits pay for my bike gear.
- Ebay requires customer service and constant attention while you are selling. Your reputation is key and as you generate the right momentum, your customer base will grow as will public perception of you. What this means is that in the beginning you can sort of expect to sell at a lower margin.
- Avoid sitting on inventory. Your garage or basement is not a bank. Inventory sitting there is money that is not working for you.
- Try to pick a commodity product that is in demand and that has few vendors. This means doing research across all channels (LBSes, online vendors, Ebay, etc.) and see what the going price is. You may make money by picking up a niche product but what you want is a lot people bidding your item up, not 1 or 2.
- Don't even think you'll come close to getting MSRP or full retail on Ebay. Look at pricing history to determine what you will likely make and work your way backwards to an acceptable cost price.
- Find a good vendor. My vendors are overseas in Asia. I deal with agents that do contract manufacturing selling generic no-name products and have dealt with grey market vendors. I have never sold used stuff so I can't help you there.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-09, 12:34 PM   #8
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I'd love to have me a little Ebay store going on down stairs.

I think eBay frowns on selling your lovin' online.
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Old 01-16-09, 02:06 PM   #9
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Let me back up. Ive been a member on Ebay since 1999 and have 200+ feedbacks. I sell for a living and am pretty good. What I want to know is where this guy is getting all of this high end used gear?

Thanks Santiago.
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I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
....

http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg
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Old 01-16-09, 02:29 PM   #10
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I know a few shops around me that could benefit from selling on Ebay. Maybe he made a deal with a place that does that, or he advertises and acts as a consignment shop? I've thought about doing that but I don't have the time.
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Old 01-16-09, 06:20 PM   #11
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I've been selling stuff on Ebay for years....probably had my account since it's early days...always had a fascination with the idea of being able to offset a hobby cost or simply buy lunch tomorrow by selling off some would-be cast-off item laying around the house. Sometimes my wife jokes that nothing in the house should stay still for too long 'cause I may snap a picture & put it on Ebay. I've sold all sorts of things, never items bought to sell, but sometimes parts of items sold to offset cost. Mostly I sell car parts & recently I've sold some bicycle parts (and an ecclectic variety of a little bit of everything from old magazines, watches, tools, etc.. ). In the case of a good quality used part you can offer, I think it almost always boils down to the fact that most mechanical items (cars, like bikes) are worth less than the sum of their parts. So, you buy a bike for, perhaps $200, but you could conceivably have a $100 single item you could remove from the bike. Buy in large numbers and you have more. I'm sure that you could find arrangements with shop owners or run ads to increase your purchasing. In my case, it's always been hobby...in other words, as my own building projects progress, I find parts or pieces that would be of interest to some people, but I know *i* will never use (usually, good, functional, clean, 'vintage' stuff)...and it's sold off to fund the bits and pieces I need for the project of the day.

Another thing to keep in mind is for doing it to not drive you crazy, you need to have a good supply of packing materials, boxes, tape, etc. & a fairly simple way to ship. I usually drop off packages at USPS once a week and I have probably a room full of boxes of all sizes, use all appropriate household recyclables for packing material & always volunteer to take people's leftover styrofoam, peanuts, or bubblerap.

I did do the same thing semi-professionally for several years as a side business with a friend selling car parts online for Italian cars...so I learned a lot of the pitfalls there.

The feeback system + some of the random kooks you run into can be a drag...others can be a pleasure to deal with. For me, it's kind of a cool feeling to know that some of my old hobby cars have ended up literally spread out all over the world in pieces keeping others going.
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Old 01-16-09, 09:19 PM   #12
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just buy those motobecane bikes from bikesdirect and part 'em off.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:28 PM   #13
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Actually he responded and he says he buys high end bikes and parts them out on Ebay.
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I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
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http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg
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Old 01-17-09, 11:29 PM   #14
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Hasn't eBay's treatment and billing of sellers been a little rocky lately? With the economic situation now, I would expect to see more seller fees in the future. What you get from eBay is basically a storefront and a customer base, but I wonder how much it ends up costing the type of low-margin high-volume seller and if it's really worth it.

FYI I'm a buyer most of the time, rarely a seller. Too expensive the other way around
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Old 01-18-09, 08:22 AM   #15
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a store front and customer base are priceless in my oppinion.
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I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
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http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg
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Old 01-18-09, 09:51 AM   #16
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bonanzle.com
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Old 01-18-09, 10:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Hasn't eBay's treatment and billing of sellers been a little rocky lately? With the economic situation now, I would expect to see more seller fees in the future. What you get from eBay is basically a storefront and a customer base, but I wonder how much it ends up costing the type of low-margin high-volume seller and if it's really worth it.

FYI I'm a buyer most of the time, rarely a seller. Too expensive the other way around
The fees are part of the my pricing when I sell things. Paypal has fees too....yep, it's a lot more than in person cash, but my Ebaying is usually of fairly 'niche' items that I would never sell in person anyway.....but for me that works because I see it as fun way of recycling that offsets my hobby costs...and, so something is better than nothing + it's kinda cool to see the "one man's junk" philosophy in effect.
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Old 01-18-09, 10:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
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just buy those motobecane bikes from bikesdirect and part 'em off.
This actually makes a lot of sense.
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Old 01-18-09, 11:28 AM   #19
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i know a guy who owns a bike shop. he switches stuff around on new bikes he gets in. he does single speed conversions and sells alot of parts on line. he was telling me that he bought a couple rigid bikes, put suspension forks on them, then sold the rigid forks online and made a pretty nice profit.
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