Picture the scene: After making sure you have done loads of research you think you have found the perfect product. It sells well (in fact it’s red hot). There’s a healthy profit to be made, it’s easy to store, pack and post. This is the one. The product that you can source easily and cheaply and then sell to the whole world because right now everyone wants to own this amazing widget…

So, obviously you go ahead and place an order for a good quantity as you know that these are going to be so in demand it will be unreal.

Imagine the excitement as you anticipate the arrival of your goods. And whilst waiting you’ve even planned your listing description to perfection and everything is set and ready to go.

Then, your products arrive and you hit the ‘sell’ button – your listing starts immediately and you sit back and wait for the expected sales to start rolling in…

Except there’s a problem. Your products fail to sell in the quantities you have researched and are hotly anticipating and you are left with 500 widgets that you can’t sell.

Believe me, this is one of the most disheartening things that you might face as an eBay seller. I’ve been there myself (more than once!) as has any successful eBay seller at some point or other and it’s something that I really want you to avoid.

Fortunately, there is a very simple way to ensure that this never, ever happens to you and quite honestly, all it takes is a little bit of common sense – which it seems I was lacking when I first started my eBay business!

All you need to remember are two little words:

‘Start small’

No matter how much time and effort you put into researching how successfully a certain item will sell, you really can’t ever know the true results until you actually create your listings and start seeing the profits roll in.

Now, that’s certainly not to say you shouldn’t bother with any research. As I’ve said before, doing the proper research is extremely important and is absolutely key when you are selecting a product for your inventory. But it is also important to remember that there are other factors that you might not think about initially that can affect your success in any niche.

This could be any number of things such as:

  • A sudden surge of competition from other sellers
  • A freak change in the market, which reduces the popularity of your product
  • A reduction in costs from other bigger online retailers which you follow thereby reducing your own profit margins

All of these are factors that you might face at some point in your eBay selling career.

The important thing here is to use your common sense!

Just be sensible because this is where the importance of buying in small quantities to start with really comes into it’s own. Remember, ‘Start Small’.

I don’t deny that buying in bulk is certainly one of the cheapest ways to get your hands on some great goods, maximising your profits in the process. But buying a product in bulk that you haven’t researched or even tested could leave you out of pocket, not to mention out of storage space! That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that you start by buying a small amount of any product, before building up to a larger order (and hopefully bigger discounts).

Test it first!

So, once you have found a reliable supplier, you then need to test your product. This is really important and should never be overlooked, even if you think you’ve found the hottest product on earth!

Don’t worry about requesting small quantities or a sample from a wholesaler either. A good wholesale supplier will be more than happy to send you a test sample or allow you to place a small quantity order before you commit to a larger order. If they won’t, then perhaps they are not the right supplier to consider so move on and find another.

There are two things that buying a sample or test batch will allow you to do.

  1. You can check the products quality and/or functionality.
  2. You will be able to create listings and actually start to sell this smaller quantity as a test, initially to see just how much profit you can make per sale.

If it does become apparent early on that your products simply aren’t going to sell in the quantities you anticipated, you won’t have lost much if you’ve only ordered 10 for example. But also when you find yourself with an incredibly successful item you will then be in a position to confidently buy in bulk, knowing full well that sales and significant profits will follow.

Budgeting is Good!

Another advantage of buying a smaller quantity or sample of goods before committing yourself to a large bulk buy is that you will need far less capital to begin with. Knowing that your product is likely to sell without spending too much money at the outset makes it so much easier to make the decision to stretch your budget a little more for the successfully selling product.

But that’s not all! When your initial small quantity of goods sell well then you will find yourself with a tidy profit that you can then put towards buying more stock. The more you sell, the more money you will make to put towards more of those products.

Save on storage space!

You also need to remember that if you order a huge quantity of something then you must have somewhere to store it! A small amount of goods ordered just to test the water won’t take up too much room and will allow you to work out just how much space you will need for a larger quantity should you wish to order more. And remember that you don’t have to limit yourself to trying out just one product at a time. You can sample a few different products simultaneously to see exactly which ones sell the best.

So, to wrap it up, my advice to you this week is this: always buy small quantities at first

If you see a supplier with a minimum order quantity of 500 or 1000, don’t take this as read – contact them and negotiate a smaller quantity. Any genuine supplier will have no problem with you ordering a sample or reducing the initial quantity. After all this could mean more business for them in the future.

As a rule try and stick to 2 for a sample and between 10 and 20 of a product if you want to test them properly. Once you are successfully selling all your stock within the time-frame you expected, then you can think about ordering in much larger quantities and can also take advantage of lower wholesale prices.

Just remember that your profits may not be huge to start with but you can build on this gradually. This is your hard earned cash you are spending on products so be selective and you’ll stay on a profitable road!