Book Review: eBay Millionare: Titanium PowerSeller Secrets

ebaymil.jpgLike I’ve mentioned, I’m a bit weary of personal finance/retirement books at the moment, and more in the business ideas mood. So when I came across this book I had to read it. Titled The eBay Millionare: Titanium PowerSeller Secrets for Building a Big Online Business, it profiles 25 of the biggest sellers on eBay. Titanium Powersellers are those than have more than $150,000 in gross sales each month (Example: GlacierBayDVD). Umm… I was a Silver Powerseller for about 3 months ($3k/mo)… As you can imagine, these guys are not just cleaning out their garages. They have 10,000 square foot warehouses, several employees, and multiple suppliers. But they virtually all started out with just one or two people and an idea.

What did I learn? Well, for one, the key to making real money is volume. And to do volume, you need to be efficient. All that time making a nice listing, take great photos, packing, driving to the post office, waiting in line, answering hoards of e-mails – it all needs to be organized well and automated with computers whenever possible. Some of the tools they talk about are pretty cool. They run data on what times are best to sell (evenings, and weekends), which products sell best when, where geographically their customers tend to be located. Most of their listing are pre-made, are automatically relisted when the don’t sell, they use barcodes for tracking items, and prepaid shipping labels are printed out the second you pay for your item. Lots of little things.

Also, most of the sellers profiled are overstock liquidators – they get used or surplus equipment that companies need to get rid of and sell them. And that is real secret of these Powersellers. Their suppliers. Who is giving them such cheap stuff to sell? Who are their drop-shippers? Of course, nobody is going to tell you that. I wouldn’t if I was them.

In summary, this book is a fun read of success stories, like the guys who got fired and their last task was to take a warehouse full of old A/V stuff to the junkyard. Instead, they sold it and now run a million-dollar surplus A/V store. But, if you are looking for a “how do I sell my antique bubble gum wrappers for the most money” kind of book, this ain’t it. Now to find me some suppliers!

Comments

  1. Go to warehouse/outlet sales of branded clothes/accessories. Ex, you can buy a LV bag for $100 and resell for $200+. Just 2 cents.

  2. Question – is gross sales before or after you subtract expenses?

  3. A – good tip, I guess you just need to know what sells for how much. And how to do you prove it’s not fake?

    Michael – Before. So it’s pretty easy to become a PowerSeller, you only need to sell $1,000 of stuff a month. You could only make $1 profit (or even lose money), but you’ll still be a PowerSeller. eBay doesn’t care, because they charge their fees off the final selling price.

  4. I love how everyone thinks making money on Ebay is “easy”.

    Starting a mail order business is a major pain in the butt. Just wait till you have 10 items to ship in one day and you’ll see that its WORK. Just like any job. Postage might not eat into your profits, but packaging and shipping tasks definitely will…

  5. I agree with Jonathan. Last year i had an arbitrage opportuanity on some IPOD’s. I bought 20 of them and resold them on ebay 1 week before Christmas. IT WAS THE BIGGEST PAIN IN THE ASS!!! Keeping everything in order and what got shipped where was a b##ch. The little profit i made was canceled out with the pain in the ass of shipping and time it cost me. All in all i lost moeny on the deal if i took into account my time to ship and package.

  6. There is money to be made on ebay if you can find the right niche…I made good money on ebay and eventually went from part-time extra money maker to a full time business, but it does take time and effort just as any business would.

    So why did I quit (actually I still do it once a week to bring in some extra money – and those 4 days keep me as a power seller)? Mainly because there is no value built in to the business (at least what I was selling) – the moment I quit, no income and no chance of selling it to another person.

    The same can’t be said of the websites which I’m working on to be my main business. If I take a day off, I still receive ad revenue. The sites have value and can be sold if I ever decide that. While I’m taking a big pay cut making this move, in the long run it should prove much more valuable.

    ebay offers opportunities, but it also has limits.

  7. You must share with us your PowerSeller secrets!

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