There are billions of dollars out there across the American market in obsolete merchandise, possibly more than $100 billion. It’s not that these goods aren’t usable, as many still have a lot of life left to them. This is a fact that represents a great opportunity for anyone selling online. Even though these items can’t be considered the latest and greatest models on the market, that’s not to say there isn’t a market for them, and it’s one that has serious profit potential.
B2B auction websites give e-business owners unique access to the excess and overstock inventory of bigger retailers. Those selling online always need new product sources. B2B auction sites let them have price points below wholesale so they can stay competitive in the marketplace.
Market research is essential in order to effectively use any auction site. First of all, an online seller needs to gauge the potential prices at which goods can be resold. Costs have to be factored in as they relate to buyer premiums, shipping costs, repackaging, and potentially refurbishing the inventory. Online sellers need to figure out the profit margin that they need to make. From there, they can work backwards to determine the maximum amount of money they can bid on an auction lot.
Product research is only the first step though, as the actual auction websites for secondary market items need to be scrutinized as well before they’re sourced from. That means asking the right questions.
First of all, are they reputable? Anything you want or expect from a conventional business relationship also needs to apply to a website offering secondary market merchandise. Look for someone that has a highly demonstrated relationship with the product sources that they have. You should be able to identify a physical location for their supporting operations, or at least a phone number where you can reach their customer service directly.
Second, is their shipping efficient? You need to get shipping quotes in advance of an auction. You’ll need to know the total cost of potential goods prior to placing any bids. Some sites might actually ship their products from a variety of geographic locations, and that can help reduce possible freight costs.
Third, do they have secure transaction and settlement support services? They should be able to handle a variety of forms of payment. They shouldn’t actually release your payments to sellers until you’ve physically received your goods and had a chance to examine them.
Fourth, do they allow proxy bidding? Some of these sites have systems in place which let you set a maximum bid. The system will automatically bid for you as high as that amount but not more than that. Proxy bidding helps you in two ways. First, you can save time. Second, you can remain disciplined.
Finally, do they let you get great product research? You need to know where the products are coming from, their condition categories, total quantities, how many SKUs there are, and more.
The online marketplace for B2B sales is a great place to find secondary market merchandise you can use in sourcing inventory. Just be sure you do your homework and make informed buying decisions.