products to sell online - How EBay PowerSellers Source Products - A PowerSeller Shares His Secrets

by Chris Malta

If you want to know how to succeed at something, it's a good idea to talk to someone who already has. One of the most common questions new - and experienced - online sellers ask is, Once I've determined what I'm selling - where do I go to get the goods? Successful eBay PowerSeller Skip McGrath offers some helpful insights on how you can find product sources for your Internet business.

Sourcing with a Pro
According to McGrath, one of the best sources for products is local distributors because they're easy to find. Go to and you can search by type. Just enter the word "wholesale" and your zip code and you'll get a list of manufacturers and wholesalers within 100 miles of that zip code. And under the company name, you'll see the kind of products they carry.

For non-traditional wholesale suppliers, like return, liquidation, and overstock distributors, McGrath recommends several online sources:

    • helps you find surplus branded merchandise and collectibles

    • sells goods by the pallet load

    • offers closeout items at steep discounts
Research any company before you use them to make sure they are genuine wholesalers, and not retailers posing as wholesalers. States McGrath, "The rule in wholesaling is the closer you can get to the manufacturer of a product, the better your price is going to be." If you don't have time to do the research, check out the wholesaler directory at, or try the wholesale search engine at

Alternative Sources
Nearly every medium and large city in the U.S. has a merchandise mart or gift mart. They're like indoor malls where product manufacturers have their showrooms. You can see the products and pricing and place orders.

Once you've registered at a mart in person, some even have online sites where you can shop the market.

These marts aren't open to the public, and neither are the tradeshows that come to your area. So to get in, you'll need to prove you're a legitimate retailer. Most shows will require the following, and some have even stricter requirements:

    • A sales tax number or a resale certificate

    • A business card or letterhead that shows you're a company

    • A commercial checking account - they may want to see a check in your business' name
The good news is once you're registered with these marts, you'll likely get an invitation and tickets in the mail when tradeshows come to your area - which saves you the trouble of registering for them.

Close to Home
A rather surprising source of resale merchandise is eBay itself. McGrath confides, "On eBay and all of the other online auction sites out there, you can often find tremendous bargains." Sometimes other sellers don't recognize the value of their goods, or they don't photograph them well or write a good title or description. If you know your product market and take the time to present it well, you can turn over some amazing deals in your own backyard.