How to buy items in bulk for eBay

Written by cynthia clark
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How to buy items in bulk for eBay
Products on trolley (Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When you intend to sell a large number of items on eBay you are effectively creating your own resale business. When considering bulk purchases to buy for resale on eBay, you should organise yourself to access wholesale pricing. Once you have a few simple things in order, you will qualify for special values from wholesalers and manufacturers.


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    Establish yourself as a serious buyer by filing for a DBA or Doing Business As, a document from your state's Secretary of State or county courthouse. The DBA, a simple business license, lists the name of your business and the address you do business from, even if it's only your home address. Most states offer the ability to file for your DBA online.

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    Call your state's Comptroller of Public Accounts or similar office that governs state sales tax issues. You will want to file for a Reseller's Certificate; depending on your area, it may also be called a Seller's Permit, Tax or Resale Certificate. This document allows you to purchase items without paying sales tax at the time of purchase, as you intend to resale items and will collect applicable taxes at the time of sale. Most states allow you to obtain your certificate online or by phone.

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    Make digital copies, by scanning your DBA and Resale Certificate as most of the purchases you make will be online. You will need to fax or e-mail copies of these documents to the majority of wholesalers before you can see bulk inventory or pricing.

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    Obtain a credit or debit card to pay for your online purchases. Use your DBA to open a small business current account at your local bank and request the Visa or Mastercard branded debit card to access funds in your account. You can also obtain a rechargeable card from NetSpend for your online or over-the-phone purchases.

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    Shopping online to buy in bulk for eBay will be the best way to locate items. A number of sites operated by manufacturers and liquidators offer bulk sales. If you only want to offer specific categories of items, such as women's clothing, you will need to structure your searches for wholesale bulk women's clothing. Most companies realise that individuals may want to buy items in bulk for eBay, so be sure to include eBay in your search terms.

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    Locate bulk auction sites for great deals. A number of sites operate in an auction format, such as Always plan for your maximum bid to be limited to an amount that includes shipping costs. Never get caught up in the bidding. More merchandise will become available later that is just as desirable.

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    Locate a variety of merchandise liquidators who sell in bulk or by the truckload. Inventories vary so you will want to sign up for e-mail alerts of new inventory. A large number of companies such as Merchandize Liquidators, RhinoMart, 1Liquidators and the Groceries Exchange obtain much of their inventory from retail overstocks, shelf-pulls and liquidations.

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