eBay is the place everyone goes to find something cheap, right? Or not? Is there any demand for more expensive, luxury products on eBay’s marketplace?
Those are all good questions and I will try to answer them in today’s Reader’s Question post!
Here’s the email I received from Vicky:
Hope my email reaches you and doesn’t cause much trouble.
I have been following your blog for many months now and appreciate the free advice you give to us, so thank you for that. I have a dilemma on a product range I want to sell and hope you can give me some advice.
My husband is originally from Italy and have great connections to luxury leather product manufacturers over there. These are very classy, expensive leather accessories I could source in small quantities and sell on eBay and Amazon.
But I’m not confident that they will sell? As they’re not the cheap type of products most sellers import from China and sell for very low prices. The products I can source are basically handmade from premium leather with starting prices of around £50 going up to hundreds of pounds for more complex products, like bags.
So do you think Andrew that I can make profit selling these items on eBay and later on via Amazon too?
Any advice would be highly appreciated as I don’t want to buy products I can’t sell.
Your email doesn’t cause any trouble at all! 🙂 Actually I’m very happy to receive emails with questions from my blog readers as I LOVE helping people out plus these emails and questions are perfect for my weekly Reader’s Question blog posts.
Going back to your question about selling luxury products on eBay – the quick and simple answer would be YES, of course!
eBay is NOT all about cheap, Chinese made products! People also go to eBay looking for relatively expensive, even luxury products and with the right items and great presentation, you can actually make more money selling these compared to cheap Chinese imports (more on that later).
But the first thing you need to do is simply verify that there’s actual demand for the product you want to sell. To do this, you’ll want to use Terapeak – which is the best eBay research tool out there! With the help of Terapeak you can quickly see the level of demand and competition for any product you want to research, including luxury products.
I have done various posts about how to do Terapeak research in the past and you can find them all on this page.
So you’ll be doing normal Terapeak research with a twist – in the filter section you’ll set the PRICE range for the product you’re researching as price is of course the easiest way to separate luxury products from “normal/cheap” ones.
Let’s take leather wallets for example as I’m assuming that’s also a product you’d want to sell.
In Terapeak, we’ll search for: mens leather wallet
- Apply a filter for new products and fixed price listings only.
- Set the data period for the last 30 days, on eBay UK.
- And narrow down the category to: Clothes, Shoes & Accessories > Men’s Accessories > Wallets
This is a very targeted search and should give us a very accurate picture on what’s going on in that market.
Here are the numbers I got from Terapeak:
- Total Sales – £63 835
- Number of sellers – 945
- Items sold – 10 230
So a very active market with almost 1000 sellers and £63k in sales in total, in the last month.
But this research obviously includes ALL types and prices of men’s leather wallets. As you want to sell premium quality leather wallets, you need to use the PRICING filter to get more accurate data. I don’t know the prices you can offer but let’s assume that you’re interested in wallets that cost between £50 and £100:
Just set this price region in the Filters section and click APPLY.
Straight away the numbers change dramatically and now we see:
- Total sales – £2650
- Number of sellers – 21
- Average price – £71.64
- Items sold – 37
As you can see, there are sellers who sell expensive wallets and even though this particular item is not selling that well with only 37 sales, there is some demand there.
Many luxury products are actually sold via auction too, so the listings get featured higher in search so in this case I would actually make 2 changes:
- remove the fixed price filter
- remove the maximum price
With these changes, the numbers are higher:
- Total sales – £11 096
- Number of sellers – 67
- Items sold – 125
- Average price – £88.78
So we can safely say that the luxury men’s wallet market on eBay UK is worth about £10k per month with roughly 4 sales made each day at an average price of around £90.
This is invaluable data when you do market research and try to find out whether your product can be sold on eBay or not. The next step is obviously to do a manual search on eBay, using the same price filter to see what kind of wallets sell best, whether there’s brand domination (people mostly buy well-known brands in this niche) and so on!
The good thing about selling luxury products is that you can usually buy them in relatively small quantities (often just 1 unit of each item to make up a minimum order value) so the risk is small, compared to importing a full pallet worth of goods from China.
Do not expect to get lots of sales for one item though as demand won’t be that high! You want to have a large variety of goods in your store so that even a few sales per month for each makes up 50 or 100+ sales for your overall store.
When you sell luxury products, especially UNIQUE products no one else is selling, make sure to have GOOD profit margins! You may make just one or two sales for each item you have in stock per month so you want good margins to make it all worthwhile.
It’s not unusual to have a 50-100% mark-up on such luxury products which means that you make a very decent profit from each sale you deliver and even with 100 sales a month you can actually make a full time income.
But I hope I’m not making it all sound too easy – if it was that simple, everyone would be doing it! The key to success with selling luxury products on eBay is to:
- Source the right products,
- Present them in a luxury way so that the perceived value matches or EXCEEDS the price!
By sourcing the right products I mean you have to have good taste, especially if it’s a fashion or say art category. You need to know those products and industry inside out so you can offer exactly what people want. This will be super important with products that are “design” items – like clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor and similar products.
And of course presentation – if you sell a £100 leather wallet – make it LOOK LIKE ONE! Have a professional template, perfect product images (lots of them at different angles, ESPECIALLY important is to have good close-up macro photos that show the product in detail) so that people really see – yes, this is a premium product!
If you follow these two rules you can make good profit selling luxury products on eBay and Amazon too! Amazon is actually an even better place to sell such expensive items as from what I have seen, people trust Amazon more when buying such expensive items, especially if FBA is used as then they know that they will get fast, hassle free shipping AND returns if something is not right with the item.
So I fully recommend listing the same products on Amazon too for increased exposure! Just make sure you use some kind of inventory control system that can track both Amazon and eBay orders, like linnworks.com, so that you don’t oversell between the two channels.
If that’s not possible, you will have to carefully monitor your stock and manually reduce stock levels to 0 on eBay or Amazon or both when you sell out. Remember, cancelling a sale due to an out of stock situation on eBay will instantly result in a defect against your account. So make sure you keep accurate stock levels if selling on both eBay & Amazon at the same time.
Ok, that’s it for today! As always, I would love to hear you thoughts/feedback/questions on the topic so feel free to leave your comments below the post.
If you want your question to be featured in an up-coming Reader’s Questions posts, contact me via my Helpdesk here and I will get back to you within 24 hours, Monday – Friday.
Have a great weekend everyone!