Monthly Archives: March 2013

How to find the best selling items on eBay using Terapeak

By Tony Lam

best selling items

I have been busy stocking and re-arranging my inventory for the coming peak season in summer. Business is down this month when compared with the same month last year. I have to make extra effort to catch up with the business in order to meet my goal of 50% profit growth this year.

Lately, I have been working hard to find out the best selling items on eBay. I added a page “Gallery – Hot eBay items” showing all my findings. They are hot research items at Terapeak with more than 50% success rate ( i.e. success rate is the percentage of the listings in the categories that closed successfully with at least one item sold). You can bookmark the gallery for your reference. By constantly checking the hot items gallery, you won’t miss them when you are buying at trade shows, wholesales websites, thrift stores, yard sales, garage sales, or estate sales.

Here shows my steps how to pick the hot selling items using Terapeak. You may try it out yourself for 7 days free. Currently, I have put up more than 70 best-selling items on eBay focusing on vintage collectible. I will continue to add more.
Watch a Terapeak eBay Research Demo

1) Login your Terapeak account

2) Open “Hot Research” tab

3) Click on the Category Name that you are interested in

e.g. Pet Supplies > Dog Supplies > Flea & Tick Remedies


Terapeak Hot Research_1


4) You will see the trend of the Categories in 2 Years. The graph shows seasonal fluctuation in sales with lowest in Dec and highest in April.

5) Click on the “The best-selling titles in the categories you are searching “

Terapeak Hot Research_2


6) Select the item you want to review. For me, I select the highest sell through rate

Terapeak Hot Research_3

If the number of total listing is more than one for a single item title, it should be a hot BIN item that sells a lot in a single listing.

7) Click on the item title to list out all the items with the same item name

Terapeak Hot Research_4

8) Pick a hot item, look through their descriptions and learn from how they write the descriptions and set up price. I also cut and paste some of the descriptions under the gallery picture for you.

Terapeak Hot Research_5

Trade show buying secret revealed

By Tony Lam

Every year there are many trade shows being held at different cities in U.S. They provide opportunities for buyers to meet new suppliers, source new products, and socialize with current vendors.  You can get really good deals at expos if you are well prepared before you go. I’m going to reveal some buying secrets of how professional buyers get their super deals in the trade shows.


Do your research


If you haven’t been to any trade shows before, it is worthy to spend a trip to a trade show or expo. You can start with the big convention centers within your driving distance. Check out any expos or trade shows that you are interested to visit.  You may focus on the international expos for overseas suppliers who are eager to introduce their products to U.S.  For example, Las Vegas Convention Center is a great place for you to spend a few days, where different kinds of trade shows are held around the year, e.g. national hardware show and NAMM show.

Before trade show


Find out the list of suppliers in the expo you are going to visit. Review their products at their websites and contact them to ask if they have special promotion in the trade show.  Some suppliers will put products on sale only at the trade shows . The price is much better than the catalog or wholesale price. As I learned from the suppliers, they intentionally bring in a super deal to attract new customers as well as get some money to compensate for the rental cost of the booths. Check the price against the market price to see if the profit margin is enough for your business. Get the expo floor map and their booth numbers beforehand. Also, it is no harm to ask for a free guest pass.

You may also check if they are willing to sell the display samples at a discounted price after the trade show. For the suppliers that you are currently buying from, you may ask if they can bring your purchased items for you to pick up at the trade show, just to save freight charge.

 trade show secret revealed

First day of the trade show


Most of international trade shows last for more than one day.  Other than normal samples buying and get supplier’s information, walk around and search for potential booths that you can able to sell their products. Good candidates are the oversea suppliers who are the first time to join the trade show. Do a research on the market price and get ready to negotiate a bulk purchase.  You may initiate a talk with them to show your interest before the professional buyers do.


Last day of the trade show


If the trade show ends on afternoon, some international suppliers may leave early because of the flight schedule or they reserve some time to tour the city. It is a good time to negotiate with them to buy the whole booth of products at a very good price. Yes, I mean all the leftover items,  demo units, and booth displays. In the national hardware trade show, I witnessed a buyer who got a whole booth of power tools worthy of around $20,000 for $1000. These “professional” buyers hunted from booth to booth to get their deals. After the owner accept the deal, they wrapped around the booth with a warning tape and marked as “sold out”.

Actually, some oversea suppliers were happy with the purchase. When I talked to a Chinese supplier who just sold the booth, he was glad that someone had taken care of the leftover so that he could enjoy his extra time at casino. My previous company in Hong Kong too, in order to save the returned freight, sold all the Natuzzi  & Nicoletti displayed sofas at a low price to a U.S. buyer in a furniture show in LA.

Another great experience for me was a food and beverage expo in Les Vegas.  The trade show became crazy two hours before the end. A candy booth owner threw out bags of chips and candies to the crowds.  People were rushing to fetch them.  I could see many happy faces holding bags of free stuff lined up before the booth for giveaway items.  Some were anxiously waiting for booths to “open” to them to get free items. People are rushing to get as much as they can at the last minute. A man claimed to be from a non-profit organization requested the booth owner for donation of displayed items… ….


Are you ready?


Stay to the end of a trade show and observe what the visitors, booth owners, and professional buyers are doing.  I am sure it will be an interesting experience to you. For me, I always remind myself to stay calm and not to be too greedy.  Are you ready to go?  Plan your trip and drive your truck to bring as many as you can.  If you don’t want to drive, you may check out uship. Uship offers better shipping rate for large items than FedEx and UPS.  A lot of auction sites are using uship to ship furniture items or even vehicles.

A New Start

By Tony Lam

As mentioned in my last post, I was thinking whether to continue my blog or not. When I started this blog, I just want to share my experience in selling on eBay and hope to help others to earn some money while staying home. It was until lately that some bloggers talked about the consequence of sharing trade secret to the competitors. I was hesitated to write more about my trade secret and I started to pray. Thanks God who answered my prayer. I am enlightened to move forward to a new start.

I am aware that I am not the owner of my possessions but a housekeeper for my Lord. I hope my experience is a blessing to others. Starting from this month, I will use this blog as a new start to further my expedition on new business ideas. They may be new categories on eBay, new sourcing methods, or other marketplaces such as Etsy or Poshmark. To make it a win win situation for you and me, I will add affiliate links in my posts. You can still get the latest trend of home business opportunities, and new product ideas for re-sell, at no additional cost to you. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase via the links. If you want to get advance training or freebies from me, please join my free monthly newsletter group.

new start

A new start eBay journey from zero to 110 feedback

If you are new to eBay or don’t know how to keep up to speed with selling on eBay, I’m going to show an example of my eBay journey starting from scratch. My goal is to get 500 positive feedback within a year. I intentionally keep a thin or zero profit margin just to get the ball rolling. As long as I receive orders every day, my zest will not die down and I can practice the skills of packaging, handling customer inquiries until I become familiar with the process. In this way, I can handle them easily with minimum effort, like driving and swimming.

I started an eBay account “tonysellertools” on 9/10/12 with a selling quota of 10 items per month. After selling for a month, my positive feedback is 10 and the selling performance is :

Total items listed on past 31 days

Number of items sold : 13,

Number of active listing : 2

Total amount : $30.84.

I requested a higher selling limit on 10/21/12 by filling out some personal details. eBay allowed me to sell 100 items max. per month with a higher selling limit of $5000.


On 1/24/13, my positive feedback raise to 69. In January, 2013, 50 items were sold with amount of $453.58, and active items were 21 at a total value of $181.62. The seller dashboards figures are as below:

Item as described: 4.96,

Communication: 5,

Shipping time: 5,

Shipping and handling charges: 4.97

Open cases 0%

Then, I further requested a higher selling limit. eBay asked me about my product categories ,where to get the products and the name of the wholesaler. Then, they raised my limit to 220 items with selling limit of $6000 per month.

Up to 3/7/13, my positive feedback score was 110 with 6 active items.

In conclusion, my approach is to acquire experience in handling customer complaints with automated re-listing of auction items (making use of 50 free auction listing). After testing, I switched three best sellers from auction to BIN fix-price lists (@ $0.5 listing fee per month). I am selling low-price but high-quality items. I offer one-day delivery and quick reply to any customer inquiries. Such super-valued items with excellent service are unlikely to receive customer complaints. To reduce returns due to high expectations from buyers, you may start with cheap items at a selling price less than $10. As I mentioned in my newsletter, Daiso wholesale online store is a good source for high quality household items. My goal is to earn credibility as well as selling skills in the learning period from 0 to 500 positive feedback. I will further report my status later.

Shipping Large Items