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Finding Stock to Sell on eBay

Where do I get stock to sell on eBay? It's a question that we encounter all the time, and it may be one you've asked yourself. There are a lot of wholesale suppliers out there who want your business, but how do you go about finding them? Read on for more information on sourcing stock to sell on eBay.


Searching on Google is probably the first thing that springs to mind for those who are looking for wholesalers or suppliers. If you type in 'wholesalers' the list is endless, but to be honest not all of the results it brings are for genuine wholesalers. Try using different search keywords, such as 'suppliers' or 'importers' or 'cash and carry'. If you're specifically looking for a certain kind of product, then add this to your search query, for example 'candle importers' will give a much more targeted search if you want to find someone who imports candles for wholesale. Another neat trick is to search for 'trade log in', this will bring up some results for sites that deal with traders too.

Be warned though, that some suppliers don't want you to sell their products on eBay and may turn you down. Others want trade references, VAT registered businesses only or a very high minimum spend. Some will only supply you if you have a website or a real bricks and mortar shop. It's also very unlikely that you'll find a supplier by using Google that hasn't already been discovered by other eBayers. Many wholesalers or suppliers though, like a lot of us, are feeling the pinch and are more than happy to take your money.

Read the Packaging

Most products that come in packaging will have the supplier or manufacturer's details on the back. Some will even have their website address. So if you find a product in a shop and think you'd like to sell it, look up the manufacturer online or in the phone book and contact them directly asking for a trade account. Or if you're feeling really cheeky, you could buy it from someone who's selling it on eBay and try to get the details from the packaging. If you're going to do this, it's probably best to get yourself a separate Buying ID first.

The Old Fashioned Way

Not all wholesalers or suppliers advertise on the internet or have a website. Maybe they should, but for whatever reason, it's a fact that some don't. Why not get out the Yellow Pages, or your Thomson Local Directory, and have a look inside? There are categories for wholesale, cash and carry and other kinds of suppliers, and you might even find one right on your doorstep. Also when you're out and about, keep an eye open for potential new suppliers when you pass industrial estates or shopping centres. Once you've trained yourself to be alert, you might be surprised at how many times you've passed a supplier that is exactly what you need.

Chinavasion - Recommended Wholesaler & Dropshipper

Buy From Retailers

Bargain bins in high street shops can be an excellent source of products to resell on eBay. Many retailers sell things off at far less than cost price just to clear out room for new stock coming in. There are a few shop chains that specialise in bargain products that they've bought in huge job lots and then sell them on at drastically reduced prices. Also, it's sad but many retail stores are closing down because of the economic climate, so why not look out for shops that are closing down and grab some bargains? Most of them will sell for really low prices in the last few days before they shut down.

Buy Stock On eBay

eBay itself has its own Wholesale category, where you can often find stock to sell on. You could also try searching for Pallet Clearance items, as this is often how people sell off large lots of surplus stock. Sometimes you can find bargains for resale by searching for Job Lots. Of course you can narrow the search down by clicking on the categories you're interested in. If you have specialist knowledge of a certain field, you can also browse for auctions for items that are badly described, mis-spelled or listed as a Buy It Now for a low price. We also have a Wholesale Category in our eBay shop directory.

Don't forget, if you're buying to resell, it's best to get yourself a Buying ID. Be wary of people selling information on eBay about wholesalers, it's quite often information you can get for free if you look yourself.

Athena Wholesale
Athena Wholesale - Recommended eBay-Friendly Fabric & Craft Supplier
Please Mention eShopbooster When Opening an Account

Trade Fairs

Trade fairs are an excellent way to find and meet new suppliers face to face. There are lots of trade fairs throughout the year in the UK, with one of the most popular being Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham. (there is also a smaller Autumn Fair in September). The Spring Fair Website is also a rich resource for finding suppliers for a variety of items.

You can find a comprehensive list of other UK trade fairs and exhibitions here.

SimplyWholesale - find wholesale stock in the UK

Wholesale Directories

If you're still struggling to find decent suppliers or you don't have the time or patience to look, you could try a wholesale directory. Many of them offer free links to suppliers and some of them charge a membership fee to get access to more contacts. Used with caution, they can be a good resource for finding stock to resell online. Here's a few that we like.

Alibaba is the world's largest online business to business marketplace, and is well worth a look.

Wholesale Pages can give you access to over 650,000 wholesale listings for a small membership fee. There's a free preview to give you an idea of what you could get from them.

Click here to download our free eBook of wholesale suppliers

Simply Wholesale has over 1000 UK wholesalers listed, with their own in-house sourcing team who are constantly looking for new trade suppliers. They also have an auction directory containing details of over 250 UK offline auctions including those selling on behalf of the Government, Police and unclaimed lost property. Membership fee applies.

The Trader is an online magazine which has links to lots of good wholesalers and suppliers.

UK Local Wholesalers is a totally free directory of UK wholesalers.


Dropshipping is a popular way of selling both on eBay and your website. It's a low outlay option as you don't actually hold the stock yourself. Basically you have access to goods at special low prices, advertise them and when an item is sold you pass the details on to the dropshipper, who then posts the item out as if it came from you.

Wholesale Pages have a large dropshipping section and explain how it can work well with eBay.

Dropshops is a free directory of UK dropshipping resources.

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