When Robert Howard (eBay User ID: hurricainbob1), a PowerSeller in Jacksonville, North Carolina, decided it was time to ratchet up his business on eBay, Everythingforsale2006, he went straight to the market--the eBay Reseller Marketplace, that is.
"I wanted to sell tools, but I wasn't big enough to go right to the wholesalers," says Howard, 45, who already had a lucrative business on eBay selling items left behind at the ministorage business he owns. "[As] an eBay PowerSeller, I received a notice from eBay about the Reseller Marketplace, and I tried it as a source for tools. Now I ship about 200 to 300 packages a month, and about two-thirds of them are tools."
Since its launch in 2005, the Reseller Marketplace has become a viable B2B source of new and refurbished inventory open only to PowerSellers like Howard. Today there are hundreds of manufacturers, liquidators, wholesalers and retailers who have been approved as Reseller Marketplace sellers, as well as tens of thousands of PowerSellers who are registered buyers. The latter are small- and midsize-business owners interested in growing their existing businesses, expanding to new product categories or both, and they're finding that the Reseller Marketplace is a great place to buy large lots of product at discounted prices without the hassle of trying to persuade reluctant suppliers to sell to them.
"Finding reliable new sources of supply is an ongoing challenge for eBay PowerSellers," says Howard Rosenberg, eBay's director of private marketplaces. "On their own, these small businesses usually don't have enough spending power to interest a wholesaler, plus they often can't meet the minimum volume amount. What the Reseller Marketplace does is consolidate buying power among PowerSellers to interest suppliers with excess inventory, like manufacturers, liquidators and wholesalers, as well as eliminate the time-consuming process of forming relationships with individual suppliers."
And it doesn't matter what a PowerSeller wishes to purchase for resale on eBay or through another sales channel--chances are it will turn up in the Reseller Marketplace. From day to day, the Reseller Marketplace inventory is dynamic and eclectic--it's not uncommon to find inventory across many product categories.Because of this variety, the Reseller Marketplace has become an important new buying channel for PowerSellers like Billy Ng, the 31-year-old founder of Teczilla (eBay User ID: teczilla) in Germantown, Maryland, which sells small consumer electronic products on eBay and projects 2007 sales of $300,000. "The Reseller Marketplace has made a big impact on my business," Ng says. "I now buy about half my inventory there because there's a lot of stuff to choose from."