There are lots of tips I can give you- from the obvious (buy low, sell high) to the obscure. And most of them are the same as they'd be for any business (with a little tweaking of product mix, etc).
One obvious tip I can give you- SELL SELL SELL. And in order to sell, you have to BUY BUY BUY as you need product.
Don't worry (wtihin reason) about the profit on any given item (obviously if you lose money on every item you sell...there's something wrong but if you buy right, you won't). I've been doing this for ten years, and have sold roughly 60,000 items on line.
I buy a lot differently than I did when I started out. But I had to learn that somewhere- and that was from buying and selling many items.
Too many people get caught up in a loss on a sale. Think of the first few years as being in school- if you buy something for twenty bucks and sell it for five, you've learned something. And what will fifteen dollars get you in terms of college? Exactly- nothing at all- so losing money on a deal is a very inexpensive lesson when all is said and done. And you never forget the things you lose on, trust me.
But if I had to give you one tip- it's simple. Treat it like a business and be professional. You don't have to make a killing on every deal. Build for the long-term.
I've bought things off people who have had a negative experience with others in the trade (there are those that want to maximize profits all the time, and that means offering incredibly low prices to take advantage of the sellers) and are pleased with the way I treat them (and what I pay.) And it has paid off as I have gotten calls from friends of theirs who trust me going in, which helps considerably. I'm in it for the long term, so burning a bridge does me no good at all.
Get your name out there. I'm known as the 'paper guy' because I buy books, magazines, comic books, postcards, brochures, photos, etc. And other dealers end up selling to me when they find paper as they don't deal in it, and they know I'm fair.
Not a bad thing to have on my tombstone.
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2012 Zjabs - 5/28/12