Selling toys on Amazon is one of my favorite things to do! Normally for me that means selling in the 4th quarter, in demand toys of right now. But there are many other ways we can profit off of toys, year round.
When I very first started selling online I was selling things purchased from Yard Sales and Thrift Stores. Often times that meant board games that I would pick up for a dollar or two and could resell for $20+.
I took that over to Amazon as well when I transitioned to becoming a full time Amazon seller. And the best part? People pay even more on Amazon than they were on eBay! WHAT?!? I know, it's crazy talk.
So today, I asked Jordan Malik if he would give us some tips on how you can profit off of selling new and/or used board games on both Amazon and eBay. So you are in for a treat 🙂
Enjoy the post below:
American consumers live in a “throwaway” economy. The good news is that YOU can profit from this!
By “throwaway”, I mean that American consumers have a tendency to buy a lot of ‘stuff', especially for their kids. They get bored with that ‘stuff', get rid of it, then they move on to ‘other stuff'.
More specifically: kids demand specific toys and games every year. Generally, they're played with a few times, put back in the box or toy box and left for dead. Remember those sad toys from Toy Story?
Then Mom or Dad unload those toys, often giving them up in exchange for nothing. You'll find them on: Craigslist, yard sales, thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, even eBay, and more. Often for just pennies on the dollar for what they were once going for in the stores.
This is where we Amazon and eBay sellers can win BIG. It's because we solve a huge inefficiency in the ‘used toy market'. Let me explain. Used toys tend to be out of production (OOP). OOP means they're no longer manufactured, and thus it's a lot harder for consumers to find them in stores. So they revert to going online. The original toy owners can hardly give them away. That's because the ‘local' market has inefficiencies so there rarely is a convenient match between the owner and the consumer.
When those same exact toys appear on a large commerce platform (Amazon/eBay), the demand meets supply. And voila - a toy worth ‘zero' (or just a few bucks) now fetches $15 to $150 (and more) online.
I've been selling those ‘abandoned' toys and games on Amazon (and eBay) for at least 7 years now. At huge profits.
And yes, you can - with a few small exceptions - sell ‘used' toys on Amazon. Amazon calls them ‘collectible', not ‘used'.
I LOVE sourcing used toys for several reasons:
1. Most competing sellers won't touch it (they refuse to get their hands dirty).
2. You can still find OOP toys ‘new in package' (meaning more lucrative margins)
3. Even if your toy isn't complete, there's a market for that too (e.g., selling pieces/components on eBay)
4. Out-of-pocket costs are super low (and the ‘inventory' is everywhere)
5. Using Facebook, Craigslist and other free sites, you can ‘scale' it (Place posts or wanted ads making those toys ‘come to you')
6. If you don't like the ‘labor' of inspecting and testing and cleaning toys, you can have a neighbor/friend/relative help you with the ‘grunt work.'
7. If you think “homeowners will figure this out and just sell them on Amazon themselves”, you're wrong. Most homeowners don't want to even touch selling any product online.
How can you get started sourcing used toys profitably?
1. Ask 5 of your friends (locally or on facebook) if they have any unwanted toys and games in their household. I guarantee you'll get boxes of toys and games that they're happy to get rid of. Then they'll probably ask their friends to do the same for you.
See what you've done with #1 above? Your friends are doing your sourcing for you!
2. See what toys or games you've sold online in the recent past focusing on ‘How can I find more of these? Or find toys and games on Amazon that are selling for an unusually high price in ‘Collectible' condition. Or do a Google search for “Hot toy list 2014” or “Hot toy list 2013”. The objective with the Google search is to find toys that were bought during Christmas a couple years ago. Chances are homeowners' kids have long lost interest, and are getting rid of them now. Make a list of those toys and print out the pictures if you find them online. Then go find more of them by:
a. Searching your local thrift stores (Free: https://www.thethriftshopper.com/)
b. Visiting your local garage sales (Free: Gsalr.com) and Estate sales (Free: EstateSales.net)
c. If you sell on Amazon, find the same toys on eBay (you can generally get a higher selling price on Amazon vs. eBay.) See this
d. If you sell on eBay, find the toys that are poorly represented with blurry pictures and/or missing descriptions, as these can be generally underpriced and bought for a fraction of their Amazon selling price.
e. Check Craigslist.org and OfferUp.com for toys for sale locally and also for ‘free for pickup' ads. When meeting someone you've found via an ad, be sure to do it in a public place during daylight hours. Bring a friend if you're uneasy.
Before you buy any toy, ensure you can make a profit! Amazon sellers should check the sales rank and selling prices. If you're mobile, use Amazon's free selling app. eBay sellers should check a toy's ‘completed listings' to see if and what it sold for. You can also use eBay's free selling app.
And if you sell on Amazon, ensure your toy is 100% complete. Most instructions, if they're missing, can be found online, so download and print them for the customer.
Those are my tips. If you belong in a seller support forum (like the one that comes with the Amazon boot Camp), ask other sellers how well they're doing with used toys and games. I think you'll hear some eye-opening ‘wins'. And if you need more help and ideas, check out my Resell Toys Guide here.
Thanks to Jordan Malik for providing this awesome post about ways to profit on both used and new toys & games. I've been getting the Resell Toys guide since 2014 and love seeing the new toy additions. The great things is that once you have seen the toy in the guide, you will start to recognize them when you are out at thrift stores and/or yard sales!
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