Can you help me brainstorm ideas for small items to import for resale?
May 7, 2010 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me brainstorm ideas for small items to import for resale?

Can you help me brainstorm ideas for small items to import for resale? I'm thinking about items that would be easy to resell on, Ebay, or at flea markets.

I'm hoping to get ideals on not only the genre of items to resell, but the subtype of items that might be hard to find in the US and desirable and why. (E.g. "football team branded notebooks" or "scented oils from Bulgaria")

My definition of "small" is something that is easy to ship and weights 5 lbs. or less. Preferably even smaller.
posted by mintchip to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Off-brand Perfumes from Egypt. They have the same ingredients (which come from Egypt) as the "real" ones, but are considerably cheaper. Although the "hard to find" part depends where you are. Import perfume shops are on every third block in midtown NYC, but if you're not in a metropolitan area then you could have a chance by underpricing Macy's or whatnot.
posted by griphus at 7:59 AM on May 7, 2010

There's a huge market for imported Japanese video games and otaku paraphernalia. may give you some good ideas. Be sure to look under the "Toys" tab; there are plenty of anime character collectibles that might work well for you.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:01 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Argan oil
posted by Houstonian at 8:04 AM on May 7, 2010

Art books from Japan. You can buy them by the truck-load in good condition from used bookstores like Book-Off and flip them for 1000% over what you paid.

I also had a friend finance a very nice lifestyle buying Doujinshi from Mandarake and selling them on Ebay.
posted by Alison at 8:06 AM on May 7, 2010

Oh and w/r/t flea markets, it would help us to know where you are/what sort of area it is (major urban/urban/suburban/rural.)
posted by griphus at 8:12 AM on May 7, 2010

Response by poster: I'm in an urban area in the northeast. I prefer not to go the flea market route. I would also be interested in selling to retailers rather than to the public, but would consider either approach.
posted by mintchip at 8:21 AM on May 7, 2010

Ethnic textiles like Kenyan kikoys.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:23 AM on May 7, 2010

Kopiko (Malaysian/Indonesian coffee candy) went over really well with my American and European friends.
posted by divabat at 7:27 PM on May 7, 2010


Children's knick-knacks with licensed characters less common in N America? Miffy, Barbapapa, Pocoyo &c.

posted by kmennie at 6:12 AM on May 8, 2010

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