While it isn’t great business to hold on to inventory forever just to wait for the right moment, some of your inventory that you haven’t been able to sell so far may get a big boost if you wait for just the right moment.

After the death of Steve Irwin, talking dolls of he and his wife were selling for hundreds of dollars each. I had a talking Steve Irwin action figure and went to get in on the action. By the time I found the figure and listed it, a week had passed and people stopped caring. When the week prior, people had been spending $75 to $150 for this exact same figure, I could not give mine away for $5. Timing, my friends, is everything.

I had a copy of Alistair Cooke’s America festering in my store for years as a Buy It Now at $1. I put it up for auction the day he died and it sold for $20.

Dawson’s Creek stuff was at a total standstill until Katie Holmes got together with Tom Cruise.

My mother had two sets of these amazing Lord of the Rings posters made back when the book was popular. I listed the first set just as the first movie came out and then sold for $100 to $300 a piece. She found the second set and we sold then just as the third movie came out but people must have been Lord of the Rings-ed out because they only went for $75 each.

I couldn’t give this Elroy pin away for $1 for 3 years, but the fire at Universal Studios not only made it sell, but made it sell for $10.50.

Now, I have a tendency to have terrible timing and I usually just miss the big craze so I still manage to sell my item, but not for quite as much. You really need to have your finger on the pulse of the news to work this to your advantage.

But you can use timing to your advantage in other ways. It is just a matter of finding the angle for your particular item.

Now, some people do this in a way that I find sleazy. I wanted to find an example on eBay of this but I couldn’t readily find one, I suspect because eBay is cracking down on this sort of thing. The seller is selling something totally random, a pattern for pants, for instance, and adds into the title “would look great on Britney Spears.” So now, their item shows in results for Britney Spears when it has nothing to do with her at all. This may seem like a dumb strategy but think about how many searches there were for her back then. The other trick is, that you take something in demand right now, like Wii Fit and make your title “Jump Robe better than Wii Fit”. I view these as sleazy, people. I don’t want your rubbish in my search results.