How To Start a Business Selling on eBay
Selling on eBay is gives you an opportunity to start a home based business. Many people have already started a home based business selling on eBay and many more will do the same. Virtually anyone can do it.
This guide will walk you through the basics of starting a home based business selling on eBay.
What you need to Start a Home Based Business Selling on eBay
You will need a computer, an internet connection, an eBay account which you can get free at the eBay website. You also need to be familiar with how to list items that are sold, and you will have to be able get the products sold to the person(s) who buys from you.
Getting Started Selling on eBay
Before selling on eBay as a business, you will have to familiarize yourself with the eBay format if you have not already done so. Simply go to eBay.com browse through the categories that you feel you will be selling in. It is also a good idea to register (for free at eBay.com) and buy a few items yourself to get a feel for the process.
A few of the questions you will want to answer are what are you going to going to sell, where you will get products from and at what cost, and who are your buyers going to be?
If you are serious about making serious about starting a profitable home based business selling on eBay, you are going to have to develop a marketing strategy.
The first important decision that you will have make is What to Sell."
What to Sell
What can you sell on eBay? Pretty much anything. When you first start selling on eBay, the items sold will most likely be things that are "lying around the house unwanted."
It is almost always better to focus your time and energy on selling a few items or related items.
Where to find Products for Sale?
A major part of the success of your home based business will being able to reliably find products that you will be able to sell for a profit.
Personal items - Selling personal that you do not want is a great place to start.
Garage and yard sales - You can spend some of your time shopping at garage and yard sales looking for items that you may be able to sell for a profit.
Estate sales - If you have a way of moving a lot of items that are being sold at estate sales, you can make a good profit by practically buying whole estates. However, if a professional is handling the estate sale, you may not be able to buy the items at a low enough cost to benefit you.
Established retailers - You may be able to buy overstock, discontinued, damaged, seasonal products that were not sold from retail stores at a discount.
Buying from wholesalers - If you are careful in who you choose to buy from, what to buy, and all of the costs associated with buying wholesale, this can be a good way to have a steady stream of products to sell. The most important decision may be who you choose as your wholesaler.
Finding a Niche Market
Once you have an idea of what you want will be selling on eBay, you need to focus your efforts more and find one or more niche markets. If you sell books for example, you can consider selling mainly college textbooks. This will allow you to better know the items that you will selling and more importantly your target customers and the categories which they buy from on eBay.
Choosing Categories to list your Products in
Browse the eBay categories that are most relevant to the product(s) that you are selling and list them in the categories that have the most visitors and buyers also the ones the ones that are the most specific to what you are selling. In most cases, you should list your items in no less than 5 categories.
Keeping Track of you Auctions
You will need to be able track an auction from beginning to end. When you begin to have a large number of products listed for sell, you will need to develop a system to keep track of all of them. If you list only a few items at a time, you may be able to keep track of them with a spreadsheet or on a piece of paper. If you will be listing numerous items at once, you want to use software.
If you will not be using software to keep track of the listings, be sure write down the item number, URL, listing price, listing date and time, and the category(s).
When an auction ends, write down the time it ended, the selling price if any, and the buyer's contact information. Index the auctions by auction number for future reference. This system works if you have only a few items listed at a time. It is very important to keep track of all of your auctions, especially for tax purposes.
One aspect you will want to become very familiar with will be posting quality pictures. If you will be selling any physical product, this is essential. All that you need to post a picture is a digital camera and a way to upload the image(s) to your computer.
Develop a Strategy for Selling on eBay
Again, I have to stress that when starting an eBay business, treat it like a business if you are serious about making real money selling on eBay. Develop a strategy before you begin to invest any significant amount of time, energy and money into your eBay business. Ask yourself questions such as: What will I be selling? Who will I be selling to? Where will I get the products? Will I be selling a high volume of products at a low profit margin or a low number of items for a higher profit per sale?
Many people have already started and are operating a successful home based business selling on eBay. If owning and operating a home based business is what you want, selling on eBay is one more idea and opportunity to do so.
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About the Author: Jose Valdez is the owner/webmaster of www.aguidetostartingabusiness.com and www.allhomebasedbusinessideas.com