I first came online in 2002 to find my fortune and take on the world…I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had heard of an auction platform that could bring in untold riches if used correctly…
I had a question banging about my head that needed answering – can you make money selling on eBay?
A mate of mine had been using this new and exciting platform to get rid of some of his old Star Wars toys – he was making an absolute killing!
I had inherited a mountain of antique English ceramics and I was VERY keen to get rid of it – surely this eBay thingy could help me out?
Well it did!!!!
Things took off and things took off well – considering at the time I didn’t even know how to set up an email account! But when money’s involved in the equation you tend to learn faster than you normally would.
So, I thought it was about time we covered a few pointers on this popular online marketplace and that’s what this article is for. I’ll go over a handful of important factors that helped me build up a thriving online mini-business on eBay.
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Make Money Selling on eBay
First things first, you have to make sure you approach eBay with the correct mindset. If you go into this thinking that the platform is nothing more than a jumble sale you are going to fail miserably.
I see eBay as a place where two different types of sellers congeal…
- The seller that is after a quick buck by selling any old junk they found in their mother’s attic and
- The serious seller who is looking to make a decent income on the platform
It’s obvious which one you need to be if you are looking to succeed!
But we all have to start somewhere and what better way to learn the ropes than getting rid of some junk/clutter and seeing how things pan out?
This is a relatively simple process but it will show you how things work and it will highlight the potential of the platform:
- Start by gathering all the items you want to sell and then cleaning them
- Grab your camera and take a few shots of each one ( make sure they are well lit shots taken from various angles )
- List your items with descriptions that cover ALL the faults ( if any ) and include the best photographs of each one
- Set the price under the open auction option or the ‘Buy it Now’ option ( I always preferred the open auction but it’s up to you! )
- List the items and watch the general public fight over your treasures
- Once the items have sold eBay will take out a small commission from each listing – you will end up with the rest of the cash 🙂
- All that’s left to do is carefully package the items and send them to their new homes!
Once you’ve gone through the procedure a couple of times it will become like second nature to you – it’s not rocket science!
Make Money Selling Wholesale Products
Now this is where the BIG money comes into play – if you are serious about creating a successful eBay presence you should consider wholesale products.
As I mentioned, I built up a small empire selling antique ceramics. This involved me going to a lot of outdoor auctions etc to get hold of stock.
Wholesale products are a little different – they will involve you making contact with suppliers directly and buying in bulk.
It may seem a little daunting but I can assure you – there are a LOT of people making money through wholesale products on eBay and not all of them are that smart!
( if they can do it – SO CAN YOU!!!! )
The cool thing about wholesale products is that you can pick a niche that is popular and stick to it. This means that you don’t have to spend hours writing out different product reviews – you can use the same product template over and over again!
People who opt to go down the wholesale product route normally use the ‘Buy it Now’ pricing option. This allows you to have more of a ‘shop’ feel overall – set your prices at a suitable profit and set them loose on the world!
Of course, you have to find a suitable wholesaler to make this option work for you and that can be a little tricky at times.
I know of quite a few eBay sellers that have struck up relationships with online wholesalers so they are able to keep everything in the ‘digital domain’.
Top Tips For Selling on eBay
A marketplace can be an extremely fickle creature at times and it’s relatively easy to balls up a perspective sale without really trying.
Here are a few top tips for selling on eBay that I picked up during my four year stint as a seller…
#1 Answer ALL Questions
I know this can be a right pain in the behind but questions really can help your product page’s effectiveness ( they can also point out where you have gone wrong in your listing! ).
These questions can also give you the opportunity to link to other similar products you are selling giving the perspective buyer more choice in your wares.
#2 Be The Nice Guy
Yeah, I guess I learned this one the hard way! Always keep your patience with people who are interested in your items – no matter how idiotic they are at times!
More often than not you will be asked the same question 50 times even though its written in capital letters in your description. This can be enough to drive anyone over the edge ( believe me! ).
At the end of the day there is only one medium of contact between the seller and the buyer – online messages.
You need to keep this avenue open and you need to keep it a friendly environment. You must remain an intelligent, diplomatic individual no matter how stupid the buyer seems to be!
#3 Forget The Reserve Function
Again, this is another one I found out the hard way. When a buyer notices that an item they like has a reserve they immediately think they are paying a premium.
You see, people come on eBay to find a bargain, there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s the nature of the beast I’m afraid.
A reserve manages to kill this in seconds – people do not generally associate bargains with reserve prices ( it actually works the opposite way! ).
#4 Honesty is The Best Policy
Be open about defects so you don’t have returns which risk negative feedback. This type of feedback will loom over your future success like a dark cloud.
There’s no point dwelling on the flaws of the item – just list them and be totally honest about them.
When I first started out on eBay I was in a bit of a rush to get as many items up there as possible. I didn’t really ‘think out’ my titles and I lost visitors because of it.
When you are selling an item make sure you have the exact title for it – look it up if necessary. The title will act as a keyword in the eBay search bar so you need to be doubly sure you’ve got it right.
Can You Make Money Selling on eBay?
Just remember that there are no shortcuts online, if you want to earn money you are going to have to work – eBay is no different!
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