There is a lot of money to be made as a seller on eBay. Thousands and thousands of sales are made each day, resulting in a lot of income for a lot of sellers. And there is still room for you if you want to get involved – whether you want to earn some part time cash or set up a whole new full time business on the side.
But where do you get your stock from? How do you get started? And how can you build a business that gives you PowerSeller status? Relax – you’re about to find out.
It’s easy work to get started earning money on eBay. Once you’ve signed up for your free account the best way to get a feel for what selling is like is to auction off some of your personal items that you no longer want. If you are going to start buying stock to resell, you’ll do better by getting some basic selling experience first.
While we are on the subject of stock, you’ll need to decide what kind of business you are going to set up. Of course you can sell anything you like, but if you want to make a name for yourself it helps to become known for selling a specific type of product.
Now that doesn’t necessarily mean your product area needs to be a small one; on the contrary it could be quite large. You could sell toys for example – there’s plenty there to keep any seller going for months on end without selling the same thing twice. You do need to pick a popular product though, and it’s worth doing some research using eBay’s advanced search feature to find out what is selling and how much it’s selling for.
So let’s say you want to sell computer games, for example. There are hundreds of games you could buy to sell here, but if you don’t know which ones will sell you could lose a lot of money buying the wrong stock. By searching the ended listings you can see which titles consistently sell well, and which ones will produce the best profit for you.
Okay – so you know how to figure out what to buy. Now you need to know where to get it from. It stands to reason that no seller is going to tell you where they get their stock; that would be like giving away the keys to their business. In order to find the best sources for stock you need to do a bit of legwork.
We should mention here that there are two main sources for stock – wholesalers and dropshippers. Both have their pros and cons; it just depends on which method you personally prefer.
Dropshippers hold all the stock for you, so you only actually pay for an item once you’ve received payment from the customer. You may have to pay a fee to join the scheme in the first place though. If you choose to go with one or more wholesalers you will need to have the room to buy the stock, and the money to buy it in advance. This comes with more risk since you could buy stock that doesn’t sell, but with the tactic we’ve already covered for checking completed listings before you order anything, the risk here should be kept to a minimum.
So – back to where to find these sources. If you have a particular product in mind that you want to sell, the simple act of looking at the packaging can often reveal the name of the supplier. You can then check out their website to see what else they do.
Another method is to search for what you want on Google. This sounds deceptively simple and in fact many people don’t think of doing this. It can be a bit hit or miss, but it’s possible to find some excellent wholesalers through this method. Over time you will go from having one wholesaler to a handful of sources to get your stock from, and you can build up your product range as you start to grow.
Building your feedback is an important part of being a good seller and the higher you can get your score the better. It sets you apart as being a dedicated seller. And the faster your score climbs, the closer you get to attaining PowerSeller status.
The PowerSeller symbol is highly prized among serious eBay sellers, and there are five levels to strive for. The first is Bronze, and it’s a lot easier to reach than you might think. While you might set a goal for yourself to reach PowerSeller, you will find that if you build up your product range and gradually increase your sales, you will reach it in no time. And if you get off to a great start you might just do it in three months – the minimum time you can actually do it in.
Many sellers have their own shop on eBay, but it’s not necessary when you first get started. In fact you are often better off waiting until you have a good range of stock before opening a shop, since it can look rather empty if you only have a handful of items.
The final thing to think about is the price of the items you are selling. It stands to reason that if you sell a hundred different products in the $5 to $10 price range, you won’t make as much cash as you would selling a hundred in the $50 to $100 price range.
But you need to work out what you enjoy selling and what you can sell lots of to experience real success on eBay. Don’t go for expensive products just because they might bring a bigger profit. Go for your calling – that’s where you will experience the biggest success.
Above all, remember that it can take time to build a successful business – but if you’re determined to achieve real success on eBay you should be enjoying the journey.
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Corporate Finance practitioner,
Management Accountant/Finance Manager/Strategic Financial Manager,
And a Renowned Internet Marketing Manager.