There’s nothing quite like running your own business. The freedom to set your own hours, to work for your own success and to enjoy that valuable commodity of time with your loved ones; it’s a great thing to do. Of course, it’s not quite as easy as that. Starting a business takes motivation and planning, and it can take time before your new income is large enough to replace that of an existing salary.
Don’t be put off though. If starting an eBay business is something that you’ve always toyed with the idea of then this information will put you on the right track to start your journey to success from this very day.
Find a Niche Market
The world of selling online these days is far more competitive than it once was. A quick search for a generic term such as ‘DVD’ returns more than 1.5 million results.
It can seem incredibly daunting for a new seller just starting out to know where to sell with so many other sellers to compete against. The trick for you here is to find a niche market where you can sell with less competition. If you’re not sure where to start try thinking about an area that actually interests you. Almost every hobby has some associated products that can be sold within it, and if it’s an area that you’re already interested in then you are already likely to know what those products may be.
Research, Research and More Research
Almost anything can be sold on the eBay website, but it’s important to conduct a bit of research to determine if your area of interest is potentially profitable, and also how much competition you are likely to face within it. eBay itself can be a great tool for research.
Not only can you search for your potential products to see how many similar items are currently available on the website, but you can even select a little option called ‘Completed Listings’ to find out exactly how much different bits and pieces sold for.
Have a play with the search filters within eBay and you’ll soon get an idea as to how much different items have historically sold for on the website, and therefore whether you are likely to make much profit from anything that you can get your hands on. You should also have a look at those auctions that did sell successfully to see what sort of text, images and titles were used within the listings.
As well as researching how much an item is likely to sell for on the eBay website you should also start to look around at potential sources of stock. You could try searching in Google for your product’s name, along with the word ‘wholesalers’, or instead actually heading out to some local charity shops or car boot sales to look for anything worth passing on for a profit.
Get Set Up on eBay
Even if you haven’t found a source of continual cheap stock for your niche market, you can still get started by selling anything that you have got your hands on so far. You’ll need both an eBay and a PayPal account to get started with selling. If you have an existing eBay account I’d still recommend setting up a new one with a name that’s relevant to the goods you are likely to be selling; something like YogaDVDsUK or FishingRodsRUs could work nicely in letting prospective customers know you’re an expert in the field.
You can set up your new eBay account by following the on screen instructions after clicking the Register link.
One thing that’s crucial for a new eBay business is working on generating some really positive feedback. If a buyer is faced with a decision of buying the same product from two sellers for a similar price, one of whom has a higher feedback score, which option do you think they will select? Although eBay offers some protection to buyers, they still like the reassurance of knowing that others have purchased from you without a problem in the past.
A great way to earn some positive feedback quickly is to start by selling a few cheap items, even if you don’t make a massive amount of profit from each sale. You should make the most of these sales by making customer service your top priority. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you’re in a good place to receive some excellent feedback:
- Am I answering any questions asked to me through eBay quickly?
- Do I dispatch items sold through my eBay store promptly, ideally within one business day?
- Can I make more effort to be polite in my correspondence with customers, including checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes before sending a message?
- Is there any way to go above and beyond to make my service stand out? Perhaps with something like a handwritten thank you on the printed receipt?
- Am I treating my own customers in the same way that I’d like a buyer to treat me?
When just starting out on eBay make sure you’re asking yourself these questions with each and every sale. It’ll help you to really make the most of those early sales to earn yourself some excellent feedback scores.
Create a Business Plan
An eBay business is just like any other business idea; to be successful it needs a plan. You don’t need to spend a week of your life thinking of every tiny element of your new business, but it’s a good idea to put some thoughts down on paper regarding how you plan to grow, any start-up costs you might encounter, where you’re going to source stock from as your business starts to take off, how much money you’ll need to make per week to quit the day job, and so on and so forth.
Thinking about these things right at the start of your business journey will help to keep you focussed on reaching your goals and making your eBay selling career an enormous success.