|Everyone has heard incredible stories of people making big money on eBay selling stuff from their attic or "junk" they pick up at garage sales. While these stories make the most skeptical of us tingle at the thought of easy money, hard work and determination are the key words for selling on eBay. Sure, there is always the "fly by the seat of your pants" approach, but if you are serious about making money on eBay, my wife, Rachel, has learned what doesn't work on eBay from countless hours of trial and error. She has written the following advice for those of you who are serious about making a profit with eBay:|
1. FOCUS - Choose something to sell that you already know about; preferably something that you love! When you are already familiar with an item, you don't waste time wondering whether it will sell or how much you should pay for it. My experience with garage sale shopping and hoping that I picked things that people wanted to buy was a total flop because I didn't know what I was looking for. I ended up with piles of stuff that I couldn't sell and wasted lots of time looking for garage sales. Those of you who have done this, know the total frustration of a wasted Saturday morning.
2. RESEARCH - The other option is to research on eBay what is already selling and then find a cheap source of that item. Garage sales are a good way to find stuff if you already know what you are looking for. Call ahead to garage sales that are listed in the paper and ask if they have what you are looking for. Don't waste your time and gas poking around town looking for sales that don't have what you want! Garage sales work best if you know a lot about antiques or collectibles. These items sell well on eBay, but they only work for people who know what they are looking for and how much antiques and collectibles are worth. Other things that sell well on eBay are items that have a model number or item number or an ISBN number (this is for eBay's sister site Half.com which lists books by ISBN numbers - this is great for selling old textbooks or out of print items!) People go to eBay looking for deals on electronics, brand-name clothes, video games, computers, and software. Things that can be easily identified with words sell well on eBay. Things that do NOT sell well on eBay are things that don't have a hard and fast description; items that need to be touched or smelled or rely on aesthetics to sell. Home interior items are examples of things that DON'T sell well on eBay. People who shop eBay are looking for something specific. If they don't already know about what you are selling, they aren't going to just browse eBay's categories looking for your items. Use this as a guide when choosing what to sell. The best way to find cheap sources for these items is to work out a deal with a wholesaler. This way you get the best possible pricing and you can still make a profit! Because, remember, people shopping eBay are looking for a deal!
3. CONSIDER DROP SHIPPING - This is the best possible method that I have found for making eBay a profitable enterprise. (Unless you are going the route of antiques and collectibles) Drop shipping eliminates the need for storing your items, packaging, and shipping them. This ate most of the profit that I would have made because it took so much time to do all of this. And most of us don't have an empty room we can devote just for storing stuff for eBay and even if we did, we have to come up with a system for inventory. You end up with a lot of the headaches that traditional businesses have to deal with. SO, the BEST way that I have found to make eBay profitable for the average person is this:
research what is selling on eBay
go to the library and go through a copy of the business directory and find WHOLESALERS that sell the product that eBay goers are looking for
contact the wholesaler and work out a deal with them
ask for great pricing in exchange for you selling their product
as part of the deal, arrange for them to ship directly to your customers
So, basically, you are acting as a retailer for them. They benefit, by getting sales with no overhead, and you benefit by being able to be competitive on eBay and not having the headaches of storing, packing, and shipping! It is a wonderful win-win agreement!
If you do choose the antiques and collectibles route, there are great resources out there to teach you how to do it as profitably as possible. My favorite is Starting an eBay Business for Dummies.
And, as a resource to market your eBay auctions for even better profits, I would definitely recommend Seth Godin's book Permission Marketing. It is a MUST for growing your eBay business and keeping customers coming back to your auctions again and again. The key is turning strangers into friends and friends into customers!
About the Author
Jonathan R. Taylor, specializes in helping people in every stage of their lives to find more meaning and purpose in their work. He believes that to find that purpose and meaning, a person's interests, skills, passions, and goals must integrate seamlessly with their work. To get more great advice, subscribe to Jonathan's newsletter at www.careercalling.com!
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