Can I start my own eBay business? What can I sell? Where do I get the items? Can I do this without it costing an arm and a leg?
These were my questions too when I first started out. Since so many people helped me get my start, I thought it was time to help everyone else.
I will answer the questions above, from what I have found to work, but the most important thing to keep in mind as you read this is that NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE! What works good on Monday may not work good on Friday.
You may really like the idea of working for yourself and being your own boss, setting your own hours and working from your home.
Time to look at the big picture:
You do not work for yourself; you work for the people who are paying you the money.
If you want to be successful keep in mind: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!!!
You are going to have to do everything in your power to make sure that your customer is happy. Most of the time good business practices will make this happen, but there will be times that you have to give a little more. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Honesty really does go a long way on eBay. Most buyers will be willing to work with you if you are honest. I have dropped packages in the back seat on the way to the post office, only to find them a couple days later. I would contact the buyer and let them know... I have never received a negative or neutral feedback for this. I told them what I did and when the item actually shipped and they were happy. Many even thanked me for the honesty. I have also put a wrong word or two into a description, but when the buyer asked about it...Honesty Worked.
I am not saying that you will be able to please everyone, but you stand a better chance with being honest.
Be ready to pay for your mistakes. If you messed up, try you best to take care of it. Offer to get the correct item or missing part to the buyer, upgrade the shipping at your expense or flat out give a refund. Most important, listen to what the buyer is asking! Not everyone wants a full refund! I have had times that I forgot to send a cable or plug with a unit. What did I do? I sent the missing item with expedited service the same or next day. Many times, without the buyer asking, I have sent a $5.00 eBay gift certificate with a note explaining what I did wrong and how I fixed it. The buyers loved it and I was still able to keep most of the money. Many of these customers are still shopping with me on a regular basis. I follow the simple rule of treating the customer the way I want to be treated.
You do not set your own hours. Always be able to check your messages every couple of hours. Quick answers for you can make the difference when someone is looking to buy an item, is wondering where an item is or is not happy with what they received. As the credits are running between your favorite shows on TV, check your email. As soon as you wake up, check your email. Before you leave to go out to eat and as soon as you get back, check your email. Even on your day off, check your email. The extra few mins you spend doing this will really help increase your sales and your customer's happiness.
Working from home...Now this is funny!!!
I spend as much time out of my home as I do here. I am always running here and there for my business. Taking packages to the post office, going to buy shipping supplies and getting more items to sell takes more time than the actual listing of the items. Remember, you are everything from the CEO to the clean up person and how well you do depends on how much you do.
Now for the money and items to sell; now that I have come down off my soap box. Please keep in mind that this was the way I did it; it may or may not work for you.
I started my whole business with $5.00... Yes you read that correctly... FIVE DOLLARS!
I opened an ebay account and had my information verified for the cost of $5.00. That was all I put into my business.
I found an old puzzle (Star Wars) that I did not want anymore and listed it on eBay. It sold for $18.00. WOW, that was great! I then looked for a few more items of mine and sold them too. As the items sold and shipped, I paid my fees to eBay as I went. After I had taken everything we had set aside of a garage sale and sold it, I thought to myself "That was a lot more money than if I would have set it in the front yard and sat out there all day." I knew for a fact that some of those items would never have sold in my front yard and all of them would have sold for MUCH LESS! You know what I am talking about as you sell the lawn mower you paid $250.00 for get taken away by someone for $25.00. These items that you have in your closet, garage, attic or basement, or just sitting around can be the start of your business too.
Here came the BIG REALITY for me.
If I would only get $5.00 for selling something at a garage sale that I could sell on eBay for $15.00, why not go to a garage sale and buy the item for $5.00 and then sell it on eBay? It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I took the money I made from selling my own stuff, spent 1/2 of it to treat myself and family to something special (that is why we work, correct?) and used the other 1/2 to buy items at other garage sales in the area. Yes, I had to clean a bunch of stuff off and I did get burned many times by buying something that would not sell or something that was broken, but after a while I was able to see what would and would not move and how to check them on the spot. Remember, you can always ask to plug something in right at the persons house, if they tell you "No", then the item is more than likely junk to start with.
So with out giving away all of my secrets, what should you buy?
Electronics and small kitchen items are the best!
Old VCRS, DVD Players, Record Players, CDs, DVDs, iPods, Walkmans, Tape Players SELL GREAT!
Blenders, Stand Mixers, Coffee Pots also do very well.
Find something you are interested in and get those items. The more you like an item and the more you know about it, the better your descriptions will be and the more money you will make. Last hint, don't try to get into too many areas as you will not be an expert in all of them and your sales will slip!
Please mark this guide helpful. If enough people like my guides, I will write more!
Thanks for taking the time to read my guide and I hope to do business with you soon as either the buyer or seller!