How To Start An eBay Business And Get Rich Slowly But Steadily

eBay Business

Over the past few years there has been a lot of talk and discussion on the kind of money that can be made on eBay. If you have the means, then the sky is the limit. Or maybe even beyond!

How eBay Works

eBay has divided its sellers into categories depending on the minimum amount of sales they are guaranteed to make. For example, PowerSellers have a minimum cut-off of $1,000, though they usually make much more. Then there are Silver PowerSellers who earn at least $3,000 per month, Gold PowerSellers who make a minimum of $10,000 per month, Platinum PowerSellers who make at least $25,000 per month and finally the big guns- Titanium PowerSellers who make at least a whopping $150,000 per month every month!!

eBay has become such an effective way to earn money that people have made it their full-time job. Some have been doing it successfully for quite a long time now. Its not like all of them started with a big investment. Most people started with small and simple objects. But once they started earning, they kept increasing their investment and basically did not look back! If you analyze it, the only investment that a seller makes is when they purchase the stock that they have to resell. Once that is done, everything else is counted as revenue earned, or profit. There is no need for an actual office, staff, or any other major investment. Some sellers are so successful that they earn much more than well-established multi-million dollar businesses.

One of the major advantages of eBay is that even if you want to make this just a side job, then that too is perfectly possible. All orders can be taken during the week and then be packed and sent on their way over the weekend. What better way can there be to make an extra buck?

Another advantage is the absence of any type of discrimination. Race, sex, location, age, etc have no place here. You can be the poorest person on the planet, but as long as you have something to sell, and you have the means to send it across, you are always welcome to do so on eBay.

Simply put, all you need to do is get an item (which preferably is in-demand) in bulk at a relatively cheap price. If you buy in bulk, then there’s a good chance that you will get a good discount on your purchase. From there, it’s only a matter of selling your item. End even though you have made such a small investment, the profits you can make are massive.

Even if you don’t want to make that investment, you can still trade on eBay by selling any item that you have lying at home. If you take a good look around, then you will always be able to come up with something that you think will be worth selling. And as long as you have something to sell, you can be rest assured that there will always be someone there to buy it. That’s the strength of eBay.

Planning Your eBay Business

Before you gear yourself up to start your eBay business, there are a few points you should get acquainted with. These are explained below:

Decide What To Sell

The most important decision to make is what are you going to sell? What are you comfortable with? It’s a far better practice to sell a similar range of items. This will help you make a strong customer base, as the people interested in your item will prefer to keep doing business with you. On the other hand if you sell only random objects then its really tough to build trust with customers.

When you actually get down to sell, you have to provide a product description for your product. If you want to sell at a high price then you have to describe your product in such an enticing and informative manner, that the customer feels that its really worth the quoted price. Therefore, it’s important to sell those products of which you have complete knowledge and information. This helps not only at the description stage but also if customers have any queries.

So it’s important to think of such a product. In case you cannot do so, try to be innovative. Think of what you would like to purchase on eBay, or take advice from friends and family. You would be surprised to hear that some of the best advice comes from where you least expect it!

The next step is cost and plausibility. You have to zero in on an item, which can make you a profit by buying in bulk and also can be easily posted to the buyer. If you can find an item for which all the above factors are applicable, then you are absolutely set to sell!!

What you sell does not make a difference. There’s nothing that’s too trivial or too small or too big. People have been known to sell even those items, which sell extremely infrequently in shops and malls. So however common or uncommon your product is, there’s a good chance that you will find a buyer for it.

Deal With Taxes and Legal Matters

Matters related to taxation have to be looked into by you. You have to take into account the size of your business and probably even register yourself as a business.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Selling on eBay does not always paint a rosy picture. There will be profits and there might be losses. The important thing to remember is to take it all in your stride and to keep at it, no matter how tough it gets. Try to enjoy the experience and stay determined.

As mentioned before, it’s an excellent experience to trade on eBay. It’s something that anyone can try his hand at. And since the initial costs are so low, you do not end up losing much anyways. So it’s always worth a try!

Finally, before you prepare to begin this journey, you probably should get acquainted with the different auction types. This will help you decide how you want to sell your product.

Choosing the Appropriate Auction Type for Your eBay Business

EBay has introduced various schemes and techniques to keep people interested and make trading on eBay an enjoyable affair. One of these is the introduction of various auction types.

There are various types of sellers on eBay. Some want nothing less than a specific price for their product. Others don’t mind compromising as long as they can sell their product in bulk. Still others have no issues as long they get a decent enough price. Ebay takes care of each person’s need. We have, for your convenience, explained the various auctions types, to help you decide on which suits you best.

Normal Auctions

These are the simple bid and buy auctions. The buyers put their bids down. These bids are then outbid and so on, till the best bid wins. It’s the most uncomplicated of them all.

Reserve Auctions

These are for those sellers who are not prepared to sell their product below a certain specified price. It’s a notion similar to real auctions. These auctions work on similar lines to that of normal auctions, but here if the bid goes below the specified quote then the bidding process is started all over again. In the end, if no one is prepared to pay your quoted price, then the auction is declared as canceled. You may keep your product with you.

Fixed Price (‘Buy it Now’) Auctions.

Two methods may be employed to implement ‘Buy it Now’ auctions. Firstly, an option may be provided for bids to take place in the usual method or the seller may provide a fixed price at which the item may be bought. Secondly, sellers may look to circumvent the auction process completely. They only list a fixed price at which the product may be purchased. By using this method, the sellers can get their desired price and the buyer also makes the purchase if he feels the price is right. So everyone is happy!

Lately, eBay has introduced additional facility to the fixed price auctions. It’s known as the ‘best offer’ facility. It enables the buyers to approach you and negotiate the price of a product. It’s a good way to get rid of the extra goods even if it is offered at a discount.

It’s often said that nothing is perfect. Keeping to that saying, even reserve and fixed price auctions have a shortcoming. To use these facilities a small payment has to be made by you. Therefore, after weighing the pros and cons, the best plan to be followed is to use reserve auctions for expensive products and fixed auctions for the inexpensive ones or you have the option to use both.

Multiple Item (‘Dutch’) Auctions

These auctions are used exceptionally rarely. The primary reason behind that is that it is quite a complicated method. Try understanding this: In these auctions the seller can sell more than one of a specific product. Buyers can then bid on these products and also state the number of items they want to purchase. The lowest price that is bid is considered as the standard price for all buyers. All deals are finalized on this price. Quite intricate, isn’t it?

Another practice quite common with sellers having a large amount of one item is use of a mixture of auction types. E.g. a multiple-item fixed price auction. Here, all you have to do is specify the amount of that item that you require. This is then offered at a fixed price per unit of that item. You can then make the purchase by simply clicking on the Buy it Now option.

Maintaining, Managing and Operating Your eBay Business

Being a seller isn’t the easiest job in the world. It involves a lot of patience, responsibility and acumen. The checklist given below will make this job a tad bit easier.

Try to provide the maximum amount of information about your product. To make sure that you haven’t left any important points out, type in the name of your product at Yahoo or Google Search. There’s always something that comes up. Also, try keeping an eye on your competitors. Try to keep your information better updated than all of them.

Monitoring your competitor’s auctions is also very important. Try to keep yourself updated on the selling price of the items similar to yours. This will help you make any adjustments that you might want to make to your prices.

Photographs of the item also help bring in more and higher bids. Nowadays, all the hard-core, astute sellers use digital cameras to put up as good a picture as they can. If you don’t have a camera, then to compete with these guys, it’s worth investing in a one.

Emailing your clients is also a good practice. Nothing flashy, only a simple ‘Thank You’ note, once the deal is through or maybe a note saying ‘ Please could you inform me when you send my payment’. Follow up’s are equally important. Thank your customer for buying your product and tell him about the status of the product. All this will not only build friendship and goodwill, but will also help keep matters simple.

A prompt reply to emails is another area you have to concentrate on. If the potential customers do not receive quick feedback, then they are very likely to pass onto the next seller.

A description page is where you communicate your products qualities to the buyers. This page should be keyword optimized to attract maximum number of clients. Also, any additional information like special terms and conditions or international postage rates to the countries you are dealing in, should be mentioned.

Make sure that the wrapping is done perfectly. It should look professional and be done in such a way that the item should remain intact till it reaches the buyer. Bubble wrap is good to use in most cases. Additionally, try to have the labels printed rather than hand-written and use a good postal service. This will help in creating a good impression.

As mentioned before, follow- up’s form an essential part of your sale. You can make a straightforward inquiry asking if the product was fine and as expected. Since the customer is the boss, it’s important to help them out and keep them happy at all times.

Reputation, authenticity, honesty are just a few of the things that count on eBay. If you want to do big business here, then you have to build a clientele who will trust you each time you do business which them. Reputation is a major factor. Under all circumstances, you should look to satisfy the client.

Establishing A Strong eBay Business Reputation

Reputation: It’s a small word but counts for much more than you can think. Without it your time at eBay is worth nothing. If you want to keep your sales up, then you have to do the same with your reputation. They are directly proportional…

To understand the concept of reputation, try putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Who would you prefer to buy from, a person with a low feedback rating who has sold only a handful of items or a PowerSeller who makes sales of thousands of dollars every month? Naturally you will go with the experienced PowerSeller, since you know that they have been trusted before and so you can do the same.

If Your Reputation Goes Down, So Will Your Sales

A bad reputation is an absolute no-no. A negative feedback will be clearly shown to all since it is displayed right at the top of your user page. EBay has so many sellers for every item. Why will a person buy from a person having even a single negative remark when he can easily find one who has a good record? This will directly affect your sales in a very bad way. So make sure you don’t have people complaining about ‘late delivery’ or ‘sending damaged goods’.

Now, if in case you do get a negative remark, try pushing it down by selling some cheap objects which people wouldn’t mind buying of you. This process might take time, even days or weeks, but you got to keep at it till you get a strong enough positive rating. Then you can start dealing big-time again.

One thing you want to absolutely avoid is getting bad remarks on a consistent basis. If your positive rating dips below 90%, then it’s game over.

Want to Open a New Account? It Ain’t That Simple

To get a new account is not the easiest thing to do. EBay has an entire set of rules and regulations to start one account, let alone making a new one. If at all, it is absolutely necessary then you got to follow the entire process from the start.

Naturally, there will be minus points involved. You won’t have access to all the facilities of eBay. Your regular clients won’t be able to locate you easily. Your rating will also start from scratch, so you will have to build on that by auctioning at low prices. It is a tough task to accomplish. So try doing it right the first time!!

Direct Proportionality: As the Reputation Goes Up, Sales Go Up

Experience counts. Reputation counts. If a PowerSeller describes a product to me, however dodgy it may sound, I will still take his word for it. These sellers cannot afford to lose their reputation over small matters. Their business is so huge that they have to protect it and provide high quality service at all times. To do this they can spend any amount of time and money.

From a buyer’s point of view, you would tend to purchase an item from a well-established PowerSeller, even if it is at a slightly higher cost. This is because you are guaranteed quality and efficiency from them.

By now you must have realized that the one point we are trying to get at is: Always keep the customer happy. No matter what it takes or how much effort you have to put in it. Even if you don’t make a profit at a start, just keep at it and it will work out. But there are times that customers might be a bit tough to please. So in our next e-mail we raise the question: is the eBay customer always right?

Providing Premium Quality eBay Auction Customer Service

You can ask whom you like, anywhere round the globe, anytime of the day and will get a unanimous answer: yes. At eBay the customer has to be always right. You have to make sure the customer is satisfied each and every time, even if you have to travel across the globe to personally deliver the package. And I am not exaggerating.

This raises another question: What can a dissatisfied customer do? The answer to that is as follows. He can start by giving you a negative feedback or remark. Everyone who is aspiring to buy from you can see this feedback. Naturally they will no longer aspire to do so. This will reduce your sales drastically. As a matter of fact, it would have cost you less to deal with the grievance. It will then take a lot of effort to get back to that level. All this mayhem caused due to one single remark. So avoid it. Keep a 100% positive record!

At eBay there is no place for ‘IF’s’ and ‘BUT’s’. If you want to sell then keep the buyer happy. It’s the golden rule. If, by chance, there are any ‘unfortunate’ situations then try using the following methods to resolve them.

The item has never reached the buyer

Solution: With extreme courtesy, extend your regret at the delivery being delayed and the inconvenience it has caused. Then request the buyer to wait for a few more days and email you if it still does not arrive. In case of the latter, there’s a very good probability that the parcel got lost in transit. So send them a replacement, if possible, or else provide a complete refund. There are no excuses. You got to do this.

The item got damaged during transportation.

Solution: You can either offer a replacement or provide a take back the damaged item and provide a full refund.

The item is different than what was described.

Solution: Refrain from answering back to the customer with some witty remark. Instead, remain cool and take the item back, provide a refund and edit the description on the description page such that all points on that item are crystal clear.

So as you can see, almost all problems can be resolved by providing a refund. In future, this is going to turn out to be much more useful than getting a negative remark. Take pride in your work and protect that 100% positive feedback.

EBay has dispute processes that can help resolve any disagreements between the buyers and sellers. As far as possible, this should be avoided since it only downplays your reputation. Try resolving all customer complaints before they go to eBay. It’s a good practice to email the customers asking them if your service is satisfactory.

If you still have any doubts, allow me to clear them with the following example. Say you are selling products worth $5000 every week and making a profit of about $500 on it. If you have to provide a customer a refund of $500 then you would be losing only 1 weeks profit. But in case you get negative feedback then you can make losses worth much more. You might make losses that might take up profits collected over several weeks.

It’s up to you to decide as to which way to go about it.

By now, I think, you must be totally certain as to the advantages of always agreeing to the customers. For you to remain happy, the client too should be likewise.

Don’t Be an Ass and Ruin Your eBay Business

There is an old saying that goes: ‘It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but just a moment to destroy it’. EBay is a perfect example for this particular saying. Even though you start out with almost zero investment, you can still fail miserably if you’re not careful. But in case you are adamant to kill your business, try out some of the notions mentioned below.

Provide False Information

Tell the buyer you’re sending them an Eric Clapton CD, but instead send one containing a religious discourse. Tell them the photo frame is made of pure wood, when it actually is a cheap plastic one. It’s a good way to get a few abuses!

Post the Parcel at YOUR Convenience

It’s tough to take time out from your ‘busy’ schedule to do insignificant work like posting parcels, isn’t it? So keep your clients waiting till your royal highness finally makes it to the post office. You can be rest assured that they won’t want to wait again.

End The Auction At Any Time

The auctions that end at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. are usually the most popular, cause that’s when people are all geared up to get their bids in and fight till the end!!! In your dreams… If you want it to end at such a time, you can forget about the bids altogether.

Avoid Responding To Emails

Why is it that it’s you who has to do all the work. YOU buy the product, YOU put it up for reselling, YOU sell it and then YOU have to post it. After all this work, how can you be expected to do any more work? So why bother with sending emails. There’s absolutely no need to respond to queries.

Trade With Junk

What does it matter if you are selling stuff worth $5 for $50, and who does it matter to? You don’t have to wrack your brains on trivial stuff like that. That’s only for the ‘smart’ people to do.

Avoiding Giving Out Discounts

You are anyways selling your goods at such a low profit, only around thousands of dollars per month. Then why should you want to give that away in the form of discounts? It’s not like you want your customers to come back, right?

Make Your Listings Ugly

This is a good one. Decoration. Try to be innovative. Your page needs flashy colours, lights and even cartoons, if possible. Capital letters in maybe an Impact font will look absolutely breath taking, literally. And the icing on the cake can be in the form of music, preferably loud head banging stuff. This will really get your customers going!!

Don’t Post Photos

Photos? Just an additional expense: Photos are only an added cost. Customers have to draw up their own mental image based on the beautifully written description that you have so graciously provided. If that’s not good enough for them, then they can go somewhere else.

Write Short Descriptions

Again, this is a complete waste of time. If the customer wants a camera and you have one for him, then why does it matter what it looks like or what are its features. Does he want to marry it or take pictures with it? So be as brief as possible. If the client is smart enough, then he will understand.

Use Reserve Auctions

Even though this is a bit of a contentious issue, it deserves to have a place in this list. This is actually one of the best methods to get rid of your customers. Always keep your expectations high; so high that no one can reach it. This way at least you will be helping the other sellers!

Well, that was fun. Now that we know what not to do, lets look into what you should do in order to become a successful seller on eBay.

Forget AA, It’s Time For Successful eBay Selling Anonymous

If you want to sell successfully on eBay then you have come to the right place. Let us enlighten you with our ten-step path.

Recognize Your Market

Take some time out to study which items are often traded on eBay and which are not. Try to collect all the data on products of interest. This will help you home in on a few items that you can make a good profit on.

Keep Abreast Of The Competition

Understanding your competitors potential is extremely important. Watch their strategies and moves. See how they operate on different types of auctions and situations. Try to identify their weak points. Then move in and cash in on those weak areas.

Search For Your Product’s Supplier

You need to get your product at a cheaper price then it is sold at eBay. Search for suppliers who can deliver you the goods at that price. Try to get the best deal possible. Once you do that, you’re all ready to enter the arena!

Start Small

Take it easy at the start. Try to get a feel of things. Try to work out what is selling easily and what is not. Don’t be afraid to experiment, since the weirdest of things are known to be sold here. Just be alert and keep both eyes open.

Keep Experimenting

As mentioned before, don’t be afraid to experiment. Keep testing with various items until you find one that can really make you truckloads of money.

Form A Strategy For Your Business

This is mainly to get your ideas on paper and in order. You should write down your thoughts on the market opportunities that you have discovered, any weak spots that you can fill up, a basic strategy outline and of course, the budget. This would suffice for now.

Start Investing In Stock

Once you have put one foot firmly in, its time to jump right into it. Start investing into your product on a much larger scale. Concentrate on your business, the sales it is making, the demand curve etc etc. Try to give yourself targets, and meet them each time.

Sign Up As A Business

Now that you have started earning big money, it’s best to sign up as a business. It’s an inexpensive affair and is mainly for all tax related issues. A lawyer can guide you through the entire procedure very efficiently.

Automate Sales

Once your business grows above a certain level, it’s hard to handle all matters personally. The best option is to automate the business. Using a simple software all your work including creating listings, email responses (to buyers) and all other messages can be delivered without giving you any trouble.

Never Give Up

This is the one step you should never forget. Things are not always going to be rosy for you. It’s a tough world out there, and there are times you will succeed and others when you won’t. You have to take everything in your stride and keep moving on. Just remember, there is always sunlight after the darkness. You just need to stay focused and pass that time.

Once you really get into the groove of this system, you might want to make this a permanent business; you might even consider leaving your job. But as we explain in our next email, it’s not always going to be that easy to do business here.