Keys to Successful eBay Selling
Why is starting an eBay business so
appealing? Because it's easy, fun and can be
done from the comfort of your own home. But
what if you want to do more than just sell a
few items and actually make money on eBay?
How do you turn your selling on eBay foray
into a successful eBay business? That's what
Adelia Linecker wanted to know when she
interviewed me. The following interview
transcript presents what I think are the
keys to successful eBay selling. (Adelia
Linecker's article, “Kicking Up Online
Profits”, appeared in Investor's Business
What can researching eBay before listing a product or launching
a store reveal?
Researching eBay before listing a product or launching a store
will answer three questions that are vital if you actually want
to make money on eBay: Is there a market for this? How much is
this item worth? How much competition is there? You need to know
the answer to at least the second two of these questions before
you bother to list something on eBay. Question: How important is
it to the success of your eBay business that your products are
easy and not too expensive to ship? What else should you know
about shipping before starting an eBay business? Answer:
Critically important. Take a foolish example. Suppose you want
to sell rocks on eBay. It cost $86 to ship each rock to a
Canadian address and more to send one anywhere else. However, no
one seems to want to pay more than $5.00 for a rock. You can see
what would happen to your business if you were dumb enough to
sell any rocks under these conditions. You need to know all the
details about shipping before you sell anything on eBay.
What must you include in the description of your products to
improve chances they will sell?
When you’re selling on eBay, the description of your products is
your "Unique Selling Proposition". It's one of your big chances
to get the viewer to want your product. (The other is the
picture of the item.) So if you don't invest time in developing
a mouth-watering description of your product, you're throwing
away half your chance to sell it. So you need to include details
(such as colour, size, weight etc.) as well as features that set
your product apart from other such products and make it
desirable. For instance, you don't just sell "teddy bears" on
eBay. You sell "handcrafted, one-of-a-kind teddy bears". The
trick is to think like a purchaser. What would you want to know
about the item? What would make you buy it?
Some people are eager to make "a ton of money" with an eBay
business. How realistic is this? What should your focus really
be at first so that you can eventually make a decent return?
Making a "ton of money" is not a realistic expectation - but if
you have the right products, do things right and are prepared to
work at the business, making a good living is. Because of the
way that eBay works, your focus at first should be establishing
yourself as a proven, trusted seller and building up the
positive feedback you need to do this. If you want to run a
successful eBay business, you have to take the time to do this.
eBay sellers can sometimes
come across as unreliable, or at the very least obscure. What
can you do to make buyers feel you are a serious business?
Run your eBay business as a proper business from the get go.
That means going through the steps of setting up a real
business, charging appropriate taxes, following standard
business practices and investing in things such as professional
Any books, Web sites or other reliable sources you can recommend
for those who want to start an eBay business?
eBay itself is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to become
an eBay seller or increase their eBay sales success. Besides the
resources on their site, they're also offering eBay
courses/seminars in various cities around the country.