Let’s face it – pretty much anyone can start an eBay business, but most people do not succeed. What is the difference that decides success or failure – and what do you need to know so that you’ll succeed?
eBay has their own education program called eBay University. Some successful eBay sellers have gone as far as becoming “eBay Education Specialists” through eBay’s training program.
Using eBay University material, they can teach you how to create your own product listings, how to price items and how to get paid. You can also get help from experienced eBay power sellers like Michelle Angell who have published their own inexpensive ebooks that you can download from Amazon.
Another reputable resource is Worldwide Brands, which helps home-based business owners start and run eBay businesses. They research profitable eBay markets and quality product wholesalers, and then share these tips with their associates. They also provide several FREE start-up tools, including:
- The popular ebook “How to Start an Internet Business” by CEO Chris Malta
- Weekly Product Sourcing Newsletter, revealing hot new wholesale products and more
- Insider secrets from the Ebay Radio Show, Entrepreneur Magazine eBiz Radio Show and Expert Blog
- Scam Watch, which shows you how to avoid bad wholesale suppliers
- Click here to get these tools Free eBay Learning Tools
1. How to Get Products to Sell on eBay
You have 4 main options: product sourcing networks, wholesalers, manufacturers or liquidation companies.
Product sourcing networks are the cheapest and easiest to start with, because you don’t have to purchase any products – and all the shipping is done for you.
A. Use Product Sourcing Networks
If you want to sell products on eBay without having to buy and pay for them up front, use a wholesale supply and drop shipping company like SaleHoo.
The process is simple: you can list popular name brand products (ie. Sony, Apple, Nautica, KitchenAid etc) on the eBay site, have the wholesalers ship the items directly to your customers – and then you get paid on the sale. (You don’t have to hassle with stocking and shipping products).
- Get products delivered direct to your customers so you don’t have to buy and stock inventory.
- Access over 1,000,000 products you can sell without having to buy them.
- Get connected lots of suppliers at one site (huge time saver!).
B. Buy from Wholesalers
- Ali Express
- Buy Wholesale from China
- CKB Products Wholesale Distributor
- Wholesale Fashion Square
- 4 Seasons General Merchandise
- DPJ Wholesale
- Get inventory from thrift stores
C. Buy Direct from Manufacturers
- HKTDC.com (Hong Kong Trade Development Council)
D. Get from Liquidation Companies
What are the Most Profitable Products to Sell?
Many people just getting started on eBay want to know which products are the best items to sell. More often than not, they assume that the best products are the hottest items on the market. This is not usually the case.
If you want to sell popular products, you will run into lots of competition, which subsequently brings the sale price down (lots of supply). In addition, with so many sellers buying these products to re-sell, the wholesale price increases, so there is an even smaller margin for profit.
Often, the best route is to locate specialized, hard to find products that you can acquire for cheap and there is little resale competition. Avoid selling products that a buyer could find both online and offline for a similar price.
Focus on a niche market that you have knowledge in. This way, you will better understand the value of the products you are selling and the market that you are selling to. Ultimately, you want to deliver what your market wants at the price they want to pay – and you will be able to understand that better if you are “one of them”.
How to Boost Your Profit Margin:
After you become a registered eBay user and learn how the eBay selling process works, you need products to sell. The key is to find items that people want – and to obtain them at a low enough price that gives you a good profit margin. Keep in mind that you need to allow for eBay listing costs, packaging and shipping costs and of course your time.
There are so many products for sale on eBay and lots of sellers, so two strategies for increasing your profit margin are (1) find products to sell that very few other people are selling to minimize your competition or (2) decrease your selling costs either by getting products to sell at deeply discounted prices or by cutting your business costs.
If you want to sell hard-to-find or limited supply items on eBay, you can often sell your products for higher prices (if they are in high demand). eBay sellers often find these types of products at garage sales, flea markets, estate sales or thrift stores. You need to know value when you see it, and you may need to do a lot of looking before your find great deals. However, some people find this a fascinating and challenging project that they look forward to taking on.
On the other hand, if you prefer to sell items on eBay without spending a lot of time locating pieces to sell, working with a drop shipper may be your best option. Not only can you save time finding products to sell, but you don’t have to stock inventory, package products or ship purchases to customers. The drop shippers handle all of these tasks for you.
2. Start an Online eBay Store that Sells for You
An all-in-one ecommerce solution enables you to sell products and services online through your own fully customized web store – without wasting a lot of time and money getting set up.
Shopify has made creating a web store easy, with step-by-step design wizards, where you can quickly create your store, upload products and set up shipping and sales tax information.
Everything is included to create your own storefront:
- Custom Website Domain Names
- Shopping cart with secure, SSL-encrypted credit card processing
- Free Set-up & $100 Advertising Credit Included
- Save Money!
- Try Shopify Free for 30 Days
3. Tips & Resources to Help You Make More Money on eBay
Becoming a successful eBay seller is more than just placing ads on the auction site. Power sellers make a full-time income with eBay because they go the extra step. You need to treat your eBay business like a real business, and here are a few ways you can do that.
Check your Competition
Stay abreast of what your competition is doing. If you are offering a product that is identical or similar to others in the eBay marketplace, you need to stay competitive – just as you would with any other trail business. Offer more to your shoppers: more convenience, faster shipping, lower prices, greater trust, higher quality, etc.. Don’t expect someone to buy from you if you are not better than your competition.
If you sell products that are also offered by other sellers on eBay, improve your listing. Include a more detailed description, more photos, close-up images, a return policy, a money back guarantee, etc.. These things can really make a difference in whether you make a sale – or sell your items for more money.
Communicate with Your Market
Encourage shoppers to ask questions and answer these questions promptly, providing the information on your listing. This not only helps people better understand the item you are selling, but it increases their trust in you as a seller. Consumers are more likely to buy from people they like and trust, so the more you can do make them feel this way, the more success you will have selling on eBay.
Be Prepared to Ship
Prepare in advance with the packaging materials you will need to ship the item. You want to keep your shipping and packing costs low, but you also want your sold items to arrive to the buyer in the condition they expect.
Include a printed copy of the receipt in the package with your business contact information for the convenience of the customer. Remember, if they like what they buy from you and had an easy transaction, they may buy from you again.
One of the latest home business trends is making money with what you already have – whether you have a product to offer or expertise. You may even be able to turn one of your favorite hobbies into a full-time money-making business!