So you want to sell stuff on eBay, but you have two minor
problems: you don't know how and you don't have stuff. Not a
problem. Keep reading for some tips to get you pointed in the
right direction to learn to make money on eBay.
Before you begin you’ll need some basic equipment: Computer,
Internet access, digital camera, and some space to put your
stuff. That’s really all you’ll need to get started. You’ll also
need shipping and packing supplies but that is addressed later.
Next you’ll need to learn how to list auctions. Go to the eBay
will be your lifeline. There is a plethora of information there
on everything you always wanted to know and more. Don’t be
overwhelmed; just take it one step at a time. You’ll see there
is information on listings, on bidding, on photos, on feedback –
it’s all there.
Next you’ll need to figure out what to sell. Before you zero in
on a particular niche you need some experience and some
feedback. Buyers are generally leery of buying from someone who
is brand new and has a feedback rating of less than 10
evaluations. While you are getting your feet wet, look around
your own house first. You’d be amazed at what people buy. You
could list outgrown clothing, magazines, candle holders, CD,
books, flannel sheets, recipes, the ugly old lamp that was Aunt
Mildred’s, all those goofy Christmas gifts sitting in your
basement, that old baby gate with a stain on it. Get the idea?
You never know what someone will want.
Although you need experience, you don’t want to list something
that isn’t likely to sell. Does your research first before you
invest the time in putting together a listing. An easy method to
use is do a “search” on eBay, then look up COMPLETED ITEMS, then
sort by HIGHEST price. Then you’ll see if your Tommy Bahama
shirt is really worth anything. Or you’ll see that your old
baseball cards had 23 listings and not one of them sold.
Pricing is another challenge. Again, you’ll need to do your
research. See what they’re going for. Don’t have overly high
expectations. You know how you feel when you go to a garage sale
and you see a pair of jeans for $15 or books for $4 each. Many
people come to eBay to look for a bargain. Consider how much you
have into the item. If you have an item from around the house,
you may consider that something is better than nothing, so you
may be inclined to start the bidding quite low. If you bought it
with the specific intention to resell, you will, at the very
minimum, want to break even, so take the price you paid for it
and consider other costs, i.e. listing fees, final value fees
(all explained in your lifeline – eBay seller overview above).
People are much more apt to bid if the bidding starts LOW.
Sometimes though, you will have collectibles that are worth a
chunk of money. Don’t give away that vintage postcard that is
worth $56! Do your homework.
The next big question is how do you get paid? You determine what
you would accept. Online payments such as PayPal (paypal.com)
are very convenient. You can also decide that you’ll accept
money orders or personal checks. The more options you leave your
buyers, the more likelihood you’ll get more bids.
You also need to decide how you want to ship your items to the
winners. Many sellers use USPS, others prefer UPS. If you use
USPS and ship via Priority Mail, you can get your envelopes and
boxes free from USPS. If you ship First Class or Parcel Post or
UPS, you’ll have to shop around for deals on boxes or envelopes
and bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
Overwhelmed yet? Yes there is a lot to learn, but it’s not
nuclear science. Just take it one step at a time. It’s a
learning process. Some yahoo groups (or MSN or AOL, or whatever
your preference) are great sources for support and camaraderie
with others who are doing the same.
So in summary, if you want to just “start pushing buttons” and
learn to make money on eBay on your own, YOU CAN DO IT. If you
do better chatting with others, those resources are available
too. Use what is available.