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ONLINE BUSINESS HELP

The Secrets Of Starting A Successful Ebay Business
By: Developer Shed
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    2003-11-17

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    The Secrets Of Starting A Successful Ebay Business
    by Tim Knox

    Q: I hear so much about people who started selling on eBay and
    eventually turned it into their full time business. Is it really
    possible to build a profitable business just selling junk on eBay?
    -- Alex K.

    A: If Fred Sanford were alive today, Alex, I'm sure he'd be
    earning his ripple money by selling quality junk on eBay.
    While it's also true that one man's junk is another man's treasure
    (I have a garage full of treasure to prove this point), your
    chances of building a profitable business selling "junk" on eBay
    (or anywhere else, for that matter) are slim to none.

    While there is a lot of junk/treasure for sale on eBay, it is
    typically sold by individuals who have "I break for yardsales!"
    bumper stickers on their cars and not serious business people.

    For serious entrepreneurs, however, selling on eBay can be a good
    way to start a new business if you are willing to put in the time
    and energy required to make the business a success. eBay is
    also a good option for existing businesses to expand their reach
    by selling online.

    Everyone from small used car dealers to giant companies like Dell
    Computers have discovered that eBay is an excellent place to hawk
    their wares simply due to the huge number of folks who visit the
    eBay site on a daily basis. Nowhere else on earth will you find
    such a large pool of potential customers.

    Consider these numbers:
    · There are nearly 69 million eBay users who spend $59 million
    every day.
    · Most eBay sellers are home-based businesses that sell every-
    thing from porcelain dolls to locks of Elvis' hair to $100,000
    Mercedes convertibles to $5 million dollar vacation homes.

    · Every minute of every day more than 150 new items are listed
    for sale, more than 500 bids are placed, and seven new people
    register to shop on eBay.

    · At any given moment, eBay is conducting some 12 million
    auctions, divided into about 18,000 different categories.

    · About two million new items are offered for sale every day,
    and 62 million registered users scour the site to find them.

    · One company is grossing more than $5 million dollars a year
    selling brand new pool tables on eBay. Their eBay store is so
    profitable that they have closed their retail location and now
    sell solely online.

    That's right, $5 million dollars from the sale of pool tables:
    proof that you can sell just about anything on eBay if you know
    how to do it.

    Be aware, however, that eBay is no magic bullet. As any eBay
    Power Seller (a seller who sells a minimum of $10,000 in goods
    per month) will tell you, building a profitable eBay business
    takes hard work and requires long hours, and often the financial
    rewards do not make it worth the effort spent.

    When it comes down to the mechanics of it all, running an eBay
    business is no different than running a brick and mortar business.
    You still have the same considerations regarding product selection,
    inventory purchasing, product pricing, inventory management, order
    processing, fulfillment, customer service, etc.

    You must also consider the legal and accounting aspects of the
    business. Just because you're selling online does not mean that
    Uncle Sam won't expect his piece of the pie. Revenue generated
    by an eBay business is just as reportable and taxable as revenue
    generated from a brick and mortar store. And if you sell to
    customers within your state you may also be responsible for
    collecting city, county or state sales tax.

    One of the biggest obstacles to building a successful eBay
    business may be the stiffness of the competition. Many sellers
    sell identical items and the price wars often get ugly, but that's
    to be expected in a free market place, which is exactly what
    eBay is.

    You may be the only store in town that's selling that one of a
    kind, custom made just for you, broke the mold after they made it,
    Dale Earnhart Memorial Bobble Head Action Figure (Earnhart fans
    would string me up if I called it a Doll), but do a quick search
    on eBay and you'll probably find a hundred others just like it.

    So, can you build a profitable business selling on eBay?

    Certainly, thousands of people have done it and so can you.

    Here are a few tips to help get you started.

    Sell Quality Products
    Don't sell junk! Leave the knick-knacks and fake leather jackets
    to the less informed. You should offer only quality products at
    a fair price.

    Research The Competition
    Once you have your product in mind, don't invest a dime on
    inventory until you have spent some time on eBay to see what the
    competition is doing. If you want to sell motorcycle helmets,
    for example, you should look at current auctions to see how many
    others are selling similar helmets and what prices they are
    charging. This step is vital since you may discover that you
    can't compete with current sellers on price or there is simply
    no market for what you have to offer.

    Start Slowly
    Many people believe that the more items they have for sale on
    eBay the better. They will invest thousands in inventory and
    spent hundreds on listing fees (yes, eBay charges you to list
    items for sale and collects a final fee if the item sells).
    Those are the folks that usually end up with ten thousand Ginsu
    knives forever in their garage.

    Test, Test, Test
    A fair portion of eBay auctions result in no sales, so it's best
    to test the waters before jumping in with both feet.

    List a few items and see how they sell. If an item doesn't sell,
    list it at least twice more. Some items might not sell the first
    time, but may the second or third, then sell steadily from then on.

    If an item gets no bids the first time, consider adjusting your
    price or your terms. If an item sells well, keep it in stock
    and then experiment with another item.

    Do Your Homework
    eBay is too broad a subject to be covered fully here, but there
    are a multitude of books available that can help you start an
    eBay business. In fact, I bet you'll find most of them for sale
    at this very moment at eBay.

    What's my bid…

    Here's to your success.

    Tim Knox
    tim@dropshipwholesale.net
    For information on starting your own online or eBay business,
    visit http://www.dropshipwholesale.net

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

    Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and
    syndicated columnist, Tim Knox. Tim serves as the president and
    CEO of three successful technology companies: B2Secure Inc., a
    Web-based hiring management software company; Digital Graphiti Inc.,
    a software development company; and Sidebar Systems, a company
    that creates-cutting edge convergence software for broadcast media
    outlets. Tim is also the founder of OnlineProfits4U.com, an
    ebusiness dedicated to the success of online entrepreneurs.

    Tim is also the Ebusiness Startup and Design Expert for
    Entrepreneur.com, the website of the national publication
    Entrepreneur Magazine.

    Related Links:
    -- http://www.smallbusinessqa.com
    -- http://www.onlineprofits4u.com

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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