At the onset of the tech revolution in September 1995, a company was born with a novel approach to auctioneering. The company was called AuctionWeb, a web-based auction site where people from around the world could bid on various products and business owners could send the products directly to buyers’ homes.
AuctionWeb soon became eBay, which in following years grew to become one of the largest companies in the United States. Today, eBay is continually expanding its horizons and operates in over 30 countries.
eBay is a well-known auction website that pairs sellers who want to make money with buyers who want to purchase unique products they can’t find anywhere else. But how does the average person start an eBay small business?
Starting Out With an eBay Small Business
One of the things people like about owning their own eBay small business is that the business owner gets to work at home and set his or her own schedule. No bad traffic jams to fight, and no overbearing bosses – it seems like a dream come true.
However, owning an eBay small business isn’t always easy. In effect, the eBay small business owner becomes a retailer; not the owner of a brick and mortar store, but a virtual shop on the web. The eBay small business owner must also purchase and stock his or her own products.
As a bona fide retailer, the eBay seller must attend to such typical retail business practices as accounting, purchasing, customer service, office supplies, marketing, sales, packing, shipping, and returns. He or she must also set pricing reasonably; not so low that profitability will be impacted, yet not so high that nobody will purchase the products.
The Key to Successful Selling on eBay
People who are considering becoming eBay small business owners typically believe that selling products such as digital cameras or Blu-ray disc players will make money in buckets. However, that’s not always the case.
Successful eBay small business owners have done quite well selling not simply popular mainstream products, but niche products that are equally popular yet hard to find. Examples include vintage dolls, valuable collectibles, rare coins, old antiques, and niche art.
Achieving an excellent seller reputation and positive feedback on eBay is another area the eBay seller needs to focus on. Thus, the eBay seller must ensure quality packaging, speedy shipping, good customer service, and quality products that are a good value for the money.
Starting an eBay small business is advantageous in the sense that the eBay seller is free to work at home and make money online. However, the eBay seller must keep in mind that it is a retail business like any other, and profitability depends on a variety of factors.