Ebay is a much different platform than it used to be. Back when ebay started in the 90s, ebay was all about auctioning used items. However today, over 90% of the items sold on ebay are brand-new.
If you are looking at how to make money on ebay today, you need to ask yourself a few questions…
Are you looking at building a hobby or professional ebay business? The difference between a hobby ebay business and a professional ebay business is a professional ebay business produces a full-time income or greater.
If you are looking at building a professional ebay business, in my opinion it is best to build a business that is highly automated so you do not accidentally build yourself a full-time job.
Although not impossible to do, it is much more difficult to automate an ebay business which sells used items. The reason being, is most used items are sold as one-offs. So each item has to be photographed and listed, and then sold only once. Whereas, with new items, they can be sold over and over again.
The other problem with selling used items is sourcing them. This task is very hard to outsource as you end up being the expert at sourcing and buying the used items. This is a time intensive process and requires you.
As opposed to new items where you can outsource the research at $2 per hour.
When building an ebay business, it is critical to start with an exit strategy in mind, but not for the obvious reason. An exit strategy means you’re planning on building the business so it can be sold at a later date. Which in itself is a great strategy, however… The other great part about building a business with an exit strategy is you end up building a business which operates without you. This is the smart way to build a business.
So say down the track you wish to sell your ebay business. If the potential buyer can see the business not only operates without you, but also grows with the systems and methodologies you have put in place, you will get substantially more money for the business. An ebay business can be sold for anywhere between 1 to 4 times the annual profit.
The next question to ask yourself is, do you wish to sell used or new items?
For the reasons above I much prefer to sell new items, however everybody is different.
Personally I am lousy at valuing used items like art, jewellery, precious metals et cetera and this is because I’m not passionate about these items.
However I have friends and colleagues who are extremely passionate about these kind of items and have been most of their life.
The great thing with ebay is you can choose how to make money on ebay, you can choose whether you want to sell used items or new items.
The next question to ask yourself is, if you want to sell new items, do you want to source locally or import. If you are new to ebay it is always best to start small and slowly.
Most ebay top sellers started off selling unused items which were lying around the house or garage. This is fantastic experience for selling on ebay.
The next step is to either keep selling used items which can be sourced from places like council cleanups, garage sales, thrift stores et cetera and then move into selling new items.
If money is an issue, the profits gained from selling used items can be used to purchase new items.
If you are a budding entrepreneur and looking at how to make money on ebay, I would highly recommend you look seriously at importing from China. Many people get nervous about importing from China, however with today’s technology and websites like Alibaba, it is very easy and safer than ever.
Today, it is much more efficient to sit at home on your computer to do research and buying than it is to jump on a plane and go to China.
One of the questions I get a lot is “What if I import some items and they don’t sell?”. My answer always is: “Do not buy items unless they have a proven history of selling well and making good profits”.
The software and tools available today make it is very easy to find which items sell well so you have the choice of only selling those items. By doing this, you massively reduce the risk by only selling hot items that have a proven history of not just selling well, but even more importantly making a profit every time they sell.
To your success
Neil Waterhouse is an ebay Multi-million dollar seller and the author of best seller “Million Dollar eBay Business From Home – A Step By Step Guide”. Neil is also the founder and host of the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide ebay Sellers Meetup Groups. For more information, see: https://www.neilwaterhouse.com