Running a small eBay side business

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by sdilley14, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #1
    I'm wondering if anyone here has an eBay business that they run? I have a lead on some good quality products that I can get at discounted prices. I have flipped a couple of them for a small profit (I'm talking $10-$20 profit each). There are other items that have better margins, but I don't want to get a bunch of inventory quite yet...I want to start small, establish some good feedback, and get a good "work flow" established before spending a bunch of money on higher yielding (but slightly riskier) inventory. I'm not going to get rich off of this, but that's not my goal either...I just want to generate a little income aside from my regular job.

    Does anyone here run an eBay business or regularly sell items on eBay in any capacity? Any tips/suggestions for someone just getting their feet wet? What products or product categories do you key on? I've used eBay before so I'm not a novice by any means, but I haven't really used it to sell on a regular basis...typically I would buy an item here or there, sell an item once every 8-12 months maybe.
     
  2. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #2
    Finding the product is the hard part, the rest is just common sense and organisation. I sell on UK eBay, but it generally applies to the US.

    Just three points of simple advice:
    • Try to make sure you don't have too much stock. (Anecdotal based on going in business with a friend who spent our budget on stock, forgetting the other extras that inevitably crop up).
    • Despatch I generally go the must be there within 3 days rule, some people expect everything NOW, others are chilled and like it within a working week, 3 days is the happy medium.
    • Record all your expenditure, your profit/revenue may not be as large as it first appears when you account for fuel costs to the post office.
     
  3. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #3
    Use a good program for listing. I use GarageSale which work well with all my bookkeeping. Many good programs available at a reasonable one time cost. Not recommending GarageSale, just saying it is what I use.

    Keep track of all expenses. Ebay, Paypal, shipping, merchandise fee's. Very important in determining your profit margins.

    Shipping times are very important. So decide where you will ship too. Some customers can be difficult about having to wait long periods of time. Customs into some countries can hold things up.

    Having a unique merchandise for sale can help as well.

    Describe all listings carefully and supply good crisp & clean photos of products. List Terms & Conditions. Can be powerful help when selling.

    Been selling on Ebay since 2000 on regular basis and these are just a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head. Hope they are helpful.
     
  4. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
  5. Benny- macrumors regular

    Benny-

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Berlin
    #5
    This is something that I've tried before both on eBay and Amazon. The hardest part is finding something cheaper than other sellers (very difficult), or finding a more unique and niche product.
    I'm already self employed and have been home based for four years so selling on eBay would be a great way to earn some extra money. As of yet I simply haven't found the right products to sell. Much like you the items I've sold haven't made me a fast amount of profit.
     
  6. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    Use eBay's completed listings feature to gauge how many sales other sellers are getting, how often, and at what prices.
     
  7. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #7
    That's what I've been doing to get a sense of what I can expect my items to see for. It helps me predict whether it's worthwhile to list an item based on what I can reasonably expect to make on it, helps me decide which inventory to purchase, etc.
     
  8. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #8
    almost everything i have bought from ebay i have flipped for a profit. i got my iPad 4 32gb with 4g brand new for 300 dollars, really wanted to sell it and double my money but ended up keeping it.
     
  9. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #9
    Quick little update.

    I've officially started by eBay "business". So far this month I've made $285 net profit on 10 items. I've been keeping track of all income and expenses on an Excel spreadsheet. It's pretty interesting looking at all of the numbers and seeing just how much profit you actually make after all of the expenses.

    Gross income: $693

    (minus)Item costs: $266.50
    (minus)Shipping and packaging: $45.70
    (minus)eBay Final Value Fees + PayPal Fees: $96.19

    Net income: $284.61

    I should be able to get packaging costs down with my future orders. The other costs are pretty unavoidable.

    I'm pretty happy with $285 profit on 10 items though. I just put in another order with my supplier for 18 items. I also have a better feel for which items are more profitable. I have a good feel for the process from listing items to shipping items out. The more I do it, the quicker and more efficient I get with it. I'm hoping to get to the point where I'm moving 25-50 items a month. I'm taking my time and ramping things up, adjusting as I go.

    I'm not trying to get rich, just looking to make some extra $$ on the side in my free time. So far so good!
     
  10. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
  11. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #11
    LOL, can't, it's a secret. ;)
     

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