A while back I was talking with a 70 year-old grandmother who happened to mention she is a PowerSeller on eBay. She's been selling on eBay for several years and makes a good full-time income doing it.
What do you sell? I asked her. "Anything I can find," she replied.
That got me thinking. Like most Americans I've got a house full of stuff I could do just as well without. I'm a musician, so there are several guitars that could go, some shoes and boots, and some stuff in the garage I don't even remember buying.
So how about unloading it on eBay?
Now keep in mind I've been running my own business for nearly 20 years. At the same time my wife has owned a busy at-home mail order business. So I'm familiar with all the problems that come with selling to customers who live states away. Expensive shipping, damaged items, customers who give you the wrong address, email addresses that don't work -- you name it.
To make a short story even shorter, I listed a few guitars on eBay and was stunned at how easy it was to sell them. No question eBay is the easiest way to sell I've ever experienced.
Now selling isn't the same thing as making a profit. But it's a BIG step in the right direction.
eBay is the largest retailer in history with 100 million active members. Imagine a BIG store with 100 million people milling around inside. That's eBay. And since all you have to do is search for the item of your dreams, it's super easy for hot prospects to find you.
1. When writing the title of your eBay listing, use the terms customers will use to search for you. I had one item bought within 2 minutes after listing it. Within a few hours you can have 100 or more interested members keeping an eye on your item.
2. Take full advantage of the way eBay is set up to work perfectly with PayPal, UPS, and other shippers. It takes just seconds and a few clicks to print a shipping label, get a discount on UPS, and send tracking info to the customer.
Like everybody else, I've been buying on eBay for over a decade. Here are the three most important things to remember on your march toward running a profitable eBay business.
1. Always ship the same day or the very next day. Send tracking info to the customer.
2. Email your customer just as soon as you can after the sale. Thank them and list your email address and phone number in case they have questions. Many bad reviews have to do with the customer not being able to get in touch with the seller.
3. Be realistic about your item. If it has problems, list them. Members appreciate your honesty and you won't have customers complaining about a scratch, dent, or missing part weeks later.
Even with eBay making it harder to achieve a good reputation and raising their fees, it's still an awesomely easy way to start a business.