I’ve read that the average millionaire has at least seven different streams of income. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to earn extra money to help support my family while working from home. Last year, in an effort to declutter our home after moving, I decided to try selling some of our unwanted and unused items on eBay. I started selling on eBay last June with no clue as to what I was doing. I’d bought things on eBay plenty of times, but never sold anything. I started researching in the first place I always go for research….YouTube (don’t they have a video for everything?) I figured I would be able to get some tips on how to go about getting my stuff sold.
What I found was a wealth of information from people, who not only sell extra things they have around the house, but actually make a full-time living selling stuff on eBay. What?!?!
There are people making six- and even seven- figures annually with their online stores. I spent an entire weekend binge watching some of these videos and figured I’d give it a whirl. I took pictures of my stuff and created my listings online. There are literally millions of items being sold on eBay every day and so I figured no one really made any money doing this and my chances of making sells of stuff I didn’t sell anymore were slim to none. Two weeks after making my posting on eBay, I made my first sale (a brand new Shopkins beach towel that my daughter didn’t use). I was hooked. I began looking for other stuff to sale and watching more videos. I’ve researched how to get more inventory, photo suggestions, how to create the best listings and even the best time to create listings.
Almost 9 months from the time of my first sale and I now make about $2,500 a month in gross revenue. My income shot up in the last two months after deciding to put a major focus on growing and expanding. So is eBay a potential viable income stream for you?
BENEFITS OF SELLING ON EBAY
- Ability to work the hours that you want
- Working for yourself. No one can tell you how to run your business
- Income potential is unlimited.
- Low start-up costs. You can start with items around your house
- Working on an established platform. eBay already has an established website with millions of potential buyers. You do not have to work to generate traffic
- Part of your job is shopping (am I the only one who thinks this is awesome?)
DOWNSIDES TO SELLING ON EBAY
- You’ll need plenty of space to store your inventory. You’ll want to have a good idea of how many items you plan to have on-hand at any given moment to determine how much space you might need.
- It’s hard work. There is always something to do. You’ll want to stay active with your store daily in order to keep eBay happy and have a better chance of generating sales. Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense now, we’ll get into it more later.
- If you go out of town, your store is “on hold” until you return. While you can still make sales, you are unable to ship anything. This could be a problem for buyers if you will be away for any significant amount of time.
- You’re selling on someone else’s platform. If anything happens with eBay, you could be out of business over night. If they go out of business, get bought, or revoke your selling privileges for any reason, you’re left holding the bag (remember those seven revenue streams I mentioned above?)
WHY EBAY WAS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME
My journey with eBay was definitely not what I thought it was going to be when I started out. I thought I’d make a little bit of extra money by selling stuff I had around the house. I thought maybe I’d make enough money for the kids and I to have a pizza night once a week or perhaps do a fun activity as a family. It’s grown into something that is a viable second income for us. I would love to see myself at 2-3x my gross revenue a year from now.
eBay was the right choice for me because, I’m able to do it in my “free time”. I can tweak listings while I’m sitting in the car pool line. I can do photographs early in the morning before the kids wake up or at night after they go to bed.
As long as I have a free five or ten minutes, I can squeeze in some eBay work. The best part is that it allows me to earn money while I’m sleeping. Free time is one of my biggest hurdles. eBay allows me to work on my schedule and still grow a viable business.
HOW TO KNOW IF EBAY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
While eBay is a good supplemental income for me, it might not necessarily be for everyone. How will you know if it’s right for you? I recommend you evaluate it from three aspects: personal goals, family goals, financial goals, and operating your business.
- Why do you want to sell on eBay? What goals in your life will you meet?
- Is your family supportive of your efforts?
- Will you have anyone who will be helping with your business?
- How much money do you want to make from your eBay business?
- Do you want to work with eBay part-time? Full-time?
- How many items will you need to sell in order to meet your goals? Is this viable?
Operating Your Business
- Do you have the space you need to operate your business? Will you have a place to keep the inventory you purchase?
- What do you want to sell?
- Do you have enough sourcing opportunities where you live? Do you have online resources where you can get inventory?
- Do you have the product knowledge for the items you want to sell? If not, do you have the resources to learn?
- Do you have the tools you need to get started? Access to a camera (the camera on your phone is just fine to start). Proper storage for your inventory items (tubs, shelving, etc.)
If you’ve gone through the evaluation process and decided that an eBay store might be in your future, take that next step.
- Set up an eBay account (if you don’t have one already)
- Grab those items that you have lying around the house. I recommend doing this before making any outside inventory purchases. You will likely be limited in the number of items you can have for sale at any given time when you first start.
- Take awesome pictures and create your listing.
- Sell and repeat.
Of course that’s just a simple overview. If you want more details on how to get started in selling on eBay and how things work, please feel free to poke around the site! Grab a cup of tea, kick your feet up, and stay a while.