Friday, August 25, 2006

HOW TO START SELLING ON Ebay: What to know before hand.

I've been selling and buying on and off on Ebay for 3 years now. I'm not a beanie baby millionaire, but I learned a few things. I'll share my knowledge with you and who knows, you might make a few bucks.

First of all, if you're only starting out, you won't be making a fortune in the next few weeks. It is always possible, like the lottery, but you must first developp your reputation before trying to sell some very rare trinket that is worth a fortune. Your feedback rating is very important. I would never do business with a member that had less than a %98 feedback rating. I've been burned a few times. You will too, it's part of the business and there is no way around it. The world is full of crooked morons and Ebay has them as well.

You build up your feedback by buying a few things. Don't go buy expensive stuff. Get little things that you might need or if you're lucky you could strike a bargain that you could resell later for a nice profit. When you have 5 good feedbacks under your name from winning a few auctions, you can try out your first sale. Take note that some sellers and buyers on Ebay are not too fast sometimes to leave feedback. Sometimes they just don't leave it at all. Ask for it once if you've heard nothing a week after the end of the transaction(by this I mean you got your widget by mail and the seller got his payment), if you get no reply, forget it and move on. In general, the buyer will leave feedback after receiving the item and that all is ok. This is a sort of confirmation of merchandise received for the seller who should then leave is feedback. Check for sellers who offer instant positive feedback immediatly following payment, this could help you.

Yes, payment. One of the best ways to pay for stuff on Ebay, is Paypal. Some love it, some hate it and I heard horror stories of all kinds. Paypal is not a bank account, so you do not have the same protection you would get from your local bank. However, this is a way to instantly send and receive payments over the internet. Paypal also offers a debit card free of charge that you can use where credit cards are accepted in the real world. That means you can spend whatever money you made on Ebay in the real world as well. I never leave too much money in my account, I usually spend it as fast as I make it. This way if any problem should arise, I don't lose that much.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff and we haven't sold anything yet. Before you start selling anything, go around the house and find stuff that you don't use or need. Whatever it is, put it aside. Next go do a search on Ebay for current and completed auctions on these items. This will give you a good idea on how much your stuff is worth. Browse the categories as well, you'll be surprised on what sells on Ebay. I have some images here to show how to use Ebay for free market research built right into the Ebay website. Use it and learn about your market.

Next post, we'll discuss pricing

Til then, use Ebay to do research, research and more research. Don't sell anything yet.