When you look out for options to make money online, one of the most popular and easiest option to explore would be eBay. One of the worlds oldest and most celebrate virtual marketplace, it is known for the huge variety that it offers and the unending possibilities to make money.
However, whether you are a first timer or a seasoned seller, it is not that simple to make money on eBay. In case you are keen on understanding how to make money on eBay, remember it is a very dynamic medium, but you will have to channelize it appropriately. That is how you make money on a sustainable basis.
One easy solution would be to find out how does eBayers make money? Not only would it provide you with a perspective on the way basic eBayers operate but also can help you better identify trends in the overall virtual marketplace. There are many successful eBayers who have created extremely stable income channels.
So if you want to understand how to make money with eBay, a good bet would be to follow the revenue model of some of the key players and take a realistic standpoint based on that.
How to Get Started Making Money on eBay
The first step towards earning on eBay starts with getting your account activated. Creating the account on eBay is absolutely free, and you do not need any additional charges for it. You can use the same account for both buying and selling activities, depending on how you want to make money on eBay.
The eBay account is pretty much your gateway into the world of e-commerce and primary starting point if you plan to make money from it. The account will give you information about all the auctions, the bids that you might have received thus far, apart from sending and receiving emails on the same.
When you are exploring how to make money on eBay, it is extremely important to choose an appropriate profile name for your account. Remember this is how you will be known across eBay including both your buyers and sellers and everyone accessing the e-commerce platform. While it might not be your name always but you must be careful about what name you choose. At no cost should it anything offensive or too weird. You must make sure that you keep a positive standpoint in the name at all cost.
Often the name is your first point of identity on the site. While it may not impact the way you make money directly, but there are chances that a weird sounding name might put off potential customers. People might also view odd sounding names with suspicion, and some super active ones might even explore reporting options.
Remember that account is your gateway to the world eBay. This is exactly why you must be careful about how you present the name on your account and the kind of message it sends across to your potential customers.
1. Understanding the eBay Fee Structure
Another important step in your entire journey towards understanding the eBay revenue model is getting a clearer picture of the overall fee structure. After all, if you want to make money, you need to have a clear idea about your expenses and how to handle it effectively.
For a better understanding of how to make money with eBay, you will have to understand the extent of expenses and charges that you must bear. This will give you a relative idea of the overall expense that’s involved in selling your ware on eBay and the kind of profit margins that you can operate with.
The Standard Fee arrangement is one of the most basic types of fee structure. You can also choose to be an eBay subscriber otherwise. Essentially this arrangement will have a bearing on the number of free listings that you are eligible for and any additional fees that you might need to pay.
Often the number of free listings that you get on eBay could play a crucial role in determining your profitability. It goes on to impact your ability with regards to the number of listings you can afford to put out every month.
For those who are rather new on eBay and have limited selling experience, the standard fee arrangement is the most convenient. You can put up to 50 listings every month and would not require insertion fee for them. In return, you would have to pay about 10% of the final value that you have sold in a specific month. Predominantly, you can take advantage of three main types of subscription plan
- Different cost per month ranging between $15.95-179.95
- Listings per month without insertion fee, from 150 to 2,500
- Percentage of final value as fees to eBay between 4-9%
2. Open a PayPal Account to Enhance Sales
Now you must be wondering how does opening a PayPal account have any link with how to make money on eBay? Well, being a successful salesperson is all about extending suitable service to the client, taking care of all their needs and making sure that they have the most comfortable terms of payment. The more the options that you provide, the better it is for the client. They would view you as a customer friendly sales person and try to conduct as much business as possible with you.
When you are out trying to make money on eBay, the chances get further enhanced with PayPal. Though it is not mandatory, nearly 90% of the sellers on eBay have active PayPal accounts to facilitate easier transactions. There are many advantages of a PayPal account
- It provides better payment options to buyers. It enables them to use a credit card or even a checking account to make their payment.
- As a seller, it enhances your scope to reach to a bigger audience base. PayPal allows you to sell your ware to even international buyers. With PayPal, you can easily initiate international transactions and get payment with relative ease.
- One of the preference settings on eBay specifies only sellers who take PayPal. If you don’t have PayPal, you will lose outreach to all these people who could have turned into potential clients. Given the convenience of PayPal, it is often the primary pre-condition based on which people undertake the search. The absence of PayPal, therefore, harms the overall prospects significantly.
Therefore if you want to make money on eBay on a sustained basis, it is much better that you are able to offer a much broader payment options range by including PayPal as well.
3. Decide What to Sell on eBay
This can be a rather complicated step in your quest about how to make money with eBay? One of the cardinal rules to follow while selling on eBay is that you must bet heavily on the unique element and the niche factor. At the same time, when you are starting off, it is best to concentrate on things that do not involve a huge expense. This will help you make money in a constructive manner.
So the best place to look out for options would be your own house. Look for potential saleable options room by room and don’t leave even half a piece of paper without judging its resale value. There could be many things that you do not need anymore, or you do not use anymore or clothes that do not fit you. All of that can be sold on eBay, provided you peg it properly.
You can even use the online tool offered by eBay, ‘Selling Inspiration House’ to shortlist the possible options to sell. You can use it to identify the products in the house that can be put up for sale for you to make money and how much you can make from each of these. For better understanding about how to make money on eBay, you could also explore eBay to find out what others are selling and check the number fo bids that could go on to determine the popularity of the product.
Finally, when you decide what to sell, it is important to include as detailed description of the product as possible. Often this will help you understand how to make money on eBay. Your detailed description will give the client appropriate idea about what you want to sell and how effectively can the product add value to their lives.
But for that, you would need to know the product appropriately and only then, can you be prepared to answer any query with regards to the product’s efficacy. You will be able to explain the benefits and usage of the product in greater details and lot more depth.
I am sure once you have undertaken a few sales, you will begin to understand what makes a profitable proposition and what does not. Now, this should be your cue and make sure that you are able to stock up a lot more of that product. In this way, you will be able to make money in a more constructive manner.
4. The Benefits of an eBay Store
When you start selling consistently for a while and want to understand how to make money with eBay a lot more consistently, one simple solution would be to settle for an eBay store. One of the biggest advantages of having a separate store is that eBay promotes each of these stores separately and through multiple channels. The visibility on search engines also get enhanced, and all of this can only mean one thing, better sales, bigger profitability.
Having a separate store on eBay also brings in a lot of credibility to your name and the brand that you associate with. Customers and dealers understand that you are not one of those fickle one time sellers. You send the message loud and clear that you mean serious business and woo potential buyers to invest in you.
Encourage your customers to share their feedback about your product. Often potential buyers wanting to invest in these new offerings rely a lot on the feedback to finally buy the product. Appropriate feedback would, therefore, multiply the prospects of the sale by many times.
Moreover, a separate store on eBay will make sure that you have a unique exclusivity attached to your brand. People would come to identify your shop and also discuss with a fellow shopper. This would mean that awareness about your brand would increase, and sales have the potential to increase as a result. When you want to make money a lot faster, this kind of exposure always adds to the profit that your collection can bring forth.
Therefore the eBay store can be a perfect answer for all proposition in almost every respect, especially how to make money on eBay.
5. The Need for a Profitable Bargain
When you are starting to sell products on eBay, remember the shortcut to how to make money is decidedly getting the stuff at a low price and then selling them for a significant profit. But often, the problem is identifying the right place to buy the product and then sourcing them from there for your eBay store.
Some of the most common locations that you could explore are Craiglist’s Freebie section or rummage through leftovers in a yard sale. You could even go through Facebook pages from the local area and look out for all possible free stuff that is on sale there.
The potential of what all you could sell has not cap on eBay. The sky is the limit. Almost every object is on sale. The trick is you need to understand how to sell it and make money from it. One of my most favorite examples is undoubtedly how you can sometimes sell the old parts of a Vacuum cleaner better than the brand new one. The question is how well are you able to manage it to make money.
Another classic example is cloth sales. There could be some seller who had 300 clothing items, but they are all bundles together. So you decide to break the bundle into smaller groups and then capitalize on sales from thereon. While initially identifying the right product could pose a channel, you learn to select the right products eventually as your experience keeps getting better and your contact list wider.
I must say that a strong contact list can often generate a lot of potential places where you can get your products at a bargain and quite effortless. Also, make a calculation of the money you would need to transfer the goods. That would help you in making a realistic assumption of expected profit.
6. Do Not Compromise on Customer Service
If you are an entrepreneur or a business person, then you must understand that your customer is king. Without the customer, all your effort, your wares go waste. People look to buy from some of the suppliers compared to others precisely on the basis of the customer that they receive.
One of the most important pre-conditions is prompt service. You must make sure that you are able to respond within the shortest possible time after your customers have placed an order. If there are questions that have been posted, you must respond to them within one hour and follow-up on the customer’s needs.
Being professional and being absolutely polite is extremely important when you are looking at how to make money with eBay. Even when you do not have the specific product at a certain point of time, it is always a good idea to check with the clients about the period within which they need it. See if you can help them in a specific way.
Also as a seller, you have to make space for people’s incompetence or inability. Like recently, a seller I know got the same order from the customer twice. Anticipating a mistake, he asked the client if they really needed the product twice, it was soon evident it was a mistake, and the client posted two by mistake. He avoided a potential problem by being proactive in the entire approach and making sure to connect with the customer at the earliest.
Tracking the shipment is another important responsibility of a great seller. Track each product separately, even if there are two of the same product. This will bring in better accountability and a far more active follow-up. Also, remember to constantly update your clients about the transit state of the products.
There are times when you are dealing with irate customers; you could lose your cool. But if you want to make money, remember to keep your cool at all cost. It is much better to report about dispute situations to eBay rather than trying to resolve it on your own. Remember just in case you lose your cool and say something inappropriate, the customer could slap you with harassment charges. On the contrary, if you stay calm and let eBay handle the case for you, you are more likely to be at an advantage.
7. Weird Is Wonderful on eBay
Do you know the first thing that was ever sold on eBay? It was broken laser points. The eBay founder was so surprised at this, that he even asked the seller if this was a mistake. To his surprise, he got to know that there is actually a buzzing and active market for broken laser points.
Perhaps if you are looking at how to make money on eBay, this is a key point to consider. It is one of the world’s busiest marketplaces for all things unique and sometimes even odd. That’s the feature on which eBay has managed to stay ahead of the race and consistently maintained its supremacy. You could sell almost anything, provided you could find buyers willing to bid for it. Be it torn clothes, broken antiques or old spare parts, almost nothing is a waste on this marketplace.
In fact, often it has been noticed that you can make money better when you have a rather odd stuff. The more rare or weird an item is, chances are it will generate that much better interest and bids as well. So when you are listing wares, it always makes sense to look for some rare objects that could turn on the interest of a lot of people.
In that ways, then you will be sure to sell the product and make money in the bargain from that deal. However weird should not be misconstrued with uselessness. There could be many times that object that you shortlist have no value. Therefore it is very important to strike the right balance between usefulness and weird quotient of the product that you are deciding to list for sale.
8. Avoid Auction to Make Money Faster
If you want to make money on eBay, I would suggest that it is always better to avoid the auction route. It takes far longer to close a deal, needs a lot closer follow-up and often you might also lose precious time and a good deal in the bargain. For every serious bidder, there would be ten non-serious one, who would quote just about any price.
It becomes a lot easier to peddle your ware with the ‘buy it now’ option. In this way, the buyer also does not have to wait for the bid to end and neither do you have to constantly monitor the irrelevant bids from people who perhaps don’t want to buy but put a bid nevertheless.
Invariably you also get a far lower price than what you might want. So it is not a very convenient option if you want to sell your ware at a certain margin and do not want to compromise with the profit number in mind.
Moreover, auction often delays the whole selling procedure significantly. The buy it now improves the relative pace of operation and makes the whole process a lot more efficient.
9. Pay Attention to the Pictures of Your Products
In the virtual market place, most times your clients are identifying the worth of your product through the photographs that they are seeing. It is therefore extremely important that you pay due attention to the picture that you post. While considering how to make money with eBay, this is a very important consideration. While a bad photograph can mar the sales prospect of even great looking goods, a good one can help you sell even a low grade property at a significant premium to the buying price that you paid.
However it is never advisable to go overboard with the number of photographs. It is important to remember that the quality more than the quantity of the pics that you post matter. While photographs can be catalysts to help you make money on eBay, you can easily make the impact with 3 well chosen ones instead of 6 badly clicked options.
Also, spend time planning the visual presentation of the product. This will help you make money in a meaningful manner on eBay. You can start off by taking photographs from all possible angles and then choosing the most appropriate and impactful ones.
Moreover, you must remember to adhere to all the specifications with regards to posting photographs on eBay. This is not just important to make money but also enhancing the credibility and quality consciousness of your products.
Also, it is always advisable to avoid posting photographs that are blurry. Don’t be in a rush and take the time to sort out the exact images that you would like to post for your products. If needed, you can load the additional photos to picture sharing sites and then provide the link to your customers. If they want to check additional photographs, this will provide that option for them without clogging your listing space.
10. Pricing Is Crucial
Setting the right price is a crucial factor to consider when you are considering how to make money on eBay. This is because if you set the price too high, you won’t get buyers and if it is too low, you won’t be able to realize the right value. The result will be you won’t be able to make money at the desired level. It will be either too little, or the effort might not justify the money that you get for the product.
It would be much better if you did some homework on your own. Check the final price of listings similar to your product. It will give you a fair idea of the market for the product and the maximum possible price that people might be comfortable paying for the product.
Also try and gauge the relative demand. For example, if you are selling rather obscure products, it is better to keep the prices low. On the contrary, if it is a rather popular product, some bit of premium pricing can also help you make money.
When you are considering how to make money on eBay, it is extremely important to take up a comprehensive viewpoint. Do not focus on any one factor. Rather a balanced viewpoint can fetch you the maximum value for your goods. Remember that eBay is one of the most active virtual marketplaces. It is rather simple to make money if you can focus on a balance of quality and quantity.
Is eBay a Good Way of Making Money?
Although I explained in details how to make money on eBay, I have to emphasize that making money on eBay is not the best option for those who want to make money online. I know very well how to make money with eBay, but I don’t try it myself. The reason is that, while there are much better ways of making money, it doesn’t make sense to work on something that is much harder to make money, for example eBay and Amazon.
You can make some money with eBay and there are some people who make a lot of money with it, but:
- It is not that easy to make money with eBay and it is a lot of work sometimes.
- It is hard to make a living through it. I am not saying it is impossible, but it is hard.
- It is too hard to become rich making money on eBay.
I say this because getting rich is a good goal that you have to have when you want to make money online. You have to choose big goals to become able to reach the smaller goals at least. For example, when your goal is becoming super rich through making money online, then even if you can’t become rich, at least you will be able to make a living. But when your main goal is making a living, then you can make a few hundreds of dollars, but that doesn’t enable you to make a living with.
Therefore, I use eBay as a good site, but I don’t use it to make a living with, let alone getting rich. Instead of making money on eBay to make a living with or to get rich, I use Data Technology: What Is Data Technology and How It Can Make You a Millionaire?