Buying & Selling Thru Ebay & Other Auctions/Query re online business

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Question
Hi,

For various reasons I need to start an online business being self-employed. However, I want to do more than just sell my old junk at home 2ndhand. I would like to either find out where/how to buy stuff cheap to sell online on ebay etc., either that and/or make some sort of arts and crafts and sell such online. I presume, that for the former, one needs to visit local warehouses and buy en-masse, but I have no idea what sort of items would sell well on ebay(and just looking vaguely at some basic statistics re jewellery outselling antique books etc. is unlikely to be useful to me).The latter would require me to create and sell handmade goods such as wood-carved objects online via etsy etc. The catch with that is that I have no idea which arts and crafts are oversubscribed with too many sellers and not enough demand.For example, although I have seen a number of promotional articles on how several private citizens have made a living selling woodcarved objects online, I am rather sceptical. There are some elite woodcarving online courses for c. 160 UK pounds a year membership and the like, but I don't want to start on such courses until I am sure of making a livelihood from them. I admit I have no real artistic talent as such  nor any unique business talent but I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions as to what to try out and the how of it all. Thanks a lot! Gerald.

Answer
We have found in our years of selling that there is no quick and easy start up on EBay or Etsy.  It takes a while to get started and get known online.  From our own experience and others we knows that you need to find a product you like and are comfortable selling.  You need to learn all you can about your product.  

There are many sources for product depending on what the product is.



Right now electronics and cell phones and accessories are pretty hot sellers. Sellers get many of those items from warehouse companies, many of these are in China or Taiwan. I have no experience with warehousing as I sell antique tins I buy from EBay, estate sales, auctions and even yard sales.  

What I found very useful was subscribing to Linked In EBay user groups.  I listened to what other sellers were saying, and gained knowledge from their experiences.The groups are free to join and so is linked in.  No one can pick your product to sell, you have to decide what you are interested in a research on EBay and see what is selling, and what they are selling for.  

Here are some things which might be of help to you

First find your flagship product or product line
Become an expert on the product
Find a supply of the product

Take great pictures
Write good descriptions
Buy a postage scale it is very necessary and cheap

Research your product and make sure you have at least double profit, a preferably triple.  What I mean is if you buy it for 5.00 you should be able to sell it for at least 10.00 and preferably 15.00.  you will have fees with EBay.  You will have to set up a Pay Pal account.  You will need some up front money raptors buy product and for shipping.

You can weigh the item and print the label on the computer printer and tape it on the package.  The postage will be charged to your pay pal account.

You might want to check out Auctiva or ink frog to use for image hosting and listing.  We prefer Auctiva it is 10.00 a month.

You can get free boxes at stores, or buy them from EBay, Amazon, or other sources.  We buy from papermart.  Adequately packaging is very important.



It is a learn as you go, and we learn new things all the time.

Good luck.

Shirley  

Buying & Selling Thru Ebay & Other Auctions

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Shirley McAllister

Expertise

I have experience with Ebay, Etsy and Bonanza. I can also answer some questions on RubyLane and Ecrater. I know a little about running an ecommerce site off Ebay and the google adwords although I no longer have my ecommerce site due to time constraints. We are powersellers on Ebay and have been for a few years. We know most all the rules and regulations. What I can help with is how to write the descriptions to sell the product. What should be there and what should not. How to research the product to find the right prices. Communication and it's importance before and after the sale. I do know about sales tax how to set up an account, collect and pay also how to set up an EIN business account. I am working on becoming familiar with the new 1099K and how it works. We deal with collectible tins, so can answer most questions about collectibles, especially older tins, (tobacco, condom, powder, coffee) also some newer ones (cookies, candy, trucks, trains, toys, food tins). Just basically old collectible stuff. I can answer questions on how to package and ship the various items. I am not a tax expert so do not ask about your Schedule C forms, I pay someone to do that. Since I have been 30 years in Payroll and Human Resources I have some experience with numbers and with people. It has helped me with running our Ebay venture over the years. I'll do my best to either answer your question or find the answer for you and if I cannot I will let you know.

Experience

Ebay, Etsy, Bonanza sellers. Ebay Power sellers since 2003. Sales Tax experience through employment. Experience with people and communication through my employment for 30 years. Packing and shipping experience as well as reasearch through running our own business.

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Publications
IOMA, BNA

Education/Credentials
CPP (Certified Payroll Professional) BSU (Boise State University) Accounting/bookkeeping/Human Resources PHR (Professional in Human Resources) PA (Payroll Administrator -Canada) Payroll administration UK George Washington University certificate in Internal Investigations Notary of Public State of Idaho Ecommerce business owner

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