How to start your ebay business, selling online

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Hey everyone, I have been an ebay member for about 8 years now and my wife and I decided to start selling, over a year and a half ago.  Mainly we started with stuff around the home that was no longer needed.  As sellers we did very well and we received powerseller status well before, we reached the 400 feedback mark.  All was going well, until we ran out of stuff to sell around the house and then my wife decided to sell  her paintings and produce her own line of veils and fascinators.  Things were moving along nicely and then the drop in economy hit.  My wife being the very talented, creative and resourceful person she is, and let me tell you this woman is as stubborn and as tenacious as a bull, decided this was not going to fail and that she would do some research into how to make this business bigger and successful. ( we dont claim to be the know it alls of ebay, nor do we think that our way is the only way and best way, we are here just to legitimately help others wanting to sell on ebay from home and mainly to direct people to where to find items to sell and what worked for us in our times of selling on ebay.  We know there are people out there claiming to help new sellers start, by giving them, round about directions, which are not helpful and really get you no where. Its like telling someone to keep walking in a straight line and they will eventually reach america. as you can see not helpful at all and we are in oz lol. ) We are not rich yet, but we are own our way as we are going very well with our selling on ebay :)

So here is what we learned.

1. apply for abn number from tax department, you can do this online for free or go to your tax agent, it will cost you with them. this is important if you want to start serious selling on ebay.

2. approach wholesalers and manufacturers directly, (you need the abn number as they wont want to know you if you dont have one) This will enable you to get some good quality items to sell and not only from the (shonky) overseas companies claiming to be wholesalers.

3. when dealing with customers/buyers, always answer questions promptly, be curteuous, polite and fair. No question is a silly questions, just bite your tongue and answer with a smile lol. 

4. when listing items, always give as much information about the item as you can, lots of photos, information, measurements etc.  dont use too many terms of sales in your listings as this does not interest buyers, they only want to know about the products.  dont tell buyers what you wont do, instead tell them what you will do for them.  some (TOS) is important though like, (buyer pays for postage return for change of mind) Or (14 day return policy) etc etc.

5. dont put down things such as, ( no refund) or (no returns) as you cannot enforce these.  ebay wont enforce them and neither will paypal, it is law of australia to offer a refund or exchange for faulty or damaged items.  Also make sure you register items you send via post, for proof of tracking etc.  Also make sure you read information on selling as a business and consumer rights.  

6. dont charge excessive postage, a handling fee of around $2 to $3 we find is fair and not over the top. This will cover envelopes wrapping, travel etc.

7. Do a business course as this can be very helpful.

8. attend fair trading shows, you can apply for a ticket online to attend these shows but you will need to prove that you have been selling that particular type of product. eg, in the giftware shows, you will need to provide proof of selling and dealing with wholesalers of giftware via supplying a copy of invoices etc.

9.Make sure you send out items to buyers as soon as possible, a handing time of 1 to 3 days is in most cases acceptable, anything longer can leave you with unhappy customers

10. Do try to list items that obviously arent so popular on ebay because that means you are competing with so many others and quite often people get into war over the prices and who will charge less and make more sales and everyone loses, including the "dumbies" who get into this sort of childish and non helpful game. Try and find things that a different and interesting, bare in mind though, that there are only so many things in this world that are unique and that may not be popular, so baring that in mind, choose things that are not as popular with many others to compete with. In saying this, sometimes a product that is not known can have its own issues, such as no one knows how to find it as they arent looking for it, so try cross advertising on your other listings if you wish.

11. You may sometimes find that some wholesalers may not be interested in selling to you if you are selling on ebay. They dont mind if your an online retail shop with your own domain and webpage, but seem to have this belief that most sellers on ebay, purchase their items and auction them off.  This then, conflicts with their other customers (B & M) owners and other online retailers as they have no chance if you are undercutting their prices with significantly lower prices.  If your are going to sell on ebay and go for the wholesalers, abn and serious selling, try to open your own website if possible, or else try to convince the wholesalers that you own a store on ebay and are not interested in auctioning your items or undercutting significantly with prices.  We recommend using the buy it now format as this makes you look more professional.  Some wholesalers are ok with ebay selling, but alot arent, so try and be proffessional, respectful and dont ever get into the ridiculous undercutting game that most seem to get into on ebay.  It really does not look good at all for you.

Now the fun stuff,

we mainly deal with giftware (ebay does not allow outside links so we will supply information the only way we can)

 here are some legitmate places to go,  to get  you started.

search for giftware dot net  au site , lists most of the wholesalers and manufacturers attend the giftware shows

 also another Australian wholesaler is  Isgift  (independant studios) search them in google, they sell anything from vw camper tents to giftware, novelty quirky items, toys etc.

Happy selling and good luck

We are happy if we have helped in any way,

thankyou kindly

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