Practical Business tips from street level perspective

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As I have a little bit of spare time I thought I would write this guide that may be useful for anyone thinking of starting a small business on ebay or even a shop or markets in real life.


The first and most important thing in Business is to know your product, whether it be something you have always done as a hobby or something you may be interested in, but never tried before. You need to research it thoroughly.
 
If your main interest is plants it would be silly to try selling fine china or clothing.


I myself sell women's clothing and find that even after 40 years in the same business I still make mistakes if I venture into children's clothing or men's clothing, as I have no interest in either of those lines, but rarely make a mistake about women's clothing.
 
The second most important thing, especially if you are wanting to do ebay, is not to be undercapitalised especially in today's climate of rising interest rates, high petrol prices and the US economy.


If you decide to sell anything at all, even your own redundant household goods and find yourself short of cash it is not a good idea to think, "Ok I will list these things even though I have no money, when they sell I will have enough for the fees I need to pay."


A lot of times the things don’t sell and you the can’t pay the fees and ebay will stop you trading till you can pay them.


My advice would be to make sure you have at least the money to cover the first months fees.


With items you have purchased to sell, never make the mistake of thinking that all you have got back for them is your profit, I did that myself 40 years ago and went broke within the 1st year. Never made that mistake again.


Look at all your expenses like fees, cost of goods, postage, petrol, add all that together and then see what you have left that you can spend.


If you are on a tight budget and are trying to build a business it is probably better if possible, to put all your profit back into the business.


Don’t fall into the trap of doing as ebay says, listing your items to start at 99cents.


Because a lot of the time that is what you will finish with.
Its far better to start your item at the price you want to end up with.
 
Communication is a very important part of selling, there are many ways to do this.
I find the most effective for me, is to gain your buyer's interest by talking about general things
while letting them see the thing you would like them to be interested in.
Basically you need to create rapport and build a relationship with them.
Never forget you need them more than they need you and the way you interact with them
will determine the success of your sale.
 
Once they have made a commitment to buy from you, they will most likely continue to seek out your shop the next time they need something you have to offer.
 
With any business you need to be prepared to accept a small % of loss, human error and unsatisfied clients.
It could be in the form of lost parcels, sending a wrong item or just a person who thinks they didn't get what they thought they were buying.
In these instances I always replace the item and try to pacify the unhappy client by refunding their money.


With good communication none of these things need to be a big thing.
Last but by no means least, versatility is a crucial thing to have in sales or business of any kind.
Be prepared to accept change and to work with it, keep your eye open for what you can do to improve your sales.
You often hear people say "Gee things are slow, everything is going bad."
This may be so, but there is always someone that is doing well.
Look around for that someone, see what they are doing that you are not and try to emulate
them.

Better stop writing because this is looking like a book.

Margo

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