Discovering ebay and deciding to set up your own eBay store is really exciting and can be really daunting as well - aside from findiing out how to set it up, you also have to decide what to sell and how to find what you need! Here is a short guide to hopefully get you started!
starting out - what will you need?
1# Ebay feedback score :
First things first, you will need to get your 'rating' ( feedback score) up to a certain level to start selling - when I started, it was 20 but it may change in the future, so just check first! this is basically just so that you are seen as a trusted person ( to be able to get that rating) and will be more likely to be trustworhty if you know the ropes of ebay a bit first!A good way to get your rating up is to do all of your normal shopping on ebay ( ie. if you need to get the kids some new clothes/ buy a birthday present, do that all through ebay - through a trusworthy seller, of course!) and ask the seller to leave you feedback because you are trying to get your rating up. Make sure that if you are going to do this, you buy through sellers with a high rating ( 99 - 100% ) and check their feedback first.
2# Find your niche:
Secondly, you will need to have a good hard think about what your passions are , ie, do you love cars, clothes, beading or anything else that is really unique and that you will be able to market in order to build a good, reliable business - is there something that you know you can do better than anybody else and that you sell? for example, I have always loved tie-dying and been a bit of a hippy at heart and sunsequently decided ( after a few false starts ) to open tie-dye heaven - http://stores.ebay.com.au/Tie-Dye-Heaven .
It is really worth while having a look around on ebay and particularly at eBay stores and making sure that you don't have too much competition and that there aren't a lot of people selling the same product as you. When we started out there were one or two people selling tie-dye clothing but there weren't any tie-dye stores ( on eBay in Australia) which specialised in plus sized women's clothing and we were able to find our niche.
Finding your niche will mean that you don't have too much competition ( or if you do have competition you will be selling the same thing but doing it in a different way) and it will also mean a greater likelyhood of gaining good, repeat customers which will help to keep your business afloat!.If your niche is something that everyone else is doing, find a way to make it unique and provide 100% better service thananybody else - by going the extra mile for your customer, you will decrease the need for advertising as you customer will do the advertising for you . Similarly, if you treat your customer badly ( not sending out items, sending the wrong thing, being late with deliveries, having an inferior product etc) they will give you a lot of free bad publicity too!
Once you have found what you are going to sell, it is important to plan a strategy which can include;
- your broader aims - ie, to make money, to create stability etc
- the aims for the direction of your business - ie.do you want to be a power seller or would you like a hobby/ part time income?
- your financial plan - how you are going to finance your stock, how will your customers pay you?
- Time management- do you have small children? are you going to be able to cope with a lot of sales if you are successful? are you going to have time to be sending things out every day?
- selling tools - will you need to open a seperate business account for processing payments? do you need to set up a paypal business account?
- Tax considerations are you planning on making enough money to have to take tax into account?
Just by asking yourself simple questions at the start and making a concerted plan of your business ideas can make a huge difference in whether your business is a success or not and putting that plan in to action can be the difference between being an ebay watcher or an ebay seller!