|by Garrett French
You Will Make $1000 a Month in 3 Months if:
- You have specialized knowledge of a particular collectible niche, and you
maintain this focus in your auction listings.
- In the words of E.S. James: “Sell what you know.”
- You can spare around 4-6 hours a week.
- You enjoy hunting yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, and auctions.
- You start slowly by posting 2-3 items, and learn from your early mistakes.
- You’re prepared to answer many bidder questions.
- You become a master packer, insuring the wholeness of your shipped goods.
- You’re prompt with all correspondence and deliveries.
- You’re polite.
- You study Auctionbytes.com and Auction-Sellers-Resource.com
the Professionals Started
Ever wondered what gets people started selling on eBay? These quotes will give
you an idea of how you can get started yourself, and, more importantly, if you
even want to.
“Oddly enough, my business started after a successful
pitch to a newspaper editor. I pitched and wrote a story in 1998 about how eBay
was revitalizing antique shops in New Jersey. I nosed around and found that local
Mom-and-Pop shops were finding nationwide customers they'd never dreamed of having,
all online. But after the newspaper was put to bed, I kept logging on to eBay
time and time again, first to browse, bid and buy, then to list and sell - in
order to feed the eBay habit!”
E.S. James – AGlimpseOfThePast.net --
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“My wife and I were selling successfully on eBay for two years. We started
out selling antiques and collectibles from our business. I kept noticing people
selling CD's and eBooks purporting to tell people how to make a fortune on eBay.
I bought a couple of them and they were pure nonsense. This led me to write my
first book, The Basic Seller's Guide to eBay. Even in this digital world, people
still want a hard copy book they can open next to their computer while they work.
I continued to write books about eBay and went on to develop our web site and
eventually we finished selling off our store stock and we have built the book
business into a full-time endeavor.”
“For several years I had a space in a nice, shared antique mall and one day I
was in my space when a customer, while buying a number of small items, said to
his partner, "I just love whoever has this space because they always have really
good stuff and I have made a bundle on it on eBay.” Two months after that meaningful
eavesdrop I bought a good computer, set it up, got smart about using it (never
used one before that), signed up for eBay and made tons more money.”
Frances Neale – eBay ID: JustOnce --
All the experts agreed that everything sells on eBay. Of course, the best-conditioned
items, the rarest items, the most sought-after items sell the best. The best advice
is to sell what you know.
Skip recommended that beginning sellers start with “used non-fiction books. There
is a great market for books about sports, art, history, photography, crafts and
so on. You can buy great books at garage sales for under a dollar and sell them
on eBay from $5.00 and up.”
He went on to say that computers, software, and video games are huge, as are designer
clothes, which you can buy from closeout dealers. If you want to sell new goods,
he recommends low-cost jewelry and children’s toys and games.
The key, though, is knowing your niche. Since bidders can’t touch the items, they
rely on your written descriptions to evaluate the goods. The more you can tell
them, the more they will trust you and buy from you again in the future.
Dave Steiner started out selling collectibles in his spare time and, with the
help of his wife, founded AuctionBytes.com, a site that helps eBay sellers become
more efficient at the online auction process.
He advised that new sellers monitor their market closely, at every stage of their
business. He said that “if you’re selling something that takes off quickly and
you’re realizing good profits, then in 2-3 weeks you’ll have copycat dealers.”
He also described the bottom dropping out of the Depression Glass market. EBay,
he said, brought all the Depression glass out of the attics, driving once inflated
prices down as supply eclipsed demand. That’s the way eBay works – if something
sells, lots of people start selling it.
Elise James, a freelance writer who has always had side ventures, described how
she has grown her business: “For each large transaction, in which the profit exceeded
my own set dollar amount, I would plow every penny back into the business by acquiring
higher-end merchandise or making a capital purchase, such as a digital camera.
“The better merchandise yielded better profits. The digital camera,
for example, increased productivity while yielding better pictures to lead to
Skip recommends using auction automation software. “If you automate, using an
auction management company such as auctionworks.com, you could do $1,000 a month
working just a few hours a week.”
One way to really maximize your sales is to build a site devoted solely to selling
your goods. An ecommerce site is often the destination point for professional
eBay sellers who want to maximize their take. Both Elise and Skip have their own
ecommerce sites that allow eBay customers to find them outside eBay’s modest but
Jim Crawford, of CrawfordDirect.com, has had a great deal of experience in setting
up sites for eBay auctioneers.
If you’ve never been to eBay, make sure you visit before you spend a small fortune
at your neighbor’s yard sale. Find out what’s selling, and how much it’s selling
for. David assured me that “after time you gain a sense of what’s doing well on
Once you’ve got your first items for sale, you’ll have to sign up. Once you’ve
given them the information they need, you’ll have access to pages and pages of
tutorial to help you get started, as well as live help via instant messaging.
I’ll leave you with Frances’s words: “My best advice about selling online is that
it is not rocket science and, like much else in life, takes common sense, sticktoitiveness,
honesty and sincerity.”