If you want to start selling online with little to no investment, eBay is definitely a viable option for you.
Millions of people now use eBay UK every day to sell their unwanted items to either clear their homes or make some extra money on the side. Many of these individuals have discovered their passion for selling online and the satisfaction of generating a profit.
Luckily, eBay is so successful at helping its sellers reach buyers. In fact, 40% of home businesses that sell online that don’t have a website, use eBay or Amazon instead.
Like any business, turning a hobby into a career will require you to first conduct market research. This will involve examining the demand, the average selling prices and competition for the items you are looking to sell on eBay.
To ease your transition from hobby to career, we’ve outlined a number of essential steps to help you start selling on eBay straight away.
Research and Pick a Niche
The first thing you need to do if you want to turn your hobby into a career is research.
Carefully examine completed and active listings on eBay to determine how to price the items you want to sell. Calculate the price of packaging materials, storage materials and shipping fees to ensure you are ready to start selling on eBay before you list any items.
To ensure your costs are as accurate as possible, here are a few tools to help you:
Quick Quote – With the click of a button, you can compare dozens of different courier services for every sending need, whether you're looking for the cheapest delivery or the fastest.
Volume Calculator - Simply enter your parcel details into our clever Volumetric Weight Calculator and it will calculate your volumetric weight for you. This will allow you to keep your shipping costs as accurate as possible.
A common mistake amongst new sellers is rigidly sticking to one business idea. Be flexible, as you might discover new ideas and trends that may have more potential when you conduct your research. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
Find Products Through a Drop Shipper
This is where a supply chain management method does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers a customer's orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
Find a list of drop shippers that you can use to sell on eBay.
Use a Wholesaler
A person or company that will sell items to you in bulk that you will then sell and ship.
Find a list of wholesalers that you can use to sell on eBay.
If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition, you need to be following trends and understanding what is popular to sell on eBay. See the 50 Top Trending Products to Sell Online this year.
Treat eBay Like Any Business
Along with listing quality products, your eBay business will need to run like any other. By this, we mean you will need to take on a number of roles:
· Provide excellent customer service - Buyers love a quick response so communicate via eBay messages quickly and professionally.
· Pack items securely - See our video on How to Pack a Parcel effectively and efficiently.
· Ship items using a reliable and cheap courier - If you’re looking for the cheapest parcel delivery options to start your business with, use Parcel2Go.
· Managing your inventory - Use a shipping tool like Smart Send to manage all of your orders in one place.
· Keep a track of your business’s finances - Keep an up-to-date record of every item you sell. This will help you to see how much annual revenue you make and evaluate if your costs are too high.
By keeping on top of all of these areas will allow you to stay ahead of your competition by being efficient and well organised.
Open an eBay Store
So, you’ve managed to start well. Now that you’re familiar with the responsibility of running a business, you’ll want to take advantage of eBay’s store option.
Having an eBay store provides many advantages over regular eBay selling:
· Having the ability to customise your own online store
· Increased free listings
· Lower final value fees
· More marketing tools are at your disposal
Having an eBay store also gives you the ability to add fixed-item listings. In recent years, fixed-item listings have become a strategic format on eBay and for good reason. Auction listing formats are becoming too complicated and aren’t seen on competitor sites like Amazon.
Fixed-item listings on eBay tend to differ from Amazon’s listings as they allow buyers to haggle using the best offer feature. This is another great reason why eBay continues to thrive, giving both buyers and sellers more flexibility.
Separate Business from Personal
When you are a new seller, it is very important to take your business seriously. However, it is equally important to separate your business from your personal life.
Not only can this help for organisational purposes, but it will also increase productivity while working and increase your sense of well-being when you aren’t.
A good idea is to dedicate a space in your home to use as an eBay workplace. This will allow you to become more productive by only working when you are in that particular room.
When running a business at home, it can become tempting to work around the clock. We suggest sticking to a work schedule to help avoid this as overworking could lead to a decrease in productivity.
Here are a few tips to help you stay productive:
- Reduce the number of distractions - This is a great time to turn off notifications on your phone, especially social media. We suggest moving to a quiet area in your house to allow you to think more clearly.
- Stay hydrated – It is easy to overlook drinking enough water. In order for you to stay productive, you need to be drinking at least 6-8 glasses per day.
- Get enough sleep - Not getting enough sleep can impact your short-term memory, allowing you to forget crucial details within your eBay business. We recommend getting at least 6-8 hours per night.
By now, you should be well-versed in how to turn your hobby into a career. Selling on eBay is a great way to reach millions of active users from all across the world. While there are many e-commerce platforms to sell online, eBay was the first and remains a very popular site to sell and transition your hobby into a career on.
Find our guide on How to Sell on eBay to help you improve your selling techniques even further!
A Few Things to Remember:
· After researching, implement and construct a plan - Make sure you have a structured plan in place as this will help you stay on track.
· Keep an eye on possible trends - Look for what customers searching for and need.
· Stay productive by reducing distractions - This is crucial for you to stay motivated.