Sell on eBay: How to Turn Your Hobby into a Career

If you want to start selling online with little to no investment, eBay is definitely the marketplace for you.

And there's no better time than now. As a part of eBays ReSELLution campaign, if you make your first sale in January 2023, you won't have to pay a selling fee on that listing!

eBay is so successful at helping its sellers reach buyers that 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 means conducting market research first. This involves examining the demand, average selling prices and competition for the items you want to sell on eBay.

To ease your transition from hobby to career, we’ve outlined a number of essential steps to help you make selling on eBay your full time job!


Research and Plan Your Finances

Turning your hobby into a career means doing lots of research before you dive right in. If you've never sold an item on eBay before, check out our Tips to Start Selling on eBay first.

If you have sold on eBay, carefully examine your completed and active eBay listings to determine how to price the items you want to sell. Calculate the price of packaging materials, storage materials and shipping fees to make sure you're financially ready to start selling regularly on eBay before you list anymore items.

When it comes to packaging and labour costs, it is sometimes easier to workout as you go along. But for calculating postage costs, we've got some free tools that can help you:

  • Quick Quote Tool – 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. This will help you see exactly how much you could save on parcel delivery.
  • 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.
  • Smart Send - Smart Send allows you to manage your parcel delivery all in one place, no matter how many sales channels you sell on. You can automate your orders to reduce admin time and it's 100% free to use. This could reduce your labour costs by streamlining your shipping.
  • PrePay - PrePay allows you to keep your Parcel2Go account topped up and when you top up by £100, we'll give you 2% extra cash to spend on parcel delivery for free!



Pick a Niche and Find Your Products

Picking a niche doesn't just mean selling something that not no one else sells - it can just mean being realistic with your product range and having a place to start.

But a common mistake among new sellers is rigidly sticking to one business idea. So it's important to set your sights while also being flexible. As you might discover new ideas and trends that give you the potential to grow your hobby-turned-business even further.

When it comes to finding products, there are a couple of ways you can do this: 

  1. 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.

  1. 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, following trends and understanding what is popular to sell on eBay right now is really important. Keep up to date with the 50 Top Trending Products to Sell Online this year.


Two women selling clothes


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 make sure you have time to communicate via eBay messages quickly and professionally.
  • Pack items securely - See our video on How to Pack a Parcel effectively and efficiently so your products always arrive safely to your customers.
  • Use a reliable and cheap delivery service - If you’re looking for the cheapest parcel delivery options to start your business with, compare prices from the UK's biggest couriers withParcel2Go.


  • Managing your inventory - Use a shipping tool like Smart Send to manage all of your orders in one place.
  • Keep a track of your businessfinances - 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, you can really keep on top of your business and stay ahead of your competition by being efficient and well organised. These small details are key to making what was a hobby into a career.



Open an eBay Store 

So, you've been selling on eBay, now it's time to open an eBay store. By this point, you should be familiar with the responsibility of running a business, so you’ll want to take advantage of eBay’s store option

Having an eBay store has many advantages over regular eBay selling:

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. 

Once your eBay store is set up, you can easily integrate it with Smart Send, to streamline your business parcel delivery.



Separate Business from Personal 

When you are a new seller, it is very important to take your business seriously but it is equally important to separate your business from your personal life.

This can be really difficult, as a lot of small business owners will tell you that their business is a huge part of their life! But treating your business as such is the first step to turning it from a hobby into a career.

Separating work from home can 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 be 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 overworking. As your business grows, you could even move into a separate workplace!


Here are a few more tips to help you stay productive:
  1. Reduce 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

These pointers may seem obvious, but starting a business can be stressful and to both look after yourself and your business, your health is really important.



Good Luck with Your eBay Business

Now you know 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 with.

Use our guide on How to Sell on eBay to help you improve your selling techniques even further! And don't forget you can find the cheapest parcel delivery with Parcel2Go by getting a free instant quote.

Want to learn more about shipping with eBay? See our eBay Business Guide.

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