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Can selling on eBay replace a full time income?

 


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Many of us have sold at least once or twice on eBay, but most of us still work our regular full time jobs and find the idea of quitting our job to work full time selling on eBay insurmountable. Chances are, you have run across several sellers on eBay whose sole source of income is selling at online auctions. If you have ever wondered how they do it, this article may shed some light on what it takes to become a full time eBay seller. At first glance starting an eBay business may appear to be as simple as starting any other business, home based or otherwise. However, when you dig in deeper, you will find that nearly every niche within eBay has some very dominating sellers, many of whom have been selling on eBay for over a decade. If you were to attempt to compete with these sellers, you may become very confused to see that even though you are listing the exact same item at the exact same price with a similar description and shipping terms, their auction will see far more visitors, and they will sell far more of that item than you will or for a higher final bid. Some of this seemingly unfair advantage can be credited to the length of time they have been selling on eBay and the reputation they have earned. But the thing most people don't realize is that most of their success can be attributed to help from outside sources that the general public is virtually unaware of. These sellers who are dominating the field in their niche are using what are most commonly referred to as eBay Tools or eBay Seller Tools.

Ebay tools are Apps and Websites developed by third parties to enhance someones eBay auction listings and increase traffic to their items. Anyone who has used the Internet for any fair amount of time has encountered some type of eBay Tool app and may or may not have realized it. If you have ever looked at items for sale on eBay, you may have noticed special layouts, links, or widgets within their description to promote that sellers other items. Those are known as internal eBay seller tools. An example of external eBay tools would be websites that include listings for one or more sellers, twitter ads, even some times items that appear to be on a regular online store type website are actually just eBay items presented through a different portal. There are countless other tools out there as well, and by taking advantage of all of these tools, a seller can greatly increase their traffic, in turn generating more interest, more sales, and more dollars.

The latest, and in my opinion, the most fun and easy to use eBay seller tool app is the “bump site". The bump site is a site that allows any eBay seller to quickly and easily promote each of their listings across sever website, that generally receive a high volume of traffic due to the novelty of this new app. The appeal to consumers is that bump sites produce a random slice of whats for sale on eBay. If you have used eBay to purchase anything in the past, then you know that when visiting the eBay site there is no way for you to discover items for sale on their site at random. You must enter some sort of search term for eBay to show you any items. Many people find bump sites to be a fun way to discover eBay items at random without providing any search terms. When you visit a bump site like XBUMP.COM you may see shoes, phones, purses, laptops, gardening gear, etc. Then when you check back in an hour, everything is different. For this reason the popularity of these sites has been increasing for both buyers and sellers in recent months.

Another key to work at home success is concentrating more on volume than mark up. Due to the unique way in which eBay works, the more items you have for sale, general the more traffic all of your items will receive. This is especially true if all of your items are within one niche. A good example of this would be someone who sells dinner ware such as silverware, flatware, serving dishes, and pots and pans opposed to someone who sells brake pads, cell phones, and bath oils. When a person views your item, many of them will check to see what else you have for sale. This is even more true if you employ the use of a widget such as auctiva to display some of your most relevant items withing your auction description. This is helpful to sellers in 2 ways. The first is that the person who bought forks from you, now sees that you have a great set of dinner plates, so they will buy that as well. The second way is that, if a person sees that you have a wide selection in a certain category such as dinner ware, they are more likely to save you as a preferred seller on eBay which will increase the chance that they will come back to visit, and possibly buy from you again as well as tell their friends about you.

There is one part of this equation in which no one expert is completely qualified to give advice. This would be supply lines. There is no single best way to procure items to be sold on eBay, but I can make some broad suggestions. The first is, if there are any manufacturing facilities in your area, and this can be a wide area, try to see if they manufacture anything you could sell on eBay. If so, get in touch with a representative from the factory and see if you can work out some sort of deal. Usually nothing is cheaper than straight from the manufacturer. The second suggestion would be to find a good old fashioned supplier. Many suppliers will require you to have a registered business, but there are still many who will sell to you regardless. One particular type of supplier is a “drop shipper" these suppliers can be very convenient because they ship the items straight from their warehouse to the customer. This is great because it saves on packaging and shipping costs, not to mention valuable time. Do your homework and be sure to find a trusted drop shipper though. Using a drop shipper can be risky on eBay because if they are not legitimate, your reputation and very likely your ability to sell anything at all could be at jeopardy if they do not follow through on their end of the deal.

The best piece of advice that I can give, having been successful enough with eBay to become a full time eBay seller myself, would be to line up suppliers, start selling, use as many eBay tools as you can find, but don't quit your job until you feel you are on solid ground. Keep in mind that major disruptions could shut your income down and big mistakes, even though innocent, could get you banned from eBay for life.

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