Making a Living from Your eBay Business (2nd Edition)

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9780789736468: Making a Living from Your eBay Business (2nd Edition)

The power of online auctions is attracting hundreds of thousands--if not millions--of users who want to turn their eBay hobbies into profitable businesses. While turning an eBay hobby into an eBay business might look easy, making that business profitable is much more difficult. Not enough sellers treat their eBay sales as a business, and subsequently are disappointed in the results. To launch a successful and profitable eBay business, the detailed instructions in this book will show you how to get started. It will help you determine what kind of business you want to run, write an action-oriented business plan, establish an effective accounting system, set up a home office, obtain starting inventory, arrange initial funding, establish an eBay presence, and arrange for automated post-auction management. This book is a step-by-step guide for anyone serious about making money from their eBay sales. Unlike other computer-oriented titles, this is a straight-ahead business book that shows how to set up and run different types of eBay businesses, and how to maximize sales and profits while doing so. This book includes a section titled "Choosing Your eBay Business" that details six different types of eBay businesses you can start. Included in this section is a chapter on eBay Trading Assistants (AKA drop-off stores or consignment stores), which is the newest form of an eBay business.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Michael Miller is a top eBay seller and a successful and prolific author. He has a reputation for practical, real-world advice and an unerring empathy for the needs of his readers. Mr. Miller has written more than 75 nonfiction books in the past 17 years for Que and other major publishers. His books for Que include Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay, Easy eBay, Tricks of the eBay Masters, eBay Auction Templates Starter Kit, and Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics. He is known for his casual, easy-to-read writing style and his ability to explain a wide variety of complex topics to an everyday audience. You can email Mr. Miller directly at ebay-business@molehillgroup.com. His website is located at www.molehillgroup.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

Introduction

Many of us dream of running our own businesses. Until recently, being able to achieve that dream meant obtaining some type of outside financing, finding a retail location or office space, and physically opening the doors to new clients or customers. Today, however, there's an easier way to go into business for yourself—from the comfort of your own home.

This new type of dream business is possible thanks to the advent of eBay, the world's largest online trading community. An eBay business makes money by selling items via eBay auctions. You do all the selling from your own personal computer, collect the payments sent to you electronically and through the mail, and then ship the items you sell via the post office. It's simple, it's relatively easy, and it doesn't take a ton of investment.

It's also an increasingly viable way to make a living. According to a recent article in the New York Times, an estimated half-million people make a full- or part-time living from selling merchandise on eBay. On any given day there are close to 4 million items listed for auction at eBay. For the year 2004, that added up to more than $34 billion worth of merchandise sold online—or $950 worth of sales every second.

You could be making some of that money. Getting started on eBay is as easy as finding something to sell and creating an auction listing. Anybody can do that—as witnessed by eBay's 135+ million registered users. However, to turn that selling into a business will take a little more effort.

What do you need to know to run an eBay business? More than you think, if you want to do it successfully. You need to determine what kind of business you want to run, write an instructive business plan, establish an effective accounting system, set up a home office, arrange any necessary funding, and purchase and warehouse your starting inventory.

And that's before you sell a single item.

Once you start selling, you have the entire auction management process to deal with. You have to list items for sale, manage your inventory, correspond with winning bidders, handle customer payments, deal with deadbeat customers, and pack and ship all those items you sell. To be truly successful, you need to do all this as efficiently as possible; you'll need to automate those repetitive tasks, manage your costs, and find a way to increase the success rates of the auctions you run.

Fortunately, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You're not the first person to dream about running his or her own eBay business, so you might as well learn from others who've already done it.

Which is where this book comes in.

Making a Living from Your eBay Business presents everything you need to know to launch and run your own business, using eBay auctions to sell your merchandise. Unlike other eBay books on the market (including several that I've authored previously), this book focuses on the business aspects, not the technical details of running an auction. If you need to learn how to create a basic eBay auction listing, turn elsewhere. (To my Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, for example.) Once you know the basics, then this book will show you how to turn that knowledge into a workable business model.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized into five main parts, as follows:

  • Part 1, "Choosing Your eBay Business," presents some basic info on how an eBay business works, then introduces you to six common types of eBay businesses—one of which should be just right for you.

  • Part 2, "Planning and Launching Your eBay Business," walks you through the "homework" you need to do before you start selling on eBay. You'll learn how to research your business model, create a business plan, evaluate your funding needs, deal with legal and tax issues, set up a recordkeeping system, and put together your eBay back office.

  • Part 3, "Managing Your Day-to-Day Business," takes you through everything you need to know about running your business. You'll learn where to buy and how to manage your inventory, how to automate the auction listing process, how to manage customer payments, the best ways to pack and ship your merchandise, how to deal with customers (and customer problems), and how to more effectively automate your auction management.

  • Part 4, "Maximizing Your eBay Sales," helps you make your auctions more successful—and your business more profitable. You'll learn some tips for improving item sell-through and increasing your selling price, for choosing the most effective listing options, for creating more powerful auction listings, for taking and displaying better product photos, and for promoting your eBay auctions.

  • Part 5, "Growing Your Online Business," shows you how to take the next steps toward business success. You'll learn how to become an eBay PowerSeller, open an eBay Store, sell at other online sites, and manage your business's growth.

At the end of the book you'll find two useful appendixes. Appendix A is a brief accounting primer, for those of you who slept through accounting class in school. Appendix B lists some of the most common abbreviations you can use in your eBay listings.

Taken together, the 28 chapters and two appendixes in this book will help you launch and manage a profitable eBay business. By the time you get to the end of the final chapter, you'll know just about everything you need to know to make money on eBay. Now all you have to do is do the work!

Let Me Know What You Think

I always love to hear from readers. If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at ebay-business@molehillgroup.com. I can't promise that I'll answer every message, but I will promise that I'll read each one!

If you want to learn more about me and any new books I have cooking, check out my Molehill Group website at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Who knows—you might find some other books there that you'd like to read.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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