I get a once a month e-news from Welcome Business USA. The Q&A is always interesting.
This one especially interested me since I’m just starting to experiment with eBay myself!
Q: I would like to expand my business online but don’t have a lot of time or money to risk. Do you have any suggestions?
A: I think one of the best, easiest, least expensive ways for anyone to start or expand a small business these days is to begin an eBay business. It costs very little to start one and it’s a great way to see if there is a market for what you want to sell. If it works, great! And if not, all you have lost is some time, and the cost of a little product.eBay is also great way to set up another profit center. If you have old merchandise that you haven’t been able to sell, you might be surprised to find a ready market for it on eBay.
As you know, on eBay, you sell items via an auction system, although a recent change allows customers to “Buy It Now;’ supplementing the auction. You can sell almost anything on eBay, with the most popular items being collectibles, books, movies and music, furniture, cars, and sports memorabilia.
Some things you can do to make sure your foray into eBay is successful are:
• Use photos. People want to see what they are buying.
• Write a great headline. Headlines grab people’s attention.
• Be thorough. Mike says that giving a full description of the product can make a big difference.
• Accurately estimate your shipping costs. Even though eBay buyers usually pay for shipping, you still will eat into your margin if your actual shipping fees are more than what you are charging your buyers.
All in all, eBay is a great, low-risk way to start a potentially very lucrative, international small business with very little money.
© Steven D. Strauss, 2006. Steve Strauss is the country’s leading small business expert. If you would like to receive even more free tips from him, sign up for his free newsletter Small Business Success Secrets! at his website – www.MrAllBiz.com.