Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sell What You Love on EBay
EBay is a non traditional way to make money, but one some of the old rules still apply. In particular: do what you love, and your job will be a positive, rewarding experience. Work is so much easier when you enjoy what you're doing. For that reason, it's important for EBay sellers to list items that they actually enjoy selling.
How do you know what you'd like to sell before you start listing merchandise? Start with your hobbies, things you enjoy doing offline. Then look at all the items associated with that hobby. If you are passionate about scrapbooking, you could sell scrapbooking supplies, specialty papers, stickers, punches, and other materials. If you love surfing, you could sell surf boards and equipment. But don't stop there; list related products on your EBay auctions, such as beach wear. Beach goers need flip-flops, sunscreen, swim suits and cover-ups. Try to sell as many related items as you can to outfit customers for a trip to the beach. Be a one-stop shop. If you open an EBay store, it's even simpler to put up an entire inventory of merchandise related to surfing - or any other hobby or passion.
Before you start your first EBay auction, explore the Internet to see which items are hot sellers. Using other auction and merchant sites, look for items within your niche market. Does one jump out at you because it has more demand than supply? If so, you should try selling that item yourself.
Use your connections to your advantage. If you have access to a large supply of items that your competitors aren't listing, put those items up for sale. Buy wholesale whenever you can, especially if you're into arts and crafts. Most materials can be purchased in bulk and listed on EBay for a nice profit. Candle makers can sell wax and wicks, and jewelry makes can sell bands, beads, and all sorts of baubles. Remember that finished products sell best around the holidays, but component parts can also bring in a lot of profit, especially if they’re rare or hard to find.
Figuring out what to sell on EBay is easy once you figure out what you love. But remember other family members' hobbies, too. If your little girl is into ballet, you might try listing ballerina gear and related toys and products. If your husband really loves to fish, try your hand at selling fishing equipment and novelties on EBay. Parents have an advantage here, because they can use their children’s sports and activities to come with all kinds of exciting ideas. Look to other relatives for inspiration, too. If your mother collects figurines or your father is a wood worker, you have probably watched and listened as they went about their tasks. This gives you a perfect inroad to start selling those craft-related items on EBay.
I made a lot of money from 1999-2001 selling Pokemon merchandise when my son was consumed by collecting the cards. If you can spot a trend in children's toys or video games, this is an area people are willing to spend more, especially at the holidays. I actually felt compelled to return money to a customer who clearly thought she was buying a rare item and just didn't know what she was doing. I couldn't justify charging her quadruple what the card was worth just because she was ignorant and really wanted something special for her child for Christmas.
We won't debate for now whether the cards were ever actually "worth" anything. But at that time they were in great demand and they flew off the shelves at almost any price.
When you do something you love, it makes work enjoyable. The same goes for EBay: when you sell what you love, listing merchandise seems less like work and more like a hobby unto itself. The best part is that this hobby can be both fun and profitable. Find a niche market and sell products you enjoy selling. Buyers will appreciate your enthusiasm and your inventory. Once you become known as the place to go for certain items, you’ll be all set for a great selling experience on EBay.