Monetizer's 5 Tips for an eBay Business

As mentioned before, The Monetizer recently started another part time internet income venture, the almighty eBay business. Many individuals have turned trash into treasures as they've scoured garage sales, yard sales and thrift stores. My experiences have been interesting so far, and I feel that if you truly commit to this sort of part time business it can be fun and rewarding. I'd like to share 10 things I've learned so far that may help you in your own eBay venture.

1) Best deals come from yard sales - I've had more success so far buying items from yard sales and garage sales to resell on eBay. I also read about a lady called the Queen of eBay sales who once bought a yard sale item for just $2 and sold it for over $2,000!! It's amazing that people are willing to part with items for the prices they are, but there are many people who just need money badly right now. For example, picking up a portable DVD player for $5 at a yard sale, and it turned into a $40 sale on eBay. Most of my best deals have been items I purchased for under $5 at garage/yard sales. Make sure you have specific items you target...

2) Know what to buy - The biggest personal investment you can make into this business is constantly being up-to-date and knowledgeable about what sells. After your rounds at the yard sales and thrift shops you'll remember items you considered buying. Look them up on eBay when you get back home. See if you missed a blockbuster deal and start to learn what's selling. For example, many yard sales list in their classified ads "childrens toys" or "DVD's". There's also some great blogs out there which suggest items to buy from thrift stores and places like Dollar stores or Wal Mart. Knowing what's hot on eBay or familiarizing yourself with these categories will go a long way.

3) Buy what you know - This is very similar to blogging in that if you focus on buying items that you know about, you will tend to enjoy your business more, and in turn enjoy greater success. At one yard sale, a woman was selling probably about 100 different DVD's. The Monetizer enjoys movies and was able to select 15 of the hotter titles she had (action, drama movies from the past few years) for just $5. That $5 purchase turned into another $40 sale on eBay. You can already see the potential profit if you do your homework and buy what you know.

4) Handle shipping from home - One way to greatly save yourself money and make sure you're not losing money on shipping charges, is to invest in a postage scale. The Monetizer bought one soon into this business venture from Amazon.com for just $25, and it's worked quite well. It's already allowed me to save on several shipping jobs. Knowing what your items weigh with packaging is key to pricing the auctions right. You can also order free priority mail boxes, print USPS (or UPS) postage online and have the mail carrier pick up your packages. All of these things save you time and money with your business. You can also set a flat rate shipping charge and should you get lucky, your winning buyer is from a close by state meaning you can either refund the extra shipping money, or you've made a little extra!

Another tip is to utilize the flat rate boxes from USPS, as they can save you money on shipping heavy items. The charges on these are about $9 and $12 to ship as much as you can fit in them. There's also been important recent changes made to eBay shipping. For items such as books, DVD's and other media eBay has a maximum shipping charge you can charge ($3 or $4). I was able to slyly change a category to "Toys" just by adding a toy to the auction, therefore allowing Priority shipping. Keep this in mind before you try to sell. Also, I strongly recommend using the shipping insurance option on your auctions for items that are breakable. It goes a long way to protect your customer's purchase and your eBay reputation!

5) Reinvest in the business - The biggest goal is always to grow the income and profits of the eBay business. Warren Buffett gave the advice that reinvesting profits into your business is one of the most important things you can do to help it grow. So that means if you've made $20 off your latest eBay sales, take that money back out the next weekend to more garage and yard sales. Set yourself an item budget in the beginning or else you might buy just 1 item you think is great for $20 and end up not selling it. That's a quick way to diminish your profits and your eBay business! Also, consider buying necessary items for shipping or your business. Examples are the postage scale, bubble wrap, packing tape and books to educate yourself on eBay selling.

Once again, I guarantee that an eBay business can be profitable for you, but you have to put in the effort and not give up quickly. If you start it on a part time weekend basis, take it slowly. Do your research, find ways to save on shipping costs and keep reinvesting in the business to make it thrive!

(Bonus tip: Find freebies to sell to offset your eBay and Paypal costs. These can be things like new gift items you received that you don't really want, coupons you get in the mail, or free sample products. These days people buy just about anything on eBay so look it up, you may be surprised!)

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