Started by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, eBay, short for Echo Bay his IT consulting company has been the top auction website for almost two decades. Hard to believe selling on eBay started with Pierre listing his broken laser pointer just as a test, and the rest they say is history.
Answering the first part of the question, yes you can still make a living by selling goods on eBay, there is no doubt that it's much more difficult than it was even 3 years ago but it can be done. The basis of a successful selling career is finding a good supply of quality products at a competitive price that you can resell for a profit on eBay.
Before You Start Selling on eBay
- Before you can sell anything on eBay you need to create an eBay account as well as a PayPal account (PayPal is now owned by eBay). PayPal is a payment processor that's how you will receive the money buyers owe you.
- Next i suggest that you become very familiar with both eBay and PayPal TOS (terms of service) you have to understand the rules and restrictions to make the most of your eBay selling business.
- You have to start planning how you intend to ship your products to your buyers.
- You have to find a supplier of the goods you are planning to sell on eBay, you can either be the manufacturer ie; You are able to create kids clothing, plush toys etc. or you have to form a business relationship with a few good wholesale suppliers.
- Because eBay selling is like a normal brick and mortar business you need to start thinking about forming a CC, LLC or DBA you will not be able to buy from real wholesalers if you do not.
- Your listing has to be professional, that's the only way buyers can grade your products value. Remember you have to make your listing as appealing as possible, you are competing with thousands of other sellers.
Be professional when communicating with potential buyers, if they ask 100 questions answer them 100 times. Followup on transactions contact Buyers to make sure that they are satisfied.
To be totally honest eBay selling is not as easy as it used to be. Depending on the products you sell you may be competitive with thousands of other sellers, sellers who are much more experienced than you. For example in the electronics category your profit margin may be as low as 3-5% which is OK if you are selling 100 units per day anything less and you will be upside down very soon.
So try and find categories which are not formatted or that have a low competition level, there are some good tools provided by eBay such as Terepeak and Blackthorne that can make your research much easier.
The best advice i can give you is to do a lot of research before you dive into selling on eBay, also consider other terms such as Amazon to start your online business.