Welcome to the first post in the series of my journey of creating a profitable eBay business. After coming to the conclusion that instead of just saving money to clear our debt, we needed to increase our income at the same time, we decided to look at different ways this could be done.
I wrote a few posts and asked you the reader to help me decide which way I would try to make the extra money. After creating a survey and getting you guys to choose; eBay was the winner.
And what a great choice that was, as only this week the news has shared stories of people who have made over £1 million from their eBay businesses. Now I’m not thinking that this will make anywhere near as much money as that, but you have to have a dream right?
The plan is to start from the very beginning and document everything I do on a weekly basis. Once I am up and running and (hopefully) making money, I will also document the incomings and outgoings of the eBay business.
I really see it as a case study of myself. I do know a little about eBay but nothing to shout about. I think because of this, it will make it better for you guys as I will be learning as I go and documenting the right and wrong things I do.
Now I am sure there are hundreds more topics which I can and will cover but, with any good story, it’s probably best to start at the beginning.
Open an eBay Account
So first of all I need to open an eBay account. Well back in October I did actually do this. At the time I’m not sure why I did but it was probably to try and make some money. Anyway, the account is brand new and not been used at all which is perfect.
Opening the account didn’t take long at all. If you don’t know how to open an eBay account it’s pretty straightforward.
Firstly go to the eBay site and click on the register tab in the top left hand corner.
You’ll then be taken to a page where you fill in details such as name and email. You then choose a password, hit the register button and you are in. Simples.
When you first register with eBay they will automatically give you a username. If you are happy with it that’s great. If not, then just head over to your account settings and click on personal information. Here you can choose a new username. This is really useful as if you are intending to sell a certain type of product, you can choose a username to suit.
My username is SkintDadUk. Catchy hey! I’m not going to change this for the moment but once I decide on the type of products I’m going to sell; I will change it accordingly. I will think about this some more over the next week or so and share with you how I come to my decision.
Personal or Business Account
Although this will turn into a business, I have chosen to start my account as a personal one, not a business account, and there are a few reasons for this.
Having a business account can let you register the business name (I don’t have one yet…), and you can start to qualify for better selling rates (but I’m not business selling yet). I am therefore going to start off as a personal user and will change the account to a business one in the near future. There is also a different fee structure.
You basically use a business account to sell items that you’ve specifically bought to sell or sell items that you’ve made.
A personal account is for simply just selling your own things and that’s what I will do at first.
Raise Some Capital
Before I even start to think about sourcing products to sell or turn the account into a business selling one, I’m going to need to do a couple of things.
Although I do need stock, I first need money to buy said stock. With things being tight, we don’t have much money left at the end of the month. It’d be nice if we had a bit of cash laying around to plough into things like this but we don’t, so we need to raise some capital elsewhere.
One way to do this is to sell some of our own things.
There are actually two benefits to this. Firstly, as I’ve said, I will raise some income and, secondly, it will raise my feedback level.
When someone buys from you on eBay, or you look to buy from someone else, people look at your history and feedback score to see what kind of account you run. It’s done on a star system and the more positive feedback you get, the better.
This is an example of feedback for a high selling account. The feedback on the right shows feedback ratings as a buyer and a seller. This can be good and bad and will change the overall percentage feedback. The rating on the right are specifically for a seller account and the buyer can choose (or not choose) to leave feedback appropriate to how they found the item, communication, postage time and charges. There is a lot to consider.
With a new account, I have no feedback which may put buyers off. Would you be wary buying from someone with no credibility?
I might even look to buy a couple of cheap items which will also raise my feedback profile.
So by selling a few personal items, I will increase my rating, earn some money to invest back in my new eBay business and have a little extra space around the house as well.
I will start to list some items this week and hope they get some interest. I’ll keep you posted with my progress.
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Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.