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Can you really make a living selling on E-bay?

By Edited Jun 13, 2014 0 5

Is it really possible to make a living from the online auction site E-bay?

In a word, yes. But make no mistake, its hard work. You will only make it work if you are determined enough. The key here is research, research and more research. The better you know your product(s), your market and your competition, the more chance you will have of survival in what is a highly competitive marketplace.

As someone who has made their living from it for the last two years I can say that it is possible. It is better, however, if it's not your only source of income. I find that it works better if you have an alternative source of income to work with alongside your Ebaying activities. Of course, this is isnt possible in every case, but it does help during those 'dead' periods such as late January. Another low period can be the summer when the kids aren't at school.

So you need something to sell? In my experience it's best to stick to something you know, maybe products associated with a hobby. It helps to have previous knowledge of your product, so you aren't starting totally from scratch.

Once you've decided what to sell, you need somewhere to buy it. Sourcing a reliable supplier can be difficult and can require a certain amount of detective work. You will probably find that your competitors will be tight-lipped about where they source there stock from, as they won't want to give away their trade secrets. It may take you a while; but keep looking!

One of the best places to find things to sell on Ebay? Its......Ebay! That's right. With the things that I sell, I'm always buying things in bulk and them splitting them up to sell separately. It really is a great place to buy stock!

My preference is not to auction my goods, but to use the 'buy it now' option. In doing this, I know I will get the amount I want for an item, without somebody winning it for half the amount I wanted. It works much better selling in bulk with buy it now. Get plenty of items up that you know sell on Ebay, at the right price, and if your not selling there's something wrong.

Customer service is also important. I've found that accurate item descriptions, early posting and general helpfulness can make a world of difference, and can keep those customers coming back time and again. If you're going to do it, do it to the best of your ability.

It is possible to make a living from E-bay, if you're willing to put in the work.



Jan 20, 2011 9:08pm
I remember when eBay fees were 2%, those were the days, my friend, when you could really make money on eBay. No you have to mark thing up just to defray the costs of eBay and PayPal. Oh well, I only sell what I don't want so it's not like the price is important, right? :O
Great article! It's good to know that there's people out there actually doing it!
Jan 22, 2011 5:14am
Yes its certainly very expensive now, thanks for redaing!
Jan 22, 2011 5:14am
*sorry, that should be reading!
Jan 23, 2011 10:38pm
Wow - I am trying to sell a bunch of stuff for my parents on eBay. It's a lot of work! I can't imagine trying to make a living out of it. Great to know it is working for you!
Jun 2, 2011 4:11am
I sold my first item on Ebay last week. I didn't make much money from it but it was my first try. Hopefully with your advice I'll only get better.
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