Starting An eBay Business To Work From Home

Use eBay  to bring in spare cash

The majority of people using eBay, the internet auction site, are not running an eBay business. Rather they are selling unwanted items and simply trying to make money from unwanted items. But eBay is a fantastic opportunity to work at home.

eBay businesses come in all shapes and sizes

But some of those people do go on to start an eBay business. eBay businesses come in all shapes and sizes. From selling homemade craft items to vintage clothes, the opportunities are endless. But of course, many people realise this so competition can be stiff.
If you want to explore eBay as a way of making money the best thing is to use it as a buyer first. This will allow you to build up feedback. More importantly you’ll get an understanding of how it works and what makes a good listing.

Different types of eBay businesses

10 Different eBay business

  1. Take goods from offline world and put them online – examples vintage clothes and clothes bought at sales
  2. Buy something cheap and resell for a mark up
  3. Sell unwanted items – children’s toys and clothing, unwanted presents.
  4. Buy items wholesale
  5. Buy liquidated stock, these are often electronic
  6. Import stock directly
  7. Sell items for other people and take a commission
  8. Buy brands in sales and resell
  9. Drop shipping – you don’t pay for the item until it’s sold and then the drop shipper sends it direct to the buyer
  10. Sell trade / wholesale lots that can be split up by buyers

Note: if you are selling items that you already owned (effectively second hand) you don’t need to pay tax. However if you sell items that we’re specifically bought to re-sell then you’ll have to pay tax, but will still be able to take advantage of any applicable tax allowances.

What to sell?

Start with items from home. Preferably things that are easy to post such as clothes or toys. Named or brand clothing sells well if priced well as do genuine designer items. Collectibles and niche items also find a home on eBay. Sell what you have an interest in.
One thing to think about is that unique items such as vintage clothes require a new description for every item.

Knowing about Paypal

Don’t rush to set up a business account or set up an eBay shop. If you’re using eBay already as a buyer (recommended) you will already have a Paypal account. Paypal is a payment mechanism now owned by eBay. Paypal purchases come with a guarantee, so your buyers will feel more confident if you offer Paypal.

Making a profit with eBay

eBay charges fees to list items (the insertion fee) and a fee when your item sells (final value fee). To make a profit you must be able clear these costs plus the cost of buying your stock (if you had to buy it). There are also fees for refinements such as adding a subheading and using photos.
Using photos soon bumps up your fees (the first photo is free). Some items require more photos that others. Bear this in mind when setting your prices.
To give you an idea. Most auction style items have a listing fee of up to £1.30 but items with a start price of 99p or less are free. As a newbie don’t be tempted to sell very valuable items this way to cut down on fees because if you use the wrong keywords you could end up selling for not very much money at all.

Don’t forget to cost packaging. Post items at cost. eBay is fed up with sellers trying to make a profit on postage and it will give you an advantage.

Research and tools

Use the advanced search feature for completed listings to see what similar items have sold for. Some items are by the nature hard to price. But still see what’s similar and for sale currently.

To be found by eBay users you’ll have to know the best keywords to use in your Title. You can also pepper your description with additional keywords as users can tick an option to search titles and descriptions.

If you eventually build up an inventory of items check out listing tools which semi automate the business of adding and managing listings.

How much money can you make?

I used eBay as a way of bringing in spare cash when I quit my job. Just selling my old clothes generated about £200 per month.


JPEGBay Free image hosting for eBay
Goofbay A good selection of eBay tools
Turbo Lister eBay’s own turbo listing tool, which gets a facelift now and again
PESA FaceBook Page Facebook page for Professional eBay Sellers Alliance