Make money online. It doesn’t have to just be a dream – it can be your reality. Though there are several different ways to make money online, one of the most common and profitable ways to do so is to use the world’s biggest auction website, eBay.
A Quick History Of eBay
The idea of eBay began back in 1995 by a fellow named Pierre Omidyar who was familiar with writing code for software intended for Apple computers. He eventually began writing a code for an auction website of his own, which was initially called AuctionWeb. The first item he listed: a broken laser pointer. He has listed it as a “test”, but was soon surprised to find that something he considered to be useless and garbage could sell for close to $15USD. Omidyar even contacted the buyer saying, “You know it’s a BROKEN laser pointer… right?” and the buyer replied, “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers!” That’s when Omidyar knew he had a great idea.
AuctionWeb soon turned into eBay, which is a shortened name for Omidyar’s consulting firm, Echo Bay. The company continued to grow and grow until it went public in 1998, and it began a whole new way for people to not only make some extra money from home, but to even quit their jobs and make a full time living working from home.
Where To Begin
All you have to do is sign up. If you’re there just to browse items you can visit as a “guest” and build up a “watch” list (a list of items you may be interested in bidding on or purchasing), but if you want to sell items you will have to create an account. A lot of countries have specific eBay sites, so don’t be surprised if you are redirected to a slight variation of the ebay.com address (for example, if you live in Canada, you will sign up through www.ebay.ca or if you live in the UK, you will sign up through www.ebay.co.uk).
It’s also a good idea as a seller to sign up for another eBay-owned company, PayPal. This is definitely the safest way to accept payment through eBay as they hold payments in escrow and can help with any disagreements that may transpire , though there are a lot of other options out there, such as check payments or payment through another merchant account that you may have online. But one word of warning about accepting payments: NEVER ACCEPT MONEY ORDERS. NEVER.
This is the most common way for any scammer to get your products that you will be selling for free, so if any buyer contacts you and suggests paying you through money order, say no. If they have already bid on the item, you do have the option of canceling their bid within a specific time frame (the time frame may vary from different country sites, so be sure to check their policy).
How To Know What To Sell
A lot of potential sellers know that they want to sell on eBay, but they aren’t quite sure what they should sell. Before go full steam ahead, it’s always a good idea to pick up a few items from your home or out of storage that you no longer need, and list them to get an idea of how the process works and if you enjoy the process. Electronic items or things like small antiques are always good choices.
Now here’s a little secret that a lot of people don’t know: eBay will tell you exactly what’s hot and what’s selling right on their website. Though it isn’t highly advertised, you can always use eBay Pulse (pulse.ebay.com) to figure out which items are selling, and in what categories. These are also country specific, but you can use any Pulse page to get a good idea of what to sell.
Different Selling Formats
There are two main selling formats on eBay: there are auction listings, and then there are fixed price “Buy It Now” listings. Auction style is when you list an item at a minimum bid price and people continue to bid. The highest bidder on that list will be the one who wins the item.
Fixed price “Buy It Now” listings will allow you to list an item at a set price, and people can then purchase the item outright for that exact price.
There is the ability to have a “Buy It Now” on your auction-style listing. This will allow a buyer to decide whether they want to pay your stated price, or take a chance to get the item at a lower price by bidding on the item. Once the first bid is received on an auction-style listing with a “Buy It Now”, however, the “Buy It Now” option will then immediately disappear. For this reason, and because people tend to want to get an item at a cheaper price than your “Buy It Now” price, you can usually skip on adding that extra feature (which comes at an extra cost, if you choose to use it).
You can also place a “reserve” price on any auction-style listing. A “reserve price listing” is one where you can choose the minimum amount you would be willing to sell your item for. So you can list your auction-style listing for $0.01, but put a reserve price of $10.00 on it. Unless a bid reaches that $10 mark or over, then you are not obligated to sell your item.
There are also Store listings if you want to open up an eBay Store, but this isn’t always the best way to make money. You pay a set fee every month to have a Store on eBay (and there are different Store levels) and, though the listing prices are significantly lower, Store listings will not show up immediately in an eBay search. The person who is listing would have to go to the Advanced Search in order to check “Store Listing Results”, which the vast majority of eBay users hardly do.
Generally, auction-style listings are great for anyone who has a hot ticket item, like a new electronic device or a hot pair of brand new shoes. If you buy items in bulk however – which is a great way to buy items you want to sell – you can sell them in fixed price listing, and in multiples.