When it comes to selling products online, the first place that most people would think about is eBay. From a wrecked Honda Civic to a vintage pendant, you can find a plethora of things on eBay. No doubt, there are many people who have become successful with it, but how easy is it to make money on eBay? Let’s find out.
What Is Ebay?
Ebay is an eCommerce website which allows people to sell a variety of goods and services online. It was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, who first sold a broken laser pointer through an online auction. Today, the online marketplace operates from 30 countries worldwide while handling millions of retail transactions daily.
How Does It Work?
Step #1 – Product Research
If you are new to this platform, you might want to start by finding out what are the things that you can AND can’t sell on eBay. This is to make sure that you comply with the law and to prevent you from becoming a blacklisted seller.
If the item is appropriate, the next step is to find out the demand and competition through a special analysis tool called Terapeak Market Research Tool. This software is capable of providing information to help you find profitable products to sell, evaluate your sales, source your inventory and optimize your product listings on eBay.
One the other hand, if you are looking to convert second hand items into cash like on Craigslist, eBay offers an interactive graphic to help you gauge the average market value based on new, used or vintage products.
Another way to find out the popularity of a product is to use keyword research. This data reflects what the majority of people are searching for online and it will help to guide your marketing strategy on eBay. If you don’t know what keyword research is all about, I recommend that you use Jaaxy to get started.
Now that you have done your research, let’s move onto the next step.
Step #2 – Product Listing
The way you list your products can either make or break a sale. At eBay, you are encouraged to;
- Provide detailed product description and visual presentation.
- Offer attractive and convenient shipping option for your customers.
- Set a competitive price for your product (watch the video below).
This information are factors that will attract online shoppers to view your product based on their first impression. Therefore, it’s important to get this process right from the very beginning.
Step #3 – Product Shipping
When it comes to shipping, you want to make sure that the package reaches its destination promptly and safely. Hence, eBay provides shipping labels, supplies and feedback system to ensure the efficacy of the product fulfillment.
Step #4 – Getting Paid
PayPal is the preferred payment gateway at eBay. If you offer this method of transaction, your product is likely to attract more online shoppers and you get access to better sales tracking tools too. In order to maximize profits, you might want to consider setting up an online store so that you can sell more products and build your online brand.
How Much Does It Cost?
This part isn’t the easiest to explain, but I’ll do my best here to simplify things for you, okay? Now, remember the Terapeak Marketplace Research tool that I talked about in Step 1 (see above)?
It is not compulsory that you get one, but considering how saturated the online marketplace has become in eBay, it’s wise to have some retrospective data that can give you some insights about your market positioning as a new seller. After all, you do want to make some money.
You can get the tool for free (with limited features) or pay a certain amount of fee (more features) as shown below.
Back on eBay, whenever you list a product, they will charge a certain percentage of a product’s total selling price. Here’s an overview of how the fee is calculated;
- Insertion Fee (Basic) – The fee incurred for listing a product online.
- Final Value Fee (Basic) – The final price of an item which includes shipping charges.
- Listing Upgrade Fee (Optional) – Customizing features that will enhance your listing to attract more online shoppers.
To help you get through this nerve-wracking calculation, eBay provides an online calculator to help you generate an estimation of the fees with just a few simple clicks.
But that’s not the end of it. For every transaction made via PayPal, an additional fee will incur on the seller’s side. The standard fee is 2.9% plus 30 cents for domestic transactions, and 3.9% plus 30 cents for cross-border transactions.
In summary, your cost of selling a product on eBay will look something like this;
- + Product cost
- + Insertion Fee
- + Final Value Fee
- + PayPal Fee
- +/- Terapeak Marketplace Research Tool
- +/- Listing Upgrade Free
That’s an awful lot of fees if you asked me.
Let’s Hear What Some Sellers Have to Say about Ebay…
Leveraging the marketplace at eBay, you are able to promote and sell to a wider audience.
Providing good product description will make a difference in your selling experience.
And if you stay in business long enough, you could become a power seller someday.
However, as described earlier, you have to be prepared to pay for the fees.
Meanwhile, the lack of a reliable feedback system…
And the one-sided buyer protection are some common frustration faced by some sellers.
So, Is It Easy to Make Money With eBay?
Millions of people trade on eBay’s marketplace daily. So as a seller, you can definitely benefit from these advantages;
- It’s easy to set up an account and list your products (even if you just have one).
- Used items can be sold for a good value if you are creative enough.
- Get local as well as international visitors to view your product listing.
However, as with anything online, making a reasonable profit can be challenging due to these circumstances;
- You are in for a very competitive market, regardless of your niche.
- Without a product or market research, you’ll be selling blindly on eBay.
- Considering the amount of fees that you are subjected to pay to eBay and PayPal, selling larger volumes or high ticket items can yield more profit.
- Make sure that you understand the implication of inadequate processing fees, refund policies and negative customer feedback (just to name a few) to avoid having to deal with unsatisfied buyers or worse, unforeseen legal complications.
Think this is complicated? Well, unfortunately, there are no easy ways around it. If you are willing to familiarize and learn their business system, eBay can be a great platform for selling.
But do you know that there is a better way to control your product marketing while keeping most of the sales profit? By creating your own business website, people can find you not only on eBay, but also on Google Search as well.
Don’t know how to set up a website? No worries. The training at Wealthy Affiliate has all the tools and support to help you become a webpreneur. Here are some of the features that you can use to kick-start an online business.
Having a business website will certainly set you apart from other sellers out there. So check out the training and start selling today.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about online selling? Just leave them at the comment area below and I’ll get back to you.