How to sell on eBay and make money

Name:  eBay


Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100


There have already been tons of training and reviews posted on how to use eBay, and to whether eBay is a valid selling tool. With this article today I’d like to offer you tips on how to sell on eBay and make money. I mean real money!



We have talked about old ways to make money.  Selling is the oldest of all trading arts, and possibly the most straightforward – there is no messing around there with digitally based invisible things there, but a concrete stock of products which you aim to sell for a profit.

eBay does just that for you.  On eBay you sell and buy a variety of different products at auction.  Since it was founded in 1965, eBay has also introduced different buying options other than auction, hence increasing the chances for you to sell your product more quickly and for a higher profit.


How it works

Simply put, you create a log in account on eBay.  This account will allow you both to purchase and to sell.  You click on the ‘Sell’ tag up the top of the home page, go through the user friendly steps to list your product, click the button and your item is listed down, ready to buyers to put their bid on by the deadline by you selected – or to purchase there and then, if you again have chosen this option.

One of the good aspects of eBay is that it proposes to you so many different preferences of how you would like to advertise your stock, that it makes it extremely versatile and feasible for you to set up a successful selling business by simply listing your items consistently.

Naturally, in order to do so you must ensure to have a regular stock of items available to sell.  Which begs the following question.


What can you sell on eBay

Primarily on eBay you will want to sell new stock of products.  eBay is ideal as it enables you to sell items that you feel passionate about.  However, there are categories of products that sell particularly well on eBay.  Where Amazon excels and in a way over time has specialised on electronics, I would say eBay’s customer base goes well beyond that and uses this website for absolutely everything.  You can expect to find listed here from fashion items to home-ware, from furniture to even cars!!

I believe however, the strength of eBay remains in the possibility it offers to sell second hand items – which in a way is the ethos the company was originally founded on, along with the idea of creating an online auction market.  For this reason, eBay remains successful with sellers of collectables.  I particularly find it unbearable in prices and deals when it comes to antiques.


So how to sell on eBay for a profit

The secret is in where you get your stock from.  Buying from a retailer, albeit an online one, with the aim to make a profit, is never the ideal solution.

Let’s not forget that the strength of eBay is in selling items at a bargain.  Your buying price therefore must be competitive enough for you to promote your merchandise at an equally competitive price, but in such a way that you can still make a margin from the sale.

Ideally you should find a reliable wholesaler that offers you the most competitive rates on the range of items you want to sell.  Initially you may want to test the online market by trying selling different items.  Eventually you may want to specialise in a particular category of items, so that over time and with the build up of hopefully positive feedback, you can build a reputable image of reliable seller, which will attract more buyers.

Especially when it comes to collectables, however, many sellers on eBay find their stock at boot sales and local seasonal fairs, where with patience and a keen eye for a deal, you can find a bargain yourself.  At the end of the day, selling is all about that: you have to be a buyer yourself in first instance!


Who can succeed on eBay

Surely you’ve got to acknowledge that these days setting up a stall in your town market is not the only way of selling. Selling online has become much diffused, as it reaches a wider range of potential customers, and because it helps you sell more quickly.  So, who is eBay for?

eBay is most suitable for those of us that enjoy selling merchandise as opposed to virtual services.  It is suitable for those of us that also enjoy the thrill of the auction.  For this reason, you must be prepared, especially at first, to bear some losses as much as well as to see your earnings grow slowly.

!! Click here to start selling on eBay !!

I do believe you can make an actual living from selling on eBay, but like with all businesses, it will take you a little while to establish yourself as a reputable seller.  But, the beauty of eBay is that it does not have to be your sole full time business.  I have been using eBay whenever I find some item in the house that I no longer want to use and I do believe can find a buyer.  I also like antiques, and when I have the time to go to some local fairs, if I find an object that catches my attention and which I can get at a reasonable price, I will then chance my luck by listing it on eBay and see how profitable the online auction will turn for me.

And that is the beauty of eBay: the fact that is most suitable for everybody that has something to sell, whether you are student, unemployed, full time worker or retired.


Tools and training

Again, the key in learning how to list your items is to follow eBay selling page step by step, which you find when you click on the ‘Sell’ tab on the top left hand side.  There you are taken through the process of listing your items, with easy to understand options, from inserting pictures, to adding the description of your item, to pricing it and whether you only want to put it up to auction or whether you also want to add the ‘Buy It Now’ option, and of course how much the whole thing is going to cost you – more of what eBay charges you later on.

Most importantly, eBay also guide you wisely through the method of payments you can propose to your potential buyers and how you can post the items.

In other words, eBay ‘holds your hand’ safely.  It is up to you which direction you want to take.  And if at the beginning you may think that the whole process is far too long and not worth the effort, it is like with all things, the more items you list, the more conversant you become – till in the end you find the formula that best suits your selling modes, and the listing process becomes second nature!


The price

The price structure of eBay is again very easy, and particularly advantageous if you are only a newbie at this.  eBay will not charge you for the first 20 ads you place in a month.  After the first 20 ads, it will charge a small fee of 35p per listing.

eBay will then also charge 10% of the selling fee, with a maximum cap of no more than £250 per item sold.

Once you are aware of this, and you are also aware that if you opt for payment via PayPal, PayPal will charge you an additional minimum 2.9%, you will know what mark up to apply to your item when pricing it.  You want to ensure that your costs are fully covered, and that the buyers also pays for postage and delivery.

Finally, remember that eBay will charge you additionally if you opt to sell now the item at a fixed price with the ‘Buy Now’ option.  This is an option preferred by many, as it avoid the risk of the item remaining unsold or to be sold at a far too low price to cover all the costs.  In such cases, like with ‘real’ auction in auction houses, you can list your merchandise applying a reserve, which again will ensure if the bidding price is below the margin you want to apply, you do not have to honour the winning bid.

All the above pricing options, in other words, are to illustrate to you how flexible eBay makes it for sellers to go for the pricing and listing method that best and most conveniently suits their needs and wants.


The downsides of eBay

If I may start with the cons,I have to say that I struggle to find any.  I stirred right clear of eBay for a number of years, for fear to be conned myself.  There have been rumours – but sometimes more factual than tale-telling – about buyers paying for items which they never received.  And at the same time it was reported that sellers never got paid at times after an auction reached its deadline.

I believe those days are truly been and gone.  eBay has ironed out such problems by putting in place extra safety tools, such as advising sellers to choose the PayPal method of payment.  Yes, this may mean that you end up paying a fee to PayPal at the end of the month.  But, provided you take this extra cost into account when pricing your merchandise, this additional security is worth the additional fee.

Finally, there is the risk element of the auction, and the fact that your item may not find a purchaser.  Or that your purchaser may bid for far too low a price, which would make it unprofitable for you.  There are many items sold for pittance, admittedly.  It the item you have listed is an unwanted present, however small a figure the auction is won at will still make it a profit for you.  But if you have actually bought the item with a view to reselling it at auction, you want to ensure that you make a margin on it.

On the pro side, well where to start!  As mentioned, eBay makes it so easy for everyone to try and sell absolutely anything.  All it asks is that you have access to the internet and the necessary equipment to work online, it asks that you take a few pictures of your item, it asks for storage space if you decide to grow your selling business to such a level to require a regular stock, and it wants you to have an account (preferably PayPal) for you to receive payment.  The game is on!


In conclusion

eBay is equally ideal if you want to get rid of single items every so often, and for those of us that aim at a little higher in terms of profitable avenue.  If you approach eBay with a view to make a regular income out of it, especially at the beginning however, you need to be prepared to allow time for your business to steadily grow.  In this, eBay is none the different from any other online businesses: you can aim high, just with time.

Name:  eBay


Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100

My verdict

It is my opinion that, with time, eBay will enable you to make a steady income from selling online at auction.  And you can do it all from the comfort of your home.  I recommend eBay, therefore as an extremely feasible way of making money working from home legally and stress free!!

If you are still not sure about the advantages to selling online through eBay and would like to find out more, or if you have already had a go with eBay, or indeed if you are one of eBay Power Sellers, and would like to share your experience with us, by all means leave a comment below!!

5 tips to make a success of working from home

Ok, admittedly working from home is not always plain sail.  In the course of last year I have on many occasions come across obstacles to working from home which have prevented me from being as productive as I would have liked.  This has led me to reflect on what are the best conditions and requirements to make a success of working from home and I would like to share them you.


The struggles of working from home

This last few months have seen a slow down in my posting activity on both this site and my other website Living With A Border Terrier.  The slow down was one of the many periods in the course of the last year, where I struggled to remain productive with my online business.  This last period, where I stalled for more or less a month, has given me the opportunity to work out what best practices I should apply to overcome obstacles in trying to make a success of working from home.
But what were the causes?


I learnt from my own mistakes

What caused my slow down was a combination of external circumstances which caused me to ‘freeze’ and to struggle with my daily functions, including following and contributing to my online business – some call this a form of depression.

This was not the first time, as in the course of the year just gone more concerns had pressed me relating primarily to poor health of my closest family members, like my mum and my husband.  Consuming worries to tear your hair out, right?

Yet I am full aware that so many of us have had to cope with similar worries, if not bigger issues.  The problem is: if every time that something bad or unexpected prevents me from working from home, I shall never be able to work, as things happen to all of us all the times!!!

The question is then: how to learn to cope and to manage the stress and the anxiety of unexpected events in your life, in such a way that they do hinder on your success when working from home?


Be in control

When working in my working place for my employer, the struggle is less noticeable.  You get out of the house, and your brain is naturally challenged and engaged by external elements – it could be colleagues telling what happened to them over the weekend, or in my line of work for my employer, it is customers asking for advice over financial or housing matters.

The main drawback I see in working on your own from home is isolation, as you expose yourself to over rampaging over personal matters, which could eventually take over your mental and physical capabilities to function on any of the most basic daily tasks.  It is down to you, however, to learn to manage your isolation.

In first instance, you want to use the time you spend on your own to concentrate actively on your work.  At the end of the day, if you were at work in a non-home based environment, you would not spend all of your time chatting about what you did at the weekend, but you would be required to concentrate on the task in hand to make your hours at work productive.


Be quiet, I’m working

And how about if you have the kids playing in the same room where you are trying to work?  Or if ‘hubbie’ has just come back from work and wants to pour out with you all his frustration of the traffic he got caught during his commuting?

The most likely option – and the most advisable – is that you would still have a full time or part time main job, especially at the beginning of your home endeavours.  This is recommended particularly as any new business will not secure immediate earnings, and you don’t want to risk reducing you and your family to leave out of nothing whilst there are still bills to pay.

However, this means that you will work additional hours at home to the ones already worked at your main job.  That is me all over, by the way!!!

So, how to ensure that, when at home after a long day at work, you still remain productive in an effective way without letting your home life take over the few hours of the day you have left to dedicate to the job you are trying to set up so passionately?


5 tips to make a success of working from home

I have come up with 5 tips to make a success of working from home.  Follow my tips and you will see the difference between life being in control of your success and you becoming master of your work-from-home life!


#1.  Create your own working space

Whether it’s the comfort of your sofa or bedroom, ensure that at least when you work, if not the whole time, you have a space of your own for you to work undisturbed.

You may be a champion of multi-tasking.  Nevertheless without a dedicated corner for you to keep your notes and your equipment, you will not be able to run your home business successfully.

Naturally, you will need to ensure you have storage space if the business you intend to run involves keeping stock of goods.  If you are working freelance as a tutor, you may need a small study space to teach your pupils, for instance.

If, like me, you run an online business, all you need is really not much in terms of space: just about a notebook to jot down a few ideas, and room for a laptop.  And that will be all!


#2.  No interruptions, it’s your time

Naturally if you are working whilst the household is asleep, or whilst the kids are at school and your partner is at work, you will have the privilege of being able to work uninterrupted.

If however you have no option but to work whilst the rest of the family are also indoors, set a specific time where you kindly ask that for no reason whatsoever (over than life and death!) you are to be disturbed.  You may want to arrange for babysitting by your partner if the kids are too small.  Likewise you may want to ensure that the set time is not too long, in order not to make your ‘absence’ too onerous on the rest of the family.  Nevertheless ensure that however long or short, that time span is respected.

At the end of the day, you are using that time to work and make a living, which ultimately will benefit yourself and, indirectly, your family members too.


#3.  Self discipline and commitment

It may sound regimental, when in fact it is not as bad as it sounds.

At the end of the day, you are trying to establish your business, your livelihood.  This may be your sole source of income or an added earning opportunity.  Either way, you want to establish your home run business as you want to make a success of it.

Your home run business will require total commitment.  I for one should know better, having given away easily to ‘alternative commitments’ which at times have taken priority over my work unjustifiedly.  And this has happened primarily when things have got tougher.

As mentioned above, sometimes you need to be tougher with the ‘alternative commitments’.  There have been two occasions this year, for instance, where my mum has come to stay with us for a few weeks. Well, those weeks  barely managed to switch on my laptop, let alone working on my websites.  I am not trying to justify myself of my absence from the online scene.  This is no justification, as ultimately my business is the one that suffered from me not working on it.

What I should have done is ensuring that at certain times of the day and of the week, guests and family alike understood I was not available.  Or I should have altered my working times to try and fit in everybody else’s requirements.

Not an easy task, I’ll admit that.  But especially when your business is fully establish, you will find that you no longer need to work as long as initially, as the business will generate passive income once your brand is fully established on the market.  This in turn will grant you more free time and more flexibility.


The most famous shed in the world: Roald Dahl's!!
The most famous shed in the world: Roald Dahl’s!!

#4.  Ensure your family supports you

None of the above can be achieved without the support of your family of course.

Ahead of embarking in a home based business, you may want to speak to your family and share with them your vision.  Yes, admittedly initially your project may be welcomed with a pinch of skeptisism.  But  you need to explain why you want to do what you are embarking in.  You need to put across to them that ultimately you would like to try out whether you could be successful as your own boss.

I’m sure all your family wants is for you to be happy.  You will need to help them understand what your motivations are going to be, which will make you happy, such as the fact that you will have more flexibility of working hours, so that you can also meet more easily the demands of the household.  The ultimate goal could possibly even be for you to make a wealth out of it, which in turn would benefit the whole family.


#5.  Don’t overdo it

It’s easy when working from home, to let the business take over your entire life.

Yes, there may be days when you are going to work 20 hours out of the 24.  This may happen particularly if you are trying to seal a deal, or if you have to meet a specific deadline.

However, this should not be the rule!!

Especially if, like me, you like to work early in the morning before everybody else is awake, or in the evening, you must not allow yourself to also work for the rest of of the day.  This is most important especially if you are also working for an employer full or part time.

Likewise, you may set up some days of the week when you work flat out, but other days in the week which you will dedicate to a trip out with the family or to practice a hobby or to watch soaps for the whole dat (that will be me, cuddled with my dog under a big duvet!!)  – anything other than work.

Sometimes overdosing it is as damaging to your business as doing too little.


In conclusion

I hope you will find the above tips useful.  Naturally they are not fully exhaustive, but they want to be be general self-help ideas to aid in making your life easier whilst working at home.

If you have more ideas to propose, by all means leave your comment below.  Likewise, if you believe the above is not going to work, do share your concerns with me, so we can start a healthy discussion.

Whatever your approach, it must be one that you are going to be comfortable with.

I won’t pretend home based business is easy matter.  But the rewards are worth the long hours, the commitment and the determination!


So, what keeps you self-disciplined?
So, what keeps you self-disciplined?