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Making a Living from Your eBay Business

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Making a Living from Your eBay Business

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  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3366-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3366-5

What might have started as an innocent hobby after cleaning out your closets one spring is now turning into a full-fledged day (or night) job. eBay can be a great place to sell your stuff and can be a profitable business, if you know what you're doing. Making a Living From Your eBay Business is a how-to guide that will show you how you can make money from your eBay sales. You'll learn how to set up and run different types of eBay business, including official retailer, second hand seller and trading assistant, while maximizing sales and profits. Find out everything that goes into creating a business plan, setting up a recordkeeping system, filing official business forms and more important business tasks. With Making a Living From Your eBay Business, you will become an experienced business-person in every aspect, from auction management to packing and shipping to customer relations. Turn your hobby into a profitable business today!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Learn to Be a Bulk Reseller on eBay

Table of Contents

Introduction.

    How This Book Is Organized.

    Let Me Know What You Think.

I. CHOOSING YOUR EBAY BUSINESS.

1. So You Want to Start an eBay Business...

    What, Exactly, Is an eBay Business?

    Different Ways to Sell on eBay.

      Standard Auction Format.

      Reserve Price Auction.

      Dutch Auction.

      Auction with Buy It Now.

      Fixed-Price Sales in eBay Stores.

    Understanding eBay's Fees.

    Launching Your First eBay Auction.

      Before You List.

      Creating the Item Listing.

    The Many Types of eBay Businesses.

2. The Second-Hand Reseller.

    Easing into Business-By Selling What You Own.

    Moving from Pastime to Business.

    Sell Everything-or Certain Things?

    Running a Second-Hand Merchandise Business.

      Finding Merchandise to Resell.

      Managing the Auctions.

      Packing and Shipping.

    Pros and Cons of Second-Hand Reselling.

      Pros.

      Cons.

    How to Become a Second-Hand Reseller.

3. The Bulk Reseller.

    Selling in Bulk Means Buying in Bulk.

    Specialize-or Vary Your Inventory?

    Running a Bulk Reseller Business.

      Making the Buy.

      Storing and Managing the Inventory.

      Managing the Auction Process.

      Packing and Shipping.

    Pros and Cons of Bulk Reselling.

      Pros.

      Cons.

    How to Become a Bulk Reseller.

4. The Collector/Trader.

    Turning a Hobby into a Business.

    Grading and Authenticating Your Merchandise.

      Understanding Grading Systems.

      Getting Graded.

    Running a Collector/Trader Business.

      Finding Merchandise to Resell.

      Preparing Items for Auction.

      Managing the Auctions.

      Packing and Shipping.

    Pros and Cons of Collecting and Trading.

      Pros.

      Cons.

    How to Become an eBay Collector/Trader.

5. The Arts and Crafts Seller.

    What You Make Is What You Sell.

    Running an Arts and Crafts Business on eBay.

      Deciding What to Make.

      Managing the Auction Process.

      Packing and Shipping.

    Pros and Cons of Selling Arts and Crafts.

      Pros.

      Cons.

    How to Become an Arts and Crafts Seller.

6. The Official Retailer.

    Becoming an Authorized Dealer.

    Running an Official Retailing Business on eBay.

      Ordering and Stocking the Product.

      Managing the Auction Process.

      Packing and Shipping.

    Pros and Cons of Official Retailing.

      Pros.

      Cons.

    How to Become an Official Retailer on eBay.

7. The Consignment Reseller.

    Selling Other People's Stuff.

    Setting Up Shop-and Setting Prices.

      Create a Consignment Contract.

      Set Your Fee Schedule.

      Consider Opening a Drop-Off Location.

      Go the Franchise Route.

    Running a Consignment Business on eBay.

      Finding Clients.

      Advertising Your Business Online.

      Taking Possession of the Merchandise.

      Managing the Auction Process.

      Packing and Shipping-and Settling with the Client.

    Pros and Cons of Consignment Selling.

      Pros.

      Cons.

    How to Become an eBay Trading Assistant.

II. PLANNING AND LAUNCHING YOUR EBAY BUSINESS.

8. Researching Your Business Model.

    Why Research Is Important.

    Searching Closed eBay Auctions.

      Performing the Search.

      Extracting the Data.

      Analyzing the Data.

      Using the Data.

    Using Other Research Tools.

      Ándale Research Tools.

      AuctionIntelligence.

      DeepAnalysis.

    Determining Your Business Model.

9. Creating a Business Plan.

    Thinking It Through-Before You Start.

      What Type of Business Do You Want to Run?

      How Much Money Do You Want to Make?

      How Much Time Can You-and Do You Want to-Devote to Your Business?

    Why You Need a Business Plan.

    How to Create a Business Plan.

    The Components of a Winning Business Plan.

      Mission.

      Opportunity.

      Strategy.

      Organization and Operations.

      Strengths and Weaknesses.

      Financials.

    Writing the Plan.

10. Evaluating Your Funding Needs.

    How Much Money Do You Need-and Why?

      Estimating Costs.

      Projecting Revenues.

      Determining Cash Flow.

    Where to Find Funding.

      Personal Savings.

      Credit Cards.

      Friends and Family.

      Loans.

      Investors.

    Which Funding Option Is Right for You?

11. Establishing a Legal Business Presence.

    Choosing a Type of Business.

      Sole Proprietorship.

      Partnership.

      Corporation.

    Filing and Registering.

    Dealing with Taxes.

      Collecting Sales Tax.

      Paying Taxes on Your eBay Income.

      Withholding Employee Tax.

    Setting Up Your Bank Accounts.

      Merchant Checking Account.

      Dealing with Credit Cards.

    Obtaining Insurance.

    Hiring Professional Help.

12. Setting Up a Recordkeeping System.

    Why You Need to Keep Good Records.

    Components of a Bare-Bones Recordkeeping System.

      Inventory Records.

      Customer Records.

      Financial Records.

    Setting Up an Accounting System.

      Tracking Your Business Activity.

      Key Financial Statements.

      Software for Small Business Accounting.

      Working with an Accountant.

13. Assembling Your Home Office.

    Setting Up Your Home Office.

      Personal Computer.

      Computer Software.

      Printer.

      Scanner and Digital Camera.

      Internet Connection.

      Telephone and Fax.

      Filing System.

      Furniture.

      Office Supplies.

      Configuring Your Space.

    Setting Up Your Packing Center.

      Finding the Space.

      Essential Supplies.

      Boxes and Envelopes.

    Managing Your Physical Inventory.

III. MANAGING YOUR DAY-TO-DAY BUSINESS.

14. Buying and Managing Your Inventory.

    Where to Find Merchandise to Resell.

      Wholesale Distributors.

      Merchandise Liquidators.

      Ándale Suppliers.

      Other Sources of Merchandise.

    Managing Your Inventory Levels.

      Ordering the Right Quantity.

      Managing Your Reorders.

      Deciding to Drop Ship.

15. Automating Item Listing.

    eBay Turbo Lister.

      Creating a Listing.

      Uploading Your Listings.

    eBay's Other Listing Programs-Seller's Assistant Basic and Seller's Assistant Pro.

    Ándale Lister.

    Auctiva Poster and Mr. Poster.

    SpareDollar sdLister.

    Vendio Sales Manager.

    Other Bulk Listing Options.

16. Managing Customer Payments.

    Evaluating Different Payment Options.

      Cash.

      C.O.D.

      Personal Checks.

      Money Orders and Cashier's Checks.

      Credit Cards.

      Escrow Services.

    Accepting Credit Card Payments via PayPal.

      Setting Up a PayPal Account.

      Paying for PayPal.

      Activating PayPal in Your Auction Listings.

      Collecting PayPal Payments.

      Withdrawing PayPal Funds.

    Setting Up a Traditional Merchant Credit Card Account.

17. Establishing a Packing and Shipping Routine.

    Choosing a Shipping Method.

      U.S. Postal Service.

      FedEx.

      UPS.

      Other Shipping Companies.

    Calculating Shipping and Handling Fees.

      Working with Flat Fees.

      Working with Variable Fees via eBay's Shipping Calculator.

      Determining the Handling Charge.

      Combining Items for Shipping.

    Packing Your Items.

      Picking the Right Shipping Container.

      How to Pack.

      How to Seal the Package.

      How to Create the Perfect Label.

      Printing Labels with Prepaid Postage.

      Shipping Insurance.

      Tracking and Confirmation.

    Streamlining the Packing and Shipping Process.

      Setting a Packing/Shipping Schedule.

      Creating a Packing Assembly Line.

      Getting It There.

      Arranging Regular Pickups.

    Shipping Larger Items.

    Shipping Internationally.

18. Dealing with Customers-and Customer Problems.

    Answering Bidder Questions.

    Managing End-of-Auction Correspondence.

      Communicating Manually.

      Sending an Invoice at the End of the Auction.

      Communicating with eBay Selling Manager.

      Emailing in Bulk with Selling Manager Pro.

      Communicating with Other Auction Management Tools.

    Handling Buyer Complaints.

      Listing Your Terms of Service.

      Guaranteeing Your Merchandise.

      Resolving Complaints with a Mediation Service.

    Dealing with Deadbeat Bidders.

      Step One: Contact the Unresponsive Bidder.

      Step Two: Go Through the Unpaid Item Dispute Process.

      Step Three: Leave Negative Feedback.

      Step Four: Block the Bidder from Future Sales.

      Step Five: Give Other Bidders a Second Chance.

      Step Six: Relist Your Item.

    Coping with Complaints About You.

      Responding to Negative Feedback.

      Getting Negative Feedback Removed.

      Responding to Item Not Received Complaints.

19. Automating Auction Management.

    Should You Use an Auction Management Tool?

    Evaluating Auction Management Tools.

    Popular Auction Management Tools.

      Ándale.

      Auction Hawk.

      AuctionHelper.

      Auctiva.

      ChannelAdvisor.

      eBay Seller's Assistant Basic.

      eBay Seller's Assistant Pro.

      eBay Selling Manager.

      eBay Selling Manager Pro.

      HammerTap.

      Marketworks.

      SpareDollar.

      Vendio.

    Another Option: Software Tools.

IV. MAXIMIZING YOUR EBAY SALES.

20. Improving Item Sell-Through and Selling Price.

    Setting a Pricing Strategy.

      Set It Low Enough to Be Attractive...

      ...But Don't Set It So Low That It's Not Believable.

      Make Sure You Recover Your Costs...

      ...But Not So High You Pay Too High a Listing Fee.

      Make Sure You Can Live with a Single Bid.

      So What's the Right Price?

    Determining the Best Days and Times to List.

      Best Time of Day to List.

      Best-and Worst-Days to List.

      Seasonal Variations.

    Other Tricks for Improving Item Sell-Through.

      Offer a Discount for Multiple Purchases.

      Offer Free or Discounted Shipping.

      Make Changes Mid-Auction.

    Selling Internationally.

      Pros and Cons of International Selling.

      Accepting Foreign Payments.

21. Choosing the Most Effective Listing Options.

    Selecting the Right Auction Length.

    Choosing a Different Start Time.

    Picking the Right Category.

    Choosing Listing Enhancements.

      Subtitle.

      Gallery.

      Gallery Featured.

      Bold.

      Border.

      Highlight.

      Featured Plus!

      Home Page Featured.

      Gift Icon.

      Counter.

22. Creating More Powerful Auction Listings.

    Writing an Effective Item Listing.

      Write a Title That SELLS!

      Write the Right Description.

      Stress Benefits, Not Features.

      Use the Right Abbreviations.

      Don't Reinvent the Wheel-Reuse Item Listings That Work.

    Creating Better-Looking Item Listings.

      eBay's Listing Designer.

      eBay Turbo Lister.

      Free Listing Templates.

      Third-Party Listing Tools.

    Using HTML in Your Listings.

      How HTML Works.

      Entering HTML Codes.

      Codes to Format Your Text.

      Codes for Font Type, Size, and Color.

      Codes for Paragraphs, Line Breaks, and Rules.

      Codes for Graphics.

      Codes for Links.

      Codes for Tables.

    Ready-to-Use HTML Templates.

      Second-Column Details.

      Big Picture, Colored Background.

23. Displaying Better Photographs.

    Taking Effective Photos.

      Shopping for a Digital Camera.

      Don't Forget the Accessories.

      How to Take a Good Photograph.

      Five Types of Pictures Not to Take.

    Scanning Instead of Shooting.

    Editing Your Photos-Digitally.

      Choosing Image Editing Software.

      Resizing Your Pictures for Best Effect.

    Adding Photos to Your Item Listings.

      Using eBay Picture Services.

      Using Third-Party Image Management Services.

24. Promoting Your eBay Auctions.

    Cross-Promoting All Your Auctions.

      Linking to Your Other Auctions.

      Linking to Your About Me Page.

    Linking from Other Sites to Your eBay Auctions.

      Linking to Your About Me Page.

      Adding a "Shop eBay with Me" Button to Your Web Page.

    Promoting with eBay Keywords.

    Other Ways to Advertise Your Auctions.

V. GROWING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS.

25. Becoming an eBay PowerSeller.

    What Is a PowerSeller?

    Do You Qualify?

    PowerSeller Benefits.

      Priority Customer Support.

      Other Official Benefits.

      Psychological Benefits.

    How to Become a PowerSeller.

    Ten Tips for Achieving PowerSeller Status-or Just Increasing Your Day-to-Day Sales.

26. Opening an eBay Store.

    What Is an eBay Store?

    Benefits of Opening Your Own eBay Store.

    Do You Qualify?

    The Costs of Running an eBay Store.

    How to Set Up an eBay Store.

      Creating Your Store.

      Listing Merchandise for Sale.

      Customizing and Managing Your Store.

    Earn Referral Fees.

27. Other Ways to Sell Online.

    Other Online Auction Sites.

      Amazon.com Auctions.

      ArtByUs.

      Bidville.

      iOffer.

      Yahoo! Auctions.

    Other Selling Sites.

      Amazon Marketplace.

      Half.com.

      LiveDeal.com.

    The Other Alternative-Opening Your Own Online Store.

    Utilizing a Prepackaged Storefront.

      Ándale Stores.

      ChannelAdvisor.

      Infopia.

      Vendio.

      Zoovy.

    Building Your Own Site from Scratch.

      Finding a Web Host.

      Obtaining a Domain Name.

      Creating Your Website.

      Incorporating E-commerce Software.

      Web Design Firms.

28. Managing Growth.

    Analyzing Your Business.

    Locating More Merchandise to Sell.

    Finding More Space.

    Hiring Additional Employees.

      What Should Your Employees Do?

      Don't Forget the Details.

    Managing Your Time.

    How Big Is Too Big?

VI. APPENDIXES.

A. Accounting Basics.

    Revenues, Expenses, and Profits.

    Assets and Liabilities.

    The Difference Between Profits and Cash.

    Financial Statements.

      Income Statement.

      Balance Sheet.

B. Listing Abbreviations.

Index.

Updates

Submit Errata

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