Making a profit
Making a profit on the items you buy and then sell is the very essence of starting an eBay business.
There is no sure-fire way to make a profit, but by sourcing goods at a low price and selling them at the going rate, with prompt delivery, you should begin building up your takings. There are certainly plenty of people out there looking to buy - eBay offers a large marketplace.
However, the eBay marketplace is now more congested than ever; thousands of businesses have started trading on the site since the start of the recession. An eBay spokesperson says that eBay’s business users “are attracted to it because eBay is a ready-made ecommerce solution – everything is taken care of, all you need is a computer and a digital camera.”
As any financial risk to your eBay enterprise is small, you can experiment with the goods you are putting online. Vary the prices to see what the market rate is, and then stick to it. Check out what your competition is doing whenever possible, as they may be undercutting you. With so many eBay businesses in the UK, the chances are that someone else is doing what you are doing.
By their very nature, auctions are unpredictable, but they are the only way to ‘test the water’ and see what kind of demand there is for your stock. When you are posting your first few products, set a low price and see how many bids you get and how much the price rises.
You can set a reserve price on items over £50, but it’s best you only do this if you are extremely confident they will sell for the set price.
It’s best not to set reserve prices on the first items you sell, as you will not be able to work out the market going rate for specific items.
An eBay spokesperson says, like many businesses, there is no guaranteed way of making a profit on the site.
“It’s all about the market. Buyers love the chance of getting a bargain – do your research to see what you are likely to get, look at your profit margin and go for it.
“You should only use a fixed price if you are very confident about the auction.”