Self Employed Web

eBay Success Stories 2012 Explained

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012 by

The eBay Basics Explained: eBay Success Story – How to Sell on eBay

This is not another get rich on eBay overnight story; I am not going to try and sell you a ‘secret formula’ for $29.95 that will make you an instant eBay millionaire.  This is simply a few hundred words regarding my success on eBay as an eBay seller – nothing more nothing less and it is free.  Maybe along the way I will be able to give you a few useful tips so you can utilize eBay as a success tool in your life as well.

If I were to give you my eBay ID, you would see I am an eBay PowerSeller.  That means I have maintained a feedback rating of 99% plus and I sell so many thousands of dollars worth of merchandise over a period of three months.  It would also show you I have been on eBay since 1997.

Back then they called it AuctionWeb and it was being run out of an apartment living room somewhere in California.   I would think my success on eBay qualifies me to give advice on the eBay phenomenon and ho you can utilize it to enhance your business .

First, lets take a look at how much reach eBay has:

bullet More than 560 farm tractors and parts sell on eBay every day.

bullet More than 900 MP3 players are sold on eBay every day.

bullet A diamond ring is sold every 2 minutes on eBay.

bullet A book sells every 2.5 seconds on eBay.

bullet A Ford Mustang sells every 34 minutes on eBay Motors.


Or these figures from 2003:

bulletThere are nearly 95 million eBay users who spend $894 per second.

bulletMost eBay sellers are individuals and small businesses who sell everything from porcelain dolls to DVD players to Mercedes convertibles.

bulletEvery day, more than 2 million new items are added to the eBay marketplace, more than 10 million bids are placed, and more than 100,000 new people register to buy and sell on eBay.

bulletAt any given moment, eBay is conducting some 19 million auctions, divided into more than 45,000 different categories.

bulletAbout 2 million new items are offered for sale every day.

bulletOne company is grossing more than $5 million per year selling brand-new pool tables on eBay. Their eBay store is so profitable that they’ve closed their retail location and now sell solely online.

That’s right, they’re making $5 million by selling pool tables—proof that you can sell just about anything on eBay if you know how to do it.

Incredible isn’t it?  Seems like a panacea for all your woes?  Not hardly.   eBay is about scope, eBay is about reach,  eBay is about marketing your product worldwide at the click of a button.  It is NOT EASY.

Any eBay Powerseller will tell you, building a businesson eBay is much like building a traditional brick and mortar business . You need a great businessplan, inventory purchasing and management, order fulfillment and customer service.  Ok, I lost about 30% of you readers right there…..  The readers that want to be instant eBay millionaires and sell 40 bazillion filet knives and Chinese watches for a huge profit hit the back button on their browser right there.

The hardest thing about doing businesson eBay is the competition – PERIOD.   You might be the only store in town selling the latest electronic Super_Gizmo but on eBay a simple search shows 400 other Super_Gizmo’s for sale and most of them will be priced lower than what you bought your for wholesale.  D’Oh.

I have a whole garage full of Super_Gizmo’s  — what do I do now?????  eBay competition is brutal, pricing is cut throat and the virgins are quickly sacrificed.  Don’t let this be you!  Study the market, look at your competition, know your demographic and if you feel comfortable, try a few trial eBay auctions.  Remember, doing businesson eBay is NOT free.  They charge a myriad of different fees and most of them are due and payable whether your item sells or not.  Listing hundreds of items can quickly mount up to hundreds of dollars in eBay fees.

So for those of you that have read this far, let me reveal the “Secret of eBay Success”.   eBay in most cases is a Buyer’s Market.  When you do your research and see many multiples of the same item offered for just a small difference in price, you are seeing this Buyer’s Market in action.

Most of these eBay Sellers will be making miniscule profits on these items.  As a matter of fact, their profit may lie with inflated shipping charges.  Great way to do business , huh?   You have to think of something you can sell where the item is in a Seller’s  market.  “What in the world could this possibly be??”  you scratch your head and ask?  I don’t know.  Remember the guy with the pool tables?  He found a Seller’s Market.

I recently was looking for a roof rack for my Suburban.  I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted and I went looking for it.  I couldn’t find it locally.  I didn’t find it online at any of the truck accessory places.  I did find it on eBay. Some giy out west who made each one by hand  and it looked exactly  like the one I had pictured in my mind.

He was more expensive by $100 than the other roof racks but I bought his fro a premium price. He found a Seller’s Market and used the reach of eBay to market it.  I doubt he could sell one roof rack a year in   Boring Desert, Arizona  but he had a one month backlog on his eBay orders.

I committed the ultimate eBay no-no last year.  My parents had a stack of old record albums. You know, the old LP’s that came in the cardboard sleeve the size of a dinner platter?  I thought I had found an eBay goldmine!  I spent hours taking the pictures and entering the item descriptions and then I sat back to watch the bids roll in.  it didn’t happen!  I think  I sold  afew albums for just a few dollars, paid MUCH more than that in eBay fees and then found out that shipping these fragile items was an expensive proposition as well.

If I had just looked on eBay, I would have seen hundreds if not thousands of albums listed and none of them selling.    My girlfriend has hundreds of these little Norman Rockwell figurines and plates she inherited from some departed relative.  Hundreds,  I tell ya.  I know these items were pricey when they were purchased and her reasoning was that if they were costly when new and “Collector Items”, we should be able to make a killing on eBay.  Not so – that old Buyer’s Market bites us again.  We just boxed everything up ( lots of boxes) and took them to the storage shed.

How about a mini success story instead of all the gloom and doom scenarios?  My 25 year old son makes a decent bit of side money on eBay selling diecast cars.  You know, like the Matchbox cars.  But let me tell you, he works at it!  He makes the rounds of every Wal Mart and Toys R US in the area several times each week.

The receiving managers at all these stores know him well and some of them even CALL him when a new shipment comes in.  He knows the collectability of individual items.  Some of them aren’t worth the original purchase price and some of them that he buys for less than 5 bucks fetch a price over a hundred dollars.   He is using eBay’s  reach to market his collectables.  Another bonus is the small blister packs are easy and cheap to ship.  Let me add,  he never, ever buys on eBay – ever.  The most desirable collectibles go for top dollar.  Remember our definition of a Seller’s Market?????????


This ended up being far longer than I intended so let me close by summarizing the main points:

bullet eBay Market Research is Crucial – look for a Seller’s Market.

bullet Market Quality Items – eBay is full of junk that  no one wants.

bullet Look for Unique Niche Market Items

bullet Take Time to Develop your Business Plan.

bullet Test Market your Item on eBay –  Do this  before you commit!

bullet Do NOT Expect Easy, Overnight eBay Success

Let me close by saying it is not too late to jump on the eBay bandwagon.  Today, about 15% of all transactions involve a buyer and seller in different countries. eBay predicts that will approach 50 – 60% within 10 years.  Remember the concept of reach???

About Self Employed Web

Self Employed Web has been providing self employment advise and resources since January 30th, 2003. Get started via our popular SUV Tax Deduction list, Corp vs. LLC article, or eBay tips section. Over 300 other articles are categorized in the navigation menu on the lefthand side of this webpage. If you have a question not answered on this website, please contact us.

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