Can eBay Be A Serious Business?

In this blog I usually write about issues relating to internet marketing. However, I was reading some articles about eBay the other day and decided that I would share with you some thoughts on the subject.

I did use eBay some years ago when clearing the loft. In my youth I was very much into cinema and collected many books on the subject, especially ones related to the “golden age” of Hollywood. Being a musician the great musicals of the era were my particular interest, as you might expect, and I had accumulated many books (often large books). I advertised many of these on eBay and found them a new home where they would be appreciated by others. I made money from the sales but it was the interaction with the enthusiasts to whom I sold the books that I found particularly fulfilling.

There is a common belief that eBay is where you get things cheaply but this experience made me realise that there is more to eBay than that. Although thrift is often the motivation which sends buyers to eBay there is a real opportunity there for the creation of a profitable business. The potential is probably not as great as that provided by internet marketing but many make a very good living from eBay.

Rather than just selling off unwanted possessions the serious sellers source products at low prices and sell or auction them through eBay. Like internet marketing, research is the key in finding the right products to sell at the right price. In many ways eBay is exactly like running any off-line retail business; you buy items which you sell on at a profit. The money you make is a one-off difference between your cost price and your retail price.

The sort of products sourced and offered by internet marketers are simply not appropriate as the suggested mark-up on these is ten times the cost of creating and/or sourcing the items. The returns are not going to be sufficient on eBay. There are examples of valuable DVD training courses or high quality manuals rebranded and sold by serious internet marketers for $197 or more, which can be found occasionally on eBay retailing for about $13 or so. Someone is really missing the boat there!

Like any online business, if you are prepared to do the work and learn the techniques you can succeed. Most eBay sellers (even the serious ones) will be, like most internet marketers, sole traders working from home. EBay has often been used as a good opening gambit by giving a marketer the opportunity to generate start-up capital for their internet business. Whereas internet marketing is far cheaper than a traditional business to set up, there are costs incurred which can be easily covered by activity on eBay.

If you decide to become involved in trading on eBay, the first thing you need to do is to decide exactly how you are going to pitch your business. Are you just going to go for earning a bit of additional income to give your personal finances a boost or are you going to try to build a business substantial enough to provide you with a good living. The approach is rather different between the two options. If you decide to take the plunge, whichever option you choose – good luck with your venture.

If you would like to learn more about how to make money from a profitable internet marketing business, please visit for further information on the subject.

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