6 Steps to a Successful Online Auction Business

Step 3: Set Up Your Office

It doesn't take much equipment to get started on the site, but what you do have, you need to organize well. First, you need a decent computer with a fast Internet connection--DSL or a cable modem will make a big difference when you're uploading photos to your auctions. Then you'll need a digital camera and possibly a scanner. Photos sell auctions--that's all there is to it. Going digital is the easiest, and, in the long run, cheapest option. Collier suggests, of course, going to eBay to find a discounted camera. Scanners can work if you're selling two-dimensional products, such as Mandell's baseball cards. And a good printer and office software suite is vital in any business.

Next item of business: Your storage area. When you're selling just a few items, it's easy enough to stack them on an empty closet shelf. But once you get into high volume, you've got to get organized or you'll go nuts and lose time and money to your inefficiency. In Collier's eBay classes, she suggests enlisting an army of those clear plastic boxes you can get in several sizes at any discount store. They keep items clean, fresh-smelling (you'll notice many auctioneers tout their "smoke-free" households) and easily accessible. Place photos on the outside of the boxes for easy recognition when a customer e-mails a question about one of 75 items you have up for auction.

Now we come to what will surely be your favorite task: Shipping. It may be boring, but it's an extremely important aspect of your business. Streamline your shipping so items get sent out in a timely fashion--all the better for your feedback rating. And you want to watch your costs so that: a) you don't eat any costs; b) you don't inflate S&H so much it sends bidders running. The USPS is a candy store for eBay users, as so much packaging is available for free and even delivered to your house. Visit here to stock up. A postal scale may prove to be a worthwhile investment so you can avoid lines and buy postage online.

The Business Side of Your eBay Business
There is a whole other category we didn't discuss here due to space limitations, and that's making your business a real business--meaning all the vitally important red tape, including business licensing, business structure, taxes, bookkeeping, etc. For more information, read How to Legally Establish Your Homebased Business.

Last but not least: Your photo area. Devote a small table to this task. Collier suggests if you sell clothing or jewelry, used mannequins will prove their worth. Dress up your items; don't just toss them on the carpet or prop them against a wall that should've been re-wallpapered in 1973. An empty box and a piece of material do wonders as a pedestal. And if you really want to get fancy, consider some lighting as well.



How to Start an Online Auction Business
  • Step 3: Set Up Your Office
« Previous 1 2 3 Page 4 5 6 7 8 Next »
Loading the player ...

Tim Ferriss on Mastering Any Skill

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Connect with Entrepreneur

Most Shared Stories