9 Reasons You Should be Selling on eBay

There are many ways to get started on ebay. Which will you choose?

By Janelle Elms

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Although many people start on eBay by clearing out their attics,garages and closets, or by selling all their spouse's items,there are many other reasons why 1.5 million people and businesseshave flocked to use eBay as an additional source of revenue. Hereare some of the most popular types of businesses on eBay:

  • Moving Excess Inventory: Many businessesstart off by selling merchandise that is out of season, returns, orout-of-box. However, they quickly realize that by opening up theirbusiness to the global marketplace, some of their retail productsalso sell for higher prices on eBay.
  • Selling for Others: Love selling on eBay,but don't have the money to invest in tons of inventory? Becomea Trading Assistant and sell inventory for others. Learn more atwww.ebay.com/ta.
  • Replacing or Supplementing RetirementIncome: Rather than playing golf or going fishing in hisretirement, Platinum PowerSeller Joe Marcinkowski, 64, of MetroRetro Furniture (eBay User ID: midcenturyguy) chose to do somethinghe liked but never had time to do before. After working in a fieldthat left him creatively unfulfilled, Joe and his wife, Laura, havegone on to create a successful midcentury furniture business oneBay. With projected revenue of $1.5 million this year, Joe tellsother aspiring entrepreneurs on eBay, "Do what makes youhappy. The resulting joy and confidence will make yousuccessful."
  • Selling services on eBay: Are you a graphicdesigner, a masseuse, a tattoo artist or a professional organizer?Offer your services on eBay. Since eBay is a global marketplace,consider using gift certificates for your services to allow easygift giving.
  • Using eBay for advertising: Where else, foran Insertion Fee of just 20 cents, could you reach a worldwideaudience of 180 million people? Plus, upon setting up your eBayStore, you can appear in the search results of major search enginessuch as Google, MSN and Yahoo!, making your listing accessible toanyone in the world with a computer.
  • Nonprofit Fundraising: Since 2000, morethan $54 million dollars has been raised for charity from listingsin the Giving Works section of eBay. Anyone can list througheBay's charity tool, Mission Fish, and then donate a portion orall of the proceeds to the charity of their choice. Nonprofits canraise money for their groups in this manner as well.
  • Launching New Products: Have you justcreated the next "must have" product? Engage eBay'sbuying power to find out what the market has to say about yourproduct before sending it through other more expensive, traditionalsales channels.
  • Expanding into International Markets:Looking for a way to expand your current customer base?"Selling internationally should be an essential part of yourgrowth strategy on eBay," says Tim Kunihiro, director of CrossBorder Trade, International Operations, at eBay. "Not only dohalf of eBay users reside outside the U.S., but they also activelybuy from U.S. sellers at higher prices. Items that are soldcross-border and paid for with PayPal fetch 16 percent higherprices, on average."
  • Buying Inventory on eBay to Start aBusiness: As with many new companies, Seattle-based Mpire, a listingmanagement company, was on a budget. "Once we secured ourfunding and office space, our first act was to begin buying officeequipment," says Gregory Harrison, chief technology officerand co-founder of Mpire Corp. "Because we wanted to make everycent count, we bought nearly all our first office's equipmentthrough eBay, including a laser printer, Cisco switches, afirewall, six laptops and four PC workstations!"
Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor and onlinebusiness consultant, specializes in coaching individuals andcompanies to build successful businesses on eBay. She is thebestselling co-author of Tax Loopholes for eBay Sellers.
Janelle Elms

Janelle Elms eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series.

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