By now, you're probably aware of the world of opportunity that awaits you on eBay. Scores of books have been written on the subject; eBay offers its own classes on the topic; and offshoot businesses have even been created to cater to eBay sellers.
But what does it take to get into the upper echelon of eBay sellers? To join the business owners who sell millions of dollars of products each year? We talked to eight of them to find out exactly that.
Here are their secrets.
David Wirtenberg, 28
eBay User ID: outrageousauctions
Location: New York City
Projected 2006 Sales: $8 million to $10 million
Description: Engagement rings, wedding bands and other jewelry
Secret to Success: ''Most of my diamond auctions start at 99 cents. Sometimes I lose money; sometimes I make money. Whatever makes the customer happy, I do.''
Eran Dekel, 28
eBay User ID: decalofashion
Location: Mineola, New York
Projected 2006 Sales: More than $2 million
Description: Luxury designer menswear at 40 to 80 percent below retail prices
Secret to Success: ''The problem-solving and analytical capabilities I learned in college [as an engineering major] really prepared me for this type of business. You have to perform both quantitative and qualitative reasoning in determining what products to sell, and [you need to know] how to think outside the box when it comes to completing transactions.''
Amy Mayer & Ellen Navarro, both 25
eBay User ID: expressdropchicago
Projected 2006 Sales: More than $1.4 million
Description: An eBay drop-off store that sells on consignment for individuals and high-end retailers
Secret to Success:''We don't just wait for clients to come to us. We see every single [entity] as a potential client, from the grandma on the street to Nordstrom.''--Ellen Navarro
Chris & Lisa Rush, 30 & 26
eBay User ID: hifisoundconnection
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Projected 2006 Sales: $8 million
Description: Audio and stereo equipment for use at home and in motor vehicles
Secret to Success: ''My demographic is 15- to 25-year-olds, and they are really impatient. We have to cater to people who click on things and make instant purchases. That generation doesn't want to wait. The biggest motivator for us is providing them with good service.''--Chris Rush
Dan Glasure, 31
eBay User ID: dans.train.depot
Location: Ocala, Florida
Projected 2006 Sales: $2.5 million
Description: Model trains and train accessories
Secret to Success: ''Our secret has been three-fold: Always trying to get better, always willing to learn new things, and giving the best customer service possible. Also it helps to find a niche, something that you have a knowledge and passion for. For me, it was toy trains! And finding good help is very important to growing your business. Even if you think you can, you cannot do everything yourself.''
Mordy Eisenberg, 30
eBay User ID: gsm-store
Location: Airmont, New York
Projected 2006 Sales: $2.5 million to $3 million
Description: Computer equipment and accessories for cell phones, iPods and digital cameras
Secret to Success: ''eBay is a giant market, and a lot of the rules for buying and selling in the stock market apply, [like] not flooding the market and not showing your hand.''
Tiffany Tanaka, 24
eBay User ID: wesellthings4u
Projected 2006 Sales: $2.7 million
Description: An eBay drop-off store that sells a wide variety of items on consignment
Secret to Success: ''Many of our customers are older people who want us to sell things for them. But a lot of people are younger than me, and we're just saving time for them. I don't feel many people want to sell on eBay on their own.''
James Anderson, 28
eBay User ID: andersonswholesale
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Projected 2006 Sales: $2 million
Description: Accessories for iPods and other electronic equipment, as well as ''metaphysical'' items such as swords, chalices, runes and wands
Secret to Success: ''The key to success on eBay is finding items that sell. A seller can have 10,000 items listed on eBay, but if they don't sell, then he/she is losing money (listing fees). To be successful on eBay, a seller has to find items that sell and sell often.''To learn how to start your own eBay business, visit our eBay Center.