Many of us sell one-off items on eBay when we want to dispose of something to make some extra cash, but there are plenty of sellers out there who make a good living off of the commerce auction site.
Last year, he made $180,000 in gross sales and took home about $80,000. He says that he works about 30 to 50 hours a week but has a lot of downtime and can take breaks whenever he chooses to. Here is some of his advice for sellers:
- Be accurate: “I try and accurately describe each item to the best of my ability through words and pictures. There is no sense in trying to hide an item’s flaws as the customer will see them and then you will have issues.”
- Be a top-rated seller: “Maintaining my top rated seller status is worth far more than trying to get a few more dollars out of an item with flaws by masking them due to the 20 per cent discount on selling fees eBay gives top rated sellers.”
- Ship on time: “Lately, eBay has been making a big push to weed out the inferior companies through mandatory return policies and making sellers publish their shipping time. To maintain a top rated selling account, 90 per cent of the items you sell must be shipped within 24 hours of the buyer purchasing or you will lose the TRS status (which in turn means losing listing exposure and the 20 per cent discount on your fees).”
- Customer comes first: “Customer service is by far the most important aspect to selling on eBay. They are making it very difficult to get good search placement and listing exposure unless you are willing to bend over backwards for your customers.”
- The best deals: “As far as where I get my best deals it is typically on large lots of commercial supplies where the lot will sell for pennies on the dollar.”
- Stay away from fraud categories: “I typically sell commercial tools and supplies and try to stay away from consumer electronics as much as possible as they are one of the highest fraud categories on eBay. For me personally plumbing and electrical tools sell the fastest if you price them reasonably.”
- Know which categories have difficult customers: “I think certain categories have definitely gone downhill. eBay has created an environment that is conducive to people trying to get more for less. Generally I have found that those type of buyers are more in the personal electronics and residential goods.”
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