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Kinkladze1871

Has anyone here started or thought about starting a business on ebay?

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If so, Is it merely a place to sell some old junk lying around in the house and a way of making some extra spending money? or can you invest big and do well? i.e. with wholesalers providing you the stock for whatever product you are selling. Any success stories? or any negative stories regarding starting up a business on ebay?

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My aunt's entire income is from eBay. She had a job but was selling things on eBay in her spare time but made enough money that she now just buys crockery from auctions in her town and sells it on eBay. 

 

It's hard though, obviously. You have to be knowledgeable in whatever area you want to sell in, i.e. she has to know that what she is buying is worth more and she'll be able to sell it for more on eBay.

 

Also, it's really late to the party so pretty much all areas are covered and businesses are established. It's possible, but it'll be very hard.

 

If you want to pick up cheap items to resell on eBay, that's also possible. I use this site and love it http://www.lastminute-auction.com/uk/. Basically every item on there is £1 or less with less than an hour to go. Loads of bargains. However eBay fees make it hard to turn a profit. I used the site to make a small profit however it just took too much time to make it worthwhile (although still useful as I'm just a student).

 

But eBay certainly isn't just a place to sell junk. Plenty of people and businesses make lots of money on there selling new and used goods.

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My parents did it with furniture for a while (buying at local auctions then selling on ebay), they decided for the effort involved it wasn't worth it.

 

You do hear stories of people making millions doing it but 99% of the people that do probably end up making little to no profit if you count time expended as an expense.

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I have sold unwanted items on there. From what I have found anything of worth that generates a decent sale gets hit pretty hard in fees. You probably lose out on 10% of your profits after all is said and done, and whether you get a good profit is a risk in the first place.

Timing the auction is quite important too, i.e. closing the auction off when visitors will be at peak visits.

It really depends what you are selling. If its very small items of low value you are fighting against the Chinese who tend to sell things very cheap, with free (albeit long) shipping.

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I've heard horror stories about PayPal randomly freezing people's accounts and preventing them from accessing their money, which would be a big problem for somebody who relies on eBay/PayPal to make a living.

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I help co-run a small NGO in Uganda and over there second hand clothes are king.

Essentially what happens is when you give your clothes to charity (not the shops) the charity sells the sack to a company in Europe who subsequently sell it elsewhere in the developing world.

I picked up a lot of classic football shirts for about £2-3 a pop and then sold them on for £20-30, safe to say I made a fair bit of cash at the time.

Obviously not a viable business model to run as only covered my flight with the money, but if any Ugandan has worked out it would be extremely worthwhile for them. Even with absorbing the shipping cost.

The average salary is about £70 a month so even making a £10 mark up, they would only have to sell 10.

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My mates wife set up on Ebay years ago with a nice little niche business, large size womens shoes/boots etc to transvestites, made an absolute fortune.

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Thanks for the responses guys, Maybe I should have stated this in my initial post but I have a few bob lying around which I want to invest in a business without having to invest in buying/renting property, Once you buy property for your business, That's it, No turning back. I plan on attacking items that have a real buzz on amazon and ebay at the time without investing in things that have been saturated to the point where my competition is too much, That have a real niche and that have the option of a cluster (Being able to sell other things to the buyer that compliment the product already sold to the customer).

 

The real issue is being able to find a wholesaler for the variety of products I could be selling, Or maybe focusing on one item and praying you get a sweet deal with the distribution, I plan on keeping the day job so you could view this as just having a punt, If I get lucky and I produce some results then I might consider doing it full time, I get so bored with the day job that sometimes, Anything new is exciting and something to get stuck into.

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Jonty, Selling small furniture excites me, I can see why your parents were doing it, Like for example at the moment coffee tables are high sellers and there's not a real big market of sellers also, Wouldn't mind dipping some cash into that, Mountain bikes are also trending and having googled mountain bikes, There's a bigger niche for cycling than I thought Lol

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Thanks for the responses guys, Maybe I should have stated this in my initial post but I have a few bob lying around which I want to invest in a business without having to invest in buying/renting property, Once you buy property for your business, That's it, No turning back. I plan on attacking items that have a real buzz on amazon and ebay at the time without investing in things that have been saturated to the point where my competition is too much, That have a real niche and that have the option of a cluster (Being able to sell other things to the buyer that compliment the product already sold to the customer).

If you are 30 or under you might want to approach the Prince's Trust for ideas or advice. I only know people who have used eBay for a cash for clearing out situation. Good luck with what you do.

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