Running a Home Business During Term Time with eBay
For students, making money during term time can be a challenge. It isn’t always easy to find a job that will generate a little income while still fitting into a university or college schedule. One method of earning money during term time is to sell on eBay; the convenience of the online auction site means that students can fit it in around their studies.
Getting Started with eBay
The basics of selling online using eBay are simple; the seller lists an item or items for sale and users buy them, either in a series of escalating bids against other users or for a fixed price, an option known as “Buy It Now”. The seller pays eBay a percentage of the sale price as well as a fee for each listing. Shipping is calculated separately. The fundamentals of selling on eBay are very simple, but success as an online auction seller requires greater
attention to detail.
Becoming a Good eBay Seller
A good eBay item listing should communicate everything the buyer needs to know about the item. Pictures are an excellent method of conveying this information to the potential bidder. Every eBay listing should have one or more photographs, clearly showing the item being auctioned. If more than one view is needed — for instance, the front and back of a shirt — multiple photos will help the buyer get a picture of the item.
Communication with bidders during the auction process is every bit as important as clarity in listings. Bidders can ask sellers for information about their items by sending them messages through the site. Prompt responses to these questions lead to satisfied customers and positive feedback ratings.
The greatest factor in earning positive feedback on eBay is speed. The faster items are despatched, and the more quickly a seller responds to customer queries, the higher the level of positive feedback. Secure packaging, particularly for fragile items and collectibles, is
another feature that secures high feedback ratings.
An eBay store is a great way for a seller to take his or her eBay auctions to a new level. Whereas normal eBay auctions appear under the seller’s user name, eBay stores offer sellers a range of options, including sorting items by category. Stores can also have their own titles and logos, allowing users to establish distinct brand identities for their online businesses. Stores allow small businesses to sell their products without the expense of establishing a separate e-commerce store or paying rent on a brick-and-mortar retail
Maximising Income on eBay
Getting the most out of an eBay store is a question of minimising expenditure. One way to do this is to look out for free listing periods. The site periodically offers users the chance to list items without paying the normal listing fees. Another is to acquire items for sale
cheaply. Items purchased inexpensively in bulk can be sold at higher prices individually, especially if listed over time rather than all at the same time.
Setting up an eBay store is a simple way to earn extra money during term time. It can take time to establish a solid reputation on the site, but by keeping costs low, providing good customer service and making listings easy to read and attractive, students and others can turn even a small eBay store into a success.
Daniel N is a UK-based blogger who writes on a wide-variety of subjects including making money and business. He is currently working on behalf of packaging firm Rajapack.