When It Comes To eBay, Don?t Follow The Herd

Q: I want to start an online business. Since I don't know anything about ecommerce and building websites and such, I'm thinking about starting out selling products on eBay, then pay someone to build a website for me once the money starts coming in. The big question is: what is the hot product to sell on eBay to make money fast? -- Bob D.

A: While it's true that selling products on eBay can be a quick, low cost way to launch an online business, following the herd by selling the "hot product" of the moment, is not a great idea. To the contrary, chances are you will be stomped in the ground by the herd and left lying in the dust with your unsold inventory in hand.

We talked about starting a profitable eBay business in a previous column and the advice I dispensed then still applies today.

The most successful eBay sellers are those who understand that success on eBay relies on many of the same factors as success in a brick and mortar business.

· Smart sellers research the marketplace and the competition to determine the salability and profitability of the product.

· Smart sellers test the market with one or two before committing to a product line and tying up their cash reserves in inventory that may never sell.

· Smart sellers adjust their product offerings until they find a product or product line that sells consistently.

The last point is perhaps the most important. Long term eBay success does not come from "one off" sales. The key to real eBay success is to find a product that sells well and sell that product over and over and over again.

I asked Timothy Mina, author of the new book, The Online Auction Expert's Bible To Selling on eBay, his thoughts on launching a successful eBay business.

Why is eBay so attractive to entrepreneurs?

"With an eBay business, you set your own hours and set your own goals," Mina said. "You can work as much or as little as you want and whenever you want. Many sellers supplement their income by selling on eBay and many others have turned it into a full time business."

Mina cites the following reasons for eBay's growing popularity among entrepreneurs who want to start an online business:

· You can start up quickly and don't need special skills.

· There is very little risk and investment required to get started.

· The marketplace is huge. There are millions of potential customers waiting to buy what you're selling, 24 hours a day, with the click of a button.

· No stress, no boss. Yes, there is work involved, but the work can be done at your own pace. You are your own boss and you set your own schedule.

· Most importantly, you can follow your passion and do something you love. If you sell something you enjoy selling, online auctions aren't just profitable, they're fun and exciting, too.

Why It's Critical To Find Your Niche?

Mina recommends creating your eBay business with niche items. According to Mina, the benefits of targeting a specific niche market include:

· If you are going to rely on eBay as your primary source of income, it is essential that you find your niche. If the goal of your eBay business is to earn enough money in your spare time to make your car payment every month, it is less important, but still highly recommended.

· If you find a profitable niche, you will become a certified guru of the items you sell you will ideally be the only one on eBay offering the products.

· Your expertise will make it ten times as easy to spot bargains when you're shopping for products to resell. Bargains might be all around you, but if you don't know anything about what you're selling, you won't know how to spot bargains that are right in front of you.

· You will find different ways to add personal value to your products. These low cost add-ons or unique twists to your products will drastically increase your sales and profits by making your items unique and desirable.

· You will have little or no competition from other sellers, so you can corner your niche market.

· By dealing with the same type of customer over a long period of time you will get to intimately understand the mindset of your target customer and what your customer wants. This will help you sell your products better and allow you to market your products in ways others haven't thought of.

· You will be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what you sell, and you will be attentive to your customer's desires. This results in satisfied customers, name recognition, and a lot of repeat business.

· You're going to find something you're passionate about and specialize in it. If you love what you're doing, you have a much greater chance of sticking to it and loving it. So it won't even feel like work ? it'll be like you're getting paid to play.

How do you find your niche?

So how do you find your niche? Mina recommends doing an inventory of your hobbies and interests to help you identify a niche you would enjoy working in.

Ask yourself:

· What are you passionate about?

· What do you collect?

· What do you like to read about?

· What do you do in your spare time?

· So you have a favorite pastime?

· What was your major in college?

· What jobs have you had?

· Are there any other fields in which you have a great amount of knowledge?

· What clubs do you belong to?

Mina also recommends that you spend time on eBay studying the category listings. This may give you additional ideas for hobbies you can turn into an eBay business. Once you have defined your hobbies or interests, brainstorm how you can turn them into a business.

· How can you turn your expertise into a product?

· How can you add value to current products related to your interest?

· What product can you sell that may be one of a kind and have little or no competition?

· Can you think of novel ideas that people who share your passion would love?

· Is there anything related to your hobby that you can create yourself? An ebook or a how to, perhaps?

Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and syndicated columnist, Tim Knox. Tim's latest books include "Small Business Success Secrets" and "The 30 Day Blueprint For Success!" Related Links: http://www.smallbusinessqa.com http://www.dropshipwholesale.net

In The News:


AZCentral.com

Scottsdale auction house has luxury buyers and sellers sold
AZCentral.com
Giving buyers a chance to set the purchase price of their dream house while saving sellers time and money has created a successful model for Supreme ...
Pricey Scottsdale, Carefree homes to be auctioned in April - abc15 ...ABC15 Arizona

all 3 news articles »

Small Business Trends

30 eBay Alternatives Beckon at These Online Auction Sites
Small Business Trends
Founded as early as 1995 when it was known as AuctionWeb, eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) was one of the first online selling and buying portals and, for years, held the monopoly in digital auctions. Subsequent years have seen the online auction market ...


Foreigners buy more longer-dated U.S. bonds at auctions | Reuters
Reuters
Foreign investors raised their purchases of longer-dated U.S. government debt in early March, in a sign of renewed appetite for dollar-denominated assets as ...

and more »

10-Year TIPS Reopening Auctions With A Real Yield Of 0.466 ...
Seeking Alpha
10-year TIPS yields have been holding under 0.50% even as the Federal Reserve raises short-term rates. The inflation breakeven rate dipped to 1.95%, under ...

and more »

Newser

New Jersey Schools Held Mock Slave Auctions and Parents were Outraged
Newsweek
Teachers in a northeastern New Jersey school district keep asking children to hold mock slave auctions and parents are furious. A substitute teacher held a mock slave auction last week at the Jefferson School in Maplewood just weeks after parents at ...
School Under Fire After 'Slave Auction'Newser
Mock Slave Auction at Elementary School Leaves Parents EnragedThe Libertarian Republic
Mock Slave Auction at NJ Elementary School Enrages ParentsThe Root
News 12 New Jersey -CBS New York -NJ.com
all 45 news articles »

Crain's New York Business

NYSE glitch sends traders scrambling as ETF auctions derailed
Crain's New York Business
The exchange shifted to backup methods for calculating the closing prices for most names, and went back to using an old version of its software, according to an email to clients. A total of 341 symbols did not complete their closing auctions, the ...


Planners give green light to auction house
Parsons Sun
Dixon said he plans to have monthly weekend auctions of items he will buy at liquidation sales of bulk items such as sporting goods or building materials. He also could host consignment auctions and estate auctions that could be held rain or shine any ...


Rapaport

Diamonds.net - Rapaport Auctions Sells Over 83,000 Carats of ...
Rapaport
ESS RELEASE, March 21, 2017, New York ... Rapaport Auctions, the world's leading recycler of diamonds, closed its Hong Kong auctions this month at one of ...

and more »

Rodeo Houston lamb and art auctions, Go Tejano Day 2017 attendance break records
Houston Business Journal
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo held a variety of auctions over the past few days, with record-setting bids in the Junior Market Lamb and Goat Auction and the School Art Auction. Some attendance records also were set in recent days. The one-day ...

and more »

CleanTechnica

Pakistan To Finally Embrace Solar Power Auctions | CleanTechnica
CleanTechnica
Perhaps motivated by the massive crash in the solar power tariff bids across the world, Pakistan is set to shift from feed-in tariff mechanism to competitive ...

and more »
Google News

Why Its a BAD Idea To Promote Hot Selling Products on eBay

Do a quick search on Google, Yahoo, or your favorite... Read More

Taxing Your eBay Profits

As a small business person-slash-advice columnist I dread the first... Read More

To eBay or NOT to eBay

FACT: eBay's Gross Merchandise Sales (GMS) 2003 - GMS, the... Read More

An eBay Computer Purchase

An eBay purchase that turned sour.A story of fraud, deceit,... Read More

Five Tested Ways To Find The Perfect Drop Shipper

You've heard about it many times in recent months. Being... Read More

Online Auctions Business

Online auction sites are a great way to find a... Read More

Is it Antique and is it Worth Anything?

Is it an antique and is it worth anything? Would... Read More

Photos on my eBay Auctions: How Do I Add Them?

On another forum I'm involved with, someone's asked a great... Read More

E-bay Auctions: Sell Better, Spend Less Tip #1

Just about everyone alive today has heard of E Bay.com,... Read More

eBay Online Auction Sniping Secrets

Since their introduction several years ago, online auctions, such as... Read More

When It Comes To eBay, Don?t Follow The Herd

Q: I want to start an online business. Since I... Read More

eBay: What Should I Sell?

There is an art to picking profitable products. It's not... Read More

7 Simple Steps To Profit Without Your Own Product

Most people do not succeed on the internet because they... Read More

When is Wholesale Really Wholesale

You've finally found the wholesale source for the high demand... Read More

How To Profit Using eBays Saved Search Feature

Did you know that eBay will help you locate products... Read More

Taking Paypal on eBay

Accepting Paypal as a payment method might increase your selling... Read More

12 Tips To Make Your eBay Business More Profitable

Sometimes it's the simple things that can make your eBay... Read More

Using Online Ebay Auctions to Promote Your Website - Confessions of a True Traffic Junkie

If you are looking for traffic to your e-commerce site,... Read More

10 Tips to Starting a Financially Successful Ebay Business Startting Right Now

Ebay is Perhaps the easiest and fastest way to start... Read More

Online Auction Fraud

eBay sales may have grown 51% last year over the... Read More

Get Yourself A Piece of The eBay Pie

Ebay is without a doubt the greatest internet marketing phenomenon... Read More

How To Make Money Online : Sell On eBay

Selling on eBay can be very profitable, and is a... Read More

Dont Sell Grandmas Jewelry at a Yard Sale...Get More Money

Have some vintage jewelry? There are several ways you can... Read More

Search... Search... Search Your Way To eBay Cash!

One of the most valuable things in life is the... Read More

eBay Bargain Hunting - Spell Your Way To Success!

Have you ever wondered how identical items can fetch such... Read More