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How does one start an Ebay business?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am very curious as to how people start Ebay businesses. Not thrifting, but a business where they can get NWT products for cheaper than everyone else. I would like to start a small Ebay business while I am in college because the hours would be very flexible and the rewards would be directly proportionate to how hard I work. I have seen Chorse123 and many others get a lot of NWT products, maybe he could give us some insight? I don't want to know where exactly you get it, but maybe whereabouts I can go and inquire. Thanks in advance guys! Richard
post #2 of 21
Start with outlet malls in your area. Stick to 'name' luxury brands.
post #3 of 21
most ebay businesses are also real stores, so they have the option of contantly having products for sale and can swallow costs for items not purchased.
the best way for someone like yourself though would be too use your existing ebay account... and beging slowly, if you dont have one you will need to buy alot first... you will have a hard time selling anything with bad feedback, and the more feedback you have from purchases will make you more trustworthy as a seller.
then once you sell, you will start to get low prices because of the risk of lower feedback it will take time and you will eventually get better prices.
many retailers sell primarily through ebay but have store/or use suppliers from asia.
if you look at most of the ebay businesses they usually almost entirely sell it as buy-it-now, which takes most the risk out of it, but i bet they dont sell as much as it would seem they do.

the best bet is just to start selling, once you have better feedback start talking to local business about contacting suppliers or ordering extra stock for yourself, friends in retail should help with supply.
post #4 of 21
Where are you going to but that kind of inventory in college? Wnless you have the luxury of living in a large space
post #5 of 21
Find a product tha you can ship to the buyer directly from the manufactuer/stockist, avoiding inventory.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Stocking isn't an issue. I don't mean having 2k products for sale, but maybe 20-30 pieces at a time.
post #7 of 21
Start with outlets, but location has a lot to do with it. Notice that a lot of the higher volume here at SF sellers are in NYC.

Don't knock thrifting. It's a good way to turn a profit and clothe yourself as well.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallr View Post
Stocking isn't an issue. I don't mean having 2k products for sale, but maybe 20-30 pieces at a time.

With gas prices as high as they are, your best bet for turning a profit is probably either 1) living really close to a reliable outlet or 2) selling at a high volume. If you only pick up a handful of items to sell each time you visit an outlet, the gas prices quickly add up.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Alan, I do thrift but I find that I hardly find anything worth selling. When I do the returns are high, I just need to increase my volume. I was thinking about contact the local small operation men's stores in Cincinnati and offering to move their stock for a cut of total sales. What do you think about that?
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallr View Post
Alan, I do thrift but I find that I hardly find anything worth selling. When I do the returns are high, I just need to increase my volume. I was thinking about contact the local small operation men's stores in Cincinnati and offering to move their stock for a cut of total sales. What do you think about that?

That's a good idea but expect to get shut down by a lot of people. You need some sort of credibility.

I tried to work with a local eBay store to get rid of old stock and unsellable items but they were horrible to deal with, not calling me back and such, and their fees were also ridiculous. I was basically going to throw them money on a monthly basis and they didn't seem like they wanted my business.
post #11 of 21
I have a neighbor who sells womens designer clothing. She makes a point of knowing all the sales staff at the clearance centers and department stores who give her advanced notice and access to the choice pieces that never make it to a rack. She also pays store employees to but stuff for her at their discount, and then splits the profit.
post #12 of 21
I have a friend who works for an ebay store thats kinda like that one in 40 year old virgin. they have a store front but everything goes through ebay.
post #13 of 21
Live near a C21.

I just bought a bunch of Leonard Paris hand rolled woman's scarves for $xx.xx
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeatherSOUL View Post
That's a good idea but expect to get shut down by a lot of people. You need some sort of credibility.

I tried to work with a local eBay store to get rid of old stock and unsellable items but they were horrible to deal with, not calling me back and such, and their fees were also ridiculous. I was basically going to throw them money on a monthly basis and they didn't seem like they wanted my business.

Thanks for the information. What I plan on doing is using my university as a source of credibility. I will e-mail them offering to get rid of their old inventory for a certain cut of the profit.
post #15 of 21
The guys making serious money on eBay have a fair bit of stock at any given time, and devote a fair bit of time to both getting new stock and to the business in general.

My own few sales essentially make no more than a little extra money to not feel guilty about funding my own clothing purchases. Unless you really go at it properly with dedication and time, don't expect to make a fortune. I would have to significantly increase the time I spend on it to start making meaningful money.

If you really go for it though, do the research and the legwork and generally give it the personal time it needs, I can see how it would be possible to make more money. So, good luck!
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