A lot of people make money selling items on eBay, considering it is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces with 145 million active buyers, more than 650 million individuals and merchants listings and annual revenue topping $16 billion. But are you also aware that there are many small business owners who are earning a lucrative living by selling on eBay?
To give you an idea about the income potential, eBay’s performance group rankings include Bronze PowerSellers for those who earn at least $1,000 a month while Silver, Gold and Platinum PowerSellers, respectively, earn $3,000, $10,000 and $25,000 per month. The top ranking honor, Titanium, is conferred on anyone who tallies a whopping $150,000 in sales every month such as ProShopWarehouse, which in 2000 began selling liquidated golf equipment with $4,400 worth of golf clubs. Five years later, as related in the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur, the co-founders were reaping the rewards of an ecommerce business that was raking in $10 million in revenue annually.
Top eBay performers also enjoy certain benefits including discounts on UPS shipping rates and increased visibility for their listings to help expand their business.
As Susan Johnston noted in the August 12, 2013 issue of U.S. News and World Report (Secrets of Successful eBay Sellers), “From smartphones to designer shoes, action figures to antiques, sellers on eBay.com can turn the contents of their attics or basements into cold, hard cash, enabling billions of dollars in transactions each year. Millions of people use the website to earn extra money or in some cases, create a business out of their spare bedroom.”
Running a successful and thriving enterprise on eBay requires savvy Westchester small business owners to apply specific research, pricing, marketing and shipping strategies in a disciplined way as well as to stay ahead of the curve in an ever changing, technology-driven environment. In other words, it’s pretty much like managing any small business these days and, at the end of the day, there is no substitute for hard work for becoming a winner in this dynamic ecommerce sector.
And like any business, launching an eBay small business in Westchester requires basic procedures like setting up a seller account and getting connected with PayPal. It also entails representing your items accurately and honestly and making it easy for buyers to find what you are selling and clearly communicating your payment, shipping and return terms. It also means responding to questions quickly and professionally and making sure to leave positive feedback and encouraging your buyers to do the same. According to eBay, that’s the formula for achieving stellar feedback and a high DSR (Detailed Seller Rating) in order to stand out from a very crowded field.
Two more words of advice before opening your new door of opportunity on eBay. The first is to attend to attend SCORE Westchester’s July 23 small business workshop, “Expand Your Business with eBay.” You’ll learn from the SCORE expert what you need to know, clearly and concisely, in order to become a successful eBay seller. To register, visit westchester.new.score.org and while there, discover the reasons why the chapter was named SCORE New York Metro Area Chapter of the Year!
The second piece of advice is courtesy of the Small Business Administration, the umbrella arm of SCORE, which notes that although “the nice thing about the web is that you can dabble in ecommerce without spending a lot of money… you have to pay taxes on your income. So before you begin, make sure you read over the IRS’s guide Business or Hobby? Answer Has Tax Implications which will help you determine your business tax obligations.”
Perhaps you will become a top PowerSeller on eBay and you won’t mind the business expense of engaging an accounting firm to handle your tax filings.