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- Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
EBay for starter business
It takes time.
The good old days
My gross eBay sales for 2008 were $50,000. I had good sources for inventory and there was less competition from established retailers. Gradually I noticed that designer bedding was no longer carried at my favorite discount stores. The prices on the pop culture watches which had been my top seller increased 300%. Customers from around the world were no longer willing to pay premium prices for the watches. EBay increased seller’s fees and unfairly favored purchasers on all disputes. Although I was selling from my home, I experienced many of the dilemmas faced by owners of brick and mortar establishments. Eventually, I decided that it was not profitable for me to maintain an eBay store and I disposed of my remaining inventory.
Paypal tracks financial transactions.
If at first you don’t succeed
Since closing my eBay store, I have made several attempts to find inventory for a niche market. I have kept my eyes open for designer products and unique items at discount outlets.
What I look for
1. Designers items that are deeply discounted
2. Items that photograph well/will photographs help sell items?
3. Unique/niche market items
4. Items that will sell quickly
Seller’s should consider
1. Software or spreadsheet method of accounting for sales, purchases and inventory
2. Physical space allocation for inventory storage and location
3. Bank Account, Paypal, or other method of accounting for and tracking all financial transactions
4. Shipping supplies and shipping service that will minimize cost of shipments
5. Valuation of inventory (fifo, lifo, or an averaging method)
6. Return of items which are not selling to discount stores or other method of disposal
7. Mileage/travel expense when looking for and purchasing items to sell
8. Reseller's license, sales and use tax, and
My latest effort
For the past week I have found good prices on European shams, Playboy Bunny bathroom accessories and tablecloths. So far potential buyers are looking at and following several items. Unfortunately, I only found onesie-twosies on those items. I will try selling for several weeks. I might have to go out of business for the fifth time in five years. I do make sure that I keep track of the finances and qualify for use of Schedule C when preparing my taxes.