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Starting your own ebay business

Updated on January 11, 2013


If you can devote required time and energy, eBay can be your full-time business or a very rewarding hobby depending on your efforts. Finding the right goods to sell on eBay proves to be the greatest difficulty as you might very quickly run out of stock within your home. In order to successfully run your retail business, you need a continuous supply of goods and this paper is intended to provide you some of the best sources for your retail business.

Your Own Work

It can be hard to earn a full time income by entirely selling your own handmade items on eBay unless you can have enough capacity for instance, to knit 50 scarves a day. However, when you are faced with a working capital shortage at the initial stages of your business, selling your hand-made items can be very good option to keep your business going on.

It is not necessary that you can always offer physical goods; your services can bring good money as well. You need to be creative to carefully choose those items that can either sell in bulk giving small profits or give bigger profits with an occasional sales.

Garage/Yard Sales & Craigslist

Garage/yard sales are another very good alternative for sourcing your goods to sell locally on eBay. You will actually notice that a lot of yard/garage sale items can be sold on eBay at a premium. So when you see Yard's sales, you can stop by to source your goods. Quickly, you will learn that what items sell on eBay and what will not. Generally, some of the popular items that sell every well on eBay are used books particularly old books in Hardcover, art works in good frame and antiques.

Craigslist can also be a good source. Some people will give you items without charging any money if you are ready to pick them up.

You should remember that when sourcing different items from various sources, you might have the inconvenience of categorizing them, taking pictures and providing a description for each item. However, there are pleasant surprises as well, and if you are lucky, your $5 yard sale item can fetch you more than hundred dollars on eBay auction.

Generic Products

Most of the supermarkets sell many generic items of the branded products at a much discounted price. You can source such items with a big difference from branded names and resell on eBay at a premium. Equate is one such generic brand from WalMart, which has a lower price that can bring you some profit and keep your online business on tracks. When dealing with generic products, you should always remember that many others are equally selling the same products and can give you a very tough competition. However, those who are willing to work never face dearth of work.

You shouldn’t engage in price wars with any seller as some of them even sell at a price that is too low for making any profit. Most probably they might be making zero profits or such a low margin that doesn’t make any sense and hardly be said as a prudent decision. Such sellers might have the compulsion to quickly sell their old stocks. You must always take an approach to make good profits.

When dealing with generic items on eBay, you should always avoid describing actual brand names in the title. For instance, when you are selling generic Tylenol, you can’t describe in exactly the same way as you are not selling actual Tylenol. Instead try to be more pragmatic in your description for the item.

Local Wholesalers

Remember your local wholesaler where you go for buying cheap groceries? Your local wholesaler such as BJs, Costco or Sam’s Club can be your important source for your eBay business. This type of sourcing can prove to be a very consistent source giving a varied supply. Even though you might have to pay an annual subscription ranging from $50 to $100, but this is one time initial investment with a number of cash back and membership options. For instance, on payment of $120 annual membership fees, Costco's Executive membership will give you two percent cash back on certain items up to $750 per annum.

Although, You need a business license to become a member of some stores. However, you have always the option to choose the store that doesn’t have such preconditions. However, a business license truly broadens your business.


Many businesses directly ship their products to your customers and termed as a dropshipper. You can very comfortably source your products from such a Dropshippers.


eBay provides you good opportunity to make money. You need to carefully choose the item that you give you good profits. You should never repeat the mistakes made by many other selling in selling their valuable products for considerably discounted prices. If you carefully manage your ebay business, there are certainly good prospects for profitable sales.


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    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 5 years ago from United States

      I'm new to ebay! When you were just beginning and experimenting with different items, did you find that the auctions worked better than "buy it now?" Thanks!!!