Best-Home-Business-Opportunity.org was setup by Gregory E. Rouse (a home business entrepreneur) as a FREE resource to share how people can make money with their hobbies and interests.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

eBay Income Possibilities

eBay Income Possibilities
If you've ever read an article about eBay, you will have seen the kinds of incomes people make - it isn't unusual to hear of people making thousands of dollars per month on eBay.

Next time you're on eBay, take a look at how many PowerSellers there are: you'll find quite a few. Now consider that every single one of one of them must be making at least $1,000 per month, as that's eBay's requirement for becoming a PowerSeller. Silver PowerSellers make at least $3,000 each month, while Gold PowerSellers make more than $10,000, and the Platinum level is $25,000. The top ranking is Titanium PowerSeller, and to qualify you must make at least $150,000 in sales every month!
The fact that these people exist gives you come idea of the income possibilities here. Most of them never set out to even set up a business on eBay - they simply started selling a few things, and then kept going. There are plenty of people whose full-time job is selling things on eBay, and some of them have been doing it for years now. Can you imagine that? Once they've bought the stock, everything else is pretty much pure profit for these people - they don't need to pay for any business premises, staff, or anything else. There are multi-million pound businesses making less in actual profit than eBay PowerSellers do.
Even if you don't want to quit your job and really go for it, you can still use eBay to make a significant second income. You can pack up orders during the week and take them down to the post office for delivery each Saturday. There are few other things you could be doing with your spare time that have anywhere near that kind of earning potential.
What's more, eBay doesn't care who you are, where you live, or what you look like: some PowerSellers are very old, or very young. Some live out in the middle of nowhere where selling on eBay is one of the few alternatives to farming or being very poor. eBay tears down the barriers to earning that the real world constantly puts up. There's no job interview and no commuting involved - if you can post things, you can do it.
Put it this way: if you know where to get something reasonably cheaply that you could sell, then you can sell it on eBay - and since you can always get discounts for bulk at wholesale, that's not exactly difficult. Buy a job lot of something in-demand cheaply, sell it on eBay, and you're making money already, with no set-up costs.
If you want to dip your toe in the water before you commit to actually buying anything, then you can just sell things that you've got lying around in the house. Search through that cupboard of stuff you never use, and you'll probably find you've got a few hundred dollars' worth of stuff lying around in there! This is the power of eBay: there is always someone who wants what you're selling, whatever it might be, and since they've come looking for you, you don't even need to do anything to get them to buy it.
So you want to get started on eBay? Well, that's great! There are only a few little things you need to learn to get started. My next post will give you the lowdown.

To your success,
--Greg

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Friday, February 26, 2010

eBay: The First 10 Years.

eBay: The First 10 Years.



Yes, you read that correctly: ten years. eBay was created in September 1995, by a man called Pierre Omidyar, who was living in San Jose. He wanted his site - then called 'AuctionWeb' - to be an online marketplace, and wrote the first code for it in one weekend. It was one of the first websites of its kind in the world. The name 'eBay' comes from the domain Omidyar used for his site. His company's name was Echo Bay, and the 'eBay AuctionWeb' was originally just one part of Echo Bay's website at ebay.com. The first thing ever sold on the site was Omidyar's broken laser pointer, which he got $14 for.



The site quickly became massively popular, as sellers came to list all sorts of odd things and buyers actually bought them. Relying on trust seemed to work remarkably well, and meant that the site could almost be left alone to run itself. The site had been designed from the start to collect a small fee on each sale, and it was this money that Omidyar used to pay for AuctionWeb's expansion. The fees quickly added up to more than his current salary, and so he decided to quit his job and work on the site full-time. It was at this point, in 1996, that he added the feedback facilities, to let buyers and sellers rate each other and make buying and selling safer.



In 1997, Omidyar changed AuctionWeb's - and his company's - name to 'eBay', which is what people had been calling the site for a long time. He began to spend a lot of money on advertising, and had the eBay logo designed. It was in this year that the one-millionth item was sold (it was a toy version of Big Bird from Sesame Street).



Then, in 1998 - the peak of the dotcom boom - eBay became big business, and the investment in Internet businesses at the time allowed it to bring in senior managers and business strategists, who took in public on the stock market. It started to encourage people to sell more than just collectibles, and quickly became a massive site where you could sell anything, large or small. Unlike other sites, though, eBay survived the end of the boom, and is still going strong today.


1999 saw eBay go worldwide, launching sites in the UK, Australia and Germany. eBay bought half.com, an Amazon-like online retailer, in the year 2000 - the same year it introduced Buy it Now - and bought PayPal, an online payment service, in 2002.



Pierre Omidyar has now earned an estimated $3 billion from eBay, and still serves as Chairman of the Board. Oddly enough, he keeps a personal weblog at http://pierre.typepad.com/. There are now literally millions of items bought and sold every day on eBay, all over the world. For every $100 spent online worldwide, it is estimated that $14 is spent on eBay - that's a lot of laser pointers.



Now that you know the history of eBay, perhaps you'd like to know how it could work for you? My next post will give you an idea of the possibilities.




To your success,
--Greg

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Choose the Right eBay Product Category

How to Choose the Right eBay Product Category
 
Some people think it's easy to choose the right eBay category, and often it is. Sometimes, though, it might not be quite clear exactly what to go for.
 
Why is it Even Important?
Plenty of people use the category system to find items, when they're not looking for something specific. If your item is listed in the wrong category - or you've just given up and listed it in 'Everything Else' - then these people aren't going to find your auction.
 
Also, listing items in the wrong categories is against eBay's rules, and eBay say they will remove any auctions that are wrongly categorised. They don't often actually do this, but it's not worth the risk - especially since breaking any rules can cause them to penalise your account, including losing PowerSeller status if you have it.
 
So What Can You Do?
eBay will suggest categories for you when you sell your item, if you type in a few words to describe the item on the category selection page and click 'search'. You can make the best of this feature by typing in exactly what your item is, with brand name and model number (if any), so that eBay can find the best category for you.
 
If that doesn't work for you, then search yourself for items like yours, and pay attention to which category most of them seem to be in (you can see this near the top of each item's description page). Try different words and see which ones come back with the most results. You can also browse through all the available categories from eBay's front page.
 
Remember that the more specific the category is, the better - use as many subcategories as are appropriate. Don't just list your HP laptop in the 'Computers' category, for example - list it in 'Computers > Laptops > HP'. Don't worry: your item will still appear in the 'Computers' category, as well as 'Computers > Laptops', because items listed in subcategories are always listed in every category above.
 
Take some time to look through all the categories and get familiar with the way eBay as a whole is laid out. After all, that's better than getting a few months down the line and finding that you still think of eBay's category system like it's some kind of scary jungle.
 
What if More Than One Category Fits?
Don't worry, eBay have you covered. For a small extra fee, you can list your item in an extra category, to increase the number of potential buyers who will see it. This isn't always worth it, though - some items only really fit properly in one category, and listing them in extra categories is just a waste.
 
Once you know where to list your item, the next step is to write your auction's title. The title is the most important thing about your auction - the difference between a good title and a bad title can be the difference between $10 and $100. That's why I'll take you through the dos and don'ts in the next post.



To your success,
--Greg

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Taming the eBay Search Engine

Taming the eBay Search Engine
 
If you know what you're doing, you can quickly find what you're looking for on eBay - and the more you know about how buyers find you, the easier you'll find it to be found. Here are a few golden searching rules.
 
Be specific: If you're searching for the first edition of the original Harry Potter book, you'll get further searching for 'harry potter rowling philosopher's stone first edition' than you will searching for 'harry potter'. You'll get fewer results, but the ones you do get will be far more relevant.
 
Spell wrongly: It's a sad fact that many of the sellers on eBay just can't spell. Whatever you're looking for, try thinking of a few common misspellings - you might find a few items here that have slipped through the cracks.
 
Get a thesaurus: You should try to search for all the different words that someone might use to describe an item, for example searching for both 'TV' and 'television', or for 'phone', 'mobile' and 'cellphone'. Where you can, though, leave off the type of item altogether and search by things like brand and model.
 
Use the categories: Whenever you search, you'll notice a list of categories at the side of your search results. If you just searched for the name of a CD, you should click the 'CDs' category to look at results in that category only. Why bother looking through a load of results that you don't care about?
 
Don't be afraid to browse: Once you've found the category that items you like seem to be in, why not click 'Browse' and take a look through the whole category? You might be surprised by what you find.
 
Few people realise just how powerful eBay's search engine is - a few symbols here and there and it'll work wonders for you.
 
Wildcard searches: You can put an asterisk (*) into a search phrase when you want to say 'anything can go here'. For example, if you wanted to search for a 1950s car, you could search for 'car 195*'. 195* will show results from any year in the 1950s.
 
In this order: If you put words in quotes ("") then the only results shown will be ones that have all of the words between the quote marks. For example, searching for "Lord of the Rings" won't give you any results that say, for example "Lord Robert Rings".
 
Exclude words: Put a minus, and then put any words in brackets that you don't want to appear in your search results. For example: "Pulp Fiction" -(poster,photo) will find items related to Pulp Fiction but not posters or photos.
 
Either/or: If you want to search for lots of words at once, just put them in brackets: the TV example from earlier could become '(TV,television)', which would find items with either word.
 
Don't get too tied up learning the ways of the search engine, though: a surprising number of eBay users don't search at all, preferring to look through eBay's category system and save their favourites in their browser. The next post will show you how to make sure these people can find you too.


To your success,
--Greg

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Think Like an eBay PowerSeller

How to Think Like an eBay PowerSeller
 
So what's a PowerSeller? PowerSellers are the people on eBay who've made it, recognisable by the little 'PowerSeller' badge next to their name. You've probably seen these people around - and to succeed on eBay, you want to think the way they do.
 
How to People Get the Right to Call Themselves PowerSellers?
eBay gets to decide who can be a PowerSeller and who can't, and they have strict requirements. To get in at the minimum PowerSeller level, you must have a feedback rating of at least 100 (minimum 98% positive) and sell at least $1,000 worth of items every month for three months in a row. There are different levels of PowerSeller membership as you sell items of greater value: $1,000 total is bronze, $3,000 is silver, $10,000 is gold, $25,000 is platinum and $125,000 is titanium.
 
If PowerSellers ever fail to meet the required amount of sales, or their feedback falls below 98% positive, then they lose their PowerSeller status. In short, the only people who get to be PowerSellers on eBay are the people who have been successful for a good while, and are on track to stay that way.
 
The Shop and the Marketplace
This is the most important part of understanding how PowerSellers think. They don't see what they're doing as being some random bazaar, or a hobby - instead, they see themselves as a business.
 
Put it like this. If you run a stall in a marketplace, the chances are that you have a general area of business, but you mostly just sell whatever you can get your hands on that week. If your dodgy buddy got his hands of a job lot of something at a discount, then that's what you'll be selling. This might be fun - and when you have a good week, you'll have a really good week - but it's no way to run a real business in the long-term.
 
PowerSellers think far more like shops. They sell the same things again and again, every week - regular stock for regular customers. They do 'boring' business things like keep inventories and budgets. They know what they're going to be selling, how much they buy it for and how much they expect to sell for. Just like a real shop, there can be hard times sometimes, but their income is stable and their business can grow slowly.
 
The best advice I can give you on thinking like a PowerSeller is this: don't take long-term risks for short-term gain. Look after your reputation, manage your selling properly, provide good customer service and the rewards will come to you in due course. And you'll get a little badge next to your name that makes people trust you more!
 
One possibility that you might have realised so far is what eBay can do for any other businesses you might have. Remember, millions of people visit eBay every day - why keep everything separate when you're starting to tap into that kind of power? The next post will show you a few ways you can use eBay to grow your other businesses.


To your success,
--Greg

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Monday, February 22, 2010

eBay - Part Time or Full? How to Decide

eBay - Part Time or Full? How to Decide
 
Going full-time as an eBay seller is living the dream: making a real income, working from home, being your own boss and all the rest of it. It's the promise of a million scams, and it's finally come true - at least for some.
 
What they don't tell you in the success stories, though, is that becoming a full-time eBay seller is by no means for everyone. You really, really ought to try it part-time before you even consider taking it up full-time, and even then, caution is advisable. Before you burn your suit, here's a list of questions you should ask yourself.
 
How Much Do I Earn From eBay Now?
Work out how many hours a week you spend doing eBay-related things (be honest here), and divide it by the average amount of profit you make in a week. If you were doing full-time hours, would you earn as much as you earn now?
 
Do I Have a Good Job?
Think about what you might lose if you give up your job to focus on eBay. If you're in a well-paid job with good promotion prospects then it's well worth reconsidering: you might get a few years down the line and wish you'd stayed in your traditional job, as you'd probably be the CEO by now.
 
Would I Really Make Much More Money?
Unless you're selling a large quantity of small goods, most of what you do on eBay will be waiting for auctions to end - and you can wait at work just as easily as you can at home. This is why whether you would make more money on eBay really depends on what kinds of items you're selling - for low value items, going full-time could be a good move. For high-value ones, the chances are you'll hit the limits of how much money you have to invest in inventory long before you hit the limits on your time.
 
Is my Home a Good Place to Work?
Quite apart from anything else, you might find that the dream of home working is more of a nightmare in reality. People can start to depend on you to get things done that need to be done during the day. If you have a wife and children then they can resent the fact that you're in the house but refuse to have anything to do with them for large parts of the day. Giving in to any of these things and stopping work for a while will cause your profits to fall.
 
Can I Survive if it All Goes Wrong?
In the end, would you be able to get by if you had a month or two where you sold literally nothing? Or would you be desperately looking around for a job and cursing the day you ever discovered eBay? That's the real test.
 
If you made it through all these questions, then I guess you're cut out for the eBay life - and even if you didn't, you'd be surprised just how far you can get part-time. In my next post, I'll show you how to think like the eBay elite: the PowerSellers.


To your success,
--Greg

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

An Introduction to Bidding and Buying on eBay

An Introduction to Bidding and Buying on eBay
 
Have you noticed that whenever you open a newspaper, watch the TV or have a conversation, people seem to be talking about eBay? If you've never used it and you've no idea what it's all about, then the chances are that you're starting to feel a little left out. But don't worry! This email contains everything you need to know about the basics of bidding and buying on eBay.
 
So What is eBay?
eBay is an online auction website - and not just any auction site, but the biggest one in the world. If you know how an auction works, then you already know how roughly eBay works. Someone adds something they want to sell to the site, and then buyers come along and place bids on it. The highest bid wins the item! It's that simple.
 
eBay being an online auction makes a big difference, though. Buying and selling are not reserved for any elite. eBay accept almost any item, no matter how small, and will then advertise it on their sites all over the world. It's a powerful combination of an auction and a slightly chaotic marketplace.
 
What is Bidding?
Bidding is when you say how much you will pay for an item in an auction. Bidding on eBay, however, doesn't work in exactly the same way as a normal auction, at least in theory. On eBay, you tell the site what the maximum you are willing to pay for each item is, and then eBay places the bids on your behalf. That means you could say you were willing to pay up to $100 for something and only have to pay $50, if that was the highest maximum bid anyone else placed.
 
It's not as complicated as it sounds - the best way to get used to it is to give it a try. First, the best thing to do is to go to the eBay website designed for your country. If you don't know the address for it, just go to www.ebay.com and it will tell you there. Now, on the front page you should see a big box marked 'search': just type in anything that you'd like to buy there.
 
Wasn't that easy? Now you should have a list of items for sale in front of you, along with how much people are currently bidding for them and the time when bidding ends for each item. If you click one of these, you can read the description, and then - if you're happy with the item and happy to pay more than the current highest bidder is - you can bid!
 
How Do I Bid?
Go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of an item's description page, and type the maximum you are willing to pay (your maximum bid) into the box. Then simply press the 'place bid' button - you will need to sign in once you press the button, or go through a quick registration process if you don't have an eBay username).
 
If someone else's maximum bid on that item is higher than yours, then eBay will tell you and give you the opportunity to bid again. Otherwise, you're now the new highest bidder! All you need to do now is wait until the end of the auction - if someone else outbids you, then eBay will email you and you can bid again.
 
All sounds great, doesn't it? But by now you might be wondering whether a site as chaotic as eBay can really be all that safe to buy from. That's why the next post in this series will be about your rights when you buy from eBay.



To your success,
--Greg

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