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We’re going to jump into what you really need to start crushing it on eBay. The first thing you need is to change your attitude. One of the things I see time and time again is people trying to conform eBay to what they want it to be versus dealing with eBay the way it is.
eBay is a third-party platform that doesn’t give a shit about you, your family, your needs, or whether you’re sick or not. It does not care. None of that is relevant.
The second thing you have to do is from day one, you have to treat it like a business, not just a hobby. I’m going to explain how I learned this stuff and some of the things that happened to me that gave me the perspective I have today about eBay and Amazon. I never did eBay alone. We got to $10K, then to $20K in 2001 and 2002.
You’re going to need a team. If you think you’re going to make a million in gross sales by yourself, it’s not going to happen. There’s too much work. Now what kind of team members do you need?
You need a sourcing team. This is one, two or three people who are out looking for stuff at least three to five days a week. Every day their job is to go out and find stuff. You’re listing all of the time. You are always pushing forward.
This is one of the fundamental rules of business. The more offers that you make, the more chances you have to make money. When you post something on eBay, that’s an offer.
You need to bring your sourcing team on one person at a time. Notice I said, team. If you fall into the trap where you do all the listing, your business will take a long time to scale. You want to develop your team and you want to be management. You want to work on your business versus being your business.
Most eBay sellers are the business. They have to do bulk uploads or massive listings if they want to go on vacation. Once you develop a system, a business model and a team, you don’t have to do that.
What you need to do is find a category you feel you can dominate based on your personal resources and your interests. You want everybody looking for that item to find you first. You want to consistently list in that category.
Everyone wants to get into those blazing hot categories where you just list something and it sells immediately. The problem with that situation is that you are going to be facing fierce competition that will drive the prices down and cut your profits.
You’re better off finding unique things that will sell well. For example, we found some pot holders at one point in a storage unit. We did not know how popular they were until we put them on eBay. We got $89 for six of them. At that point, I started looking for them You want to find that type of stuff because it was really unique and most competitors will not take the extra steps necessary to find it. That keeps the price up because your competition is minimal.
The next thing you need is a photo booth. This is supreme. If you have an iPhone 7 which has a really nice camera, you can probably get away with using that. Use the in-depth feature. My suggestion is that you go on eBay or Amazon and buy a used Canon TTI or something like that, then get yourself a 55MM lens, because that lens is for portraits. Next, you want to create a photo booth.
Then you’ll need to rent a warehouse space with 1500 to 2000 square feet. You will grow much faster with a warehouse. With a warehouse, you’re going to start bumping into your “eBay threshold.”
For each type of item that is unique, you want to create a new eBay ID. At one point, I had 12 of them. The reason you want to do that is because if someone is buying a $2K bedroom suite from you, they don’t want to see that you also sell lollipops. When you are selling something expensive, people really get paranoid.
You want to scale up your price points. If you’re staying at $20 and $30 items, it’s going to take a long time to make any real money. It is better to start selling at the $500 or $1000 price point, even though your risk also goes up exponentially.
You’ll need to hire a customer service person next. Over the years I’ve learned this. If someone emails you about something they want to buy, the sooner you can get back to them, the more likely you are to make that sale.
After hiring a customer service person, you need a marketing plan. I’m going to tell you what I did and what will still work. I pushed a lot of traffic from Craigslist to eBay. By having it on eBay, it allowed us to sell it out of the warehouse. By creating this marketing plan, you’ll be able to talk to your customers outside of the eBay platform. Since you’re driving traffic there, you can put those people on the email list.
If you’re selling Levy Jeans and everybody knows you because you dominate that category, you can develop an email list. You can develop a trade-in program on eBay. You are pimping eBay for fun and profit. By using eBay’s power and traffic, you are building a durable business while you put stuff on eBay.
You want to create a new eBay account for each eBay ID. I know it’s easier to have that one shotgun ID and to sell everything you come across, but segmentation will make you more money because you will become an authority. Each ID is linked to a different PayPal account and has a different marketing scheme.
You should set a goal to have no more than 20% of your income come from eBay. With a million dollar per year goal, you use eBay as a ramp up device for your business. eBay is going to limit your accounts in the beginning. By limiting your business revenues to only 20% on eBay, you have options if eBay or PayPal starts holding your money because your business is perceived as risky since you are growing so quickly. You can turn to Craigslist or sell out of your warehouse or from your email list.
If you won’t build teams and hire people, it’s holding you back. Write down an income goal. It needs to be a number that makes you sweat. When you hit that number, you will have self-confidence.
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