The main reason you may not have gotten going on your online selling business yet or are in a bit of a quandary as to what to do next is likely to be exactly the same reason as many other people too! It’s called ‘not knowing where to start’…
I know this because at least 3 or 4 times a week, I get asked: ‘Please tell me what to sell on eBay to make money’! And, in just a few months, a short article I wrote on the subject has received over 3,180 views online! I also know because I’ve been there myself.
Setting up an online selling business: where to start?
I am vitally aware that many people who attempt to start their own eBay business do struggle with this hurdle and I know that it is so frustrating when you simply haven’t a clue what to sell.
But what I always tell people is that there is absolutely no point in running at it in a haphazard way, zigzagging through the hundreds of different categories and sub-categories on eBay with absolutely no true purpose, trying to work out what people might want to buy, when in fact many of us are already sat on what could turn out to be a very profitable eBay business. And to discover this, you need to take a look at yourself.
Most of us have a hobby or an interest of some sort outside of the usual work, kids, life in general scenario, something that we do to relax or to de-stress or to make us feel good about ourselves, so you must take a look at what you enjoy doing. After all, doesn’t it make sense that if you enjoy doing it then there is the possibility that there are many others out there who will enjoy doing it too.
What’s even better is if you happen to have a hobby or an interest that you are really good at! The advantage being that if you are, or you can become, an expert on your chosen subject and then convert that into becoming an expert on a product or niche that ties in with your hobby or interest, you will ultimately do better with your business.
This is because buyers like to purchase from people or places that are knowledgeable about the goods they are selling and this is especially important when you are selling online. In this scenario you will never get the chance to convince someone to buy face to face so it’s important that your product descriptions are detailed and informative.
Remember, the back button is all too accessible to online buyers…
… One click and they are gone forever!
When you talk about something you love, you become animated and you talk louder and with depth and the same applies when you are writing about something that you love or are knowledgeable about, in this case, your eBay listing description.
For a start your enthusiasm will come through in your descriptions and you will be giving your potential customers something they can identify with – you – someone who has the same interests as them. This will hold their attention and you will immediately gain respect, trust, undoubtedly more sales and ultimately more profit!
So, as a starting point to making money using eBay, the idea is that you build a business around your own hobbies and interests which is easier than you might think!
By way of example and to show you that what you might think is not very interesting to anyone else, actually is, I did some random searches on eBay using ‘hobby and interests’ type keywords in various categories. The results will encourage you and give you some starting points if you are struggling with what to sell on eBay or feel that the skill or knowledge that you have really isn’t interesting enough to anyone else. I think you’ll be surprised by what I uncovered!
Are you creative and arty? Do you enjoy card-making or cake making for example?
Card making and cake making are two very popular hobbies and if either of these are pastimes that you already do, why not contact a wholesaler of card-making materials or cake making implements and put together a ‘how to’ style instruction package.
You could include the actual materials required to make a particular set of cards for example. Or you could put together a ‘Party Cakes’ instruction kit, CD or DVD. Or how about selling wedding cake accessories?
eBay showed 945 examples of ‘kit’ types of product when I searched for Card Making Kit and 349 results for Wedding Cake Toppers Bride and Groom. These are good sized sub-niches to go into – not too big so that the competition overwhelms you and not so small that there is obviously no demand, but you do need to watch the prices and your profits in both of these areas.
Are you interested in classic cars or revamping old vehicles?
A quick search on eBay revealed that a ‘How To Paint Your Car’ DVD (weird, but rather wonderful!) is selling steadily. What’s more you can create an information product like a DVD or e-book on CD very easily and cheaply yourself.
Try advertising a ‘Spray Painting Your….’ course with different cars or types of products listed each time – for example How To Spray Paint Your… MG, Classic Ford, Classic Jaguar so you catch the whole market by making sure your keywords reach the widest audience. I have no doubt that spray painting your MG is no different to spray painting your Mercedes or your Ford – so it’s likely to be exactly the same information on each DVD – but this way you can sell to multiple markets!
Is looking gorgeous and groomed important to you?
A close friend of mine is obsessed with her nails! She has every of colour nail varnish available, along with gel nails, acrylic nails, UV lamps, manicure sets – you name it, she’s got it! But whilst I might laugh at her obsession, she is most definitely not alone in her enjoyment.
This is a perfect example of an interest that is likely to apply to others. Getting false nails applied at the salon isn’t cheap and there’s a lot of up-keep involved too. Combine this with money being tight, and people start looking for ways to avoid having to pay a fortune but still have great looking talons. So what do they do?
… they look for at home DIY kits. Nail Art is big business right now! I found a listing for an Acrylic Nails Starter Kit with 3 or 4 units sold off the listing each day, all at a Buy It Now price of £24.99 – wouldn’t you like to be doing that!
Mum (or Dad) knows best…
And here’s an idea if you are a new Mum or Dad and know everything there is to know about the needs of new parents. The types of products you can sell within this niche are endless. If you’ve got small children or you’ve just had a baby, take a look around you – what do you see? What could you not do without? Then check the market on eBay.
Here’s another real eBay example: I searched for Bandana Bibs and almost immediately found a seller who has sold a whopping 10,458 packs of these funky bibs so far, all at £8.75 per pack. Babies go through bibs like lightening so it stands to reason that they are in demand.
And that’s just a small selection that I found by spending about 20 minutes searching eBay. Remember that all these subjects I’ve mentioned here also have other related products that will do well on eBay.
You need to have a really good think because even though you may feel that you haven’t got a hobby that’s suitable, then you will undoubtedly have an interest as I have shown above – owning a pet that you love is an interest, going for long walks is an interest, DIY is an interest. It doesn’t have to be a full blown hobby, just something that you enjoy and know something about.
Then, using eBay’s advanced search facility, simply look at completed listings for categories and sub-categories within your niche of interest and check out what’s sold well over a recent period of time and the prices achieved from the listings. This will give you a clear idea of which products you should be looking at selling.
So, I hope you can see how easy it is to find inspiration and turn your interests in to a really successful eBay business. It just requires a little thought to get you started and once you have found your niche you can simply keep researching the saleability of products and add to your inventory as you go.
Build up your stock slowly, adding relevant new products when you see fit and in no time you could have 10 or 20 products on the go all within the same profitable niche. Think of the cross-selling and up-selling opportunities that this will give you!