One of the biggest issues that many home-based eBay businesses face is the failure to take into account fees that eBay places on the goods that you are selling.
This can be a major pitfall, especially for people who are purchasing items in order to resell them on eBay.
There have been more than a few eBay businesses that have found themselves actually losing money rather than making a profit due to the fact that they have not taken into account all of the fees that are charged by eBay in order to sell items on their site.
Certain categories have higher fees than others, and eBay charges fees on both the initial listing as well as the final value of the item purchased.
Also, as a business owner, you must always remember that PayPal charges additional fees in order to process the payments that you have received on your eBay items.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with some of the many different fee calculators that are available on the Internet from eBay and other websites so that you can ensure you are always making a profit before you pick up your initial inventory to sell on eBay.
I also have created a spreadsheet where I keep all my items currently listed. The sheet works out the fees and charges for selling the item and a column for my profit.
As items cost change or fees from eBay I can easily change the figure to see if the profit is still acceptable before I would increase the selling price.
One major headache is yearly shipping cost changes. In the UK Royal Mail change their prices every April so I have to rework the listings to make sure all is covered.
You may find that weight brackets can also be moved for instance an item that was shipping under large letter last year may now be small packet or the reverse. So its important to do your homework and make sure you or your customers are not being charged too much.
Tip #2 – Have Shipping Tools and Inventory
Another big pitfall for running your own eBay home-based business is to make certain that your shipping is done correctly and for as cheap as possible.
Many sellers often do not realize exactly how many sales fall through due to a failure in proper packaging.
As an eBay business owner, you are far better off to spend just a little bit of extra money on packing materials in order to ensure that your item arrives safely at its destination rather than risk potential damages to it during transport.
Also, it is important for you to remember that there is a rating metric on eBay for buyers to rank how well your item was packaged in the first place.
For this reason, it is important for you as an eBay business owner to make certain that you have numerous different box sizes and padded envelopes so that items fit snugly in place.
You will also need bubble wrap so that items are always protected when being shipped, and quality packing tape so that you can make certain your boxes stay sealed during transport.
I also use high strength polythene bags to wrap around items that come in their own box.
This ensure waterproofness for shipping. I also put bubble wrap under the bag for extra protection from knocks and bumps.
This is a cost effective way to keep shipping costs down as using cardboard can increase your item into the next cost weight bracket for shipping.
If you find yourself struggling to find good boxes, check with local business owners and see if they have any extras lying around.
If you still struggle to find adequate packing materials in boxes, check some of the many different listings that packing companies have on eBay itself.
By doing this you will discover that many of these items are significantly discounted when compared to buying from a packaging retailer.
[box] PRO TIP: Always when possible buy your packaging materials from eBay sellers. Your positive feedback score will receive an automatic boost for each transaction.[/box]
This is all important when potential buyers come to your listing by seeing this positive feedback score it will install confidence in your customers to make purchases.
Another great tip is to make certain that you have a quality weight scale so that you are able to properly calculate exactly how much each one of your eBay packages weigh.
The weight of your package directly corresponds with the following tip for running the most successful home-based eBay business that you can.
Tip #3 – Always Compare Shipping Options
Aside from fees, one of the largest expenses that eBay business owners have is shipping and handling. Thankfully, there are some great ways to save money on shipping.
First, remember that quality postal scale mentioned above?
Well, you should always make sure that you have one, and that it is working as well as possible.
Knowing exactly how much your package weighs with all of its included packing materials and invoices is a great way to save a significant amount of money on your shipping and handling charges.
Why is this? By knowing the exact weight of your package, you can check with numerous different shipping processors.
Shippers such as FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service in the US and companies like myhermes and collectplus as well as the post office in the UK in order to get the best value when it comes to shipping and handling.
Sometimes, flat rate options will save you a significant amount of money instead of paying shipping charges based on an items weight.
Also, remember that there are quite a few different ways in which to ship a package. An example of this comes in the form of the postal services media mail option.
If you are planning to ship books, DVDs, or CDs, media mail is a fantastic way to get them shipped to your buyer quickly and inexpensively.
One final tip when it comes to saving money on your shipping and handling charges is to make certain that you are using the PayPal shipping option as often as possible.
Using this option will allow you to receive significant discounts on your shipping charges as well as track your packages seamlessly through PayPal.
This can allow you to prove that items were delivered in case issues should arise.
Running your own eBay home-based business can provide you with a lot of benefits including supplemental income, sales experience, and business experience, just to name a few.
If you find that you enjoy running an eBay business, then you should take the time to expand your knowledge and try to generate as high a profits as possible.
By taking the time to learn how to properly run your own eBay business, you can enjoy more money for your time, as well as a stronger brand in the future.
Make certain to follow the tips listed above, and enjoy your new business venture.