Most people consider starting a business of their own at some point during their lives. With all of the opportunities there are for making money online these days, it easy to get started. Regardless of whether you want to sell products or provide services, eBay is a great place to test the online retail waters.
There is a casual, almost garage-sale-like, atmosphere to eBay, but don't let that fool you, eBay is big business. There are over 750,000 people making their fulltime living on eBay. If you are considering become one of them, then you have to enter into this arena, fully prepared to win. The first step in getting started with an eBay business is to become familiar with the eBay website.
Spend some time getting to know the environment. If you don't already have an eBay account, open one up. Once you have a registered account you can begin to make small purchases. By purchasing small items you minimize your risk while learning how this ecommerce giant operates, while at the same time building up your positive feedback.
Whether you ultimately want to be a seller or just mainly a buyer, going through the entire life-cycle of an auction will help you see all the various facets of planning, initiating and following through with a sale on eBay.
There are eight steps in the eBay auction life cycle.
1. Prospective buyer registers to sell. Before a seller can begin selling items on eBay they must register. The registration process is easy and only requires you to put in basic information about yourself.
2. Registered buyer searches for and finds seller's item. A good title with appropriate, descriptive key words will help a perspective buyer find a seller's items during the search..
3. Buyer enters a bid large enough to beat out other bidders and win sellers item. Since eBay has a proxy bidding system a bidder can enter the highest bid they feel comfortable placing right at the start of the bidding process. Note that the highest bid a buyer places will only be used if there is competition with other bidders that forces the bid up, if there is no competition for the item the bid will not increase, regardless of the highest proxy bid entered.
4. The buyer initiates payment to the seller through Paypal, check or money order. eBay owns Paypal and as such Paypal is the easiest way to make payments online. Over 85% of all eBay transactions use Paypal.
5. Seller packs the item and ships. Breakage in shipping is one of the biggest reason for returns on eBay. It pays to spend the extra time and expense for bubble wrap, strong boxes, and packing tape, to ensure that an item arrives intact.
6. Buyer receives package. Delivery confirmation and package tracking allow both buyer and seller to be aware of when the package arrives.
7. Positive feedback left by both parties. If the seller accurately describes the item, listing the item with lots of pictures, charges actual shipping costs, packages the item, and ships promptly, they will more than likely have a happy buyer. If the buyer pays promptly, uses Paypal, and leaves the seller positive feedback, the buyer will more than likely make the seller happy. When both parties are happy they usually trade positive feedback.
As you can see the process of understanding ecommerce on eBay is easy, you just have to be familiar with the rules of the game.
Videos providing in-depth tutorials of this series of eBay Selling Strategies are available at no cost at ebay Selling Basics
Stephanie McIntyre has been a Platinum eBay Powerseller, an eBay Trading Assistant as well as an Educational Assistant trained by eBay. Her company, eSales Unlimited Inc. maintains several sites on successful eBay selling.