Looking to Make Extra Money on eBay?

Okay, it’s been awhile since my last post. Been busy at work and with other projects. One of those projects is a total revamping of my How to Make Money on eBay site. So I wrote this article and submitted it to a bunch of article directories and blogs and whatnot to give my site an SEO boost.

Speaking of which, I do article writing and submission on the side for $100 a pop. This creates several hundred inbound links for your chosen keyword. So if you’re interested…

Anyway, on with the show!

For all of us there eventually comes a time when times are so tight financially, we wonder how we’re going to get by. The vast majority of us are able to trudge through it and eventually come out on top. But a few of us will end up with insurmountable debt that forces us into bankruptcy.

Others still never do overcome the hard times and seem destined to be stuck for the rest of their lives, barely getting by, living paycheck to paycheck. Regardless of which category you fall into, you’ve undoubtedly thought at these times, “There’s got to be some way for me to make a few extra dollars each month, just enough to take the pressure off!”

Thanks to eBay and the power of online auctions, literally millions of budding entrepreneurs have discovered the pressure-release valve of life by learning to make extra money on eBay.

The thing that has made entrepreneurship so difficult is that it requires a lot of time, commitment, and a thick skin to take on the constant rejection from potential supporters and insults you’ll receive from customers. Along with all that, it doesn’t hurt to have some big brass… well, you know.

eBay changed all that by acting as the middleman between the guy with the money (your customer) and the guy looking to take that money (that’s you, the entrepreneur!) In essence, eBay does all the heavy lifting of finding and bringing the customer to you. And they’ve become quite good in this role.

Today, eBay is one of the most visited websites on the Web. And the majority of those visitors are there for one reason: to buy something. All you have to do is list an item for sale. This is where most people get turned off. Fear of technology, of registering an account, of giving up one’s personal information — whatever the case may be. If you’re letting that stop you, you are really missing out on one of the greatest tools of the modern-day entrepreneur.

eBay’s strength is so powerful that even corporate behemoths like IBM sell on eBay!

The first step to making money on eBay is to just do it! Go to eBay, register, list an item, and you’ll quickly see just how simple it all is. Most people learn best by doing, so go forth and do.

Registration is a two step process that must be validated by clicking on a confirmation link that eBay will email you at the end of the process (so be absolutely sure that you use a viable email address during the registration process). The first step is to register as a buyer. Once you’ve done that, you can register as a seller.

Confused? Don’t worry. Click the “help” link on eBay’s site, then click “Learning Center”. The Learning Center is full of helpful animated tutorials that will walk you through the process of registration, step by step. It’s like watching over somebody’s shoulder as they register so you’ll know exactly what to expect when you go through the process yourself.

7 thoughts on “Looking to Make Extra Money on eBay?

  1. Wendy

    I’m glad you wrote this post, it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve certainly bought enough items off eBay, but I’ve always been scared of trying to sell anything. What I’m most afraid of is the shipping cost. I have no idea how to figure in the cost of packing material plus postage. Do you pack it up first and have the PO put the postage on, then list it on eBay?

    I’m going to read your site. Did you know it’s opening in a new window that takes you away from this blog? I don’t know if you wanted that.

  2. moonbeammcqueen

    Wendy sent me over here to have a look see. Do you really make much money on eBay, Stu? Because I’m finding that there’s little return for my effort. I have sold a few things, but I’ve gotten scammed too. It’s time consuming (to me) to write descriptions, take and edit pictures, then packing and shipping, all for a few bucks. I think if you broke it down hourly, I’d be making an average of 71 cents.

    I’m not trying to complain, I’m really wanting to know if there are faster, better, easier ways to do it. And I want to know how to make $100 doing article submissions on the side!

  3. Stu

    To start off with, I just realized I totally misused the term “viable”. So moonbeammcqueen, if you want to make $100 per article (which honestly, is less than half the standard rate… we charge a lot more for the same service where I work), then you can’t go misusing words like me ;)

    Also, it helps to work someplace where you have free access to the expensive tools needed to do mass article submissions.

    Seriously though, the key to making any business more profitable is to streamline it as much as possible. It looks like you’ve learned that lesson.

    Back in the day (I don’t sell much on eBay anymore, which is the main reason I now give away my eBook for free instead of charging for it… I’m not really up on the latest) I sold about $9,000/mo gross and netted around $6,000. Only problem was, I was actually working for somebody else when I did that, but there was an average of about 25 hours/week I worked to bring in those kind of numbers.

    The key was to get through everything as fast as possible. Chapter 5 of my eBook covers basic auction management. In particular, you might want to check out the “Create a Shipping Assembly Line” and “Streamlining Shipping” sections toward the bottom of this page:

    Later on, I switched to drop shipping. At my peak, I grossed about $3,500/mo. But while drop shipping definitely cuts into your profits, it saves all the time of packaging and shipping. It’s a trade-off in that sense. Here’s where I talk about drop shipping on eBay.

    Anyway, again the point is to save time wherever you can by streamlining. Take a good look at your eBay business and ask yourself in every aspect, “Is there any way I can save time by doing this differently?” You’ve taken the first step by talking with another eBay seller. Ask more eBay sellers what they do to save time, and you’ll be well on your way!

    Wendy, yeah, I got lazy and didn’t do the new window thing. I’m a real lazy bastie sometimes heh heh.

    So it looks like you have a classic case of too-scared-to-sell-on-eBay syndrome. Don’t feel bad. It took me two years from the time I decided I was going to start selling on eBay and the time I actually listed my first item.

    Here’s what you do. Dig up some worthless piece of nothing that you can ship in an envelope — my first eBay listing was a baseball card that sold for one cent. This way, you get the experience of listing something without any of the worry.

    Once you’ve got that first one under your belt, start moving up. To calculate shipping, I weigh the item, add a few ounces to account for packing materials and the box, figure out what it costs to ship to zip code 10001 (NYC), and charge that as a flat shipping rate to anywhere in the lower 48 (and usually just have a note stating it’s a little more for Alaska or Hawaii).

    Packages I almost always shipped through Fed Ex (they were usually the cheapest believe it or not!) If I ever shipped USPS, I always got delivery confirmation (protects you against PayPal claims).

    Something else you can do is see what everybody else is charging for shipping, compare that to your own numbers, and make an adjustment if desired. Dialing in the process takes some experience though.

    Hope that helps!

  4. moonbeammcqueen

    Wow– what a great reply. Thanks Stu. Yes, it helps a LOT. Of course, I’m going to be printing off that e-book.

    I’ll never be a Power Seller, but I do want to learn how to streamline this process, so I don’t spend 432 hours posting a listing and shipping it off.

    Thanks so much again! I’ve bookmarked your eBay info, and plan to visit it often.

    If someone paid me $100 per hour, I would promise never to misuse the word “viable.”

  5. Wendy

    Thank you so much! You’ve made me feel better about trying it, and if I ever get out from under my deadline, I think I’ll give it a go. I’m going to print out your book, also. Thank you so much.

    Buck mailed you some magazines. You should be getting them any day now. It was a mass mailing, so I don’t think there’s even any explanation or note in them. I thought I’d give you a heads up. :)


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