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Has anyone started an eBay business?

(21 Posts)
15minpaidbreak Thu 18-Jul-19 22:44:12

And is it successful? I'd like to do this, but I don't know what I should sell.

I basically want a side hustle (that then develops into a successful business, allowing me to leave my current job 😳).

19lottie82 Fri 19-Jul-19 01:03:08

I used to have one for about 5 years, but it wasn’t worth it in the end. I used to import goods from China. The main work was researching what would sell.

No one can really tell you what to sell. Unless you have a niche market, it’s just a case of finding things that are just becoming popular and sell them to make a profit until eBay becomes saturated with sellers and the price drops too much.

19lottie82 Fri 19-Jul-19 01:04:24

that then develops into a successful business, allowing me to leave my current job

I don’t mean to sound harsh, but realistically, this is unlikely.

OneInEight Fri 19-Jul-19 07:18:30

Yes, we just about do. Unlike, Lottie though we sell second-hand goods basically because the profit margin is much greater than on new items (if you chose and buy correctly of course). We started small just to occupy myself if I am honest when I had to give up my job because of caring responsibilities but have built it up where if it gives us a reasonable income. I put in a lot of hours though.

15minpaidbreak Fri 19-Jul-19 08:22:08

Thanks 🙂 - I know it's unlikely to work, but at the same time, I don't want to go on in my current workplace for another 30 years.

amylou8 Fri 19-Jul-19 08:42:33

I make a living from eBay selling second hand goods. I use Facebook marketplace too. It's definitely do able if you put the time in.

delilahbucket Sat 03-Aug-19 09:19:14

Yes and yes, it is my full time job. But I don't just sell on eBay, and I certainly wouldn't recommend eBay to anyone just starting out. You need to be tougher than old boots to sell on there these days.

15minpaidbreak Sat 03-Aug-19 13:23:28

😄 OK, maybe I need a plan B.

Northernsoullover Sat 03-Aug-19 13:24:59

Can I ask if people sell their own second stuff or do you buy it to sell on?

19lottie82 Sat 03-Aug-19 16:45:10

Selling your own stuff isn’t a business. You only enter that category, which means registering with the HMRC and having an eBay business account, when you buy things to resell.

KatyMac Sat 03-Aug-19 16:49:45

Can I hijack - is Etsy as aggressive as eBay?

Doing similar @15minpaidbreak; but because I had an op and I won't be going back to work anytime soon!

delilahbucket Sat 03-Aug-19 19:50:26

Etsy isn't as bad as eBay but they are headed in the same direction. They are definitely trying to become more like eBay, but as to how long a full transition takes, no one knows.

KatyMac Sat 03-Aug-19 21:49:34

& what about places like Folksy or Depop?

KatyMac Sat 03-Aug-19 22:47:40

I found this which is interesting but might not be relevent to you @15minpaidbreak

delilahbucket Sun 04-Aug-19 09:15:17

You won't sell much, if anything at all on Folksy or Depop. The only customers are the sellers. You would do better with your own website.

KatyMac Sun 04-Aug-19 09:26:05


It's so bloody confusing

KatyMac Sun 04-Aug-19 09:27:52

If I did my own website it would be:
*website/hosting fees
*paypal fees
*somesort of advertising fees

Facebook looks very attractive with instagram as an advertising tool

speakout Mon 12-Aug-19 08:02:34

I have a small business selling stuff online- Amazon and ebay.

It is full time and earns me more profit than my OH earns working full time in a decent job. I will need to employ others to help me soon.

It is absolutely possible, many people earn a good salary using ebay as a platform for selling. Far better than a bricks and mortar shop if you find a niche.

ginswinger Wed 21-Aug-19 23:16:35

I have a small business on Ebay and Amazon. I started with £30 as an initial outlay, six years ago and now turn over quite a bit more than that, enough to leave my job. I buy and then sell a product I have become really familiar with-enough to know my customers well and how they like to buy.

My advice would be to test the water and read, read, read around the topic. There is so much information out there about what makes a good listing, how to sell and what to do if something goes wrong. Be fully au fait with postage rules so you don't get caught out (know what a large letter/small parcel is). Understand what it is your customers expect and want from you and then fufill it.

Do fully read PayPal and Ebay's payment policies and know what you will be charged. Bear in mind that as you progress and make money for them, you can ask for discounts from them but be prepared to dig deep for them! They are not obvious. I've just knocked 10% off my monthly EBay seller fees with a ten minute revision to my listings.

Lastly, expect change. Ebay update their structure and how to list perdiodically. Customers change too, what they want and enjoy. I use to send oodles of one product three years ago, can't shift it for love or money now! A lesson learnt to observe trends and trust long term forecasts.

Hope that helps.

Whosorrynow Wed 21-Aug-19 23:37:54

I'm surprised there that much money in second hand stuff!

speakout Thu 22-Aug-19 07:30:48

It's not all second hand stuff on ebay- although there is a lot of money to be made in scecond hand in certain areas- out of print books, vintage clothes and jewellery etc.

I sell only new stuff that I make or buy wholesale and re- sell.

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