Can You Really Make Money on eBay?

Think you can't really make money on eBay? Think again! Guest author and successful entrepreneur Ken Myers has 6 rules to transform eBay into your very own small business platform.

Beata Santora, QDT editor
3-minute read

Making money on eBay isn't as difficult as you may think. Many sellers make a good living out of selling items using this popular auction site. It has grown into more than just a place where people post items that wouldn't sell at a yard sale. Many respectable companies call eBay home and you could too.

However, there are 6 fundamental rules you need to follow in order to succeed on eBay:

Rule #1: Determination

Posting a few items for sale and hoping for the best isn't a true test to discovering success. You need to be determined to become the greatest seller possible. This will require learning all you can about the best methods and tools in order to secure your financial growth; tools such as Terapeak.com - the website that analyzes all sales on eBay and can provide you with information you need to find the best items to sell. You can't be easily swayed because a few items don't sell or don't see a lot of attention.

Rule #2: Passion

Many sellers try to cover their bases and sell everything they come across. Those who focus on a niche that they are passionate about are generally more successful. Although general stores can make a decent amount of money, those pertaining to a niche make more on average. If you love makeup, selling makeup should be your niche. If you love computers, you should sell peripherals and other computer related materials. When you zero in on the items that you are excited about, it makes your efforts more focused. It's the same principle for owning a blog - work with your passion to improve your results.

Rule #3: Products

The next thing you need to focus on is what to sell. Although millions of people visit the website on a daily basis, you can't expect everything to sell the same way. If you want to succeed, you need to offer more than just a handful of goods. Peruse the recent sales on eBay and see what is trending and what items sell the best. This can help you determine what items to buy for your store in order to resell them. Sites like Liquidation.com and Viatrading.com as well as others that may have overstocks can help your inventory as well. Also, check out any businesses that are closing down in your local area to see if they have products they’d like to get rid of.

Rule #4: Marketing

Planning strategies, pages, and marketing ideas takes creativity. You may be able to coast with a small amount of income, but marketing will greatly increase your sales. Although you will likely make money using the very basic of descriptions without putting effort into marketing plans, being creative can help you earn more. These strategies could be inclusive of using free services such as building a Facebook page for your store, blog posts to advertise and write about your niche, email marketing, discounts and more. Many of these methods can be successful in driving interest in what you're selling, and most of them are free to use – they just require a little time and initiative.

Rule #5: Organization

Keeping your records straight and having a plan for your eBay experience can help prevent you from shipping the wrong items out. It can also help in determining your next steps for growth. While spreadsheets and other materials may help you keep records straight, programs such as Quickbooks excel at financial bookkeeping. (It’s a favorite tool of Money Girl). If used properly, these programs can keep track of customers, inventory, and every bit of your money for tax purposes. You should also practice organization of your shipping supplies and logical storage of your inventory. Nothing is worse than selling an item you can't find with shipping supplies that are not where they're supposed to be.

Rule #6: Time

The amount of time you spend posting an item will be determined by how elaborate you want your store to look and feel. The more professional your appearance, the better off your sales are likely to be. Like any other project, you can obtain a certain level of expertise with the amount of time you spend doing the task. If you are able to dedicate more productive time maintaining your eBay store, you will surely see the difference in how potential customers view your brand. An hour per day may simply not be enough. Some of the most successful eBay sellers make it a full-time job in order to drive their success.

As long as you're an honest seller with items people want to buy, you could easily become a sensational eBay seller in just a few months. Your success will be measured by your own efforts.


Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.


eBay image courtesy of Shutterstock.