Whether you’re looking for a side hustle or a main gig, selling items on eBay is a great way to build a business from the comfort of your home.

If you’ve got a love for a certain market, this could be your sign to start selling on eBay to turn that knowledge into cash. There are plenty of different ways you can make a profit on this popular online platform – think selling homemade crafts, dismantling motorcycles for parts, or reselling watches.

But even if you’ve got a garage full of inventory ready to become product listings, you’ll still have to set up an eBay seller profile and start marketing yourself in order to make some cash. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to sell your merchandise on eBay.

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6 Steps to Take Before You Start Selling on eBay

eBay has made a name for itself by being the internet’s marketplace where anyone can bid on anything and find great deals from anywhere in the world. With so much diversity of what you can buy and such a wide audience, it’s also a great place to sell just about anything.

Before you start a business on eBay, you’ll need to have a solid plan. There are a few things you should do before creating an account and listing items.

1. Decide whether you’re going to specialize or offer a variety of products

While offering different types of wares on your eBay store can appeal to a broader audience, specializing can make your store look more organized and focused. Plus, you can gain specific market knowledge about the niche you’ve chosen.

Related: Marketing ideas for small businesses

2. Figure out what you’re going to sell

As mentioned above, you can find just about anything on eBay. Your job is to figure out what is unique about what you bring to the online marketplace.

Generally, there are seven main categories of what you can find on eBay:

  • Antiques and rare items
  • Refurbished items
  • Handmade items
  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Collectibles

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3. Make sure you can make money

There are certain costs associated with selling on eBay, such as seller fees and shipping costs. For whatever market you’re getting into, make sure to research whether you’ll be able to make back what you spend on the product, as well as cover any fees.

Related: How to start a business with no money

4. Do market research on your product

Whatever product you’re planning to sell, you should understand your target audience to anticipate their needs and cater your product to them. For instance, having a good understanding of sneaker trends can help you anticipate which new pairs will be worth more in a few months. This allows you to know when to hold onto them, and when to sell.

5. Decide on your selling method

There are two ways to price your items and sell on eBay:

  • Auction-style listings: This method allows users to bid on your item. This can result in a bidding war, driving prices up for a more lucrative sale. However, listing fees are often higher on auction-style sales, and you often get less free listings per month.
  • Fixed-price listings: This lets sellers accept sales based on prices that they set. While fixed-price listings don’t have the potential to make as much money as auction-style listings, they generally result in less fees overall.

Related: How to start an online business or dropshipping in Canada?

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6. Make sure you have the correct insurance policy in place

If you’re selling on eBay, seller’s insurance may be required before you can list certain items, depending on their price. There’s also potential liability, damage, and theft to take into consideration.

Some common business insurance policies for people selling from eBay accounts are:

  • Commercial property insurance: Regardless of whether you store your merchandise in a warehouse or on your own property, you’ll need this policy to protect it in the event of fire, flood, or theft. Even if it’s in your own house, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover lost or damaged business property.
  • Commercial general liability insurance: Should your products injure or cause someone harm, they could come after you for damages. This could be anything from claims of false advertising to someone getting hurt where you store your items. This policy can help prevent you from having to pay out of pocket for expensive legal fees.
  • Cyber liability insurance: With cyber-crimes such as identity theft on the rise, many eBay sellers are opting for cyber liability insurance. This helpful policy can help cover any costs associated with a cyber attack, such as lawsuits, business interruption, and even ransom costs.

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