Top Home Businesses for 2014: Start an eBay Store

If you’re looking for ideas for starting a home business, the answer may be hidden in plain sight.  Don’t write eBay off just because it isn’t outside-the-box or because it’s not the next big thing.

eBay is a long-standing business that has a large infrastructure set up for helping its customers sell their products.

How To Get Started

The first question people have when contemplating selling on eBay is what to sell.  If you have a large lineup of items, like memorabilia in good condition, books, or clothing, you don’t need to look much further.  Getting started with what’s on hand will give you a feel for how the site works, and will allow you to get started gradually.  This will minimize the chances of making big, costly mistakes.

However, if we assume we’re talking about a sustainable business with growth potential, you’ll need to acquire or make items to sell.  You can research how to get started with items in areas of interest to you, but you should also run these through some analytical tools available to you.

eBay has a product index listing popular products, and it’s a good thing to check into.  Then there’s the research tool Terapeak, a frontrunner in market research on eBay.  Again, worth the look.

Setting Prices

From there it’s a matter of doing what all businesspeople do—figuring out how to price your wares.  Do you try to undercut all those around you, or do you play it a bit more safely, pricing items slightly above the rates of your competitors, waiting for the least expensive items to sell, leaving yours at the bottom of the graph?

A lot of this can be solved—and this is one of the appeals of EBay—by going the route of the auction.

Once you get a product line in place, it’s a matter of following the rules and best practicing easily found on the site itself.  It’s also a matter of using analytical tools to monitor your results.  Just be sure to plug any holes in your strategy as soon as possible.

Case Study

With some of the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at a successful eBay business to see the process in action.  Guusje Moore (first name “Hoo-sha”) worked as a librarian with an affinity for books.  She was a bit of a book collector.  In 2000 she began selling books she found at thrift stores and other low-price venues.

This became a pretty solid book-selling business on eBay, with extras for sale that Moore found while out book shopping, things like dresses and mugs.  She started getting a lot of eBay feedbacks and selling product.

In 2012, Moore took a big step, hiring a bookkeeper and an accountant, and then a couple of employees.  In one 2013 period of 120 days, she attained $10,000 in sales.

All of this happened with almost no initial investment, and with goods she handpicked rather than going through a wholesaler and acquiring a bulky inventory.

There are many avenues for starting a home business.  If selling products is the one for you, eBay may be appealing as a tried-and-true, established venue.