While online marketplaces are your favorite places to visit for online shopping every often time, on the other hand, have you ever thought that you too can actually make money selling on Ebay or Amazon, or any other online shopping site you love?
Back in the day, since the start of online shopping boom, Ebay and Amazon have long been so outstandingly loved places not only for shoppers, but also for sellers to make money online and from home.
Some might have a false stereotype that Ebay or Amazon is only a place for professional merchandisers or companies that carry out super great volumes of inventories or sales, but it’s not 100% true. Because there’re countless numbers of individual sellers or part-time sellers or even stay home moms and college students out there to sell what they have in order to make money on the side or even big fat full time income from home!
By now then, if you ask “how about me? Can I even do start selling on Ebay and make money? I have no experience and no idea at all how to begin, where to source, what to sell!”
My answer is surely: “Yes, You Can Do It More Than Great! Deep experience is not necessarily needed to start out.”
Then let’s break it down step by step how to start selling on Ebay!
Choose a Niche/Products to Sell
How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon
This is the very first step you should start from. “what to sell“.
Sounds overwhelming? I hear you! There’re truly tons and millions different products on the planet. Chances are you’d get lost in the middle of nowhere.
The way of choosing an item(s) to sell can differ on many different factors like business capital or sales priorities or the preference that each seller has. But at this point, we all are here selling on Ebay or Amazon, just to make as much profit as possible, right? So “Profit” is the point we’re most interested in.
So here, we’re going to give you some clues about how to choose profitable items to be selling on Ebay or other marketplaces.
Ultimate Product Characteristics To Consider
1. Price Range – Balance Prices & Frequency Of Sales
Based off of my personal Ebay selling experience and other Ebay ninjas’ advice, the most profitable price range for selling on Ebay is generally considered ranging from $100(USD) to $200(USD).
This is kind of the ideal price range: Neither too low nor too high.
If you sell too highly priced items, it will probably be a little hard to achieve even a single sale and the frequency of your sales gets lower. Because shoppers don’t easily pick and buy something expensive. And to their purchase decision, they tend to spare a period of time in researching. In this case, of course, that ends up affecting your frequency of sales and waiting too long to see your goods are finally purchased.
On the contrast, if the price of the products you’re selling is too low in price, then the chances to selling your products get higher and more frequent. But one ultimate factor we couldn’t overlook is…… the range of margin… right? then even if you succeed to sell hundreds of items, the margin you would actually get in hand would be really not as much as you wished or expected in the first place after Ebay/Amazon selling fees or all other charges deducted. (Some sellers sell things at ridiculously cheap prices, but they’re actually no margins left, no more than “bait products” in order to attract people into their Ebay shop or other specific destination.)
Remember $100 – $200 is the best price range selling on Ebay / Amazon, that can balance the both factors : a handful of margins and nice sales frequency. Plus, at least more than 30% of the sale price has to be held for your net margin to be profitable. (I personally sold Adidas sneakers on Ebay, $20 – $100 was my net margin per pair of shoes for the sale prices $70 – $300 or slightly higher.)
2. Product Weights – Sell Small & Low-Weighted Products
It’s up to you whether you go with free shipping or paid shipping in your sales policy. The both have pros and cons for each.
But anyhow the fact isn’t changed that you as a seller have to pay for shipping to send the ordered products to your customers. Is that right?
When it comes to shipping, maybe everyone would be so sure that heavy products are way more costly. The cost of shipping even can exceed the price of your product. Then how? It leaves you no point in selling, right?
For that reason, selling light products can be a smart way to reducing the cost of shipping. After all, that actually leads you to higher margins. Wonderful!
Then at this point, what do we come up with? What would be the best types of items that are low weighted, at the same time, high profit produced? The concept is very simple at this: Small in Size/Light in Weight, High in Profit. Let’s think of it for a few seconds…..
Hmm let’s see! What about this? Kind of jewerlies, brand watches, computer/console game CDs, character figures(toys) or such things that are fairly small sizes but leave good profits!
I bet you will find your best ones soon! Brainstorm it!!!
3. Competition – Avoid a Product or Niche In Intense Competition
It’s generally not a very good idea diving into a niche with high competition.
Thousnads and tons of sellers that sell the exactly same products, then there’s really a high chance that the prices get overly low priced out of the high competition.
Of course, that’s a extremely bad effect arisen to you and you will probably end up lowering your prices more and more to stand out in the bloody cursed game. You could still be able to profit. But like what?? Like pennies. Or likely even losses. That only leaves you the question “What Am I Doing Now?“.
Be sensible to catch an item that’s unique and market-demanded at the same time. Or nice values in it in other aspects. The types of values can be varied and anything that can be appealing with its specialty.
For example: Uniqueness, High Market Demands or Low Prices etc.
(If you can sell something at really a lower price, then you can sell very great even if it’s put in a crazy competition. But to actualize it, you have to know excellent suppliers that provide you competitive prices)
4. Delicate Products – Easily Broken or Damaged
I once tried to sell an antique mug cup on Ebay. With no doubt I knew I really had to put extra care for packing and packaging. I tried my best packing it really carefully and perfectly as far as I thought at that time.
Not too long later, I freaked out when I got a refund request for that very product, the handle area had got slightly cracked during its international shipping. I couldn’t help, but just had to refund it by taking a loss for international freight charges and the cost of product purchase.
The Lesson: “Product Durability” is one crucial thing you mustn’t overlook!!
5. Simplicity – Avoid To Sell Complex Products Unless a Seasoned Seller
Complex products are like made with complicated parts or components or complex structure in it. Yeah! Electronics are the major example about it.
Well,, that would be awesome if you sell good with those products and make money! But when a complaint or refund request for break-down? It’s a headache to troubleshoot. Especially if it’s something really delicate and easily broken or that needs lots of care.
After-Sale-Service is a part that’s such hard(or a headache) to conduct “as an individual amateur seller”. (Or next to impossible in reality)
Keep in mind that even if you sell 3 items, YET 1 refund gotten, then it results in a loss by high chance!
Where To Source Profitable Items
How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon
If you’re done deciding what to sell, then the next crucially important step awaiting you: “Product Sourcing“.
Where to source items is really important factor that determines the level of your profit: It can either lower or leverage your net profit depending on how well you take on this step.
So right here, we’re gonna learn about where you can find profitable items that leaves you high profit in selling on Ebay!
1. Pawn Shops
Try to use your local pawn shops! You will be really surprised that you can actually find a bunch of wonderful products from there for selling on Ebay or other marketplaces!
Pretty often, they(pawn shop owners) end up selling cheap just because they lack of expertise and sense in value of what they’re selling in their shop. And that’s a great opportunity for your exciting product sourcing and great profit!!
There’re lots of items that can be selling great on Ebay like X-box/Play Station game CDs, unique antiques, luxury goods and more of variety kinds of valuable items! They are real hidden gems and treasures that can make you good money on the side!
2. Flea Market or Garage Yard
This is another opportunity to find some items that leave you lucrative profit.
It’s really wide range of used items or hand-mades, antiques, collectibles. And many Ebay sellers love this place for their product sourcing.
You would often discover a bunch of stuffs at incredibly low prices there like $0.5 – $1 which can sell on Ebay for $5, $10, even higher!
It’s recommendable to compare the prices between the market and Ebay while you’re out there browsing items.
3. Alibaba/Global Source or Other Online Wholesale Markets
It’s a whole lot giant and world biggest wholesale marketplaces based in online.
The best part of using those websites for your product sourcing would be the wide selection of souring goods.
From clothing lines, general merchandises to industrial machines and parts, if you decide to go more professional way or at a larger volume of transactions, then these types of places are recommendable.
That being said, the fact is they aren’t all that fantastically perfect places at the same time; internet scams and counterfeits are the major two things for using those sites.
Few things you have to keep in mind when sourcing from Alibaba
- Deal with Reliable Suppliers: Checking seller/supplier profile is essential to avoid possible scams. Gold suppliers in Alibaba are way more reliable than rookie levels.
- Try your best to pay via Paypal rather than Western Union or other direct bank transfer. You can get covered with Paypal Buyer Protection in case of a scam or counterfeit or other accidents.
Using dropshipping method is one way possible to start with, selling on Ebay.
It’s less risky and an easier way of sourcing any wide kinds of products in the world without an inventory or pre-purchasing goods to sell, due to the nature of the business(sourcing) model.
If you’re not familiar with the term and what it is, read this article to learn more about Dropshipping.
5. Using Other Online Retailers
It’s even possible inter-sourcing & selling from an online retailer to another. (e.g. Amazon to Ebay or Wish.com to Amazon etc)
The point of this method is making a benefit of the price gap between such different online marketplaces, like you can see the exactly same item sold in Amazon cheaper than Ebay or vice versa.
If you can luckily find an item from one place as cheaper as giving you some profit, this method is considerable although big profit wouldn’t be made so often.
6. Dollar Stores
There’re lots of items in dollar stores or places like selling a whole bunch of budget items.
Enjoyable with the huge range of different kind of items you can find to sell on Ebay / Amazon with a handful margin.
Look specially at tools, cables, electronic gadgets, household goods that might give you a good profit.
7. The Others
Clearance Sale, Auctions, Factory Outlets, Dent Stores, Warehouse Sale etc.
They all can be great product sourcing locations for selling on ebay or other online markets.
I know someone who makes $1,000 on the side from Ebay. Those places above are his favorite places for his weekend shopping for sourcing to his Ebay shop!
Places To Sell
How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon
Ebay is the easiest place to register a seller account and start selling online in a minute.
There’s no hassle or difficulty to sign up as a seller there and to just instantly list products to sell.
All you need are:
- Gmail Account
- Paypal Account or Credit Card
is enough to start off selling on Ebay.
Ebay was initially starting as an Online Auction and second-hand online market, having developed to be more like a regular E-commerce online marketplace in recent years. But Ebay is still the most generally known place for selling or buying used products along with dealing with new and fresh products (unopened).
I personally have a good selling experience on Ebay. I sold there in the two methods: Selling by Dropshipping and also in traditional regular selling procedure. My main items are brand shoe lines and they sold good like $2,000 – $3,000 a month.
Create a Seller Account on Ebay: Apply
Amazon is surely one of the two top grandest figures in E-commerce industry along with Ebay.
Amazon is truly great online marketplace that has the highest number of shoppers and traffic, compared to all online marketplaces existing on the planet at present.
To register to be a seller on Amazon is a little bit more complex than the process on Ebay.
What you need to prepare are:
- Bank Account created from an Amazon supported country.
Check out here what countries are covered: Click
- ID or Passport for identity verification
- Home Address and bank account document verification
Since Amazon is so loved place by almost every seller in the world, there’re tons of make-money-with-Amazon strategies on the internet. It’s also a place where a lot of multi-million dollar work-at-home sellers work!
Create a Seller Account on Amazon: Apply
3. The Others
The two giant E-commerce monsters, Ebay & Amazon have the highest online traffic and transactions made.
However there’re still other good marketplaces that can turn your potential to success, expanding your horizon in a more expansive way isn’t too bad!
Look closely and find your marketplace that most fits you globally or locally. You will find many online shopping sites that allow an individual seller as well as enterprise levels, to sell casually without a business registration or other annoying requirements to sign up.
How to Market Your Products
How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon
Listing on Ebay or Amazon itself can be a great way of selling your products online because of their massive traffic volume. There’re millions of monthly visitors to those giant monsters, you will get a good number of visitors and shoppers who’re viewing your products you’ve listed there.
But still things are here that you can even leverage the exposure and boost to sell better!
1. On-Site SEO
It’s the first thing you have to make sure! Couldn’t be enough emphasizing this, the most important to sell better!
SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization“. Ebay or Amazon or any other online shopping sites have their own search engine to showcase products according to the search terms users type on.
It’s millions and ten millions monthly users in such major e-commerce shopping sites, such as Amazon or Ebay. You have to make the most out of their organic traffic to make them sure to discover your listed items there by optimizing your product titles and descriptions with searchable and SEO friendly keywords.
Make sure for the title and description to contain all related keywords and if you think a keyword is the focus-keyword, then put it in double or triple to increase the keyword density. That will give your listing a better chance to be exposed ahead of other poor SEO listings in the search engine.
Look here! The biggest mistake beginners usually make:
“Set a Keyword Just By Their Gut Feeling“.
I know you have the great 6th sense and gut instinct and even superb luck. But around here, such things don’t help it a lot selling on Ebay.
Just instead, you should go more with “data” and “fact” and “graphs and figures”. It needs your data-driven decision when it comes to business, no matter how small the business is.
The biggest key point in how to do good SEO on Ebay or Amazon is exactly along with that. And you need slightly more to do before deciding what keyword you would go with on every product you list there.
So how can you find best keywords for your selling items and what things are that you have to factorize for that?
No worries, it’s just too simple, BUT powerful!!
- Search Volume of Keyword (Popularity) – How many times a keyword is searched in a specific period.
- Keyword Competition – To see how many competitors use the same keyword. (Avoid high competition as best)
It’s a must-do process, stressing repeatedly, “some keyword research” rather than believing in your gut feelings. Or you’ll barely find your listings visible, probably somewhere deep down in the bottom or even unsearchable. Then that means what? No sales of course.
So I’d really have to say at this point “Try to discover a keyword which is high search volume & lowest competition rates as possible at the same time. It’s a simple, BUT powerful key point for that.
There seem a number of Ebay or Amazon keyword research tools online. But no ones apparently seem to satisfy me 100%. It’s because most of them are paid tools that require you a monthly payment. Well.. it would be just alright if you were already a seasoned seller making nice money on Ebay, you could just split a small portion of your big earnings to invest in. But unfortunately, I don’t guess you are so if you’re one reading this beginner guide, right?
Then this free keyword tool would be perfect for you, called “Link Research SEO Toolbar“. It’s a google extension installed onto your chrome browser toolbar, it’s actually a tool you can use almost every search engine like Google, Youtube, Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo in order to get keyword information accordingly.
Link Research SEO Toolbar is one of my favorite free keyword research tool for my blogging, I also checked it out that works perfectly on Ebay and Amazon too. You can probably go with it instead of paid tools because you won’t want to be burdened in the first place even before making your first sale.
Alright? Then let’s move on to the next one of how to market your products!
2. Social Media
Major social media channels can be great to outreach your exterior potential customers outside of the marketplace.
In consideration with the tendency that many sellers just stay within the marketplace without outreaching promotions, Social Media sites can make you ahead of your competitors and sell on the top.
While many great sites are out there, it’s the 2 places I can tell as the best for Ebay or Amazon promotion:
- Pinterest – Pin your promotional materials like product images or videos or infographic etc. Pinterest Group Boards are AWESOME places to get an incredible number of views daily, monthly or every certain period. Find “group boards” that fit your niche and contact the group leader for joining in by Emailing, commenting or other specific way instructed by the group manager(leader) if any specified.
- Facebook – Facebook groups are also places to promote your items. Quite lots of groups there designed for selling & buying goods online you can also be one showcasing your awesome products in there. (with a link to your Ebay or Amazon purchasing page.)
Facebook Paid Ad can be a way as well, but remember it’s risky like its name suggests, “Paid”.
Create your Youtube channel and film yourself doing a short presentation with the products you’re appealing to sell!
Youtube is no doubt getting a nice amount of traffic to your sale page. If you make a video like a product review or “How-To” demonstration, it will be way more appealing to your shoppers for purchase decision.
It’s a proven theory that “Motion Picture” works better than “Image” and “Image” better than “Text” in terms of marketing effect.
4. Blog or Off-Site Promotional Website
Blogging is truly a way that you can gravitize a lot of traffic(visitors) outside the marketplace.
Product review blogs are really popular way that amazon or ebay sellers do to promote their products, it can bring you an incredible Ebay success when your blog or website is established getting high traffic from Google, meaning thousands or ten thousands eyeballs are directed to your Ebay sale page just everyday and every regular often time.
P.S: Having a blog with good traffic is anyway beneficial there’re anyway so many other ways to make money by monetizing the traffic besides Ebay selling.
5. Free Ad Listing Sites (Classified Ads)
It can sound a little old school. BUT no think too lowly of them. They still work great if you do correctly.
There’re quite a few of them, most visited and loved classified ad sites that you can also find the best to promote your products at no cost.
Such as: Craigslist, Gumtree, Letgo (OLX), ClassifiedAds.com, Oodle, BackPage, Adpost etc.
They all are highly ranked in Alexa Worldwide Traffic Ranking, meaning your promoted products can get viewed by the massive number of users there, it could potentially turn to be one of your good sales funnels.
We all agree that we need as more sales sources as possible to generate more sales, right? Then it’s worth it.
6. On-Site Promotion or Sponsored Ads
Ebay and perhaps Amazon or almost every online shopping site provide “paid” sponsored ads for their sellers within the site.
For listings which are paid for sponsored ads, it gives them a privilege to be placed ahead of other “non-paid” listings”, perhaps somewhere on the first page or second of the search result.
To give an example of Ebay’s case, they also offer the service charging sellers 1% – 20% of sale prices as a fee which is automatically deducted from what a seller earns from a sale.
How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon
For this article, I kept a special focus in mind:
To give a practical help and guidance specially for beginners, part time sellers, home based sellers, stay-home moms, students or every amateur sellers besides professionals.
Selling products online is not only in pros or seasoned merchandisers’ area, rather it can be done by anyone who has something to sell online.
You don’t have to expect yourself to be a multi-million dollar Ebay or Amazon guru or goddess(or god). Instead you can consider selling online as one of your part time job or something that helps for your side income.
Why not start it just casually and without burden? Who knows if you will win a wonderful side income source that earns you extra hundreds or thousands dollars every month?
Thank you for reading the article: “A to Z Beginner Guide – How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon”!
I put a lot of effort to write this article by drawing out all I know about selling on Ebay and online! I hope you find it informative and helpful for you!
If you like this article, please share or comment, I will really appreciate it!
For people who’re looking for other information on legit online jobs, have a look at the job menu at the front page! You will see a plenty of worthwhile jobs in different categories, wish you a great luck in your online job searching!
Your Friend, Hong (Geniusminds), The Author of “A to Z Beginner Guide – How To Start Selling On Ebay / Amazon”