The Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay (Continued)
Most people try to make at least a 50% profit on everything they sell, whether it’s a cell phone, a Christmas ornament, or something else along those lines. Obviously this percentage goes down as the value of the item goes up because you can’t expect to make 50% on a car. For many eBay sellers, the profits only add up to about 15%, which really isn’t enough to justify the time spent listing and shipping out the items. This all depends on the product, the season, and the state of the market, but chances are you won’t make much more than your overhead.
Of course, there are always ways to improve your profit margins. The bet plan to follow is to buy low and sell high. If you get items for super cheap from a garage sale, you may be able to turn them for a big profit on eBay. This process takes time though, so don’t expect to be rolling in the money overnight.
If you sell items in a store, you can deal with your customers directly. You can tell them to get lost, or you can pay to cover whatever damage you may have done. You can do the same on eBay, but you have to go through customer service to do so. This department seemingly favors the buyers because they will often take their side instead of the seller’s. If you ship out an item to a customer that does not meet his or her expectations, you could be out all of the money for the shipping on the item, plus any PayPal fees you may have come across during the transaction. You may also have to pay for the return shipping if the buyer sends back an item, depending on how the case goes.
eBay rewards sellers who offer free shipping by putting their ads above similar ones. The only problem with this is that shipping can cost a lot of money. You might be able to save money with the flat rate boxes at the post office, but you are still going to have to pay for shipping in general. If you decide to ship items internationally, you will have to deal with a whole new set of fees. Add in the cost of bubble wrap, tape, receipt paper, and everything else, and you will soon see all of your profits flying away.
So, can you make money selling on eBay?
There is money to be made in this kind of business, but it is not necessarily easy to come by. It may be in your best interest to work in a traditional college job throughout the day and then reserve eBay for some side money. If you rely on it for a full-time income, you will have to sell a lot of products to make the kind of money you need. Keep all of the information above in mind as you start exploring your opportunities online, and you will be able to come up with an option that works for you.