How to Start a Profitable eBay Business With Less Than $50: A Practical Guide

Start a successful ebay business

Is it possible to start a profitable business with $50 or even less than that?  Yes, it is possible.

Many people wish to start a business on eBay, but they never get started because of the lack of financial resources. Maybe, you have lost your job and you are not in a position to have a significant financial outlay. Or, maybe, that you are still in the college and want to top up your income, but do not have enough funds to get started. Or maybe even, you wanna spare a few hours a week to invest in an eBay business, but have no large funds to invest.

Do not worry. In this post, we will explore ways to start a profitable eBay business with $100 or even less than that depending upon your personal situation.

Now if you already have an eBay and PayPal account, you will simply need to upgrade them. Your eBay account should be upgraded to a business account whereas you PayPal account should be upgraded to either a Premier or a business account. So, if you already have eBay and PayPal accounts set up, you may skip the first two steps. But if you are brand new to all this you may follow the steps here, all one by one.

1. Open an eBay Account

It is easy. Just head over to the eBay site of your country you live in or where you want to sell.  Now you can see on top left corner where it says Hi! Sign in or Register. Click the Register button and it will take you to the registration page.

ebay account opening page

Then click on start a business account to take you to business registration page. Alternatively, you may go directly by clicking the following URL.

eBay Registration Page

Just fill in the information in the form such as

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Your first and last name

The registration process is easy and you will be promppted how to follow the process.

If you already have a personal account, you can start selling using even your personal account. However, if you are in to making your eBay selling a serious business, then you must start opening a business account. You may also upgrade your existing personal account in to a business account.

2. Open a PayPal Account

Do you already have a personal PayPal account? If you yes, then you can get started just by upgrading it to a premier one.

Alternatively, you may need to open a new business account. Once you are on PayPal website, click on sign up and it will take you to the following page.

Getting started is easy. Just check the box that says business account and click continue. The next page will ask you to enter your business information, your own details and a password. This is all pretty much simple and easy.

Paypal business account page

You can get started on eBay even without a PayPal account. However, opening a PayPal account makes it super easy to receive, send and refund for your items.

3. $50 or Less than that

I am saying $50 or less only as an average amount. It could be anything depending upon your personal situation. It can be$5, $20 $50 or above.  The idea behind is to start your eBay profitable business for as less amount of money as possible.

4. Spare a 1 to 2 Hours a Day

Every business, no matter small or big, requires time. Apart from investing money, time investment is an important factor. Time is a resource, and we all know that it is precious and limited. Therefore, we need to spend it judiciously. For this model, I would recommend to spare, at least, 1 to 2 hours of time each day.

Please note that your 1 to 2 hours should be regular and on a daily basis. If you spend 1 to 2 hours daily, that will make something around 10 to 12 hours a week on average.

5. Start Collecting Feedback Before You Sell

Feedback is one of the most important aspect of a successful eBay business. It is a very powerful and effective tool for eBay to separate real sellers from fake sellers. For any successful seller on eBay, it is necessary to have a good rating and score of feedback.

I said to collect feedback before you sell. Yes, this is crucial. Sellers with no or zero feedback don’t possess that credibility and trust among the community. Buyers may be hesitant to place a bid or buy instantly from such sellers. This situation becomes even more difficult if your account is brand new.

Therefore, you must start collecting a few feedbacks before you starts selling. How do you do that?

That is easy. Here is how.

For every eBay business, you will need some purchases before you can sell. These may include envelopes, stationery, boxes, ink, and packing tap and so on. Buy all this stuff on eBay. You may not only get them cheaper on eBay but you will also get instant feedback after you have paid for it.

Additionally, you may also buy your household stuff using your new eBay account. Stuff, which you buy offline, should come through your eBay account. This way you will get even more feedback left by sellers. Once you have accumulated around 10 to 20 feedback score, you are ready to go.

6. Practice Listing Creation

Listing creation is a skill and it does not come overnight. It takes a bit of time to get used to the system of creating a perfect listing. Whether you are following this model or the concept of selling branded or new goods on eBay, creating perfect eBay listings are necessary for success.

In this model, creating perfect listing is even more important as you will see later, that an excellent listing creation skill will beat most of your competition.

Before you start to sell, I highly recommend visiting eBay and going through the listings page of some of the top performers. You will be surprised to see that it makes a big difference to the overall success strategy.

Let me remind you that creating an excellent listing does not mean to create extra flashy templates with so much focus on the design that you lose to focus on the main purpose of your listing. A good eBay listing should have the following features.

•    An effective and keyword rich title
•    True images of the product from various angles
•    Enough details in the description explaining the features and benefits of the product.
•    Should include subsidiary information such as shipping, payment, contact, returns and other policies.
•    Should have a simple and neat design focused on the content rather than the style.

7. Sourcing Your Items

Where will you be sourcing your used item? On eBay! Really! Yes, buy on eBay and sell it back on eBay.

EBay is a massive market place where you find millions of used items sold every day. Either the seller undervalues most of these items (not all) or they just end up sold below their market value for a number of reasons such as poor listing, poor titles, low quality images, lack of description and above all lack of experience or expertise on the part of the seller.

Most of these items come either as people’s used items, which they just want to get rid of, or may be some unwanted gifts. In either case, most of these sellers are not professional or business sellers. They do not have all the technical expertise of creating better images, detailed descriptions, and effective titles and so on. So, their items end up being sold highly undervalued.

8. The System – How to use it

It is simple. Go and search for these items on eBay, buy them and relist with better listing creation skill and earn profit on them.

Now the system does involve some process and you will need some time to get used to the system and find the right product to sell them on. Initially, it will appear difficult, but with a little bit of practice, things will become a lot easier.

All you need to do is search for these items in the sold listings on eBay. You will find two types of sold items among the search results. Some of them are sold quite high while others are sold pretty low.

Our target is to buy them for the lowest price sold and sell them for the highest or a little less than that.

Once you have located a price, just take a look at around 10 to 20 (the more, the better) randomly sold items and add their price. Divide the total by the number of items to arrive at the average price. So our target will be to sell them for the average price or above it and buy them below that.

Using some practical examples will make the point clear.

9. Live Example

In order to see if this system really works, let me walk you through some live examples:

Here are a few examples of the stuff you can try.

examples of used goods

So let us go and do it ourselves.

1. First find an item that you are interested in. For the sake of this example, let us take “the Last of Us Remastered PS4”

2. Go to eBay and entered the last of Us Remastered PS4 in the eBay’s search results.

the last of us remasetered

3. Select sold listings from the listing options. We are interested to find what price these items are sold for. You should see a screenshot like this.

used goods sold lisings

Now the average price for these items around $16.50. That means we should aim at selling them around that price to earn us a margin. It could be higher or lower than that but should fall within the nearest range.

This time we are going to sort the listings in lowest first format.

Now let us, and do another search that how much can we buy them for.

how to buy used goods

So that means we can buy it for around $10 dollars

Now let us calculate the margin.

Price prices = $10
eBay and PayPal Fees = 1.5 (15% of the sale price)
Total Cost = 11.5

Sale Price $16.94
Profit $5.44 per item

Now if you could find around 10 of these each day

Profit for per day = 5.44*10 =$ 54.40
Profit for a month = $1654
Yearly profits = $19848

Now this is an average. You will also find item that may earn even higher profit than the live example.

But around $20,000 a year for 1 to 2 hours work per day is not bad!

10. How to bid on items

In this model it is also very important to buy the items for the right price. In case of buy now, you exactly know the price you are paying for. The auction format, however, is a bit tricky. People can be easily driven by emotional bidding and thus may end up paying too much for an item. Remember, you are not buying one item for a personal use. You are buying several items to sell them on and earn a profit.

So, once you have decided on the final price, never increase your bid above that. Don’t worry about losing the bid. There will be several other items of similar kind, which you may win for the right price.

11. Auction Snipers

Auction snipers is a software, which places automatic bids on eBay auction listings in the closing seconds. People who bid without auction snipers either may lose the auction or may continue in emotional bidding and so paying higher price than earlier intended. On other hand, auction sniper software lets decide the price you are ready to pay for and place an automatic bid in the last second. Other bidders will not know about the automatic bid and hence they will see themselves winning until the last few seconds. But when the auction ends, the software snatches it away right from their hands.

Here a few sites offering auction sniping services.
•    auctionsniper.com
•    bidnapper.com
•    ezsniper.com
•    auctionstealer.com
•    gixen.com
•    justsnibe.com
•    techradar.com

12. Warning

Always Read the Description Before You Buy

This model is about buying and selling used goods. It is not about buying faulty or crap. Unless you have a technical skill to repair stuff like electronics etc. never ever buy faulty or spare and repair goods. Such goods will cost you a lot to repair apart from all the hassle involved.

In this model, you should be looking for goods, which are used, but in working condition. Otherwise, you will end up in buying a load of crap goods, which you may even have to pay someone to get rid of.

So, before placing your bid, make sure that you read the description and the item specifics in full. If you have even a slight doubt, contact the seller before making any purchases. If the seller does not respond, simply do not bid and move on the next seller.

You must also check the items in the sold listings and should make your calculations. If your calculation proves that you can earn profit on them, then you should bid or buy. Otherwise, there is no point in buying items that will not bring your profit.

Similarly, when you list these items for sale, you must mention the actual condition of the goods. Never try to hide any defects or shortcomings. Buyers hate to receive goods which do not meet the description. You need to maintain high standards to see long-term success on eBay. Even a couple of complaints can get you into trouble such as account restrictions, suspension and even termination.

13. Try Bundles

Another great way is to check out the bundled and job lot listings on eBay. Most of these items are either excess stock, used stuff to clear or other clearance goods. The sellers may not have the time to list these items individually so they list them as a job lot or bundle. Buying the right job lot or bundles are hidden goldmines for this model.

bundles on eBay

This listing consist of 100 items. 109 listings (bundles) have already been sold. The sellers also accept best offers.

Never go for actual price where the sellers accepts offers. Always make reasonable offers and you will mostly like save another 20 to 30 percent or even more of the sale price.

For instance, you make an offer of $20 for the above listing, it is accepted, and it includes shipping. So you get

20/100 = $0.20 per item

If you manage to sell this item for even $1, you will still get a margin of 0.80p per item. You may also convert them into small bundles for easy processing, shipping and quick sale.

14. Additional Buying Sources

Sourcing of goods in this model is not limited only to buying on eBay. There are many other places where you can source items dirt cheap and sell them for a good margin on eBay. I will mention some of them here.

15. Charity Shops

Although, I am no more in the used goods model, but in my early days I did start on the model and then built upon it. In them days, I used to visit my local charity shops regularly and would always find something of value. Once I bought an illustrated Bible for $0.50 and sold it on eBay for $67.00; Imagine it!

16. Supermarket Boards

Have you even seen the supermarket boards? They are gems for this model. I am so used to checking them that I hardly pass by them without looking at them. For those of you who do not know about them then they are notice boards where the public leaves a small (usually hand written) note for items with their Tel number. Once you see an item of interest, you simply contact the person having the item and thus strike the deal.

17. Gumtree

Don’t under estimate the value of gumtree. For a good length of time, I did not pay attention to this site, as I was not really attracted by it. Later on, I found such fantastic deals that I would not have found them anywhere else. Since then, I am its addict.

Remember to avoid the trade or commercial sellers on Gumtree. Go for the individual sellers only. Also never, feel shy to make offers on the asking price. You lose thing by making an offer and you don’t get if you don’t ask.

18. Car Boot Sale

The car boot sale or Sunday Markets are places where people sell their unwanted or used stuff at through away prices. Not everything in the car boot sale is worth buying. I am saying this because when you are new you may see a lot of stuff offered at very low prices. Without doing proper research, you might end up buying a lot of crap. Conduct a good amount of research before you buy or at least have your smart device ready with you and check the item in the sold eBay listings before your commit to buy.

19. Used Goods Site

These companies deal especially in used goods, returns or surplus stock. The stock often comes in the form of pallets or containers. However, some companies also offer smaller quantities in the form of lots and boxes.

Here is a list of companies and their online sites who deal in used goods.

Again, caution is the best strategy. Most of these sites offer attractive prices against their recommended details. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly inflated RRPs.  Just check the selling prices against the sold prices on eBay to make the right decisions.

You must also check that the goods are in saleable condition to avoid buying craps. Most of these companies do not accept any returns. So make sure that you buy the right stuff.

Always start small and then grow slowly.

20. Tools for Used for this Business

Here are some tools that you may utilise for your eBay used good business. These tools are not specific to the used goods model, but if you are sourcing your used goods stock from eBay, then there are chances that these sellers are not very professional and are not able to create outstanding listings. Using these tools will help you beat all your competitors at every step.

•    Turbo Lister
•    Selling Manager Pro
•    Auction Snipers
•    Stuff Alert

21. Make Your Listing Stand Out!

Let me reiterate that it is important to make your listing stand out. As I have mentioned previously that people selling their unwanted or used personal goods are not professional sellers. These listings are poorly created with no professional images, effective titles or detailed descriptions.  Once you create a listing that stands out you will naturally attract more people to view your listing and sell the items for a good profit margin.

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I am KK an eBay and Amazon expert, teacher and internet marketer. I offer advice on e-commerce, content marketing and guest posting.

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