Everything is so complicated nowadays, right? I mean – all the selling platforms we have to master – eBay, Amazon, eCommerce and others. Then we have to learn how to connect them all together with highly complicated cross-channel selling software PLUS integrate everything in terms of accounting, time management and what not else!
For many people who are just starting out this may all seem too difficult and I can understand that. Even I sometimes struggle keeping up with what’s going on in the industry and my businesses as there are simply too many angles for you to cater to…
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – when you take into account marketing (promotions, auto responders, sales etc.), traffic generation (PPC, SEO, PPV, CPV etc.), Google Analytics, which on its own is a massive piece of software which would ideally require one full-time employee by itself, suddenly – this all seems just TOO MUCH to handle! Especially if you’re new to business and can’t outsource the majority of these tasks or take employees on board.
So, the question really is – can you make a full-time income only from selling stuff on eBay… without anything else I’ve listed here, but just taking a product and selling it on eBay? Can it be done?
To give you a quick and direct answer – YES! You can still make a full-time living on eBay without getting into any other marketplaces. Whether that’s a wise thing to do is a whole different question and something we can cover a bit later but for now, just so you know, eBay can still be used as the sole platform to build a full-time income online.
How to do it?
It’s actually much simpler than many people try to make out:
1. You take an un-branded product that sells well (at least 50% sell through rate with decent sales volume). Competition even isn’t that important here as long as you’re a TRS and can create great looking listings.
2. You import that product in TRUE BULK from China, via Alibaba. By TRUE BULK I mean – directly from manufacturers. If that means 1000 pieces of inflatable chairs, that means 1000 pieces of inflatable chairs.
3. You create a great product listing, and using the GTC listing format; build up initial sales using the loss leader strategy and then just keep selling stock from that listing, making sure to re-order in advance to avoid going out of stock.
That’s it – it’s actually that simple! And if you look at the biggest sellers on eBay – they do exactly what I have described in these 3 steps: take a product that sells, buy in true bulk and sell via nicely formatted GTC listings.
Most people spend way too much time on the product research phase. If you plan to sell just on eBay, it’s really not that important what product you choose to sell as it’s totally fine to sell various products. Sure, having a niche business has its advantages (even on eBay) but in general, eBay is all about individual products at a good price with great service.
Then comes the buying/importing part… Now, this is the biggest problem as most people simply don’t have enough money to start buying the products they want in true WHOLESALE amounts. They end up buying from middlemen in small quantities and an inflated price, and then they wonder why they can’t compete with other sellers on eBay.
IF you buy in true bulk and choose a suitable shipping method (in most cases that will be SEA freight), you can still have very good margins selling products on eBay, even if you decide to compete on price (not that I recommend doing that).
The last step – creating a good eBay listing, actually selling the product and then maintaining a perfect level of after sales support, is the easy part – IF you’ve done things correctly in steps 1 & 2.
This business model relies on finding individual products and just selling them to the masses. No marketing needed here apart from well-presented listings. It’s a very simple concept but one that has been proven to work and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
There are some long term issues associated with this business model though:
• It’s very risky. You basically let eBay have full control over your business. We all know how harsh eBay can be banning accounts and I personally wouldn’t sleep well at night if all my income came from eBay. If you sell on multiple platforms, you automatically diversify your risk and even if eBay does ban you, you still have other parts of your business to fall back on.
• You’re limiting yourself, your business, and your income. If you know that a product sells well on eBay and you make a nice profit by doing so, why not simply start selling it on Amazon and double your profits? Business is still all about making money, right, so to me it looks a bit stupid to limit yourself to just one selling platform when there are so many additional selling channels out there!
• It’s boring. I don’t know about you as each and every person is different, but I would bore out pretty soon if I just sold on eBay. Very soon it all turns into such a repetitive routine that you start to wonder why you started this in the first place. Making money online is nice of course but don’t forget that you want to feel satisfied with what you do and keep interest in your business at all times.
If you’re happy with these three issues, I can’t see any reasons why you can’t build a successful, eBay-ONLY business and make a full time living that way.
While this blog post may sound a bit controversial, let’s not forget that it’s NOT an all or nothing situation, far from it!
As I recommend in my 60DBP and EAB course – eBay is the easiest and fastest way to get started. Start selling on eBay, gain experience, build your customer base and then slowly expand to other platforms and start using all the software and tools available nowadays.
This would be a natural way to evolve your business and it’s the most suitable scenario for people who are new to online selling and want to learn things slowly. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with this which in many cases causes total procrastination and a complete lack of progress for months or even years.
Even if you start with an all-in-one business model, selling a variety of different products on eBay – you always have the option to pick one product or product group later on and build a niche business around it.
This is actually what I’d recommend to people who can’t decide what to sell! Start on eBay with a general shop selling anything and everything and then by seeing how things go, choose a niche to build your eCommerce site around.
To sum it all up – if selling online seems too complicated a process for you, start with eBay. It’s still the recommended selling platform for newbies. Once you feel you have mastered eBay, expand to Amazon and your own eCommerce shop – that’s where the real fun starts!
But even if you don’t plan on expanding to other platforms, you can still make a full-time income by selling on eBay alone! Just keep adding more and more products to your inventory and slowly but steadily increase your turnover and profit!