There is no denying the financial potential of eBay. With millions of auctions every day and billions of dollars exchanged regularly, this auction giant represents a considerable opportunity for someone hoping to create an online business.
Yet eBay is a difficult tool to use. Millions of people from all over the world have tried to create an eBay business only to find themselves struggling to turn any profit at all, and many more found that the profit itself was minimal when compared to the time invested in running these auctions.
Although an eBay business may be potentially viable, it is not right for everyone, and before you consider starting one of these businesses you need to consider the potential benefits and weaknesses to running an eBay business.
Benefits of an eBay Business
eBay allows you to work exclusively from your home or warehouse, and runs completely independently – there are no clients to respond to, no morning meetings, and no time you ever truly need to be “at work.” Although you may be required to respond to countless emails a day from possible buyers all over the world, an eBay business does not require you to report to anyone, and the resulting freedom makes it an attractive choice for someone that wants to work independently.
• Income Potential
With no limit to the number of auctions you can run at any given time, there is no limit to your earnings potential. Even if you are only able to turn a one dollar profit from every item you sell, you can potentially sell thousands of products and still generate valuable revenue. You may also find that a single item can potentially bring in far more than you expected if you had not properly assessed its rarity or popularity.
Auctions often feel like a form of gambling. At the very last minute, the value of your item may jump up hundreds of dollars, or it may stay exactly the same. Some items get hundreds of bids, others do not even receive a single bidder. For many, this turns an eBay business into an exciting business venture.
Weaknesses of an eBay Business
• Potential Losses
Unfortunately, the same thing that makes an eBay business exciting can also make it heartbreaking. There is no guarantee that your item will sell on eBay, and even less of a guarantee that it will turn a profit. eBay businesses have the potential to be extremely profitable, but there is certainly no guarantee.
• Financial Investment
You cannot sell ideas or services on eBay. You must have items and have an inventory. These items cost money, and that money represents a financial investment that you may not get back, depending on the strengths of your auctions. In order to start an eBay business, you will need to have funding, and the ability to spot items that will be profitable on the eBay market.
An eBay business is perhaps one of the most time consuming business available, especially if you do it all on your own. Not only do you have to list each and every auction, but you also have to spend time finding the inventory, responding to questions, and preparing shipping for every item that sells. To start an eBay business, you need to be ready to provide a substantial time commitment in order to complete the work.
Final Thoughts on Starting an eBay Business
There is a lot of potential to create a profoundly successful eBay business, but eBay also carries many risks that make it not right for everyone. Unless you have the time, willingness, and finances to make it profitable, you may want to consider a different choice in careers, or find a way to balance your businesses with other part time work.