So You Want to Make Money on eBay?

Follow these tips to help focus your efforts and achieve success.

by Danna Crawford
- Mar 03, 2011

Why are you selling on eBay? You have to have asked yourself that question at some point in time. Is it because you want extra money? Is it because you want to be independently employed? Is it because you want freedom, or because you want to retire early?

Well, every one of these reasons has one thing in common with the others: money. You are selling on eBay because you want to make some money, whether a little or a lot. Every one of the reasons I listed above takes money to accomplish the goal.

OK. We've established that you want to make money. That's not a bad thing. Don't feel guilty. You're not a bad person for wanting to make money with your own efforts on eBay. You are in business, plain and simple. You are a business person.

So what's the next logical step after you admit that you are in it to make money? It's asking yourself, "How do I go about making money selling on eBay or my Web site?"

3 basic goals

To make money on eBay—or any marketplace, for that matter—you have to become a marketer. There's a book that I recommend to anyone who wants to make money selling online called Multiple Streams of Internet Income, in which author Robert G. Allen states:

"The success of any business venture boils down to using timeless principles of marketing. According to marketing guru Jay Abraham, a marketer has only three basic goals:

  1. To increase the number of customers
  2. To increase the amount of the average order
  3. To increase the frequency of orders

That's it. There ain't no more."

So the answer to my question above—how do you make money selling on eBay, or any site—is simply to get more people to buy more of your product, more often. It seems obvious, I know. But how do you do that as an eBay seller? There are a number of ways, but in the interest of keeping it simple and within reach, here is a small list of things you can do to make this happen.

Every new item you list is another potential search term for someone looking for an item

Sell in a niche that is in demand

If you have no niche, then you are selling a little bit of this and a little bit of that. People will not know what to look for in your store and will probably shop somewhere else so they don't have to guess what you might have this week. People don't have the time or patience to guess. They will go where they have a reasonable idea of what will be in the seller's store. And if what you sell is not in demand by anyone, they obviously will not come back to shop again. Someone has to have a need of the products you are selling.

Develop a "brand" for your store

Your brand is about you. It's who or what you want your customers to think of when they think of your store. What do you think of when I say "Chevy?" You immediately think of Chevrolet cars and trucks. If you develop a brand for your store, you make it easier for people to remember you and want to come back and shop from you again. Your brand should inspire a feeling of trust and recognition.

List more items in auctions and in store categories

One thing I have noticed over the years is the immediate increase in total sales when I list more items in general, and particularly in auctions. Why is that? Every new item you list is another potential search term for someone looking for an item. Obviously if you have 10,000 items listed, you will sell more than if you have 1,000 items. It's simple math, but hard work to do—hard work that pays off, though.

Make your presence known outside of eBay

To truly make your sales jump to another level, you have to be present and accounted for in the world of social networking at large. Twitter and Facebook are both places where you want to make friends and promote those friends as often as you can. As you make mention of your store or auctions from time to time, your helpful spirit in promoting your community of friends will pay off big dividends as they promote you in return.

Give the best service of anyone who sells in your niche

Be known as the person who always meets and exceeds the expectations of the customer. What will this do for you? It will give you a legion of satisfied customers who will be quick to mention you to their friends, family and co-workers. Word of mouth is absolutely the best way to get customers because these new customers come to you with a level of trust already established, by virtue of the fact that they trust the person who told them about you.

This is a small list and, I'll admit, not much in detail, but it is enough to get you started in the right direction. You can be a success on eBay if you give it your all, and give it some thought.

About the Author

Danna Crawford, CEO of PowerSellingMom, Inc., has been a successful eBay seller since 1997. In 2008, she received eBay's Community Hall of Fame award, as well as the Golden Ribbon Community Seller Award from eBay Giving Works. As an eBay Certified Education Specialist, she teaches at the community college and university levels, and frequently speaks on topics such as how to make money blogging, writing eBooks and more. Crawford can be heard every Friday night on her Internet radio show, PowerSellingMomRadio, and in weekly webinars at

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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