The current economic climate has taken a toll on the finances of millions of households. If you are looking for ways to supplement your income, you are not alone. Even in 2005, a study found that nearly three-quarters of a million people in the US considered eBay as either their primary or secondary source of income. eBay can be the answer for the person who has a job or other ways to make money but who has recognized eBay’s potential to earn more money.
"Part-time sellers" is pretty much self-explanatory: people who sell goods on eBay but have not made it their primary/full-time occupation. They may sell a lot of small-ticket things per month, or a few large-ticket items, or a combination, but they’re devoting some or most of their time to earning income in other ways. They may have plans to become full-time eBay sellers but are using the part-time method to build their inventory or savings or eBay skills to maximize their chances of being successful when they make the jump to full-time… or they might just like the other things they’re doing to make money and consider their eBay profits as gravy.
You may recognize some advantages to eBay sales. You can go at your own speed. You can learn as you go. And there is plenty of help from experts to assist you.
Expanding your "part-time" eBay sales
Let’s say you’ve already sold all the unwanted items you had hanging around in your house and garage, and you enjoyed the whole eBay experience – so much so that you’ve told all your family and friends all about it. (And maybe mentioned how much you made by selling things you, and they, might otherwise have considered useless junk.) Have any of them asked you to help them sell their unwanted stuff? If so, did you enjoy that as well? Then you might be a good candidate for something called an eBay Trading Assistant.
These are not employees of eBay, either directly or as independent contractors. They are highly qualified eBay sellers who have to meet and maintain certain standards regarding their sales volume (number of items sold) and feedback score, among other conditions – and they will sell your stuff for you for a fee.
A Trading Assistant will either offer pick-up for your items or have a secure location where you can drop them off. He or she will confirm the starting price for your item, photograph it (unless you already have good-quality photos), create the listing, run the auction, and ship the item to the winning bidder, generally for either a percentage of the final sales price or a flat fee negotiated in advance.
If this sounds like something you’d like to do—once you’ve started selling on eBay, of course!—then I encourage you to check out eBay’s Trading Assistant Program in their Help topics.
If you’ve heard of consignment shops, and you think this sounds a lot like they do, you’d be right – these two ways of dealing with unwanted items are quite similar. Should you already run a brick-and-mortar consignment shop, eBay can be another avenue for you to serve your clients by helping them get the best possible prices for their items.
If you have wanted to dabble in your own business, eBay is a great starting place. You can do it as a hobby or devote some time to it. It is your choice!