01-27-2013 12:46 PM
I'm a newly single mom and wondered if I could make a living (which, for me to meet my monthly bills would mean a minimum of $2800/month net profit) selling on eBay? I can put in 40 hours a week (up to 50) to do so, and realize it might take some time to build up to that much (any idea how long??)
I have been selling a little here and there for awhile by just selling what I need to get rid of, some things on commission for friends, and by buying things cheaply at yard sales, thrift stores, sales at stores, etc., for re-sale, but wondered if I could ramp things up to make enough to live on. Is $2800/month net something doable for 40-50 hours/wk, or should I try to find another way to make money?
Would this volume be possible by re-selling thing as I have been doing, or would I need to check out drop shipping, buying big lots of things, buying from wholesalers, opening multiple eBay stores, buying from auctions, etc.?
Thanks for the help...I've been reading the boards and appreciate all the advice given.
01-27-2013 06:43 PM
Possible, yes. Probably, not really...especially if you have any limitations on listing. The best way to find out is to do it. Get all your ducks in a row and list, sell, ship and see how it goes.
Best of luck to you.
01-27-2013 08:46 PM
I am new as well.
Trying to rack my brain to do this full time eventually and make a good income...
I contacted 2 long timers on ebay...
One person has a whole warehouse with staff to help them sell their products. (imagine the income).
Another person told me they recently made over $1000 this week on ebay...
Best of luck to the both of us and the rest who are trying to get into this great business.
01-27-2013 09:26 PM
To anyone wanting to know how much they can make as a steady income selling online (including Ebay), about the only way to answer it for your situation is to give it your best effort for a year, keeping good records on all your expenses, and see how you are doing at the end of the year.
01-28-2013 02:56 AM
I have been selling on Etsy and eBay for two to three years. It has been a part-time/hobby venture for me until recently. Back in late fall I finally made a push to ramp things up. I would like to cut back my full-time hours by just a few...and need to recoup the income.
A few things I have noticed or learned along the way. Success is the result of a combination of factors. First and formost you need to sell a product that people want. Find your niche...this takes time and research. I am only now beginning to feel I have come into my niche. If you find something you are passionate about that helps.
Track expenses! Packing materials, extra postage, mileage for finding product and other business related trips. Both ebay and paypal fees etc. I am fortunate to have a banker husband who loves spreadsheets and he tracks all of this for me.
Another thing to remember...if you have good products...it is a numbers game. I find that regularly, if I list about 80 items I typically sell about 10-15% of that for the week.
I also find that if I do fixed price my items sell much slower. It is more labor intensive to do auctions but I have better sales.
Finally, price your items right.... not too high or low. Do your research! Hope this helps. Feel free to message me anytime! I think this could be a great business opportunity for single moms.... I work with many but unfortunately most of the ones I work with do not have the tech savvy to do eBay...unfortunate.
01-28-2013 07:55 AM
Extremely helpful answers!!!!! I've been trying to figure these numbers out for myself these past months...
Thank you for the info!!! I'm a newbie...been trying to figure out how to sell and find my niche : )
Have an excellent day!!!;-)
01-28-2013 10:29 AM
It is very much possible to due this as a full time job. I gave up my full time job to do this. But you must keep in mind that you will need to have either alot of invetory and or a couple thousand dollars on hand to keep buying inventory. Also the key is to have alot of items listed. At first Ebay will limit your dollar amount and item amount but once you prove to be able to handle it they will gradually increase your limit. As far as making at least 2800 in profit per month? It is possible but you will need to know what items to look for to maximize your profit. A smartphone will help you to know if you are buying something that will be profitable. I use my iPhone and it has saved me from buying stuff that would cost me money. At first you probably won't be netting 2800 in profit but as you keep making profit you can keep using that profit and money on hand to buy more inventory which in return will give you more profit. Just keep in mind also sometimes items take time to sell. Days to even months. Just do your best and if this is something you truly want to do for a living it will happen. Just do your best. Hope this helps.
01-28-2013 02:04 PM
Thanks for replying...just wondered how you use your smartphone? I was thinking it would be helpful when I'm at a store or yard sale or wherever I could use it to see if something was a good deal or not...or is there another way you use it to help? Any certain apps?
01-28-2013 02:20 PM
Thanks for you helpful reply!
How many listings do you list a month? How much time do you spend each week? Is this with one ID or more? How long did it take you to build up to that monthly amount?
01-28-2013 11:02 PM
As for using your smartphone, I use my iPhone and go to ebay.com right from the browser. No app needed. Just do a completed search like you would on your computer but it will be on your phone. As far as listings, I make sure to always have over 500 on at a time. Right now I'm about 540. I try to list 10 per day. So maybe 70-100 listings per week. I can do more depending on how busy I'm with buying or packing/shipping. I just use this one id. What do you mean monthly amount? If you mean how long did it take me to make as much as I do now. Well I gradually got to that point. The key is to be able to start with inventory and some money in hand to keep buying inventory. You want to make as much profit as you can. This way you get your initial investment back plus the profit so you can buy more inventory and it keeps going. For me I started out with less inventory but was still determined to get to where I am today. It just takes time and patience. You will get there if this is what you want to do full time. You will get your goal. Sometimes you have to think of other items that you would normally not buy and resell. That is one thing I have gotten into. So far it's been working pretty good.
01-29-2013 08:24 AM
the equation is simple, the practice is not. to make 2 to 3k a month you need to have 10k to 20k or soemthing like worth of products a month listed.
in retail you can't sell if it isn't on the shelves..same goes here.
so a few tips..even though im not very succesful on ebay yet, i do know some basics:
1. you either have to have renewable product, ie cosmetics, food, cleaning supplies etc or a line that is greatly desired ie after market car parts but always staying on trends or finding a niche product.
2. you can be successful with collectibles and antiques but to make the big bucks you need to know your subject very well to spot deals.
3. resellers permit or whoelslae permit depending on your state..you can get one of these so you can buy wholesale or dropship directly from manufacturers or from authorized whoelsalers..cutting out the thousands of middle men you may encounter without a permit. this gives you cheaper prices and more leverage.
4. muscle arm it, you can listed thousands of cheap items, and make money selling lots of stuff. but the work is harder this way as you will be packing and shipping more often. this is better done in a warehouse with a helper. unless the items are real small, either way you need a helper. im talking 200 to 300 orders a day this way!
5. find soemthing you can create yourself, that way it is unique, art/crafts etc etc things like that.
and last but not least dont put all your eggs on oen basket! i wont elaborate on that because its frowned upon here but diversify your venues.
like i said im no expert and i dont sell much yet, but i been studying a lot to figure it out.
01-29-2013 03:11 PM
I do about 30 -40 listings a month or more, depends on what i get or find to sell, I try and keep about 300 items up, my gole is at least 500 listings, or more. listing can get expensive so what i try to do is
1rst listing 7 days if it don't sell next listing 10 days, after that it goes to 30 days so i don't have to keep relisting it 2 or 3 times a month. I saves me a bit on listing that way.
Free shipping, buy now with best offer, just mark up enough to make out, I take certain items that are not selling as fast as i would like and throw them on a 10 -15% off sale.
Works for me.
01-29-2013 05:54 PM
If by "net" you mean after all costs. Unlikely. In the model you've described it's unlikely you can net $280 a month consistently. You'd have to go commercial.
01-30-2013 06:08 AM
gross sales in Dec just over 2800.00 after net apprx 2100.00 I have to take shipping fees out of that seeing i offer free shipping. I ave. about 400.00 a month ebay and paypal fees, another 400.00 or so shipping, odd how that works out, but the numbers look very close. In the 6 months i've been full steam on ebay since aug. I've grossed just under 11000.00 most of that made between oct. and dec., Yes the best selling months i know. Nut even now in jan/ i'm approaching 2500.00 in gross sales.
I beleive the more i can list the more i can sell, it's been working that way since i started a business back in aug. friday saturdays and sundays being my best selling days 300.00 - 500.00 dollar weekends are pretty common. I just don't sell 10- 25.00 dollar items or a ton of 1.00 items, my items range 10.00 to 300.00. i have quite a bit of local pick up on huge furniture. Check my feed back you will see some rather large sales.
I would not expect to make 2500.00 a month selling 5 and dime items
01-30-2013 06:43 PM
I've gone from hobby to part-time to full-time and back to hobby -- hitting $3K net a month -can- be done, but a lot depends on the details of what you are selling.
For me, I was selling on consignment, so I didn't pay for the inventory until it sold. It still worked out that the client got 50% of selling price, eBay/PayPal got 20-25%, and I got 25-30%. After three years of sales, I'd gotten up to just over $10K, working as a one-man crew.
You have to 'back in' to your sales figures. Look at what you're selling and what your true profit figure is per sale. Divide that into your $3K figure to determine how many sales you need to make each month to clear that amount. I'd also add 30% to cover self-employment and income taxes that will be due on your net profits as well... something you're not likely paying at this level.
Now take your required monthly sales and determine how many listings will be required to make that many sales. Look again at your current sales vs listings to get that ratio.
Now you know how many unique listings you'll likely need to post in order to hit your sales goal that will deliver your net income requirement.
One final calculation - how long does it take you to acquire, image, list, each unique item, and how long to pack/ship each sale? Extend those time figures by the number of listings or number of sales and you'll have your time requirement figure.
Lot of numbers, lot of work. But if you want to know if it's do-able, these are the calculations that get you started on the road to finding out.
01-30-2013 09:21 PM
Very possible. Find a good niche. See whats selling constantly and consistently on ebay and then find the suppliers so you can make a profit. My items are small in price which takes more work but I was averaging 3 to 4K a month putting in about 4 to 6 hrs a day. A lot of work on the side. If my day job was slower right now I could easily push it to 8 to 10K a month with hired part time help and being a listing mad man. Currently I am slow because my day job pays a lot better so I am simply maintaining right now at around 1500 to 2K a month and only work around 2 hrs a day on it. Once you have your listings in place which takes a long time (1 to 2 months) then it becomes easier to simply relist in bulk but your shipping will consume a lot of your time as well. When I was pumping, filling and shipping orders I was spending about 2 hrs alone a day on just that.
Good luck, very possible - but a lot of dedicated and consistent hard work until you can hire others.
To give you an idea. My first month 1K - second month 2500 - third month over 3K - fourth month almost 5K and so on.