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eBay Revolution - A Beginner's Guide

With eBay being one of the most searched for terms on the internet today (approx 24 million people last month), it is hardly surprising that more and more everyday people are turning away from the 9-5 job scene, and looking at the income opportunities that this hugely popular forum has to offer. So just what are the benefits of starting your own eBay business, as opposed to the more traditional self employment options, such as buying a business, or becoming a franchisee?

Well the first and most obvious benefit is the financial one, you can start an eBay business on a shoestring, whereas buying a franchise or setting up on your own will in all probability cost you 10s of thousands of dollars.

Secondly, the element of risk is fairly negligible with an eBay business [as long as you don't invest hugely in stock before you have properly researched the market].

Thirdly you can start up in your spare time, without having to "give up your day job". This allows you to test the water, and see if you actually enjoy running your own business, before you actually take the plunge. For many people eBay is simply a profitable and fun sideline or hobby, and that's fine, but you need to make the choice if it's a hobby you want or a business. If you make the decision that it's to be a business, then you need to keep professional records, pay tax etc.

Another beauty of running an online business is that you can do your business activities when it suits you. You can organize your auctions at 2 am if you so choose, and people will still be looking at what you have to offer!

A final benefit, [and this list is by no means exhaustive] is that unlike a traditional business, your marketplace is unlimited, you can sell your product anywhere in the world, you have a potential marketplace of millions upon millions of buyers

The most common question for many people is " how do I get started ?". The first step if you haven't already done it, is to get on eBay and have a look around. eBay itself offers great informative resources and tours for the uninitiated. Have a look at some auctions in progress, see how people list and display their products, bid for something you would like [you have to join first, but eBay makes this a very user friendly process] Have a look round your home for unwanted items, run some auctions of your own, it's fun, and you've nothing to lose but your junk. This is a great way of dipping your toes in the auction pond.

So, after having done this you decide that you would like to get serious about building an eBay business, what should you do first? Here is a shortlist of some basic first steps.

1. Choose your product - Everything from baseball cards to luxury homes is for sale on eBay. Research possible product choices by looking at what your competition is doing. If you have a particular area of expertise, or a passion which others share, choose your product accordingly. TIP - A great research tool is available at overture.com It's called the keyword selector tool, and it enables you to check how many times a certain word or phrase has been searched for on the internet in the previous month i.e. Rolex watch.

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