can you always make money on eBay? Is it as easy as we're all led to believe? Well, common sense tells us that it all depends on what you're selling, the competition and the market for your product.
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Can you Really Make Any Money on eBay?

eBay is now a prime market place for selling just about anything online from antique buttons to sexy photographs of your girlfriend. And if there's a demand for your item then it will probably sell. You should then make a nice profit and be encouraged by your success.

But can you always make money on eBay? Is it as easy as we're all led to believe? Well, common sense tells us that it all depends on what you're selling, the competition and the market for your product.

After all, eBay is essentially an online market place that brings together international buyers and sellers to do business and the basic economic law of supply and demand applies.

So what basic factors should we consider before we start to sell on eBay? Can virtually anything sell and make us a handsome profit? The answer must be a definite 'No' - especially if the profit motive is important. And it must be, because we don't want to waste our time just breaking even or - dread the thought - making a loss.

But, for example, if you've really got your heart set on selling nineteenth century sweet wrappers on eBay because it's you're passion in life - you've already been divorced twice because of your obsession - then you just need to stop and think for a minute.

And before you rush out and invest $500 in a gold plated, digital camera, hand crafted by Balinese maidens, just because you know it will produce the finest quality images of your antique wrappers, it might be wise to first consider the following essential factors.

...is there likely to be a healthy demand for your product? Is it something people need or want to buy - hopefully on a regular, repeat basis?

...is the potential market big enough so as to make a decent profit (say a 'minimum' of 40 percent mark up on cost) and can that profit be sustainable?

...are there others already selling the same item? If so can you compete on a price basis or offer something different to justify a higher price?

and finally

...can you maintain a reliable supplier of your item so that you can consistently buy at the 'right price' and sell at a profit?

So what I'm saying really here is that before you dive into the eBay ocean make sure you've got your swimming costume on! Or, to put it simply, before you decide what you want to do, or what niche you want to concentrate on, you need to be fully aware of whether it's even possible to do it at a profit.

So the basic message is: Don't let your enthusiasm or obsession for a particular market blind you to the basic economics of what you're doing. After some careful consideration, you may have to totally 'rethink' your plans and abandon your previous, cherished, pet ideas. If it's not going to pay then you don't really want to do it.

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