Start Your Own eBay Consignment Business
Although the majority of eBay sellers buy items outright for re-sale on eBay, some sellers
specialize in consignment selling. Selling on consignment means selling items for other people.
1. Decide how much you want to charge your consignors for selling their items.
• Contact a few eBay trading assistants to find out how much they charge.
You can get a list of trading assistants from the eBay Trading Assistant Directory. To get
people to use your service, your prices must be competitive.
• In general, the going rate for eBay consignment is 20 to 40 percent of the end
sale price. The price you charge the consignor should be enough to cover your fees and still
provide enough profit for you to be worth your time.
2. Draw up a contract outlining the terms of your consignment sales. Be sure to include
all fees that apply to the sale, what is to be done with merchandise that does not sell, and
when and how the proceeds from the sale will be given to the consignor.
3. Keep accurate records of your consignment sales. When selling consignment for others,
the money paid to your consignors comes off of your profit the same way that you would subtract
product costs if you were selling items you purchased for re-sale.
4. Start with friends and family members to find items to consign on eBay. It is always
best if you can get experience working with people you know before growing your business.
5. Grow your business through word of mouth and referrals. A satisfied consignor will
tell others about your service, helping your business to grow.
6. Place classified ads, hang fliers in local businesses and hand out business cards
to help your consignment business grow quickly.
7. Go to a consignor's house to look at her merchandise when a call comes in requesting your services.
8. Search for the items on eBay to determine if there is a market if you are not sure
if an item has one.
• A search of eBay closed auctions provides a more accurate look at the market,
because auction-style selling often brings bid activity at the end of the auction.
• Taking items on consignment that do not have an eBay market is not
only a waste of time, and in most cases you will be out the eBay listing fees. In most
consignment situations there is no cost to the consignor if the item doesn't sell.
9. Take the items to your house for listing on eBay if you offer a full consignment service
meaning you list the item, collect the payment and ship the merchandise.
• Alternatively, some sellers offer only an eBay listing service and do not
ship the merchandise to the customer. If you run your consignment business that way, leave
the items with the owner.
• If you are not taking the item to your house for listing, you must take
pictures of the merchandise at the consignor's house. Also record all necessary information,
including dimensions, weight, condition and anything else you need to know when listing an item.