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Written by: Alice Seba
Web Site: InternetBasedMoms.com

*What is an eBay Business?*

An eBay business is what you make of it. You sell your items auction-style; the items go to the highest bidder. Want to sell baby clothes? Collectibles? Toys? Computer equipment? The choice is yours. If you want to sell it, chances are eBay has the ready-made market to buy it.

*eBay Business Supplies *

1. Computer
2. Internet Connection
3. Digital Camera
4. Products to sell. You can sell used items you find at garage sales, from your closet, etc. You can sell new items you find at discount prices from liquidators, dollar stores and clearance sales. If you can find a supplier who will drop ship, you're even luckier.

*eBay Business Skills*

1. Marketing Skills - You can develop these skills as you learn how to sell various items on eBay.

2. Organizational Skills - You need to keep good records of your sales and not just for tax purposes. You need to be able to keep track of which buyers have paid, which have received their items, etc. Setting up a spreadsheet with all the pertinent information should help keep this under control.

3. Basic HTML Skills - To make your auctions eye-catching and appealing, you will want to know some basic HTML skills.

*Get Your Business off the Ground*

Start by choosing a certain type of product to specialize in (ex. toys, clothes, etc.). That way, you can become an expert in those products and how to sell them effectively. You may want to expand your product line at a later date.

Getting started is easy. Create an eBay user ID and you're on your way. Be sure to read through the eBay selling rules and check out all the tips eBay offers along the way.

Put up only a few items to start and don't saturate your auctions with too many of the exact same item. The objective is to sell your item at the highest price. If you are selling 5 identical items, it may be harder for you to get a high price. Experiment with various selling methods and find out what works your particular items.

*Online Marketing Ideas*

Promote your business with your own personal web page. This can be a web page just to promote your eBay business, or it can be an online store that links to your auctions. It gives you a more established presence on the Internet and gives your customers a better sense of who you are.

Join some newsgroups and visit message boards for other home based business people or people who are interested in your product line. Be helpful and participate in discussions. If it's allowed, be sure to include a link to your auction with a brief description in your signature line.

Build a mailing list. Send out an informative newsletter on a regular basis to your subscribers. Just be sure to promote your auctions in the newsletter too.

*Other Online Auctions*

Don't limit yourself to eBay. EBay is only one of the many online auction houses available, but it is, by far the largest. However, eBay's fees can get expensive. It may be cost effective to also sell your items on other auction sites and you may face less selling competition. Just remember, you may also have fewer buyers for your products and may have a lower selling price. You will need to evaluate which is the most efficient way to sell your items.

Be sure to check out the auctions at Yahoo.com.

Also, there are a number of "mom" online auctions houses, most of which do not charge any fees. Here are just a few:

http://www.wahmauctions.com
http://www.primauctions.com
http://www.mothersnature.com/cgi-bin/auction.cgi
http://www.momsnetwork.com/auctionhouse.shtml

*For a More Comprehensive Look at the eBay Business*

Check out Marsha Collier's Starting an eBay Business for Dummies. This step-by-step guide covers everything from eBay rules, setting up an eBay store, where to buy goods to sell, writing your auctions, creating attractive-looking auctions (how to take photos, html templates), record keeping and eBay success stories. For more information on Marsha's book, visit

Make Your Net Auction Sell is a highly informative ebook that takes at look at online auctions in general, not just eBay. The ebook includes: standing out by selling unique items, choosing the best sites for your goods, promoting your business, how to network with other auction pros, selling goods in volume, selling high priced items without having to buy them. Find out more at http://www.sitesell.com/websuccess2054.html. You can download this book right away and get started.
 

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This is something I should be doing !!!!!!!!!!
 

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Thanks Sara, I'm going to check it out.
 
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