With the economy showing no signs of imminent recovery, it’s no surprise that eBay remains an appealing way to make as an at home business option or to just make some extra cash! Selling on eBay is a preferred form of online income for 3 good reasons:
It requires very little start up capital
Unlike many other businesses that require $10,000 (or in many cases much more) to get started, with an eBay business, you can get started for as little as $50. However, if you do have some money to invest, you will get the benefits of being able to get good wholesale discounts which will come back at you as profits.
If you are short on cash, consider using the drop ship method of product sourcing. When you drop ship, you only buy items from a wholesaler after you sell the item. This is a huge advantage because you can pay the wholesaler using the money you get from your buyer. The risk of buying stock that won’t sell is eliminated!
It requires little skill or experience
Unlike some other online business options which require you to be skilled in article writing, SEO, web design and more, with eBay, all you really need is a good intuition and some dedication.
If you do have any SEO or web design skills though (I’m talking to all you affiliate marketers out there!), you’ll have a huge advantage over other online retailers.
The potential gains are huge
It’s not hard to find eBay success stories and the majority of the time, they are people who dived into eBay on a shoestring budget and who had little or no experience in owning a business prior.
What to sell on eBay in 2013
If I had a dollar for every time I was asked “what should I sell?” I would double my income! It’s not surprising that so many sellers, even more experienced ones, get a little stumped when it comes to deciding what to sell.One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to sell popular items such as iPads, mp3 players, designer handbags and computers. While these markets are popular on eBay, they are also saturated and making sales within these markets isn’t easy.If you decide to sell these items, you probably won’t be making the profit margins you would expect. More likely you will be making $2-$15 dollars per item in order to remain in the same price range as your competitors.
Furthermore, you will be up against sellers who have huge wholesale purchasing budgets (think $50,000 – $100,000 or more per month) and who have developed business relationships with wholesalers over a number of years. This makes it very difficult to compete so instead of attempting to take on these markets, opt for niche products which are far easier to sell and can actually earn you more profits!
What is a niche product?
Niche products are items that appeal to a smaller ‘niche’ market. You know you have found a niche when you ask yourself who would want the product. For example, if you ask yourself, who would want a laptop, the answer is that just about everyone wants a laptop! However, if you asked yourself who would want a Disney themed laptop bag, the answer might be school-aged children who have to use laptops in school.
See how the niche market appeals to a smaller potential market?
Another example is left handed guitars. Who’s interested in left handed guitars? Musically-inclined left handed people!
Try to use this test when you are deciding what to sell on eBay. It might go against your instincts to sell products that only appeal to a smaller market, but on eBay it can give you a significant advantage. Remember, eBay is the largest marketplace in the world and it’s the first place most people go when they want to buy something.
Hot products for 2013
According to trend setters and market experts, these are the products that will be on the rise in 2013 (organised by category for your convenience).
Health and beauty
If it’s makeup you want to sell, look out for the hottest colors for 2013. These include plum and deep reds for lips and emerald shades or green for eyes. Funky nail art is still a huge trend and BB cream (alternative to foundation) is here to stay and still growing. Bee venom products will also continue to dominate skin care.There are also whispers among fashionistas about hair crimping coming back. While this makes me cringe a little, it could be a good opportunity to sell crimping irons.
On the diet front, back-to-basics diets such as the Paleo diet or the cave man diet are gaining a lot of momentum. Books and DVDs on any form of ‘clean eating’ (as opposed to eating processed foods) will be big hits.
Sports and outdoors
At home workouts will continue to be popular, as everyone cuts gym memberships in order to same cash. This means that home gym equipment and exercise DVDs are going to sell well.
Perhaps it’s a turn toward healthier living, but yoghurt parlours are becoming very popular around the world. Retailers can expect this trend to follow through into kitchenware and you might see a rise in yoghurt making machines! Eco friendly products will continue to dominate the niche markets within the home ware category, as will allergen-friendly products such as wooden furniture and BPA free baby items.
Another emerging trend thanks to Pinterest.com, the web’s latest phenomenon, is DIY projects and home cooking. What does this mean to you? Craft supplies, renovating supplies, baking and cooking supplies will blossom this year.
If you want to get clever about it, consider selling starter packs to ambitious newbies who are taking on new hobbies such as crafting or DIY renovations. You could put together a craft start pack with fabric scraps, a hot glue gun, scissors, plaster and more. A start pack for DIY renovations could contain basic tools, a measuring tap, a jotter pad for ideas and inspiration and other essentials.
Selling gadgets or other tech-related paraphernalia should be approached with caution: Remember what I said earlier about mp3 players and computers and watch for over saturated markets that won’t earn you any money.
Here’s a quick list of gadgets that are set to sell well this year:
• 3D printers
• High quality ear buds that deliver the high quality sound
• Computer eyewear – eyewear especially for use in front of a computer and saves eyes from straining
• USB hubs
• Geeky or quirky USB drives (with lots of memory!)
• Camera lenses for top brands Canon and Nikon. (beware; selling photography gear requires a good knowledge of the products. If you’re not an active user of cameras and photography equipment, skip this.)
Are you considering selling on eBay this year? If you have any questions, leave a comment below. I would love to help!
Know Your Guest Author:
Alice is an education specialist for SaleHoo.com. SaleHoo connects over 92,000 eBay sellers and online retailers with wholesale suppliers all over the world. Their product range includes a wholesale supplier directory, market research software and eCommerce software.