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For many people, their first experience of working online involves selling products on eBay. This was how I got started back in 1998 and I know countless other people that have done the same.
However, it is important to remember that eBay is not the 'be all and end all' - there is a much bigger online world out there. My reason for mentioning this is that I have spoken to three people this week who each make a decent full or part-time income on eBay but who are fed up with it and looking to move in other directions.
Having sold on eBay myself, I can understand why sellers do get tired/bored/frustrated with the auction site - it is highly competitive and it takes an incredible amount of hard work to succeed. In addition, it is normally the case that the more successful you become, the harder you have to work. Listing auctions, handling customer enquiries, packing, shipping, sourcing/buying stock, keeping up with feedback, monitoring the competition - selling on eBay is a tough job and it is no wonder that after working in this way for a few years, many people wish they were back in the land of the employed!!
Don't get me wrong, there is good money to be made on eBay for anyone willing to put the effort in and many people enjoy trading on this huge auction site. But it isn't for everyone.
Having spoken to numerous eBay sellers in the past, it seems to me that of the ones that don't enjoy working on eBay, the particular task that they enjoy the least is the packing and shipping of products. Funnily enough, this is exactly the bit of trading that I grew to dislike too.
I (and the sellers I have spoken to) didn't have a problem with creating sales descriptions, dealing with emails, collecting payment (naturally!) and the other administrative tasks involved in running an online business. But wrapping things up and taking them to the post office is something completely different and for me and many others that's where it all started to fall apart :-)
As I said at the beginning of this article, if you are getting fed up of doing the eBay 'thing' or if you just don't fancy the idea to start with, there is a wealth of alternative opportunities available online. My own solution was to get rid of the one aspect of eBay trading that I didn't enjoy - the packing and shipping - and start to produce and sell digital products which could be delivered to the customer automatically. I still have to write sales pages and build websites, I still have to deal with emails etc but I don't have to handle any physical products (neither do I have to deal with payment collection because that too can be handled automatically by software).
Of course my products are very relevant to eBay sellers and indeed, there are numerous individuals and companies out there that have made a fortune off the back of eBay without ever having sold a single product on the auction site. I am sure that there are numerous other problems that eBay users have that could be solved with a new piece of software or a particular service and if the idea takes off, there are 135 million registered users on eBay to market to!
eBay provides a wonderful opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people but it isn't for everyone and if you find yourself frustrated/bored with the same old routine everyday, start to look for something outside of the eBay world.
Copyright 2005 Richard Grady
Richard Grady has been helping ordinary people earn online since 1998. He writes a free newsletter which is published every two weeks. To subscribe (and claim your free gifts), visit: http://www.thetraderonline.com/newsletter.html
Crow River Media
First online auction for unclaimed property
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Fahey Sales, Glencoe, is managing the Minnesota Department of Commerce's first online auction of unclaimed property from abandoned safe deposit boxes. The auction features jewelry, coins and collectible items, including a Joe Montana rookie sports card ...
First moonwalker Neil Armstrong's memorabilia heads for auction
The personal collection of Neil Armstrong, the first man to have set foot on the moon, is to be sold in a series of auctions later this year and in 2019. The artefacts on offer range from those associated with Armstrong's historic 1969 lunar landing to ...
10 Cleveland Indians items from the past up for auction
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Among the hundreds of items up for bidding via Lelands auctions are 10 nostalgic Cleveland Indians pieces all dating more than 60 years. Some go back more than 100 years. We include lot numbers if you want to read more about the ...
One giant sale: Neil Armstrong's collection goes to auction
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The personal collection of Armstrong, who died in his native Ohio in 2012, will be offered for sale in a series of auctions handled by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, beginning Nov. 1-2 and continuing in May and November 2019. The collection includes a ...
Dubai collector to auction Star Wars action figures worth Dhs1 million
Consider yourself a Star Wars fan? Well, you probably don't have anything on one anonymous Dubai resident who has put up their entire collection of Star Wars action figures for auction next month. The 33-piece collection, which features mint condition ...
Beef producers facing rising feed prices, lower sale prices at local auctions
COLLEGE STATION — A convergence of weather and market conditions have put a number of Texas beef producers in a tough spot, facing rising supplemental feed prices and lower sale prices at local auctions, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ...
Dubai collector to auction world's rarest prototype Star Wars action figures
A Dubai resident will auction the world's rarest Star Wars action figure prototypes next month in a sale that is estimated to raise as much as $360,000. The 33-piece collection belonging to the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, includes the rarest ...
Livestock auction buyers lend great support to 4-H'ers
The last big 4-H event of the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair each year is the livestock auction. But it's far more than just the sale of animals youths have raised. It's about supporting young people's efforts and dedication. In that regard, it's clear ...
Sydney auction clearance rate rises to almost 60 per cent as buyers bid up scarce blue chip homes
Property buyers bid up the prices of scarce homes in Bondi, Mosman and other prized pockets of the city on the weekend. More confident bidding at auctions in blue chip areas helped to jump-start the Sydney weekend auction clearance rate. The ...
Armstrong's artifacts, momentos go to auction
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The personal collection of Armstrong, who died in his native Ohio in 2012, will be offered for sale in a series of auctions handled by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions , beginning Nov. 1-2 and continuing in May and November 2019. The collection includes ...
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