Having an open mind when running an eBay business

Running a business can take a lot of effort and time to ensure that everything is managed as effectively as possible. eBay businesses are no different; sometimes, they can be even more demanding. When we put effort and hard work into something, we often have expectations of success, but that isn’t always the case. That is why it is so important to have an open mind when running an eBay business and have no expectations. Below we are going to talk about how that can pay off.

Deciding what to sell

Firstly, you need to figure out what products you are going to sell. This may not be the item that comes to mind straight away or even feel massively comfortable with as you have little to no knowledge of it. Quite often, the most profitable and successful products are those that are more niche. By thinking outside the box and stepping away from your comfort zone, you can start looking into products that you may have stayed well clear from in the past. For example, trading cards are doing incredibly well online at the moment, but you may have never touched trading cards before, don’t let that stop you. You can always learn as you go.

Look for top-selling items

On eBay, you can see what items are selling the highest number of units. This is a great resource and hunting ground for those who don’t have a clear idea of what they want to sell and give you trends in categories differing from what you are used to working within. Being able to pivot your offering or expand the offering is vast when owning and running an eBay business.

Learn new skills

When you first set up a business on eBay, you may have thought that you just need to list an item and be done with it; that couldn’t be further from the truth. You will need to do some number crunching based on the cost of delivery, the listing price that eBay will charge, and the cost of the product itself; you will then work out a profitable price for you to work. There will also need to be a low level of graphic design as you want to make sure that the pictures for your listings look good and stand out; otherwise, you may well get a lower click-through rate. Speaking of click-through rate, understanding analytics and statistics when it comes to business is vital. A listing could be generating a lot of clicks. Still, few sales and a few simple tweaks to the listing itself may well change that. Still, without the proper understanding, there is a potential of missing out on the opportunity entirely.


Initially, the eBay business may have been created as you didn’t like to work on Social Media, or you expected it not to be as laborious as other businesses. Regardless of what platform your eCommerce journey starts on, you will need to develop a brand and voice for the company. Luckily, the brand will evolve. Still, it is not immediate, which is why it is vital to promote the eBay store. It can be done through Social Media, such as Facebook or Instagram, as their marketplaces are made with the exact purpose of being able to list items and sell them. eBay also offers Promotion Boxes to help you promote your items within a listing. You can make certain aspects more visible, such as a sale, or increase the prominence of your listing by giving eBay a higher listing fee, helping you get a leg up on the competition.

Be able to pivot

When you first carry out your market research, you will note that sales volumes for items in a specific sector can be subject to seasonality and therefore have highs and lows. That is why it is crucial to understand when to change and what to change the inventory too. One possibility would be cycling the list and designing the store around the seasonality of holidays and events such as graduation season or the Super Bowl. Something that isn’t selling in January of this year may well be the product to break sales records in August!

Play the long game

Regardless of the business that you start, the chance of becoming an overnight millionaire is incredibly slim. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was any business that is profitable and successful. So take the time to make a list of short-term goals and a list of long-term plans to help you build some momentum and stay interested and engaged with the store. In the short term, be sure to play with different tools, use other methods until you find one that generates some good traction for you to build on.

The last word

Starting a business selling items on eBay can be incredibly intimidating at first with variety and competition. Use some of the information above, plus some more of your research, to get yourself off to the best start that you can. If you are struggling to get decent results initially, that is fine – it can take time for a strategy to build awareness and push through. Lastly, have fun and make mistakes. The more mistakes that you make when starting, the less you will make when fully-fledged, so use that time as your trial period!


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A public relations and E-commerce consultant in New Mexico. I am also a longtime collector and online dealer of quality items. DM for all inquires. #thecollector #baseballcards #sports #antiques #collectibles #reseller