5 Things I Learned In My First Month Of eBay Reselling
Today I’m joined by Emma from EmmaDrew.Info. After seeing the thriving reselling community here in the UK Emma and her husband followed in our footsteps. They’ve set out to diversify their income by selling on eBay. I was eager to find out what Emma learnt in her first month on eBay and asked her if she would share it today.
Inspired by the reselling community (I’m sure you have seen Cora and Helen’s videos!), my husband and I have decided that 2017 is the year that we try our hand at eBay reselling. We started in January and we learned a lot during our first month.
If you aren’t sure what eBay reselling is, it is where you purchase an item (usually from a charity shop, car boot sale or auction, although there are plenty of other places where you can source your items from) and resell it for a higher fee.
Here are 5 things we learned in our first month of eBay reselling.
You need a business account on eBay
This seems really obvious, but a lot of people don’t know it. You must have a business account on eBay if you are selling items that you have purchased specifically to resell. You have two options here – you can either convert your existing eBay account into a business account, or you can start a new account from scratch. We decided to start a new account from scratch, since neither of us wanted to let go of our personal eBay accounts.
A business account is different to a shop, and you don’t need to open an eBay shop, although you might find it really beneficial to open one. We have opened a shop because it is much cheaper than paying listing fees for every listing, although this might depend on your circumstances.
Don’t forget that you will also need to register with HMRC to complete an annual tax return and pay any taxes owed.
There are some rules on eBay that go alongside having a business account – your address will be displayed on your listings (more about this in a moment) and you have to accept returns in order to comply with the Distance Selling Regulations.
You are restricted to how many items you can list
In order to protect buyers, eBay place restrictions on new accounts and these restrictions also apply to new business accounts.
In our case, we were limited to 100 listings per month. It didn’t impact us within the very first month where we focused a lot more on sourcing, however, once you have some sales history and feedback, it is pretty easy to get this increased.
As a business eBay seller, you will have access to someone at the end of a phone who can look to increase the restriction. You can find out more about eBay’s listing restrictions here. It took us about 20 minutes on the phone to get our listings increased to 350 a month, and we can look to increase this again next month, based on our selling performance.
If you are converting your personal eBay accounts into a business account, and you have sold items in the past with positive feedback then your account is less likely to be restricted.
Your address appears on the listings
Part of the rules surrounding eBay business accounts is that you need to display your address on your eBay listings.
Surprisingly, you can’t even use a PO Box. If you are really concerned about this then you can consider getting a virtual office, however, the majority of the time it isn’t an issue. I asked some UK resellers if they had ever had any issues with displaying their addresses on listings, and two points were raised.
One was when a buyer turned up unannounced to collect their purchase, and someone else raised concerns about putting your eBay shop on holiday with your address shown might be a bit dodgy.
Sourcing is hard work
When you watch reselling hauls on YouTube you don’t quite appreciate how much hard work goes into sourcing. It took us a lot of trial and error to find out where the decent places to go are, and the places that are just rubbish. In our first month we travelled over 250 miles to source items, and a lot of the places are now struck off our list.
As well as travelling and scouring charity shops, auctions and car boot sales, we have also spent a lot of time trawling Facebook selling groups and eBay itself for items to purchase.
This is before mentioning how grubby it can be! I carry hand sanitiser with me everywhere I go now, because after a good rummage I always feel dirty!
Fees and postage add up
I’m not new to selling on eBay, and yet the fees can be really off putting at times. For example, we bought an item for £2 and sold it for £62.99. Our overall profit was then just £50 after we paid for postage, listing fees, final fees and Paypal fees.
It means that when we are sourcing items, we need to remember to account for these fees. There is still plenty of profit to be made, so don’t be put off, but do be aware of them.
So there you have it, 5 things I learned in my first month of eBay reselling. If you are interested in keeping up to date with how we progress, we have a dedicated eBay reselling Instagram account, we do haul videos on YouTube and I also produce a reselling monthly report.