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 incredible results from others reselling on eBay (I’m sure you have seen Cora and Helen’s videos!) my husband and I have decided that this is the year that we try our hand at eBay reselling.
We started in January and we learned a lot during our first month.
How Buying And Reselling On eBay Works
If you aren’t sure what eBay reselling is, it is where you purchase an item – usually from a charity shop, car boot sale, auction etc.
Before going on to sell that exact same item on eBay for a higher price.
Buying and reselling has been around for decades, but buying and reselling on eBay has only been around since eBay started almost 20 years ago.
Since then, this method of making money has continued to grow worldwide. That said, there's still plenty of money to be made from new eBay resellers like ourselves.
Things I Learned From My First Month Reselling On eBay
Here are the five things we learned from our first month reselling on eBay.
Hopefully, this will give you an idea into what's required to become a successful eBay reseller – spoiler, it's not quite as easy as it looks.
You Need A eBay Business Account
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 from a shop, and you don’t need to open an eBay shop, although you might find it really beneficial to open one.
As we're now eBay resellers we've chosen to open a shop. We've found that with the number of listings we have, and the number of new items we're listing on eBay every week, we'd save money on eBay fees by doing so. More information on eBay fees later on in this post.
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 As 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.
Therefore our new reselling on eBay account was 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.
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 now carry hand sanitiser with me everywhere I go now because after a good rummage I always feel dirty!
Fees And Postage Quickly Adds 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.
eBay Reselling FAQ's
Absolutely, there are no laws against re-selling products you've previously purchased. As long as it doesn't violate eBays terms of service.
Anywhere and everywhere!
Charity shops, house clearances, thrift stores, car boot sales, garage sales, retail stores, store outlets.
Things you already have experience in / know about. For example, if you're hobby is collecting vinyl records then you'll already have some background knowledge in vinyl records.
You'll probably know what artists are common and which are uncommon, and faults to look out for in the product which will mean that the record doesn't play.
Over time, this knowledge expands and develops into new areas.
eBay is the second largest marketplace in the world (Amazon is #1). In 2015 there was more than $80 billion dollars worth of sales on the platform from more than 160 million buyers worldwide.
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.