People & Planet
This business makes a positive difference by...
- Getting rid of unwanted junk around the house.
- Providing bargains to people who may not be able to afford new things.
- Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business skills.
- Moving one step closer to being a great business person who will have the potential to help even more people in the future.
- Helping to recycle useful things and reducing waste.
Before You Start
Do Some Market Research
Conduct a quick survey around your house, and among your neighbours and friends asking them:
- Do you/they have anything to sell?
- How many things?
- Would they want someone to sell their stuff for them?
This would give you a clear idea on how many items are available for you to sell and how your business will perform.
Things You'll Need:
- The product that you are going to sell online
- A digital camera to take a picture of that product
- An account on eBay or any other online vendor sites
You first need to list the product that you want to sell online.
- If you want to, you could advertise your item outside of the trading website you are selling it on. You could post notices about your products on free online classified or relevant internet message-boards. For example, if you sell jewellery, you could advertise on a message board which teenage girls will look at.
- Create a Striking Description. Your description is one of your most valuable tools on your path to riches, fame and online glory, so create an attractive description that will have people scrambling to buy your product!
Things to remember to include in your description are:
- Brand or Manufacturer
- Size / Measurements
- Item Condition (new, used, antique, broken)
This is how buyers will find your product, so be sure to include keywords that buyers would search for. If you’re super smart you could look up the most searched for words on the web-site and see if they apply to your item description!
- Add links to other items you are selling, so people will know what else you sell.
- Reveal any defects your item may have, and any other details that the buyer should know. Honesty is definitely the best policy. It will only come back to haunt you if you describe your old scuffed shoes with the broken heel as “as good as new”!
- A picture is worth a thousand words - take clear, close up photos of your item from lots of different angles. Also take a photo of any defects that the item may have. People are likely to trust your product a lot more if they can see it, and will be more likely to buy it.
- Be straight with your customers - Post your terms and conditions. When people say “But you didn’t say that ….” you want to be able to say “yes I did!” Have your sales policy clearly typed out and saved so you can copy and paste it and use it again and again. Remember to include how much shipping will be, and whether parcels will be insured. Also state any other rules you might have, for example “no pick-ups”.
Pricing: You might think that that old McDonald’s Happy Meal figurines are practically priceless…but if you set them at a really, really high price you’re cutting out half your potential buyers who won’t even be interested!
- Do some research and see what other people selling similar items sold their items at.
- You have to draw people in at a low price, and create competition. When you play for something you want to win right? Price your item below what you think its worth. Other sellers are more likely to be attracted to an item when they see it has lots of bids. If you get a whole lot of people wanting to beat the others in a bidding frenzy to win your item, its price could sky-rocket!
- Be careful with reserve prices. This is a price you can set that is the lowest price you will sell the item for. Buyers will get frustrated if they bid and don’t reach the reserve price. Generally items without a reserve sell for more anyway, because more people bid. Only have a reserve if you absolutely don’t want to sell an item below a particular price.
- You could have a “Buy it now” price. Most web-sites will give the option of a “buy it now” price. This is a price that a buyer can buy your item for right now without participating in an auction. If you do this, set the price reasonably high. If someone really wants your item they will be prepared to pay it.
When doing anything on the internet you have to be careful. Never give out your personal details to people over the internet. When you’re trading with people they don’t need to know anything about you that isn’t related to the product you’re selling. Don’t give out your home address or phone number. People can correspond with you by email.
Get on with it
So I can sell anything?
Yup! You can sell anything from a cracked teapot to homemade necklaces to that jumper your auntie gave you last Christmas....If someone will buy it, you can sell it! You could even sell online in conjunction with a garage sale business (see starting your own garage sale business); by selling things that don’t sell in the garage sale. No item is too weird or wacky.
A good idea is to develop a ‘niche’ market for your product! That means a market around a particular type of product or an area of interest, like earrings and jewellery you make…or selling rare stamps. That way you can gather dedicated and loyal followers who adore your products and will come back for more. You could even target people who have bought from you before with emails about new products you think they will be interested in. Think about what corner of the market you would like to make yours.
Two Real Life Examples
The Sunday Times, U.K., wrote an article about two 18 year old students who started their own online business on E-bay selling their artwork and that of fellow students. The business was making a lot of money a month.
Need even more inspiration? Recently someone was selling “banana cases” to hold a banana in your bag, on Trade-Me. It created a bidding frenzy and ended up selling for a ridiculously high price! Who would have thought?
- ANSWER QUESTIONS AND QUERIES STRAIGHT AWAY!
Potential buyers will lose interest if you don’t respond quickly. You know how frustrating it is waiting for someone to respond to a question you really need to