Can you make a million on eBay?
I was looking back at a news story from 2010 that showed an Australian couple who claimed to have made $8 million on eBay. The couple were Matt and Amanda Clarkson. In 2006 they were broke with Matt working as a jobbing carpenter and Amanda selling pies in a rusty white van as ‘The Pie Princess’.
After speaking to a yacht owner about how he made his money, Matt decided to risk everything and sold his tools in order to buy a $400 pc. They used the spare room of their two bedroom flat and set up shop. Matt remembered that, “Financially we had nothing. It was humble beginnings and with literally no outlay at all. But we went from broke to eBay millionaires in just 24 months”.
Firstly they listed a DVD box set that they claim was called ‘How to Make Money on the Internet’. They committed a few cardinal errors like many people who are just starting on eBay do. “We misspelt the heading and left the r out of internet, which means a lot of people wouldn’t have found it.” In spite of this they sold the DVD set for $77.50 and decided to sell all the other DVDs, books, CDs and everything at home that they no longer wanted or needed. Quickly they were making about $400-a-week profit and they quickly realised that they couldn’t and shouldn’t make assumptions about what people would or would not buy.They made $500 from a large cardboard box of old VHS movies in spite of most people not actually owning VHS. A tatty book held together with sellotape sold for $15. Matt was intrigued and emailed the buyer to find out why he would buy it. The buyer responded that he had had the book in college 20 years ago and it had an emotional significance for him. He’d been looking for this particular edition for years.
Amanda sold a pair of ugly, old-fashioned black pumps that she had bought 50p to someone who snapped them up for $8. They started to see a pattern in what was selling for them so got themselves a credit card and used that to buy stock. They discovered that they were bestsellers in camping cool boxes so decided to import them directly from a supplier in China.
Matt placed an order with the supplier and bought a container full of camping equipment, including camping fridges and cool boxes. It cost $5,000 to buy and ship the stock from China to Australia and they turned over $4000 profit. The business started to expand and they invested as much profit as they could to buy new products.At that stage they were putting in 15-hour days, seven days a week. The stock from China kept coming so they hired some space in a warehouse. Within eight months they were selling a minimum of $24,000 a month. They started concentrating on specific lines – pots, pans and cutlery.
By 2010 they were spending less than 10 hours a week managing the business as they had automated the system and hired staff. They have a beach front home on Australia’s Gold Coast, with a yacht, luxury cars and expensive clothes. And now they teach would-be entrepreneurs how to set up an eBay business (at approximately $4000 per time – they’re not daft, are they?). Is their latest venture a scam? Wholesale Clearance UK would not like to say – but we do recommend that if you have $4000 to spare, you should invest it in your business, not someone else’s business. Just a thought.
Tips to help you make a million on eBay
Sell everything when you start. Anything you don’t want. Don’t make assumptions that people won’t buy what you have. Give excellent customer service so that your feedback is 5*
Once you’re going, choose a niche product. Try and get an idea of what people will buy from you or check out what sells quickly at flea markets, car boots and jumble sales.
Find suppliers. Wholesale Clearance UK is a good one.
Build up good relationships with your suppliers and your customers. This will ensure a reliable stream of product and demand. People like to do business with those they know, like and trust.Use decent photos (you have to these days or eBay won’t list your items) and honestly point out any flaws in your products.
List your products in the correct category, using key words and correct spelling. Otherwise people won’t find you when they search for what they want.
Make your listing attractive – ensure people want to buy what you are selling. If they’re not engaged they’ll just skip on to something else.
Never let go of your dream! Think big and make a million on eBay in your head. That way your goal is more achievable.
Over to you
Is it possible to make a million on eBay? Is it more difficult to sell on eBay than it used to be? What sort of things do you recommend selling? We’re interested in your experiences. Leave us a comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page 🙂