Sell Items Online at a Profit as a Micro-Entrepreneur

One opportunity for micro-entrepreneurs is to buy items at low prices and sell them at a profit. It’s easy for micro-entrepreneurs to find items selling at bargain prices in today’s economy. Before you list your products and sell them however, keep these pointers in mind to help you list items at the highest amount possible for each product:

  • Search for you own stuff as a make-believe buyer. Doing so is probably the most important rule of selling, no matter where you’re selling. When you come across a batch of listings (selling similar items to what you’re selling), make sure you thoroughly analyze them.

    When you see how others are selling and take note of what the successful sellers are doing, you can discover valuable tips to improve your selling approach. In addition, you can find out from those that aren’t selling well (and then avoid any obvious mistakes).

    For example, if you were selling discount shoes on eBay, first do a search for “discount shoes” as if you were an interested buyer. When the search pulls up a batch of listings, analyze the first 25 or 50 listings, and ask yourself how successful (or unsuccessful) each listing is and why.

    This approach can help you know what to do and what not to do. The education you will get will be very valuable.

  • Make sure that your item isn’t prohibited. These days, people will sell almost anything because times are difficult and people’s imagination about what they can sell can sometimes go beyond the bounds of good taste — or the approval of legal limits.

    If you’re thinking about selling your deceased uncle’s spleen, you may want to rethink that. If you’re selling on eBay, check to find out what is prohibited. In the meanwhile, help your uncle’s widow sell some more appropriate items, such as his collection of Buster Keaton memorabilia.

    All the major sites have information on what is prohibited in their venues. Use your common sense about what you’re selling. If you’re not sure, find out if there is an association for your particular product or category and ask them.

    Lastly, you may be selling something appropriate, but it may be difficult to ship or be possibly prohibited by shippers, such as the Postal Service, so inquire before you attempt to sell and ship something.

    Online auctions are a wonderful place for the micro-entrepreneur, and a plethora of information is available for you to become familiar with online auctions. Here are some great resources to help you become more successful in your auction business:

  • Auction Bytes: This site, run by Ecommerce Bytes, offers lots of news and information on the auction business.

  • Ebay’s education center for novice (and experienced) sellers: This site will educate you on buying and selling on eBay (straight from eBay!).

  • LinkedIn: This site has several large and active auction sellers’ groups. Some of the more prominent are “eBay sellers,” which is an official eBay group, the “eBay Powersellers” group, and the “Professional Ebay Sellers Alliance” (PESA).

  • Skip McGrath: This site has some excellent resources for both beginners and experienced auction sellers.

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