Ramping Up Your eBay.com.au Business - dummies

Ramping Up Your eBay.com.au Business

By Marsha Collier

Part of Making Money on eBay For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australian Edition)

You started out slowly selling on eBay; now you’re thinking about devoting more time to your eBay business, because you think have the beginnings of a real-live e-business. You’re going to need a few things before you can take over the Internet retail world and challenge those Shooting Star PowerSellers.

Here are some pointers to steer you in the right direction to get your eBay business started:

  • Set up your eBay office: It’s time to move the stuff out of the corner of your cupboard or dining room table and put it up on shelves. Here are a few organisational tips:

    • Bag and categorise all your items. Use plastic sandwich bags and boxes — the boxes they sell at office supply stores to store old file folders are ideal. These boxes have lots of white space, so you have plenty of room for labelling the contents of each box. And the cut-out holes in the boxes act as handles for easy carrying. Alternatively, you can use translucent plastic bins that you can find in office supply stores. They have secure-closing tops and easy-to-lift handles.

    • Set aside a separate work area. You’ll need this for packing and wrapping your items. It will also help when you need to assemble your items to ship.

    • Designate a place for storing your packing materials. Buy some cheap shelving from Bunnings and you are done!

  • Streamline your shipping: You can buy a set of scales and all the necessary equipment on eBay. Once you’re posting over 20 items per week, you might like to consider Australia Post’s eParcels. eParcels is a volume shipping deal that will save you a significant amount of cash and time with your shipping. You can find more details about this service on the Australia Post website.

  • Buy a thermal label printer. It will cut an eternity off the packing time of each item. Think about what kind of gizmos the big guys have. With the advent of the Internet, handy gadgets like label printers are available to the little guys, too.

  • Get legal: With success comes responsibility — responsibility to your local community (translation: You need a registered business name) and your country (the government and the Australian Taxation Office).

    If you want to buy your merchandise wholesale — that is, buy low, sell high — you generally need an Australian Business Number (ABN). Genuine Australian wholesalers will require you to produce your ABN as proof of your business status and to ensure that they handle Goods and Services Tax (GST) correctly. If they don’t ask for it, they’re probably not legitimate wholesalers. For more information about ABNs and your obligations to pay GST, talk to your accountant or the Australian Taxation Office.

  • Keep records: If you’re in a business, whether full time or part time, you have to keep serious records. Get a good accounting program. This isn’t playtime; it’s time to put out a professional image. If you want to do things right, talk to the person who prepares your taxes or go to an accountant you can help you set up your books.

  • Considering a wireless home network: A home network really helps you keep your sanity because you don’t have to be tethered to your desk every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do some of your eBay business while sitting on the porch or in a hammock in the garden? Believe it or not, it can be done — without going to great expense.