What is it?
Making an income from selling on auction website eBay.
- You can work at any time of the day or night – although you'll need to respond to customers promptly.
- You can spend as much or as little time on it as you want.
- It's cheap and quick to start up compared with setting up your own online shop.
Things to consider
- Low prices
Items on Ebay are usually at a low price – this is because you are competing in a marketplace with thousands of sellers, many of whom aren't looking to make much of a profit. As well as people looking to clear their lofts, you're also competing with shop owners who are shifting excess stock and ends of lines. This allows them to keep their prices at a reasonable level on their own websites or in their high street shops. You'll need to choose your product carefully if you're going to make an income rather than just a few quid here and there.
- What to sell
Look for items you can get hold of cheaply and easily but that others probably can't. Do you have a factory shop near you? Do you have an eye for good quality items at car boot sales? Do you have an interest in something vintage? You could try selling a few different types of items and see which bring in the best profit – I did pretty well when I sold almost-new vegetarian shoes (yes, really!).
- Don't forget to register as self employed
If you're emptying your loft, then you probably don't need to declare the income you make from this to HMRC (although check this out if you're in any doubt). But if you're making an income from selling on eBay you'll need to register as self employed.
- Take a look at eBay for how to sell
Mums' Club have a useful guide to selling on Ebay http://www.mumsclub.co.uk/html/selling_on_ebay.html
- Alternatives to eBay
For crafts and handmade items: www.etsy.com www.dawanda.co.uk www.folksy.com www.misi.co.uk Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/seller-account/mm-product-page.html?topic=200314070&?ld=UKAZSOAMake Other auction sites (although these have many fewer visitors than the mighty eBay): uk.ebid.net www.cqout.com specialistauctions.com Tazbar.com was another auction website, although it has now closed. Not convinced that selling on eBay is for you? Take a look at other business ideas for mums.