Business Ideas for Mums – Selling on Ebay

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.

Further information

  • Take a look at eBay for how to sell

The basics of how to sell – Information about fees is here –

Mums' Club have a useful guide to selling on Ebay

  • Alternatives to eBay

For crafts and handmade items: Amazon: Other auction sites (although these have many fewer visitors than the mighty eBay): 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.

2 Replies to “Business Ideas for Mums – Selling on Ebay”

  1. Never been a big fan of eBay as it’s a bit messy and these days fraught with fraudulent transactions. Etsy & Misi are fantastic. I believe also offer an outlet for the more creatively inclined. I would push – the intention is to turn this into a new free marketplace but right now we’re focused on providing the platform for as many charities, schools and good causes as we can. One tip (albeit a fairly obvious one) you’ll no doubt have lots of market opportunities but start with one, get it right, add another etc. For now if you are passionate about any particular charities/good causes or schools please let me know (pascal at raffle dot it) or point us out to them. From next week becomes a massive multi-site spread out across all charities etc involved – each having their own branded version. Fingers crossed it all works 😉

  2. another option to try is standard listings are free so if items dont sell, you are not left to pay fees.

    Fees for sold items are much lower than other sites too!

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