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Considering an eBay Business? 6 Useful Facts


An eBay business presents a great opportunity to work from home, set your own hours, and make an unlimited amount of money. Before starting an eBay business, there are several things to keep in mind.

1. Fixed Price Listings

Everything you sell with an eBay business does not have to be sold as an auction. There are now many different ways to sell on eBay, including a fixed price listing. These listings are for one set price, and they don't depend on bidders to determine the end price. Any items that you need a specific price for can be sold as a fixed price listing.

2. EBay Stores

Another way to sell items with an eBay business is to open an eBay store. Running an eBay store means lower listings fees up front, making it easier to list a lot of items without the large fees when the monthly bill comes. eBay stores start at $15.95 a month, and listing fees are $.05 for most items. This is far less expensive for those with large numbers of items, though the monthly fee makes it more expensive for people with a small number of items to sell. 

3. Shipping Fee Variation

Though eBay does cap the shipping fees that sellers can charge in some categories, most categories allow sellers to charge as much as they like for shipping and handling. The only requirement is that it not be excessive and unreasonable. Most listing sites, such as Amazon and, have a fixed shipping rate that all sellers must charge.

4. Business Licensing

Depending on the size of the eBay business and the area it's in, the business owner may need to get a business license. Some eBay business owners instead decide to incorporate their business to protect them from any liability. This can be useful if the items being sold have any potential to be dangerous. 

5. Seasonal Sales

Many selling categories are seasonal. This can make the business income unpredictable, with high profits one season and a far lower profit in another. Christmas is generally a good selling time for any category. But, the summer means slower sales for many sellers. With more people outdoors and fewer online browsing eBay, most sellers can expect their sales to fall during that time. 

6. PayPal Accounts

Before anyone decides to start an eBay business, they need to sign up for a PayPal account. While checks and cash were once acceptable for payment through the site, they are no longer allowed (unless the items being sold are cars or large equipment). Everything else requires online payments. PayPal is the online payment site that most buyers and sellers use. There are a few alternative payments sites that eBay also allows, but not accepting PayPal will likely mean losing a larger number of customers. 

Being able to work from home can save money for parents who relied on daycare or other paid childcare. It also means less time spent commuting and more time with the family. It's a big decision to start a business, but small eBay businesses are a proven way to bring in extra money (or even to provide a full-time income).

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