I've mastered ebay ... now I QUIT!

If there's one thing I'm exceptionally knowledgeable about (more than anything else) in regards to making money online - it's eBay! I've been a seller on eBay since 2007 and feel like I've mastered almost everything there is to master. In fact, I served an enlistment in the military and during my enlistment, on average, the amount of money I made on eBay EXCEEDED my military paycheck. Seriously, can you imagine that?! My military paycheck was more than enough to live comfortably. TWO sources of income?! Actually more than 2 when you consider my other online ventures.....just icing on the cake! 

However, from this point forward, I QUIT dealing with eBay in regards to supporting myself! Now before you begin to think that this entire post is about bashing eBay, it's not. eBay is a PHENOMONAL platform for sellers. It has served a significant role in my life and without it, the quality of life it's provided me with would be significantly less enjoyable.

So why am I quitting eBay? For one reason: I've come to a point in my life where I don't feel comfortable further improving my system on eBay for profiting while being restricted by the corporate rules, limits and restrictions that eBay imposes upon its members.

Let me remind you, however, this doesn't mean that you can't make a ridiculous amount of money on eBay. Only an uneducated person would say such a foolish statement. You can make a BOATLOAD of cash on eBay with only a little work. Trust me, I know because I've done it. In fact, towards the end of this post I'll be sharing the tips, tools & advice that you should know if you decide to pursue the same. 
So what eBay rules, limits & restrictions am I referring to?! 
Well, to be brutally honest, whichever "random" limits that eBay decides to attach to your seller account. Are you confused? No worries, I was too. There's no formula, policy or guidelines that thoroughly explains eBay's seller limits. After a little research, these things seem to be nonexistent. All I can say is that highly established, reputable & respected eBay sellers such as myself are sometimes given limits without being given a reason why. And for what it's worth, eBay is VERY secretive in regards to giving the exact reasoning for imposing such mysterious limits, the course of action one can take to relinquish the limits, or offering a reasonable explanation for sellers with high DSRs (detailed seller ratings) being seemingly randomly selected and restricted. If you don't believe me, do yourself a favor and get established on eBay. After that, wait for selling limits to be placed on your account. When it happens, use the "ONE-TIME CODE" (READ AS: "eBay doesn't want their customers questioning their decisions) to call eBay and ask for the reason that limits have been placed on your seller account. You'll surely be left with way more questions than you called with.
If you truly wish to get a better grasp of what I'm saying, google "ebay seller limits". You'll come across an enormous amount of stories that seem outlandish. However, after receiving my alert stating that I've reached my limit (see picture above), I suspect these stories are true. For example, look at the stories HERE. Some people attribute the mysterious selling limits to this BloombergBusinessweek ARTICLE

In the picture below you can see my Detailed Seller Ratings out of 5 stars. 
And just in case you're wondering, here's another screenshot (taken from my phone) that shows that I don't have any neutral or negative feedback within the past 12 months. Why? Because I've ONLY received POSITIVE FEEDBACK from my valued customers!

So there it is - the reasons I'm quitting eBay....

Still wanna make some quick $$$ on ebay?
Here's what you need to know!!!

Like I said, this post isn't about bashing eBay. Perhaps there's a logical reason for their seller limits which they've just yet to disclose to their members. In fact, the unjustified limitations that were placed on my account could be considered quite minimal compared to the amount of money I could still easily make with the amount of listings I'm still authorized to make. If I still wanted to pursue eBay as a source of income, I could easily still make $50 per listing without spending more than ten minutes (total) on each listing. Considering that I can still easily maintain 75 listings per day and probably sell at least 3 listings per day, that's $150 per day without doing anymore than 30 minutes worth of work...and that's NOT considering the other 72 listings as a profiting factor.

Below you will find EVERYTHING you need to know about my personal journey in mastering profits on eBay. You should remember, though, that there are NUMEROUS paths that you can take to make a ton of money on eBay. Listed below is simply the path that worked for me. However, unlike some of my other posts, what I'm sharing below is an accumulation of what I know to be effective. eBay was once my bread & butter. The steps below aren't my opinions or what I think. They're guaranteed ways to make a ridiculous amount of cash on eBay.
*** Please keep in mind that I'm sharing my story below with ***
the assumption that you have at least a basic understanding of eBay
#1) The very first thing I did after I created my eBay account (back in 2007) was establish my eBay credibility. This must be done by making a few sales and increasing the amount of POSITIVE feedback you have!

WARNING: Do NOT try to be Rambo. eBay is a saturated marketplace with sellers that are MUCH more capable than yourself of offering deals & prices that you can't match. In addition to this, people are going to be extremely hesitant to purchase from the "new guy". The best way to establish your credibility with a few quick sales is by listing something for sale (very cheaply) & having a family member or friend purchase it. If this means convincing people to create an eBay account - DO IT! After all, it's FREE and after about ten sales, you'll be ready to move along to the next step! 

#2) Find a method of obtaining products that you can enjoyably sell on eBay!

What do I mean by "enjoyably sell on eBay"? Well, after your first few initial sells you need to have one goal: FURTHER INCREASE YOUR POSITIVE FEEDBACK SCORE, even more than your family and/or friends have already assisted you with. This means that you must find a  method of obtaining products that you have a legit interest in selling! If you don't find a method of obtaining products that you're genuinely knowledgeable about and interested in, you're going to QUICKLY be overwhelmed with the amount of initial work required to improve your eBay feedback score. I promise you, if you ignore this step, the work required to package, ship & track your items will seem to exceed your profits and you will NOT succeed on eBay.

Personally, I'm exceptionally knowledgeable about magic, particularly close-up and advanced card magic. It has been an intense interest of mine since childhood. Something else I enjoy doing is reading. Therefore, I combined these two interests of mine and began specializing in selling rare first edition magic books on eBay!  

The picture above is a screenshot of The Magic Cafe. It is an online forum dedicated to the entire magic community. Many people would consider it the "holy grail" of online forums meant for magicians. For me, it was an online forum where I had already established myself as reputable.

Coincidentally, on this particular forum, after you post so many messages on the forum boards, you're given access to a "Secret Sessions" section which gives you the privilege of buying & selling magic related products to other members on the forum. Nonetheless, since I already knew so much about magic literature, I began buying books on this forum & reselling my purchases on eBay!    
QUICK WORD OF ADVICE: Depending on the niche that you pursue in order to enjoyably increase your positive feedback score on eBay, sometimes it may be necessary for you to purchase on eBay and then resell the same item on eBay. This can be the case for a variety of reasons. Just remember that when you find an efficient method of obtaining items that you're interested in selling, the goal is to INCREASE YOUR FEEDBACK SCORE, any profits are just a bonus. In my case, many times I would purchase $50 books on the forum and resell them for $300+ on eBay. However, sometimes I did the same thing only breaking even without making any profit at all. Just remember that it pays to know the value of what you sell...
What did I do after I found a reliable source of obtaining products that I was interested in selling?

#3) Establish enough credibility on eBay to STOP using the method of obtainment you've discovered!  

Yep. That's right. After I found a guaranteed method of obtaining products that I was genuinely interested in selling on eBay, I used the method. After that, I STOPPED using the method. Why? Because if you wish to make pass profits on eBay, you can NOT waste all of your days printing shipping labels, purchasing shipping supplies, and spending countless hours in the line at the post office. That's simply NOT an effective way to make substantial profits on eBay. 

If you pursue the same eBay path as myself, you should ONLY pursue step #2 until you've established an adequate amount of eBay credibility. Unfortunately I can't tell you what will suffice as "adequate". It COMPLETELY depends on your eBay goals. For example, in my case, about 50 positive reviews were all that I needed. Why? Because while reselling the products on eBay that I purchased from The Magic Cafe forum, I resold everything at a substantial discount. On average, everything I sold was listed at 50% of it's value. This caused many people that purchased a rare first edition book from me to follow my eBay username. This was an extra bonus, especially considering that my main goal was to increase my feedback score. 

Trust me, that's not as crazy as it sounds. The majority of books I purchased were bought from forum sellers that were often not aware of the true value of the books they were selling. Therefore, I often purchased books that were being sold for approximately 25% of their value so I profited when I resold them on eBay for 50% of their value.

RANDOM FACT: I specialized in rare first edition magic books. The beauty of this was that the actual worth of the books I sold were worth WAAAY more than the books retail value...sometimes the difference was in the thousands...

#4) Dropship a ton of products!

This was by far the most challenging step for me. And probably not for the reasons you think...

You see, the concept of dropshipping on eBay is quite simple. You market somebody else's product with a price markup, people purchase the product from you, and then you place an order through your dropshipper to have the item shipped to the customer....of course, paying a lower cost and keeping the markup difference.

However, there are two areas of dropshipping that challenge most people. First, gaining the courage to trust in your dropshipper. After all, if your dropshipper doesn't ship the correct product in the timeline that you've listed in your auction, then you suffer the consequences. Whether that means a negative feedback score or eBay using your automatic payment method to refund the buyer, the consequences can be tremendous.
(I must admit that this "challenge" wasn't an issue for me. I've been a risk taker all my
life & as far as I was concerned, the worst that eBay could do to me is far
less scary than some of my worst life experiences. I found #4a far more difficult...)
#4a) Look for a reputable dropshipper...and don't stop until you find one!

I can't even begin to tell you how important this step is! In my case, I signed up for a subscription at SALEHOO which eventually led me to my latest dropshipper!
The bottom line is that manufacturers and distributors that offer dropshipping services and people such as myself that profit from using their services have conflicting goals. Manufacturers & Distributors want as many people as possible to know about their dropshipping capabilities. People - such as myself - that dropship on eBay want as few people as possible to know. Why? Because large companies profit more when more people are utilizing their dropshipping services. However, this means that people using a sales platform such as eBay with the sole intent to dropship profit less due to market saturation and stiff competition.

Although I'm not going to list the name of my dropshipper on this blog since I'm considering continuing my relationship with them using another selling platform, I will say that there are many reputable companies that offer dropshipping services. Before you commit to using one, it would be highly beneficial for you to make sure the company offers 24/7 online support, an online directory of their products with quality pictures, and services such as overnight shipping & reasonable return policies. Also, do NOT limit your potential dropshippers to those that are listed in directories such as what SALEHOO offers. Consider building online relationships with people that use these online directories & see if they know of any better dropshippers. I didn't find my dropshipper by seeing it listed on SALEHOO. What I did was created an account with SALEHOO, researched the listed dropshippers by searching through a variety of forums, & eventually met a guy online that introduced me to my latest dropshipper.
#4b) Get well aquainted with 
Ebay Turbo Lister!

First off, I should probably mention that this software is completely FREE! And in case you're wondering, I do NOT receive any sort of compensation or payments for mentioning this product. I'm mentioning this software because if you're looking to minimize the amount of work you must do while maximizing your profits, unless you have an alternate software program that accomplishes the same, this software is a necessity!

One of my goals while dropshipping on eBay was to list as many items as possible in the quickest amount of time, while also paying the least amount of listing fees as possible. Ebay Turbo Lister made this possible! 


To the left you can see a snapshot I took of Turbo Lister right before I cancelled all of my remaining listings. The software allows you to revise listings in bulk, drastically increase the time you spend posting listings, and offers a variety of other capabilities that many other software doesn't!  

Since there's no way for me to give this software the justice it deserves, I'm not going to even try. However, I will say this: Starting from scratch, using eBay Turbo Lister, I'm able to create and begin an auction listing from scratch in under 2 minutes. This means that I'm able to format my Shipping & Payment policies, post pictures of the item being listed, format the item description, list all of my shipping exclusions (required by my dropshipper), and do everything else to begin an auction in less than 2 minutes.....and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the capabilities of this software. I mean, this software allows you to edit an unlimited amount of items with one click of the mouse. What more could somebody dropshipping on eBay hope for?! 
#4c) Take advantage of eBay PROMOTIONS!

Take a look at my screenshot below...
Let me remind you that this screenshot was taken AFTER I had removed & cancelled hundreds of listings....

Now take a look at my listing fees for these items...
Yep. That's right. I paid .95 to list HUNDREDS of items on eBay!!! Assuming that each listing would generally cost about .30, I saved (I prefer to think in terms of "MADE!") $90 for simply observing the eBay Promotions!
*you can see which promotion made this possible right HERE*
#4d) Do things
that other people

In case you don't already know, eBay owns PayPal. Back in 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for about $1.5 billion. Now although this may not seem directly relevant to you, it has something to do with the reason I've included this last & final step.

You see, if you're anything like I once was, you don't wish to invest a lot of money into a new venture. You simply want to make a lot of quick money which is perfectly reasonable and feasible.

When I first began selling on eBay I had to deal with numerous limits. Not only with PayPal holding my funds like they mention HERE, but with the restrictions that eBay placed on new sellers. Now that they're no longer separate entities, the restrictions still exists except eBay has more control over their enormous corporation.

I distinctly remember all of the frustrations back during my newbie seller days. The most common was when PayPal would hold my funds from the payments I received, even long after my buyers had received their packages. Perhaps this holding of the funds would've been reasonable if I hadn't of always shipped using PayPal's shipping service in addition to an expedited shipping service. I mean, when a buyer receives their purchase within a matter of a few days of making their payment, it didn't seem reasonable to me that I should have to wait 21 days for my funds to be released, especially when many of the payments were $500+...money I wanted to reinvest into my eBay seller account.

After expressing my concerns to a few different experienced sellers on some eBay forums, the verdict seemed to unanimous: there was nothing I could do get my funds released early. However, I didn't like that answer. It didn't seem even hardly fair for numerous financial reasons. 

So here's what I did. Every time I received notification that one of my shipped packages had arrived to the buyer, I'd wait a couple of days and then call PayPal to request that my funds be released. The response was almost always the same: "We don't typically do this but since I see that your buyer has received the package and has had plenty of time to address any concerns, we'll release your funds... just this one time though."

Just this one time?! Nonsense! They released my funds EVERY time I called because they had no logical reason for holding them. In fact, after about my fourth time calling and requesting that my funds be released, a PayPal representative removed all limits on my PayPal account and I never had to call them again.

FOR THE RECORD: The PayPal number I called was (888) 221-1161. Years ago when I was dealing with this issue, the number wasn't as widely available as it is now.

Now, I'm NOT suggesting that you fight the system every step of the way. All I'm suggesting is this:
If you know what you want - get what you want! 
Are you going to encounter obstacles along the way?
Absolutely! But don't view the obstacles you encounter as a reason to stop trying; view them as a sign of necessity for you to work harder towards achieving your eBay goals. 

Wanna know the next step?

Lean back, grab a snack & RELAX!

Oh yea, don't forget to enjoy the profits from all those people that rock out to songs like this...

A few closing remarks...

Joking aside, I haven't mentioned absolutely everything I did to make it on eBay because quite simply, everything I tried did NOT work. However, over the past 7 or so years, the 4 steps above have yielded quick & prosperous results. Can they do the same for you? Absolutely. But only if you're willing to put in the necessary work to appeal to the amount of customers that's necessary to profit.

It feels weird even typing such a statement but I honestly feel proud to say that I'm no longer pursuing easy profits on eBay anymore. I feel like my time has come & gone. I've learned what there was to know & now I'm leaving it to more inclined people like yourself.

Just remember that like all major companies, eBay changes rapidly - VERY VERY rapidly. Rules change. Fees Change. And so does customer demands. But remember that it's now how eBay changes that will determine your success; it's how you adapt to the changes.....
                                                                                  All the Best,
                                                       The Kid

BLOG POST UPDATE: Hey guys! Shortly after I posted this blog I had a few people ask me the same thing: Does this method of profiting on eBay only work for selling certain items?

The short is NO. However, you must ensure that there's a reasonable demand for the products that your dropshipper offers. Of course, this can't be done until you find a dropshipper that meets the quality of service that you're seeking. At a minimum, you should consider the criteria I listed previously in the post (24/7 online support, a quality online directory & tempting services).

***Don't underestimate the importance of a dropshipper that offers 24/7 online support. Many dropshippers are able to offer competitive prices by operating some of their departments overseas. If this happens to be the case with the dropshipper you choose, keep in mind that responding to your customers on eBay in a timely manner is important. If a customer asks you a question and your dropshipper is only open during standard business hours in a timezone that's on the opposite side of the world, you're going to find yourself losing $$$ QUICK. 

The question then becomes, "How do I ensure that there's a demand for the products that my dropshipper sells?"

Personally, my prime [and favorite] method was by using my own common sense! And I mean that in the most respectful manner possible. Use your common sense. Pay attention to market trends. When you go shopping, take note of the items that major stores are displaying & advertising the most. Listen to latest products that your friends want to buy. 

Pay attention to the seasons (especially if your dropshipper only ships stateside). If winter is approaching, you may want to consider catering to those that are looking for winter-specific items. Stuff like cold weather gear, coats, snowboards, beanie hats, designer winter apparel....stuff like that. When summer is approaching, do the same.

However, if your dropshipper ships internationally (like mine does), the seasons can be a little less important. Therefore, you may want to consider selling items that allow you to make the most profit. Personally, electronics were my favorite.

Another one of my favorite things I use to do to get a general idea of the demand for a product was using the ADVANCED search function....see picture below.
In the top box type the type of product you're considering selling (in this example, "samsung cellphone") and then click the COMPLETED LISTINGS box...
The results will show the items matching your search that recently sold (prices will be GREEN) & items that didn't sell (prices will be in RED). 
If you wish, you can even further narrow your search using the tabs at the top to view only the auctions, only the Buy It Now Products or leave the page where it is to view all listings.
Are there other ways to find out which products are in demand? Absolutely. Many folks pay for apps such as TERAPEAK MARKETPLACE RESEARCH to get more "scientific" answers. But personally, I was too busy making money to even consider spending some on a product that I was doing fine without! 

I really hope this helps. And by the way, GREAT question guys!!! If you have anymore questions, leave questions in the comments below or shoot me a message at the email address on the CONTACT US page. If the demand is high enough and I receive enough questions & emails, I'll be sending out a free ebook that'll go way more in-depth than what's been mentioned here to everybody that's subscribed to our site! So if you haven't done so yet, CLICK HERE and sign up!

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