A part-time eBay business can be very profitable. You can spend as little or as much time as you want at eBay, from a few hours a week to a full-time job. One thing that I stress in this book is that the more time and energy you spend on your eBay business, the more money you can make. That said, I now move on to the lowest possible level of time that you can devote to your business.
Maybe you enjoy finding miscellaneous items to sell at eBay. You find these items somehow in your day-to-day life. So you can figure that you spend at least a couple of hours (maybe three) a week at eBay. That’s already in your schedule; now, you must figure in the time it takes to write up your auctions. If you’re not selling the same thing every day, you need to allow approximately twenty minutes to write your auction, to take your picture or to scan your image, and of course, to upload it to a photo-hosting site.
How much time it takes to perform these tasks varies from person to person, and will improve according to your level of expertise. Regardless, every task in your eBay auction business takes time, and you must budget for that time.
Only you can decide how much time you want to spend researching going rates for items at eBay and deciding when your item will sell for the highest price. You can take great photos and write brilliant descriptions, but cashmere sweaters won’t go for as much in the heat of summer as they do in winter. Doing your research can take up a good deal of time when you’re selling a varied group of items.
You also have to consider how much time it takes to shop for your merchandise. You may have to travel to dealers, go to auctions, or spend time online discovering new ways to find your auction merchandise. Many sellers set aside a full day each week for this undertaking.
Your merchandise is what makes you money, so don’t skimp on the time you spend identifying products. The time you spend on this comes back to you in
higher profits. Here’s a list of various activities that you must perform when doing business at eBay:
_ Setting up and photographing item
_ Cleaning up and resizing image in photo editor
_ Uploading image to host
_ Weighing item and determining shipping cost
_ Choosing auction title with keywords
_ Writing a concise and creative description
_ Listing your auction at eBay
_ Answering bidder questions (average per day)
_ Sending out EOA e-mails
_ Addressing labels and affixing postage
_ Going to the post office
Take the time to perform each of the tasks; watch the clock and time yourself to see how long it takes you to accomplish each of them. The time varies when you list multiple items, so think of the figures that you come up with as your baseline, a minimum amount of time that you must set aside for these tasks. This information can help you decide how many hours in a month you need to devote to running your part-time eBay business.