Dan Wilson in his book, ‘Make Serious Money on eBay UK’ makes the point that, “Second hand isn’t the norm anymore….”. He continues, “Many items sold on eBay are brand spanking new and you can buy from businesses big and small as well as individuals.” This all seems very far removed from a site that was set up to enable its founder’s fiancee to swap ‘pez’ tops.

eBay Facts and FiguresThe numbers quoted by Wilson are quite staggering. There are over two hundred million members of the eBay community. It is also the case that at any one time approximately ten million items are on sale. The ‘up-side’ is provided the item you seek falls within eBay’s selling rules, there is a strong proability you will find it listed on the site.

eBay: Is the original auction site a spent force?
eBay: Is the original auction site a spent force?

A Buyer’s MarketWhat is evident from the above statisitics is that at any given time there will be many similar items available. If you are looking for a specific cd or book for example you may well find four or five copies available for sale. Most buyers use eBay in order to save money. As a consequence they will watch the bidding and make a bid at the last possible opportunity. When there are several similar items on sale the potential buyer may find he or she is the only person bidding. Quite often the seller may get no bids at all.

Another dilema facing the seller is the issue of pricing. If the minimum asking price is too high buyers will simply look elsewhere. If the price is set too low and the item sells only a few pence profit may be realised. The seller’s time and efforts will not be rewarded.

Making Money on eBayIt is true that serious money is being made on eBay. However, it is not on a few lucky casual sales of unwanted domestic items. Arguably, eBay is now the domain of big business. Multiple sales of stock products is where real success lies. The advantage of using eBay for such a seller is that he or she does not need a shop or saleroom; just sufficient space to store stock.

It is also an excellent avenue for the sale of specialised items. For such entrepreneurs the cost of advertising is minimal.

ConclusioneBay has grown phenomenally during the fifteen years since its inception. It didn’t set out to make anyone rich, but undoubtedly it has. What is also true that it has moved away from its semi- commercial roots. Whilst it can still be used by anyone with an item to sell it has more to offer the businessman than the casual user.