Bootstrapping your eBay business to success
Until you know what you are doing, try to take advantage of every free service available to you that can help your eBay business. Free email, free image hosting, free auction management, and free product are all out there for you to use. It may not have all the bells and whistles that you will ultimately want, but it’s a good place to start, and keeps dollars in your pockets while you climb the learning curve. You’ll probably find that some of these are as good as anything available, and stick with them indefinitely.
We built our online sales business to over $1 million in annual sales, and we still use many of the free services we found along the way!
You’ll need an email address for your eBay business, and you will probably want it separate from your personal email address. We found yahoo’s email to be as good as any, and we still run our business with it-totally free! We love the search feature which allows you to find any email you ever received or sent based on the sender or recipient email address, or any keyword such as a stock number, eBay auction number, or product name. We can find emails from a year ago in seconds.
The image hosting websites keep evolving. Just do a google search on “free image hosting” and choose the one that looks best to you. Of course eBay gives you your first image for free.
We started with Andale for auction management, but as they caught on, they added fees that we could not justify, so we dropped them. There are several others that are good, or you may want to use the tools such as turbo lister, that eBay provides for free. We now use Auctiva, which is free. One of their best features is a tool that will automatically leave feedback for your customers based on your criteria. This saves lots of time and avoids the constant emails begging for feedback that we used to receive.
Be sure to check out all the freebie websites such as fatwallet and slickdeals to find free product that you can resell. Key in on both the outright free items, as well as the “hot deals” posted by others that combine online coupons with product promotions, resulting in free or nearly free items. Sometimes you can “make” money buying an item! Check the flyers for stores such as Walgreens, CVS, and Staples, which often advertise items that are free after rebate. Sign up for their email lists as well, as some of the best deals are only offered via email.
The bottom line is, almost anything you need to start your eBay business can be had for free, if you know where to look.