On another discussion board, somebody asked: What basic marketing fundamentals do I need to master to start an eBay business?
I provided a quick, compact answer, which follows….
One of the best pieces of advice I can offer has to do with developing a niche. This means you should develop a business that has a small, specific market that you know something about or have some expertise in. If you can be both an information *and* product resource for your customers, you’re way ahead of the game. Sellers that accomplish this do quite well with eBay auctions and eBay Stores. Make sure your focus is tight and you have valuable information and goods to offer customers.
Here are some broad questions that will help you define and develop your niche:
* Who are you?
* What are you doing?
* Who are you helping?
* How are you different?
Answer these, and you´ll start to understand why you´re in business. I like to apply this quick list to every selling consultation and marketing positioning job I start. It helps me cut through the bull and zero in on the fundamentals.
The sooner you can think of yourself as a persuader, the better. We live in a world of mind-boggling supply, where piles of useful stuff go unsold (or are sold at a loss) because nobody has the time or inclination to introduce it properly to the right audience.
A lot of people think that products sell themselves, but this simply isn´t true. Products don´t have worth or value until you connect them with prospects, and the only way to connect with prospects is to identify with their needs and desires. That´s why it´s important that you maintain an intimate knowledge of your niche.
As an eBay seller, you don´t have to develop new needs. But you do have to be keenly aware of the connection between product and need, and then market accordingly. The trick is to define your product accurately and place it in the context of customer needs that already exist.
Here’s a quote from my book, The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay MarketingThe 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing: “Products don´t have worth or value until you connect them with prospects, and the only way to connect with prospects is to identify with their needs and desires.”
Your question is fairly general, so I’d like to steer you towards some books that will help. The first one was written by myself, an eBay University Instructor and another PowerSeller (see title above). The second one is called “What to Sell on eBay and Where to Get It.” It’s by Lisa Suttora. This one will help with the sourcing dilemma. There are lots of ways to go. Alibaba.com, for example, is good for sourcing products from China.
There’s more info in my book on pricing.. but here’s a general tip that’s worthwhile: Try to sell products that will make you $30 and up per sale. This way, you won’t spend too much time for too little profit. When you’re starting out, it’s better to go for margins like these while you’re learning how to use eBay and its various tools. As you become more proficient, you can start handling volume.