Self Employment via eBay

For the last year or so, I've had a vague notion of wanting to be self-employed, but truthfully, I don't have a good idea of how to go about doing it. I have a vast liberal arts background, but virtually no business education or experience. Since I live in an expensive city and have yet to buy a home, I have a hard time imagining making enough money on my own support the lifestyle I want to live. You could argue that since I don't yet have a mortgage, this is the right time to take that risk, but when it comes to money, I'm just not a risk taker. For me, money=freedom, and I have no desire to jeopardize my freedom.

I'm an extremely introverted person, so any business I run would almost surely need to be internet-based. Being introverted means that spending a lot of time around other people is exhausting, so sitting in front of a computer by myself all day strongly appeals to me. So one idea I'm currently toying with, which has crossed my mind before, is being an eBay Power Seller.

I've only read one chapter of eBay Power Seller Secrets so far. I've learned that a Power Seller is someone who makes at least $1,000 a month and has a feedback score of 98% or higher. I'm not sure if selling products is the right niche for me because I'm not a big consumer, but I know that whether I choose to pursue the power seller path or stick with my current tendency to sell an item on eBay every couple of months, I will learn some valuable tips from this book.

Here are a few key points I've picked up:

-Your customer feedback rating is key to attracting customers. Unlike the feedback you get as an Amazon seller, where you only get feedback ratings when you sell items, whenever you make a purchase through eBay (or Half.com), the seller has the opportunity to leave feedback on you. Generally, if you pay for your item quickly, you'll receive positive feedback. Customers often won't pay attention to whether your positive feedback rating came from buying items or from selling them. So if you want to quickly build a solid reputation for yourself, start purchasing everything you want or need through eBay or Half and pay promptly.

-Don't sell items you aren't familiar with. If you don't know your merchandise, you won't be able to accurately describe products and answer customer questions. You also won't price items correctly, which can leave you vulnerable to selling valuable items for less than they are worth or not selling less valuable items that you've overpriced. If you really want to sell something you aren't familiar with, the least you should do is check completed auctions to see how other sellers described items like yours and what they sold for.

-Don't sell items whose condition is questionable. You don't want your customers to be disappointed when they receive their purchase in the mail. This will lead to negative feedback, which will deter future customers from bidding on your auctions.

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