Entrepreneurs looking to start an online retail business may want to give eBay a close look. Many of the aspects of starting an online retail business are made easier by the eBay business model. The eBay website has templates you can follow to create your own storefront; eBay has an audience of millions of potential customers all over the world; and eBay can help mediate customer service issues between buyers and sellers. Develop a plan and learn how to start your own business on eBay.
Become familiar with eBay's business rules and schedule of fees. Fees are charged for listing products, paying when products sell and associated with marketing processes, such as including a picture of a product and a bold headline to your eBay listing. Instructional videos from successful eBay sellers are on YouTube that can help you to understand how an eBay business would work.
Determine what kind of product you would like to start your eBay business. Spend some time on the eBay site determining how many other people already offer your product, and what pricing they offer. If you feel you can compete with the products you have chosen, or if you feel there is room for another seller of your product on eBay, then proceed with your business. If you find several hundred retailers of the product you are considering, then you will want to find a new product to sell on eBay. You can expand out to other products as your business grows, but you need to start with products that have a chance at selling to get your business off the ground.
Register your business with your state business licensing office. Contact your state senator's office to get the contact information for the licensing office. Some wholesalers will require you to be a registered business to do business with them. A business license allows you to open a business bank account and legally pay taxes on your business.
Write a business plan for your eBay business that outlines the products you intend to sell, the suppliers you will be using, how much startup capital you will need, your marketing approach to selling on eBay and projected revenue for the first three years of your company's existence. You will need money to start your eBay business. If you are unable to supply that money yourself, then you will need to talk to investors and lenders. A business plan will help potential lenders to better understand your eBay business idea and it will also help them to see how you intend to make your business stand out from the thousands of other eBay businesses.
Establish your online eBay store front with your company name and logo. Start off with a few auctions of your product with marketing programs, such as extra images and bold headlines to get started. Putting your auctions out into the general auction listing will have your new business come up in new auction searches and start driving traffic to your eBay store.