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Do It eBay!
By Amy Adair
January 1, 2003

eBay, that odd combination of letters that has come to symbolize a rare commodity--an Internet success story, is also a great source of revenue for many toy sellers. “…eBay has had a major influence on the buying of toy/hobby goods,” says one eBay member. Why? “Due to the difficulty and time it takes to find many of the rare items people are looking for …many people are going straight to eBay.”

This can mean a great opportunity for toy retailers, or those looking to start out in the business. All you need to sell on eBay is a little time, a computer and reliable Internet provider, access to a digital camera, and an inventory to sell. The price to list on eBay depends on the dollar amount you begin your auction at and the final price at which the item is sold, usually between .30 and 3.30 for insertion, and more depending on the final price. If you’ve never used eBay, go to ebay.com and select a log-in and password to get started. To get a gist of the basics, read the information at http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/basics.html. Additionally, there are tutorial workshops held frequently by email. Go to http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/workshopevents to see current and prospective topics.

“Toy & Hobby” and “Dolls & Bears” are just two of the topics that may be relevant to your business, in addition to more specialized topics, like “Collectibles.” At any one time, there may be as many as 821,607 items listed in the Toy & Hobby category. Make your listing stand out by writing a distinctive subject line. For example “Simpson Figurines, Lot~New!” Think about what people are looking for when they search, and what will catch their eye. Though a limited number of characters are allowed in the subject line, you can elaborate in the description. eBay also allows you to highlight your item or make it bold for an additional fee.

Pictures can really make the difference between a sale or fail on eBay. People want to see what they’re bidding on. Make sure you describe any faults that the item has, and show them in the photo. If you own a web site, you can upload your digital photos to it, and link to them through eBay. If not, eBay allows you one free photo upload from your computer per listing, with each additional photo costing ten cents.

After an auction ends, both parties receive a confirmation email. Since the seller has listed their payment methods, the buyer can often pay right away. Both the buyer and the seller leave feedback after payment is made and the item is received. This is how people know you’re trustworthy—feedback is a reflection of your past transactions.

“Since people on eBay are looking for good deals, using eBay is a great way for retailers to sell off overstock or unwanted items,” an eBay member adds. With a little work and creativity, you too can do it eBay!


Business: Even Small Businesses Can Benefit from an Internet Presence
Concept: Internet Marketing and Retailing
Shopping: Online Toy Shopping Gaining Popularity

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