Far too many people rush to open an eBay account, fall over themselves to make their first sale, and in all the panic and confusion they suddenly realise they're losing money fast! So they give up selling on eBay and return to working for someone else!
Very sad, especially when just a few simple steps are all that stand between failing on eBay and growing an income limited only by time and effort put into the business.
So why fail, why not succeed beyond your wildest dreams, why not follow a few simple steps to guarantee your success on eBay?
* Decide What to Sell
You must have some definite product or service in mind, or you'll be running round in circles, forever chasing new ideas and getting nowhere fast.
Counter this common problem as soon as you sign up at eBay by spending at least two or three days looking at what other people are selling, especially sellers with hundreds of monthly feedback points and high profit margins.
* Grow a Tough Second Skin
It's sad to say the customer is not always right on eBay and although most customers are very genuine, there's a tiny minority who exist purely to upset other people. These people leave negative feedback for any reason or no reason at all, and they can be extremely hurtful to first time entrepreneurs.
Like many people, I think eBay's one-sided feedback system is seriously flawed and I can't quite work out why sellers can only leave positive feedback or no feedback at all for buyers, including those who insist they haven't received your product even though you have their signature on the delivery form.
This sort of thing happens because the Internet is largely anonymous and people who'd never create a scene in a high street shop can be extremely obnoxious in eBay messages and feedback comments.
So you must learn to accept this unfair situation and report every unpleasant experience to eBay.
* Be Upfront and Professional Right From Day One
The most successful sellers are those who take their responsibilities very seriously, towards other sellers, towards customers, and especially towards government authorities.
In particular, way too many people take chances when it comes to handling matters like income tax and trading standards, these being the two most likely areas to land you in a whole heap of trouble and send your eBay business plummeting.
In short, you MUST determine your legal and financial obligations as soon as you begin selling on eBay, and you must take steps to ensure you never fall foul of local, national and international trading rules and regulations.
That does not mean you need an accountant right from day one but you do have to tell the income tax authorities you are running a business and provide specific information for each trading year. Read all about it at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk
You should also study eBay's help pages to determine eBay's own seller rules as well as local, national and international rules and regulations concerning sales made on eBay.
Last, but not least, contact your local town hall for advice about local and non-local trading laws.