Tuesday

Need a Little Extra? Why not set up a Consignment Business on eBay?

Consignment sales are a great way for you to help non-techie types by selling their items on eBay. Lots of sellers do it, and several retail locations base their businesses on it. You take property of the item from the owner and sell it on eBay. As an eBay Trading Assistant, you’re responsible for taking photos and marketing the item on eBay — for a fee. In addition to the money you earn selling on consignment, you also get excellent experience for future listings of your own merchandise.

To set up your business for consignment sales, you should follow a few guidelines:

  1. Design a consignment agreement (a contract) and send it to the owners of the merchandise before they send you their items. Doing so ensures that all policies are set up in advance and that no questions will arise after the transaction has begun.

  2. Have the owners sign and give the agreement to you (the consignor) along with the item.

  3. Research the item based on past sales so you can give the owners an estimate of what the item might sell for on eBay.

  4. Photograph the item carefully and write a thoughtful, selling description.

  5. Handle all e-mail inquiries as though the item were your own; after all, your fee is generally based on a percentage of the final sale.

Traditional auction houses handle consignment sales in a similar fashion. You can compete with these traditional auction houses and consignment franchises in your own area.

The best part is that if you’re running your eBay business out of your home, from a garage, or from a low-rent industrial office, you’re a step ahead of the big guys who have to pay high rents in fancy neighborhoods to get their drop-in business. They also have to hire people who are familiar with running auctions on eBay — and aren’t you already set up for that?

Don’t worry about the competition! You may hear about the many brick-and-mortar eBay consignment stores that are opening up. (As a matter of fact, one company sold franchises for this business for up to $15,000!) You already know how to sell on eBay, so why would you need a franchise? Use your good sense (and positive feedback) to build your own eBay consignment store.