Is selling other people's junk on eBay a good idea?
May 8, 2010 11:29 AM Subscribe
I want to start an "I will sell your stuff on Ebay" service in my town. What should I know about this before proceeding?
posted by Wanderboy to work & money (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've been helping a few people in my neighborhood put together auctions on eBay or listings on Craigslist. An opportunity has presented itself now to take this further and actually market this service to my entire town.
I am entirely confident that such a venture could be profitable (to the tune of $500/week) given my preliminary business model and the large number of potential customers who have expressed interest in this.
My preliminary business model would be to charge a preliminary $5 fee (for listing fees, handling fees, et cetera) and then a small percentage of the final sales price. I am Web-savvy enough to know which items will sell better on eBay and which will sell better on Craigslist, so I've been utilizing both.
I do have some reservations about this stuff, though: I have read through some concerning reports about sellers' experiences with Paypal and eBay, and though I've never been ripped off before, I've never sold anything for more than 60 or 70 bones. I'm not sure what I would do if someone gave me an expensive watch to sell and the buyer ended up scamming me out of it.
The other concern I have is whether it's legal and/or possible to "legitimize the business as I go." I.E, I'd like to learn about incorporation, tax returns and the like, but only once I'm making some money. Do I really need a business license off the bat for something like this?
Have any of you done something like this in the past? Do you have any suggestions about the most effective way to handle a venture like this, or any holes to poke through in this plan? I realize that this is a completely unoriginal service, but I live in a fairly backwater town and there's demand for it, so I'm more than willing to forgo a traditional summer job and experiment with this.