Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Feb 19 2014 19:43:26

On Becoming an eBay Millionaire

By: Ina Steiner

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It's been a long time since news outlets hyped the potential riches that could be made by selling on eBay, but Australia's newspaper The Age published a piece today titled, "So you want to be an eBay millionaire?"

The newspaper profiled two sellers who got their start selling on eBay and have grown their businesses. But the piece actually succeeds in highlighting the problem many would-be eBay millionaires have encountered: the ceiling they bump up against when growing an eBay-only business.

While both sellers advocate selling on eBay as a way to learn about ecommerce, neither one currently appears to be depend on eBay for the bulk of their sales. There are many sellers who do well selling on eBay, but in general, most sellers diversify, expanding to Amazon and other marketplaces and building their own website.

An interesting fact was mentioned in the article: "eBay invests $105 million in Australia to drive traffic to its merchants' sites." And while that's what makes eBay  helpful to new sellers, merchants find that if they're the ones paying for traffic, it's better to send shoppers to their own site rather than a third-party marketplace where they don't have control and things can change with little notice.

Underneath the headline about eBay millionaires, The Age wrote, "Join the growing army of online moguls taking on the world."

What do you think - if you were advising someone about how to make big money selling online, what would you advise them to do? Any eBay millionaires willing to share their secrets?




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by: andrewjtitcombe This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Feb 19 20:46:17 2014

Increased costs on both eBay and PayPal mean that you are in business to make those two corporations richer by the minute  ALSO the way eBay legislates against the seller in most cases (using secret feedback -DSRs) makes us almost scared of our shadows, at times Best advice is to use it as a channel but you will never be a millionaire simply selling on one channel  Using the the internet for selling can make you a millionaire .......not just using eBay

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by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 00:00:48 2014

I would agree that it would be a good idea to diversify away from eBay once your business gets an established clientele. eBay makes too many tweaks too often to their platform, which oftentimes have ripple effects that they are either completely unaware of or don't care about (after all, most of the people that work for eBay have probably never attempted to make a living selling on eBay.) The longer I sell on eBay, the stronger desire I have to move away from "having all of my eggs in one basket", due to its inconsistent nature.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Feb 20 00:03:36 2014

Since supposedly ALL ebay sellers have selling limits, becoming a millionaire on ebay is as likely as winning the lottery. Ebay is sending more sellers to the poor house. I think this would make a more realistic post "How eBay succeeds in making sellers poor" or "Whatever became of those sellers who quit their day job to sell on ebay?"

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 01:08:17 2014

I absolutely don't want to become a Millionaire selling on ebay,  I don't want to pay Trillions in fees to Feebay!

I hit selling limit each day with ebay's Cashini?   Ebay make sure I have barely enough revenue to pay store fee each month.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 04:41:49 2014

It's sad that eBay probably still has the best traffic online for my antiques and collectibles. Sad because its policies have hurt my small business more than helped it after many hard years of ''growing'' it. In fact, almost killed my small business. Spread out far and wide and go back to antique shows :)

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 05:38:36 2014

The only millionaires on Ebay are JD and his Merry Band of Idiots.

But then again if we sellers didn't sell on Ebay the Idiots would probably be living under a bridge somewhere.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Thu Feb 20 06:55:24 2014

“Our ambition is to be the strategic partner of choice for every leading retailer, brand and manufacturer across the world, moving our relationship from the warehouse to the boardroom, and cementing our reputation as a company that is truly redefining commerce.”—eBay Job Ad, LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/7132781

If you are not already a “preferred” eBay seller, ie, a “leading retailer, brand or manufacturer”, any idea that you could now hope to become an “eBay millionaire” would put you into the same delusional category as Johnny Ho; the only difference between him and any aspiring millionaire is that the Ho is in the position to ensure that any millions now being made on eBay are going to be made by his preferred sellers, or go into his own pocket. The reality is, anyone that is not already a millionaire is not now welcome on Johnny Ho’s eBay marketplace …

Even the once major eBay seller “No Touchy” Johnny (eforcity) Sheng’s completed sales are a massive ocean of red these days which indicates to me that the problem for most eBay sellers is more than simply eBay throttling them; the only merchants that I see with high sell through rates (and with many bids thereon) are invariably bidding on their own auctions and often buying much of their stuff themselves—much to eBay’s profit alone …

eBay Inc. is an utterly unscrupulous corporation currently being directed by an equally unscrupulous, untalented, narcissistic sociopath displaying all the ugly aspects of unbridled nineteenth century capitalism; and this headless turkey has now been invited to supply the US government with advice on matters of “unemployment”—too funny! Or not funny at all, whichever way you look at it …

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 20 07:05:38 2014

Our 1099 for ebay/PayPal was almost identical to last year.  We had many more listings than in 2012 so this makes no sense.  I do think eBay is throttling small sellers' listings and Cassini is hiding listings on an on-going basis.  We will have about one week out of a month where sales are incredible (it's as if they turned on our server) and for the rest of the month we sell here and there.  I do think all small sellers have selling limits.

Becoming a millionaire on eBay?   HA!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu Feb 20 08:13:22 2014

I will reveal all when I reach $1,000,000.00 (total since day  1, of course).

However, I got a long way to go.

Tied to a single mercurial channel is not the recipe for wealthy success.

It is an expensive way to launch, test and learn your online business. Much like in another era going from a pushcart in the street to a small store to a larger store to a chain.

Fortunoff's in the NYC area many moon ago comes to mind.

Yes kiddies (stops to spit his chaw into the bucket), I started small on eBay, when we only had desktops and CRT monitors. You don't remember eBay? Oh well.

Now (coughs a few times & bites another hunk of chaw), all of this will be yours soon.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu Feb 20 08:15:54 2014

ARRGH!

Make that "an INEXPENSIVE way to"



Mit di yoren verren shvacher di tsain un der zikoren.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Feb 20 09:31:15 2014

I suppose somewhere along the way, in the beginning prior to Meg and company, we had some eBay (or any venue like Amazon) millionaires. But which numbers are we using. Your gross take or net after expenses including those horrendous eBay fees? I do think that selling on line for those willing to learn, you can learn how to run a business, what works and what doesn't, how to promote your business, how to write effective listings, etc. you can make your start on ebay or Amazon or even ecrater. One of the most important things in getting to that big figure is learning how to cut unnecessary expenses and how to charge the right amount. I've seen way too many sellers that have some sort of mindset that they can make that million by charging miniscule amounts for their goods and expect to come out ahead. You learn to count the costs of what you are doing. I corresponded at one point with a woman who needed badly to make more money that 'sold' her spare coupons for some ridiculous small amount and was so pleased with herself until we reminded her of what the cost really had been and that she had paid ebay and PP for the privilege of selling, but hadn't earned a penny (had actually lost money) for herself.

I would guess that those that would make a million or more on line are those that have their own website, selling unique but much needed goods, and allowing others to sell on their website for a fee, just like ebay and Amazon do.

Many moan that their isn't a good place to sell on line, yet these selling sites were all started originally by 1-2 guys, so why not start your own site and beat ebay at their own game?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Thu Feb 20 10:47:12 2014

You may have to spend a million to make a million on ebay. It would be very foolish to think that one can be a millionaire selling on ebay. But, there are many who try.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 10:59:20 2014

Impossible to do on ebay.  

Possibly with your own brand and websites and the Chinese don't latch on to your items.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Thu Feb 20 11:11:28 2014

An easy, one step formula, to become an eBay millionaire:

1) Start off with ten million dollars.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Feb 20 12:01:55 2014

Back in the "good ol' days" of eBay, I'm sure there were a few people who became millionaires. I can't think of the gentleman's name, but he sold posters on eBay, and then went on to open his own site, and is a millionaire. During the first few years of eBay, fees were low, if you paid via bank transfer through PayPal there was no fee (and the first $100 each month charged via a credit card was fee-free), so sellers got to keep more from each sale. Nowadays, no small seller could become a millionaire with the Chinese and big box competition, selling limits, rolling blackouts, and massive fees.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Feb 20 14:55:57 2014

This can't be anything other another press release.

Does ebay spin spin in the opposite direction in Australia?

Looks as if it doesn't.

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by: Daisy909 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 18:10:27 2014

I would advise them to get started 15 years ago.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Thu Feb 20 18:15:03 2014

As eBay goes down the gurgler, in the southern hemisphere they do indeed spin in the opposite direction ...

Funny, but I keep getting LinkedIn notices of people from eBay and PreyPal looking up my profile on LinkedIn; which indicates that my comments thereon (and elsewhere) are an irritation to them. Regardless, there is only one way to get Johnny Ho’s attention and that is by creating bad publicity; dissatisfied eBay users should also join LinkedIn (and SeekingAlpha.com and the like, wherever comments are enabled) and have a say every time nonsense from Johnny Ho, David Marcus, or the eBay Dept of Spin, appears …

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by: rudestar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 21 11:15:27 2014

If I save all my ebay profits and always reach my daily selling limit. I will be a millionaire by summer of 2105

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 21 11:30:49 2014

Maybe I could think of something to add.....once I stop laughing!

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