A Step-by-step guide to your own £1 million+ turnover business on eBay
Numerous Internet news sites tell how there are more than 2,000 eBay millionaires in the UK alone. At the same time, they reveal the secrets behind the success of just a handful of ordinary people turned extraordinarily rich individuals.
Key ‘2,000 eBay millionaires’ into Google’s search box to locate one or more of those articles – all of which make extremely profitable reading.
But more interesting by far are tips and strategies I uncovered today from eBay millionaires the world over, whose start-up secrets will also help you grow profits you might so far only dream about.
Before I tell all, let me ask you to imagine you have ten products selling ten times a day (so 100 orders to fulfil daily), each attracting £30 pure profit or more.
One hundred sales per day at £30 unit profit is £3,000 profit a day – round about £1 million per year.
How wonderful does that sound? The only downside, if you can call it that, being that you’ll probably need help to run the business (maybe a partner or spouse; one of the kids perhaps) and you’ll need space to store your products: a large garden shed, the attic, low-price outside storage facilities.
Importantly, this can all be done with very little starting capital: you begin small and have just one product selling ten times a day at £30 profit or more, and with all profits ploughed back into alternative product acquisitions.
When you have your ten or more profitable products, you either content yourself with £1 million turnover or look for more high-profit regular selling products.
But how to identify those products? Where to source them? And how to make yours the ones people buy? For me, the answer always begins at GoofBid and it goes like this:
(i) Click on ‘eBay Tools’ at the top of the page, then click on ‘eBay Most Popular Tool’ at the right-side of the drop-down menu. Enter a one or two-word description of the type of product you might want to sell, such as ‘acne cream’, ‘knitting machine’, ‘gold pendant’, and so on. On the right side of the next page, look for the highest prices paid for products such as you’ve just described and those which also boast hefty sales numbers. You’re looking for products costing £80 or more and with hundreds or thousands of sales.
You’re doing this because higher prices typically equate to higher profit margins. There’s more chance of an item priced £79.99 offering a pure £30 profit or more, for example, than another costing £50. And you obviously want to sell as many of those products as possible.
Another reason is that it’s just as easy to identify and no more expensive to source and list a product on eBay costing £80 or more as it is to list another priced £50 or less. Either way you are maximising profits and minimising your workload.
(ii) Click on the titles for some of those listings and you’ll be taken to actual eBay sales pages for specific products, most of which will be fixed-price listings; some with best offer attached, some without. Close to its price and ‘quantity’ you’ll see how many times the product has sold. Click on that link and you’ll see when sales were made. You’re looking for products selling several times a day, preferably attracting multiple product orders.
Choose a few products to investigate further.
(iii) Now it’s time to locate suppliers for those products at prices providing a decent mark up for you after purchase and selling costs. Millionaires I’ve researched today suggest finding products that are available in regular supply at lower prices on outside-eBay sites, notably many people’s top choice, Amazon (amazon.com or .co.uk and other country sites).
Alternatively, find suppliers in local business parks or from regional business telephone directories. Visit your local reference library for contact details.
Try art and craft fairs too, where you’ll find makers keen on making and not so keen on selling – but very willing to create items for you at short notice.
Or simply attend a couple of trade fairs such as those you’ll find listed at
In almost all cases you can buy and stock products and fulfil eBay orders yourself, or have items sent by suppliers direct to your buyers. I prefer to stock goods and handle all fulfilment myself, which is very time-consuming but gives me greater control. And being in control gives me fewer product quality and fulfilment problems to worry about.
This is all so easy and I really can’t understand why so many other eBay sellers aren’t queuing up alongside me in business parks or outside sellers’ booths at national trade and manufacturers fairs.
When you have your supplier, you buy one item, sell it, see how profit it makes by auctioning it first time round, then use the auction finishing price as the fixed price for your listings.
Use profits to buy more stock of the same or alternative items and, as they say in the trade, ‘rinse and repeat’, meaning do the whole thing all over again.
Subject to concerns expressed earlier, try looking for manufacturers willing to dropship goods for you, and also consider specialist dropshipping companies. My preference is for manufacturers who don’t currently dropship but who will dropship exclusively for me – once they know how dropshipping works (and it is my business to educate them).
To avoid quality and delivery problems, you must study early feedback from customers before working long-term with dropshippers. Manufacturers and dropshippers must agree not to dropship for or supply other eBay sellers. It works like a dream and means you face little or no competition for some or all of your products.
Obviously, this idea does not work well for one-off or unique products and is less suitable for auction listings than fixed-price. Fixed-price listings allow you to sell the same products several times each day, compared to auction listings where just one product can be sold from each listing and you are not allowed duplicate auction listings (but you can make second-chance offers) – however, you can list multiple products inside one fixed-price listing.
Very important: You must identify profit margins before choosing and listing products, taking eBay and PayPal fees into account, as well as delivery costs.
This can be done manually or by using special software programs. If you haven’t taken a free trial yet, you’ll find a software program called eDeal ProfitCalc will help you determine profit margins at the click of a button and to a high degree of accuracy.
(iv) Study prices charged by your lowest-priced competitor on eBay for the same or a similar product, then aim to either: charge a tiny bit less, or; add value and charge the same price or more.
Value might be in the form of faster delivery, better communications, superior feedback, and bonus or additional products – anything that makes your offer superior to your nearest, lowest-priced competitor for the same or a similar main product.
More tips from today’s millionaire eBay sellers
* Sell in niche markets – the kind where products share the same basic theme and generate regular, repeat buyers. Niche market examples include anti-ageing, photography, jewellery making supplies, craftwork supplies, and millions more.
Notice how people interested in, say, anti-ageing products are likely to buy several products, perhaps over many years, all designed to delay the ageing process.
People making jewellery regularly buy the same product types several times a month, potentially for life, such as beads and parts from broken watches, threads and chains, and so on.
All of which means you need fewer buyers to generate a great living from niche market products as from one-off goods or other products most people buy once or just a handful of times in a lifetime. Examples of this include: high-end artwork (most of us have just one fireplace to hang it over); funeral cards (few of us experience regular bereavement, thankfully so); and wedding dresses (how many of us marry ten times or more?).
Find your niche market and list as many products as possible likely to suit the average person interested in your niche – as long as those items attract high-unit profits and regular sales – and you’re well on the way to a million-pound turnover business on eBay.
* Check early feedback received for all newly introduced inventory. Look for problems likely to incur regular poor feedback. Then either sort out the problems by changing supplier, for example, or consider replacing a poor performer with a similar but better product, or with another completely different item. This is because poor feedback for one item can decimate future sales for the same product, and sometimes for everything you sell.
* Look for products available in your local area but unavailable elsewhere and with potential to sell nationally or worldwide. Aim for local manufacturers selling just a short distance from base to nearby retailers, for example, or at regional fairs and trading events.
Buy one or two items to test market the product outside the manufacturer’s selling area. Study which products attract the most sales and the highest profits. Then seek an exclusive deal with makers: one that makes you the only person allowed to sell outside the maker’s target market.
And now you know how others make a fortune on eBay, it’s time for you to make your own. Why not get started right away?