Starting your eBay business

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The time has come to start your eBay UK business.

Today could be the first day of a great new business, particularly if you do it all right. However, be warned, making a living on eBay is not easy.

How it starts
Most people who start selling on eBay are clearing unwanted stuff from the house. After a few dozen sales, the next stage can be to think about buying to sell.

You are in business
Do not forget this important fact. You may be working the odd evening or weekend and from the kitchen table, but you are in business. The first time that you buy and item and succeed in selling it, you are a business.

The Taxman
How easy would to buy and sell the odd stuff and think of it as a hobby? Just buying and selling to make a few pounds pocket money? You would not believe the number of people who think that just making a bit on money on the side is OK with the taxman, especially if you don’t tell them.

How wrong you are.

That first deal where you make a profit, means that you could be liable for tax and national insurance. If you buy and then sell an item, you need to register with the taxman within three months. If you don’t register, then it means that you are breaking the law; you are running a black-market business and can expect to fined.

The moral here, is to remember that you are a business and to declare it before the taxman find out. Believe it – if you don’t register and are found out, expect a heavy fine and a tax demand.

Your first supplier
Now that you are happily (or  unhappily) registered with the taxman, it is time to get down to business.

If you speak to any eBay business seller, especially the larger PowerSellers, they will tell you the most frequently asked question is “..who are your suppliers..?”. Trust me, they won’t be telling you! These sellers have worked very hard to find suppliers and they will protect their sources.

You will need to find your own suppliers. Where do you start? The best way to start, is with a product you know something about. Perhaps you collect model railways. Look at your collection and work out who manufacturers the engines, the rails, the signal box, the electrics, the plastic figures on the station platform. You should be able to draw up a list of several companies.

Take that list of companies and search them out on the internet. Take a look at the web sites. Do they have links to a dealers area? There may be information to find on the site which will help. Some manufactures will sell direct to shops of dealers, or work through a distributor. The best way to find out how they sell, is to pick up the phone and ask. Many will tell you they are not interested, so move on to the next on your list – or, look for another way to approach them

Trade Fairs
Continuing with the model railway theme, are there any large trade fairs where manufactures or distributors can be found? Think laterally here, as there is unlikely to be a single fair for model railway manufacturers. However, perhaps they attend a specialist toy fair. Again, when you phone the company, ask of they attend any trade fairs. Also, take a look on the internet to find any large trade fairs to visits.

What now?
Found someone who is willing to work with you? Excellent!

What you do next will be the subject of another guide in the near future. Watch this space!


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