eBay Trading Assistants
eBay Trading Assistants help people sell their items on eBay. eBay Trading Assistants who operate a home business typically go out to client's homes or businesses to photograph and pick up items and then sell them on eBay on consignment, with the Trading Assistant handling all of the details of the sale and collecting a commission once the item is sold.
The commissions that eBay Trading Assistants charge vary widely, from as little as 5 percent to 50 percent.
A home-based eBay Trading Assistant offers convenience to customers, many of whom can't be bothered with selling the items themselves on eBay.
The Pros of Being a Trading Assistant
- Each Trading Assistant runs his or her own independent business, free from any involvement (other than abiding by the rules) by eBay.
- Requires little upfront investment — the clients supply the inventory. So there's minimal financial risk.
- There are a great number of credible resources for improving eBay sales. For registered eBay Trading Assistants, eBay provides marketing materials like flyer templates and press kits and also offers some training. Plus, there is an entire market of businesses that provide additional resources designed to help eBay resellers succeed.
The Cons of Being a Trading Assistant
Building a client base is perhaps the toughest part of getting started. Most of your clients will come from your local area.
- Over the past few years, eBay Trading Assistant storefronts have opened up as franchise opportunities across the United States, so competition could be keen, depending on access to these storefronts in your neighborhood.
- In times of high gas prices, fuel costs to visit customers could be a burden.
- You need space to store your customer's merchandise - and local ordinances may restrict what you can store at home - until it sells.
What You Need to Get Started
- Strong knowledge of eBay about everything from listing procedures to average prices.
- Some retailing/merchandising ability.
- Photography skills and a camera.
- An eBay account in good standing/
- You must have sold at least 10 items on eBay in the previous 3 months and maintain at least 10 sales per 3-month period.
- To maintain a minimum eBay feedback score of 100 (at least 98% positive).
- Abide by the terms of the Trading Assistant Style Guide.
- Abide by eBay's Trading Assistant Agreement.
- Good people skills to work with your customers.
A Real Life Example of eBay Trading Assistant Business
Christopher Spencer, author of The eBay Entrepreneur: The Definitive Guide to Starting Your Own eBay Trading Assistant Business runs his own eBay Trading Assistant business in Burbank, California. In 2006, according to this article on eCommerce-Guide.com, Spencer was charging his customers:
- 38% of the first $500
- 25% of the next $500
- 15% of any amount over $1,000
He charges no upfront fee and sets no minimum price in his eBay listings. Whatever the commission, being an eBay Trading Assistant is not a get-rich-quick" business.
Like other legitimate home businesses, it takes time and effort to be successful.