Reading: Build a million pound eBay Business

Andy Geldman at Web Retailer has published an interesting article. It’s an extensive interview with Neil Waterhouse that examines his approach to eBay selling. Waterhouse has written a few books and has extensive experience as an eBay seller. It’s a good read.

I particularly like his focus on stock discipline and choosing lines to sell on eBay. This quote leapt out at me: “Because every item we sell has to make $1,000 per cubic metre per month, a cheap item can’t have much meat in it. We’d have to turn over a lot of small items to make money. We do do it, but most of the items we sell are a bit bigger physically. The Chinese can post letters cheaper than we can post to our next-door neighbours, but not large items.”

There is something to his non-nonsense analysis regarding products which I can summarise as “Can you get it? Does it make adequate profit for you? Sell it.” I also rather admire his complete lack of sentimentality for what he sells. Of course, there is huge merit in selling those items for which you are passionate. In some fields the passion, and the deep knowledge such an interest yields is vital. But for mass produced widgets from China, such attachment is unnecessary. Also, clinging to single niche in retail can be quite suicidal.

The interview also reminds me that there are a stack of ways to make eBay work. You doubtless have your secret recipe to eBay selling. And good luck to you with your system. But there are different approaches. So cherry pick the wisdom of others to improve your recipe, say I.