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Setting Up a Small Business From a Reclusive Place

The emergence of Internet as a marketplace has transformed the competitive situation for small businesses. To reach world markets, it is no more necessary to set up expensive branch offices. Instead, you can simply create a web site for your business, incorporate order and payment facilities at the site, and promote the site effectively. All these tasks could be done inexpensively compared to the cost of setting up overseas offices.

Even domestic business could be done using a Web shop. No more is it necessary to hire expensive space in the central business district. Use your garage to store your merchandise. And UPS or Fedex for delivering it.

Small Business From A Reclusive Place

Are you the kind of person who dreams of getting away from it all? Of going to some far away corner near, say, the sea or some green forest? A secluded place with only a few dwellings spread out widely?

And combining this seclusion with a small business that earns you some money?

With the arrival of the Internet, this need not remain a dream. Provided your small community has phone connectivity. And you have a credit card or other means of paying and receiving money remotely.

There is a business called Drop Shipping. Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment business model where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Just like a retailer, you sell merchandise. However, the difference is that the selling is not done in a brick-and-mortar store but on the Internet. Effectively, the merchandise is stocked, shipped (and any returns handled) by the manufacturer or a wholesaler called the Drop Shipper.

You enter into an agreement with the Drop Shipper to promote their product. And then go ahead to promote it effectively usually through a Web site or e-mails. Any orders received by you are passed on immediately to the drop shipper who executes them in your name (and address).

You collect the cash from the customer and pays the drop shipper at wholesale prices. The difference between the price you charge and the wholesale price is yours to keep.

Buy and Sell at Ebay

Buying and Selling on Ebay is a good way to build up a business quickly.  Ebay stands for net auctions, and it reaches a vast community of sellers and buyers. It is quite significant to note that many individuals have setup highly successful dropshipping businesses on EBay, and it has become for many, their main source of livelihood.

Net Auctions Business

What are the advantages of the net auction business?

  • You do not need any infrastructure. Just get the product cheap somewhere and list it at Ebay or other net auction site for sale.
  • It is an ideal way to learn doing business. You learn to study the market, write good sales copy, ship orders and collect payments. You also learn business ethics.
  • The net auctions business does not tie you down to fixed times. You can list products for sale when you have the time to attend to incidental functions. This is a major advantage if you have other commitments.
  • You get the best prices for what you sell, as in any auction.

Participating in Auctions at Ebay

The formalities of buying and selling on ebay are as follows:

    • Select the format of selling. You can sell by auction, or you can sell at a fixed price. Fixed price listing ends when someone buys at that price.
    • Describe your product by selecting the Category, writing a Title and a Description, and uploading one or more pictures. Also indicate the shipping costs.
    • For auction format of selling, indicate the duration of the auction. At the end of the specified duration, the listing ends and the highest bidder gets the item.You can, however, set a minimum reserve price.
  • You can sell multiple, identical, items at a time, or a single item.

Buyers interested in all kinds of things are constantly visiting ebay and other auction sites. If they feel interested by your listing, they might submit a bid at ebay or other site. At the end of the auction duration, the highest bidder gets the item unless you had set a reserve price and the highest bid falls short of it.

When the buyer has paid for the item, you have to pack and ship the item to the address indicated by the buyer. Ebay would have collected the shipping costs indicated by you.

That is the auction ebay procedure. You would have to pay different kinds of fees for selling at ebay.

  • Insertion fees for listing your item
  • Reserve price auction fee – refundable
  • Picture services fee
  • Listing upgrade fee
  • Final value fee
  • Transaction service fee
  • Paypal fee

Net Auction Success

As in any business, if you know what you sell, you have far greater chances for success. You will then know what is acceptable quality and normal prices. And can recognize a bargain when you see one.

You get bargains, and rare items, at yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and offline (or online) auctions. If you are a regular customer at these kinds of sales, you have a steady source of saleable items at bargain prices.

If you are new to net auctions, start slowly. Browse ebay and other auction sites. Get familiar with the market. What items are listed? Under which categories? What are the typical bid prices for items you are planning to list? How are items described? What kinds of descriptions attract the best bids?

The buyer cannot physically inspect the goods in a net auction. Compensate this through accurate descriptions. What is the item? What is it made of? By whom was it made? When? In which country? Is it new or used? Mint condition or damaged? What is special about the item? Does it have a history?

When you have gained some idea of the process, start by listing one or a few items. Monitor the results of different ways of titling, describing and pictures. Experiment with different kinds of listings such as featured and home page listings. Fixed price and auction. Shorter and longer durations. Under two separate (but appropriate) categories.

Take particular care to gain a reputation as a reliable seller. Include accurate descriptions in the listings. Answer bidders’ questions promptly and accurately. Pack shipments securely. Deliver at promised times.

About Andre Hospidales

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