Given the combination of opportunity and motivation, “Mompreneurship” provides working mothers with an alternative to traditional employment and a way to combine work with parenthood. Many “Mompreneurs” use the Internet as the primary platform for their business model – its 24/7 availability allows them to work when and where they can.
Women start businesses for many reasons – career independence, personal fulfillment, professional challenge, and work-life balance. According to a recent Census Bureau study, 56 percent of women-owned firms are home-based businesses. One of the more popular and effective ways that mothers are working from home is by starting eBay-based businesses – and BBB offers reliable advice for Mompreneurs to help them be successful earning money from home through eBay.
From its new book, Better Business Bureau Starting an eBay Business: Insider’s Guide to Success, BBB offers the following seven tips for Mompreneurs to consider when starting an eBay business:
- Time: your most important investment - All sellers agree: the more involved they get in the eBay community – participating in the forums, attending the classes at eBay University and going to the town meetings – the more quickly they get up to speed on how to make their eBay business successful.
- Use third-party hosting services - If you intend to use a lot of photos – and you should – you will save a considerable amount of money by using a third-party hosting service. Such services store your item photos online and provide you with easy-to-use tools for selecting the ones you want to include in your eBay listings. Because most third-party vendors offer hosting fees that are significantly lower than eBay’s own photo hosting costs, this saves high-volume sellers significant dollars.
- Get the category right - If you don’t choose an appropriate category for your item, eBay will move your listing. So it’s best to do the work yourself and pick the right category: otherwise, you might be assigned one that isn’t the best for promoting your particular auction item.
- Set the right price - Setting the right starting price for your auction is a combination of art and science. Set the price too low and you might end up sacrificing your item at a price well below what you paid for it. Set the price too high and buyers might be discouraged from bidding. Your best bet for setting an optimal starting price is research. Using eBay’s Completed Listings feature, you can learn what auctions of similar items have started at – and see what they closed at.
- Give your buyers a full week - For most items, seven-day listings tend to work best, as they provide buyers with adequate time to consider your item, but don’t make them impatient that the process is dragging out too long.
- The importance of positive feedback - Having a good feedback score from a large number of buyers is the number one thing you can do to boost your credibility as a seller. There are no tricks, simply sell as many goods as possible and deliver great customer service. If a customer complains, make sure you resolve their problem immediately.
- Find the right insurance - Once you have substantial inventory or other property, you should get proper insurance to protect your goods. If you are working from your home, you might wrongfully assume your home insurance covers all losses. Home-based businesses require special insurance that could include contents insurance, business interruption insurance, general liability insurance, additional auto insurance and product liability insurance.
For more professional tips and advice you can rely on, check out BBB’s new book, Better Business Bureau Starting an eBay Business: Insider’s Guide to Success, to help steer you through the process of starting up your own eBay business. BBB Insider’s Guides are sold at major book retailers including Barnes and Noble, Borders Books and Music, and Books-A-Million.