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Old 07-16-2010, 08:26 PM
 
165 posts, read 901,116 times
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I'm a greek living in California. I decided to start an ebay business where my target customers will be primarily in Greece and selling products such as clothing, shoes etc that are way too expensive in Greece yet "cheap" in the U.S (for ex. a pair of New Balance that costs $40 here sells for 150euros in Greece). I need some help to start selling on ebay since i don't have much knowledge. My main concern are the ebay fees which i heard can be high when you start selling over a specific price range, also the paypal fees, the shipping cost (shoes and clothes can be heavy) and also shipping insurance. What is the best way to get inventory? Do i just go out and buy myself or is there another way where i can get the stuff that i want even cheaper (wholesale)? How much money do i need to start small? Does anyone here sell on ebay internationally that can give me some feedback? I am not looking to get rich out of this, i just want to have something to do on my spare time and make some extra cash.
Thanks
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Florida
21,069 posts, read 21,689,108 times
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My best advice to you is go to eBay and start reading the discussion forums.
There are forums for selling, shipping, PayPal, etc.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:54 AM
 
Location: The Southern Sac's, NM
1,872 posts, read 3,082,330 times
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I sell on eBay and can offer some advice.

First, nobody on the eBay forums is going to give you their wholesale sources, but you might get some practical information there.

If I were you, I'd find an outlet mall or a Big5 (sports-related clothing, shoes, equipment etc) type store that has a good sale. Buy some shoes, and give them a go on eBay and see if there is a market for them.

Buy some items on eBay first, and get your feedback rating up to at least 10. Buyers are wary of 0 feedback sellers.

Here is a good eBay fee calculator, you can determine your selling price according to the fees you will have to pay.

Selling internationally can be tricky. Be sure you read the export restrictions for Greece

You will have to provide tracking or delivery confirmation to prove delivery to the customer. I don't believe Greece tracks USPS packages all way to the customer when you use Priority Mail, but you might verify that. Your safest method is Express but that will cost $35 if you buy postage online.
If you can't prove delivery, and you get a dishonest customer (who claims they never received it) or your shipment disappears in the mail, you will loose your product, your fees, and the cost of shipping it. There is no recourse.

To list an item is fairly easy - just log into eBay and hit the SELL button at the top. Chose the long form (not the quick form), you will need to use the international postage calculator. And then just pick a category and start filling out the form. It's pretty self-explanatory.

Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:08 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 14,203,485 times
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seems strange nobody else has thought up that " money making idea" before.

Guess nobody else realized there is a lot of money to be made buying US shoes and selling them in Greece . sarc
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
40,260 posts, read 49,770,923 times
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Several relatives of mine make their living on ebay. They, and many others, were very successful at this until recently. They say that ebay has made it practically impossible for sellers to succeed anymore. The fees are high. The listing tools which made their product more prominent have been elimanated. They require all sellers to use only Paypal, which is very expensive, and buyers can rip them off without any repercussions from ebay. They also say that ebay's goal is to get away from large commercial sellers, "the stores", in favor of the little guy selling his old weedwhacker, or whatever.
So, to the OP, I think you have missed the boat.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:46 AM
 
165 posts, read 901,116 times
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thanks everyone for the replies and especially egglady for the helpfull links!
gentlearts: are you saying that there is no way to make money on ebay anymore? no matter what you sell and where to? I'm not planning on becoming a large commercial seller, just buy some things that i know are in high demand in Greece (and overpriced) and see how much i can get for them.

I have friends back home that constantly ask me if i can bring them this or that, i had a friend the other day that asked me if i can buy and ship an authentic Lebron James jersey for him because the cheapest one he can find there is 130euros..Levis jeans are 4x the price over there the same with puma and diesel shoes and clothes (and you can find them for 50% off of what they sell HERE in the outlets). Not to mention that a lot of the things that people want are not even available in Greece, especially on the islands, and if they are only high end boutiques sell them and most people can't afford.

What is the profit margin that will make selling on ebay worth it? What percentage of the sale goes to paying paypal and ebay fees? And do i need a business license and tax id number?? Again, it's not going to be like i have a store, i just want to invest 1k or less on inventory and see how it goes. I don't want to buy from wholesellers yet since i don't want to start that strong until i see how things go, but until then can i just buy and sell? Any problems with the irs and the money coming to my account internationally?
And this might sound like a dumb question, and i know it's wrong, but what stops me from buying stuff, trying to sell them on ebay and if i don't return them to where i bought them from (considering it hasn't been 30days)??
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:31 PM
 
513 posts, read 1,208,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellaslover View Post

I have friends back home that constantly ask me if i can bring them this or that, i had a friend the other day that asked me if i can buy and ship an authentic Lebron James jersey for him because the cheapest one he can find there is 130euros..Levis jeans are 4x the price over there the same with puma and diesel shoes and clothes (and you can find them for 50% off of what they sell HERE in the outlets). Not to mention that a lot of the things that people want are not even available in Greece, especially on the islands, and if they are only high end boutiques sell them and most people can't afford.

A few things to consider:

Friends ask you to bring stuff home because it's cost-effective for them to ask you to do it. However if you decide to sell on ebay your buyers will also have to pay customs taxes, as well as shipping fees. That adds to their overall cost to purchase the item so it may not be as cost-effective with this added on.

Clothing is VERY difficult to sell. A lot of PITA buyers who are eager to return for the slightest isses (don't like the fit, don't like the look, buyers remorse). You are likely going to have a lot of returns with clothes. And if you are forced to accept a return with paypal, paypal will also refund their shipping charges (which can get expensive for you since international shipping is not cheap).
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
22,333 posts, read 21,421,279 times
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I've been selling clothing on ebay for years and I'll agree with a lot of what's been said already. It's a lot of work for a low income and ebay is making it harder and harder. Ebay is more and more embracing the huge corporate sellers and squeezing the small seller out.

Give it a try -- sell some things from abound the house to get some feedback. I don't think you need a tax number or any other number to just get started. Use the SELL button on My eBAY once you've registered. Make sure you've got your PP account linked to your ebay seller account by either linking it to a LOW amount bank account OR clinking onto to eBAY credit card. Either one will make you verified -- and you have to be verified (can't remember why....partly so you can sell some expensive brands and it may offer you some protection.)

Ship first class international and get insurance through outside of ebay -- like U-PIC. I think ebay is going to start offering some international insurance of your own.

For inventory -- who knows? I can easily go to a New Balance factory outlet when they're having their semi annual sale and get whatever I want but so can/do a lot of other people. If you target your sales mostly toward Greece and you know what they want, you might have some advantage.
What are you going to do with all your leftovers though? Think of that.

Oh--and invest in a little postal scale. Once you have weighed the item, go to USPS and calculate the postage for first class international. You can easily lose out on the postage if you're not careful. You may get discouraged like every other ebay seller. At least you'll get this out of your system and you never know--you may even get lucky!
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
40,260 posts, read 49,770,923 times
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I agree with the others. Start small and make sure you collect enough to cover your shipping and the actual costs of boxing and packaging. Another thing ebay does (or they used to) is put anyone who offers free shipping at the top of a listing, thereby giving them more promenance, but if you put a reserve on your listing it costs money. It's very hard not to lose money when selling on ebay anymore. My relatives who sell on there need to sell hundreds of things every week in order to make any money. the way it works is they lose money on just as many things as they make money on, but it averages out over time....or at least it did.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:17 PM
 
171 posts, read 405,849 times
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Also? You don't want to start an EBAY BUSINESS. You want to start a business, of which eBay is one component.

Don't put all of your eggs into one virtual shopping cart. You want to have something you can sell on more than one venue, and preferably, you want to have several somethings AND be able to change what you sell before it jumps the shark.

Good luck!
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