How to Fire Up Your eBay Business with Little to No Startup Capital

The following article is a guest post by Josh Cohen from

One of the most difficult barriers to entry for any new business owner to overcome is startup capital. As I’m sure you know, it takes money to make money—or does it?
In this blog post I will be showing you how you can kick-start your eBay business without needing buckets of cash for inventory. We will be leveraging other online powerhouses to bypass the most common stumbling blocks of any new business.
First let’s look at the three elements needed to create an eBay empire:

1)   A Platform

Luckily for us, eBay is free until you sell your first product.
2)   Inventory
This is a given—you need something to sell or you’re not going to get very far.
3)   Marketing
We need to get people looking at our products in order to make any sales.
Now that we're clear on the three areas we need to focus on, let me show you how to do all of the above for free.

Setting Up on eBay

When setting up on eBay I would suggest you just create a standard account. There is no need to pay the monthly fee for a shop or even get a professional template designed. Don’t get me wrong, both of those should be done, but not until you make your first few sales and get the ball rolling.
When it comes to choosing your eBay name, I recommend you pick something generic. At this early stage it would not be wise to use a name that implies a certain genre of product. Even if you have a type of product in mind, trust me when I say eBay is most profitable when you diversify by selling a range of products and following trends. This is one of the biggest advantages of using eBay as opposed to your own eCommerce website, so make the most of it!
Finally, choose a name that portrays professionalism but doesn’t tie you into a specific niche.

The Secrets of Free Inventory

I'm sure you have heard of or come across dropshipping, which, by the way, is a fantastic business model. The only issue when starting up is that a lot of the GOOD dropshipping companies require a membership fee, which can be off-putting when you haven’t sold your first product yet.
To find great dropship suppliers you'll need to look at our supplier directory—but the purpose of this article is to show you how to get started for FREE.
Believe it or not, eBay is not always the cheapest place to find items on the Internet. In fact, there are thousands of products on hundreds of other websites that require less of your wallet. 
Not only can you leverage these other websites to make a profit on eBay, you can also get them to fulfill your orders. This is one of the easiest ways to make money out of thin air, and hardly anyone is doing it! All that’s required on your part is a little bit of research. 
Here is the process:
1) You search for products on big e-tailers such as Amazon, Tesco and
2) You cross-check the same product on eBay and see which is cheaper
3) If the item is selling for more on eBay, you list the product
4) When the product sells you get the item sent directly to your eBay buyer
5) You make a profit without investing in stock or sending the item yourself
It really is as easy as that, and trust me when I say there are literally thousands of potential products to do this with. Let me show you an example.
I went to and searched for "car fault reader." See it here.
Autel MS300 MaxiScan car fault reader on Amazon
I then performed the same search on and found the exact same product.
Autel MS300 MaxiScan car fault reader on eBay
As you can see, the cost of the item on Amazon, including shipping, is £11.48. The same product on eBay is £19.95 and they have sold over 6,000 units (which tells me it’s pretty popular!). 
The profit on this item is a huge £8.47 or 42%. After eBay fees your profit would still be £6.48 per unit—without buying the stock up front and even without sending it out yourself. 
If the eBay seller is using this model they have netted £6.48 x 6,321 = £40,960.08 for simply leveraging Amazon to fulfill their eBay orders.
Pretty cool, right?
You can do this in any product category you want. Just follow the steps above and if the numbers stack up you’re on to a winner. 

Free Marketing Methods for Increasing eBay Sales

The final part of this process is marketing your products. Now you may be thinking that eBay does this for you—after all, gets over 275 million unique visitors every month!
That’s what most eBay sellers think too.
The thing is, if you want better-than-average results you need to go one step further than the average person. 
Here are a few suggestions on increasing your sales for free:

1) Social Media

Creating a social presence for your eBay business is a great way to increase exposure.
  • Pinterest - Create 'pins' for each of your eBay products that link directly back to your eBay listings.
  • Facebook - Use the big daddy of the social arena to share your products with friends.
  • Facebook Groups - You can search for different buy and sell groups and advertise your listings for free.

2) Google Shopping

This can potentially increase your eBay presence drastically as you will appear in the Google results. 

3) Online Classified Ads

Make use of free advertising sites to get even more people viewing your listings.
I will cover these free marketing methods in more detail in future posts, so keep an eye out.
There you have it, my guide to firing up your eBay business with little or no cash. I hope you enjoyed me spilling this eCommerce loophole with you today. Please make sure to comment below with your thoughts and any additional ideas that would enhance this method—I would love to know what you thought of this post and will certainly read all the comments.
Note: The views and opinions of the author may not represent the views and opinions of SaleHoo.

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