Introduction

Chances are good that you've bought or sold something on eBay. After all, at any given moment, there are 113 million listings worldwide on the eBay site, and the company receives 6 million to 7 million listings a day. No wonder eBay averages over a billion dollars a quarter in profits.

But just as eBay profits, so do hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs who have grown from occasional eBay users into eBay businesses. In fact, at least 724,000 people in the U.S. rely on eBay for either their primary or secondary source of income. An estimated 14 percent of eBay sellers have retired from their jobs to work full-time on eBay (and an additional 12 percent were considering doing so).

This guide is designed to help you move from being an occasional eBay user to starting and operating an eBay business, with the goals of increasing your income and providing you with more independence.

eBay offers you a great chance to achieve both goals, but there’s a lot of work involved. As chief cook and bottle washer of your eBay business, you’ll have many other tasks besides buying and selling. Additionally, working from home can also become a challenge — especially when you’ve filled up the closets and bathrooms with excess inventory.

The good news is that many people have already paved the way with their eBay businesses, and this guide summarizes much of the advice about the challenges involved. Whether you are starting a new business from scratch or are seeking to expand your retail operation to the Web, The eBay Business Start-Up Kit will help answer many of the questions that arise in the process. You should find this guide easy to use; it’s designed like a website with links to many other helpful resources (therefore, it will help if you’re connected to the Internet while using it).

Before embarking on your journey, though, please keep this in mind. eBay success is based on two underlying factors: community and personality.

As you’ll see below, the key to eBay member loyalty is the site’s rich sense of community. And as you explore eBay, you will also discover that the eBay entrepreneurs who invest their personality into their business often have the best chance for success and longevity.

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