In part one of this series, we considered how a retailer should get their 'feet wet' on eBay prior to taking the full plunge. In some 'warm-up' auctions, sellers can begin to understand exactly how the process works and methods they can use to ensure success. In this part, we'll investigate some of the necessary steps you'll need to take in order to give yourself the optimum opportunity to turn a profit.

Work Space:

You'll need to devote a place from which you can run your online auction business. The kitchen table, a tray in the den or a nook in the playroom are not very good areas from which you should work.

A room in your home devoted to your business office is an ideal solution. If you can't secure such an area, then a space that will remain undisturbed where you can keep, organize and store items associated with your business is a good alternative. The main thing is you must consider this space as your retail auction area where you can access everything you need.


  • A reliable computer, printer and scanner.
  • A reliable, high speed Internet connection.
  • A quality camera-digital or 35 mm.
  • A telephone.
  • Secure desk space that's devoted only to your business.
  • A filing cabinet to keep paperwork and records.
  • Record keeping notebooks and ledgers.

Note: it is essential that you have full access to this space and all items that you use in your business. This is your workplace and the various components are your tools. Your computer should be one that you alone use and all items need to be devoted to making and keeping your online presence professional and service oriented.

eBay User ID:

Your eBay user ID will be how you are known and recognized by buyers who use the site. Choose a name that sets forth a positive image that people will recognize and preferably remember and that indicates something about what you sell.

Here are some guidelines regarding eBay user ID's:

  • Spaces are not accommodated.
  • Your user name is composed of lowercase letter, no capitals.
  • Any symbol except '&' and '@' may be used.
  • You're allowed to alter your user ID every 30 days.
  • If you do change your ID, your feedback will not change.

Other Set-Up Duties:

Along with creating your eBay identity, securing the necessary tools and creating a secure workspace, you'll complete the following tasks:

  • Register for a merchant account with PayPal.
  • Search through eBay to determine what the current fast selling and in demand items are, or use the eSources research tool (coming soon) to identify the latest demand trends.
  • Study sellers with good and bad feedback - what can you learn about them and their success or lack of success? Would you buy something from a particular auction site - why or why not?
  • Research suppliers of items you may want to auction using a reputable B2B portal (eSources is one such example, there are other good sourcing directories too, and we do encourage our members to diversify. This is because no one directory can cover all the wholesale sources available, plus if a directory is reliable, they will always have something useful to offer, far beyond their joining fee)

Following these procedures will be beneficial in the creation of a business that is well run, focused and successful and a presence that is professional, worthy of trust and in tune with what consumers crave. In part three, entitled Businesses that Work, we will reveal what types of auction businesses often prove to be successful.