Ok, here we are with the eBay opportunity...

eBay is a world-wide phenomenon. And I must confess, it’s where I’ve spent the least time in my Internet journey, despite the fact that it has so many positive aspects. As I said on the home page,  it really isn’t hard to make SOME money.

There are an incredible number of different ways to use eBay for profit. And, you CAN build a business from eBay. And that business can be a very, very nice business indeed! In fact, there’s more good stuff here – eBay is one of the few businesses where instead of trying to find customers, millions of customers a day go to eBay, unprompted, wanting to buy something!  (2 million per day is the most recent data I found.)

Another plus … you can often get into an eBay business with little initial expense. And one more advantage … you can often make SOME money, very quickly.

But here’s a story that illustrates the difference in the scale of potential. This is my case for investing a little bit of time, and money on gaining some know-how.

The Income Hierarchy that Comes With Know-How!

Let's start at ground zero. My partner and I both have made a habit of driving a certain old model of a North American car. Right now, I have the one; he has 4, I think, but it changes fairly regularly. Well, as happens, something broke. I could buy the part for $250 from my dealer, or … I found a seller on eBay offering it for $25, used. What the hay. Shipping also cost me around $20. The guy wasn’t long on eBay but had good reviews, I swapped e-mails and got a good feeling, I bought the part. When it arrived … it was broken. Completely useless. And clearly useless – I mean, the guy obviously hadn’t even glanced at it before he packed it and shipped. But by now, he had gone hunting for the part I wanted, taken if off the car he was scrapping, found a box, packed it in a box (well protected, I might add), tracked down the cheapest shipping because I was in a different country and he was trying not to shaft me, finally got it off with a courier… and here he has an unhappy customer.

I complained. He apologized. We agreed I’d send it back, he’d refund the return shipping as well as the purchase price. I did, he didn’t, back and forth with e-mails, finally I got my money but not the return shipping … oh well. But from a business perspective, in his shoes, what a lousy business to be in!

Now, the next level. I have a pal who buys and sells antiques on eBay. She makes very good pocket money, $500 in a bad month, a couple of grand in a good month, part time, with what is (to her) a hobby. But she's not positioned to take it any further than this.

The first Business level. Let's turn to a couple of people I regard as sort-of street-level hustlers - smart, not afraid to try stuff, not scared of working, not scared to make things happen. Amongst other things these guys make how-to videos and books ... for example, an amateur video of changing a car tire, changing oil, etc. With a standard home video camera. Probably took them 4 or 5 hours, plus a couple of hours to edit, perhaps they wrote a few instructions, too. Slapped the video on CDs or DvD’s that cost them less than a buck, with a label that probably cost a few cents, advertised them on eBay for $20 or so, and they were making $1000+ a month from this.

Add a new product every couple of weeks and it’s not long before you have a rather sweet little business capable of bringing in a decent income, even a full-time income, without too much effort.  Pop the CDs in a mailing envelope, slap the label on, get them out the door. Now of course there’s a lot more to it than that; keeping the database of customers, keeping track of the auctions, dealing with credit card problems or problematical customers and so on. But you can see the difference between this business and the car parts guy. But while I say "without too much effort" this is still a hard-work business, in my opinion; closer to having a job than having a business, in some ways. I read somewhere that eBay estimate that about 400,000 people currently make a full-time living from eBay.

So let's go to the next level  … one of the “gurus” of Internet Marketing, John Reese, one of the people you should learn everything you can from, made almost $40,000 (profit!) in a week on a single auction. (This is also a guy who sold $1 million worth of a “how to” course in a single day in 2004 … but not on eBay. Just wanted to make the point, he’s at a different level again.) Now, you can bet your sweet patootie that John Reese was NOT personally packaging whatever he sold, printing labels, wandering along to the courier pick-up or whatever. This is a business (or at least, a part of one); and one capable of generating far more income than just an entrepreneurial job does.

At the top; eBay pays affiliate fees to people who bring new bidders and sellers to eBay, and pay more when they bid. What type of affiliate fees? In February 2004, their largest affiliate earned $1.4 million. For the month. There are also businesses that sell millions of dollars of merchandise a month on eBay.

Now, within each level there are literally infinite different opportunities, and twists and turns, and hints and tricks and tips that can make the difference between making and losing money, and between making pocket money and making a full-time income. You can sell an infinite variety of products, or services. You can make money from the products. You can use eBay as a list-generation technique and make money from the back-end. You can use eBay as a basis for your own retail store. You can use eBay as the heart of Joint Ventures. You can ... do almost anything, IF YOU HAVE THE KNOW HOW!

It Is Worth Investing To Learn

My advice here is very simple: buy a couple of courses on eBay from people who really know what they are doing. Then act. Then learn more from forums, from other experts. And act on that, too. But first buy a course or preferably two; then ACT. Do it. Make some money. Stay in learning mode, and go back to learn more.

My recommendations are straightforward:
First, go to this page here and do two things. Number 1, sign up for Jim Cockrum’s newsletter, it’s excellent. You can learn a lot from a newsletter, about the author as well as the subject matter, and it won’t take you long to see that Jim Cockrum is the real thing, in terms of making a darned good living from eBay. I, who have carefully culled all the crap from my list of newsletters, still read Jim’s the second it arrives in my in-box, and that’s despite the fact I’m actually not doing much on eBay at the moment. It’s just that interesting. (I’m not doing much with eBay simply because of a lack of time; I long ago learned the lesson that you have to focus in this business. Every darned opportunity interests me … but maintaining focus is essential.)

Then, for a measly $25 that has to be the best bargain on the ‘Net, buy his downloadable book “The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay,” and just absorb the contents. He’s describing a straightforward, do-able money-making machine, and backing it up with an 8-week money-back guarantee. This will do a couple of things for you. First, it will open your eyes to the scale of the opportunities, and the sheer practicality of it. It’s not rocket science! It will also position you to actually DO something; to make some money, almost immediately, if you choose to apply the concepts there and then.

However, once you know there’s money to be made and you’ve proven to yourself just how valuable an expert’s opinion can be (the proof cost you just $25, remember) … take your pick of two excellent courses, from people who are at a different level again from Jim. These courses have excellent money-back guarantees so if you find you've not learned anything new of value (there is NO CHANCE of this, by the way) you have nothing to lose but the time it took you to read them.

One option is to go to John Reese’s site and buy his 2-hour video, Auction Secrets. It’s usually on offer for $97, but even if you paid the full $197 it's worth it without hesitation. Just read his sales letter to learn just how much he knows, that you don't! The letter is an education in itself. This is the guy who made almost $40,000 from a single auction. I pay him $100 a month just for his newsletter and consider the investment an absolute bargain.

The other ... and my recommendation ... is to buy The Insider Secrets Of An eBay Millionaire. It's in the $147 range as I write this, it's a 237-page manual plus 4 hours of audio, and it's written by a guy who did more than $8 million on eBay last year.

By the way, if you're serious ... buy all three. I shall. If the information isn't of value, return them any time in 3 months for a full refund. If the information IS of value, then ACT and you'll recover the investment in no time at all. You really can't lose.

When you’ve read Jim's book, then one or both of these more comprehensive and advanced courses, you'll be superbly positioned to make some serious money off the 'Net.

Put the theory into practice, decide what to do first, do it, make some cash, get the first “victory” under your belt, then learn more and grow.