When you first start selling things on eBay, it’s really important to save as much money as possible. Opening a business is far less risky when you don’t put any of your personal finances into it. Sure, it’ll suck if it fails, but it won’t be the end of the world. One of the best ways to do this is by using tools and resources that are already available to you for free. Once you’ve made a few sales, you can use your earnings to purchase other things you need. But what eBay tools should you buy first? I’ve compiled a pretty extensive eBay seller toolkit over the last couple years, but here are five of the most important items you should invest in after generating revenue.
Want an even closer look at my eBay tools? Download my free eBay Toolkit Checklist to learn how to stock your online retail office!
1. Shipping Scale
While it’s totally possible to get by without a scale in the beginning (you can either bum off your local post office or estimate high), it’s so much more convenient to have your own. A shipping scale should be one of the very first eBay tools you purchase. I bought my Accuteck 50lb shipping scale as soon as I had earned enough money to pay for it.
2. Poly Shipping Bags
If you don’t know already, USPS offers free boxes for shipping. This is absolutely wonderful when you’re first starting out, but you can lose money if you’re selling lightweight items (like used clothing). When you can, I highly recommend using poly bags; they don’t weigh much, are self-sealing, and keep items dry during shipping.
3. Display Tools
Sellers look at pictures to determine if they want to buy your items. That’s why it’s important to purchase the eBay tools necessary to display your items well when photographing them. I sold a lot of used clothing and hats in the beginning, so for me that meant purchasing hanging mannequins and a styrofoam head. If there’s something out there that can improve your product photos, buy it early because better photos means more items sold.
4. Reliable Laptop
I waited six months before upgrading to a new laptop, but it’s something you definitely want to consider. Not only is it a great tax deduction, but your eBay business literally lives on your computer, which means that you will too. It’s vitally important to have a reliable machine. While you can certainly opt for a desktop computer instead, I have found that having a laptop provides me a lot of flexibility.
5. Thermal Printer
You’re going to need a printer to run your eBay business. You can get away with using one you already have or buying a cheap one at Walmart but your ultimate goal should be to purchase a Zebra thermal printer. My Zebra is the absolute favorite of my eBay tools. Printing shipping labels is so easy and all I have to do is peel and stick them on my packages. Not to mention that I never have to buy ink. While they’re pretty pricey, they should definitely make it on the future must-buy list.
Don’t forget to download my free eBay Toolkit Checklist to learn how to stock your online retail office!