Don’t Let Ebay Eat Your Finances

In the last few years, sites like Gumtree and Ebay mean that most of us now look to sell spare bits online. Nothing’s better than getting that email notification telling you that you’re in the money. At last, you can put financial issues to bed, or start saving for the next big thing in your life. Perhaps you even plan to put the money you make her back into investments which can keep you afloat for years. Either way, you’re sure online selling has got you covered. But, has it really?

In the grand scheme of things, selling our spare belongings online is still a pretty new trend. And, as with anything which is untested, it doesn’t come with any guarantees. Far from it, in fact. Many sellers are finding that they experience real issues here or spend more than they see in return. And, the same thing could end up happening to you if you don’t think things through.

Still, there’s no denying that it is possible to make fast and substantial sums this way. But, how can you make sure that online selling ends well for you?

a woman with a credit card

Use trusted sites

There are now sites on which you can sell anything you could imagine. You can sell your bric a brac on Facebook, old clothes on Ebay, and even your transportation at American Motorcycle Trading Company and other sites like them. In short; if you have it, you can sell it. Wherever you choose to sell, though, you need to make sure that they offer you some form of seller’s protection. Facebook marketplace is terrible for this, as there’s no set payment option. Instead, individuals arrange collection and payment among themselves. This is a breeding ground for problems. If you want to guarantee a return, then, choose selling sites which have set seller’s protections in place. eBay is a fantastic example of this, with their Paypal payment systems which ensure security. Even if you’re on the bad end of a deal with sites like these, eBay will reimburse you. That’s a benefit you would never get on a site which didn’t have any policies like these in place. All you need to do is research. The selling world is your oyster, but make sure you get a good one.

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Ask for payment on order

Some sellers hold off asking for payment until delivery is complete, but this is never a good idea. If you operate this way, there’s nothing to stop your buyers from taking your goods and not giving you a cent. And, you would have no one to blame but yourself. Instead, you should always aim to ask for payment on order. A reasonable customer will be more than happy to pay you ahead of time. On sites like eBay, they won’t have a choice either way. You then have that reassurance before you so much as part with your goods. It’s worth sticking to this policy, even if a customer is coming to collect something. This money in advance is your reassurance that the person coming is committed. Knowing those funds are secure in your bank also ensures the buyer won’t rip you off or ask for a lower price on arrival. At the very least, taking care of payment helps to avoid mixed communications or awkward conversations.

Consider postage and packaging

Talking of payment, you also need to consider postage and packaging if you’re planning to send items. Though it seems obvious, an astounding amount of sellers don’t even think of this when listing items. They then find themselves out of pocket when they have to pay for this themselves. Hardly what you wanted when you planned to boost your finances this way. Bear in mind, too, that postage on heavy items can fast add up. To make sure that doesn’t take its toll on your finances, always list postage prices alongside your items. If you’re unsure, contact a courier company for their price list. You should also find that sites like eBay have easy postage options. Your customers will then pay these costs when placing their orders. That ensures you never need to end out of pocket during this entire process.

Be honest

Believe it or not, dishonesty is another leading reason why sellers end up losing out. Too often, people think they can lie about product quality online. A few clever pictures can hide a whole load of sins, after all. The trouble is that your customer will have that item in their hands eventually. As such, they’re sure to spot issues like these pretty fast. And, when they do, you can bet they’ll want a refund. Though that doesn’t leave you out of pocket as such, it does mean that you don’t make anything. If you then have to pay the costs for return postage, though, you very much will be out of pocket. Does a white lie seem worth all those potential losses? Instead, make sure you earn by being upfront about the condition of what you’re selling. Point out issues rather than trying to hide them. Be honest about how used something is, or any significant damage which a buyer is likely to spot. Then, you know for sure that the person offering to pay is aware of what they’re paying for. The money in your bank will stay in there, and you won’t need to spend to sell. All because you saw that honesty was the best policy.

It’s possible to make a great deal of money online. Some people even now use this as a constant and primary source of income. And, there’s no reason you can’t do the same if you take this advice. Fail to do that, and your efforts here could end up costing far more than they earn. Get this under control, though, and you could soon have plenty of spare cash rolling in each month. To top it all, you won’t have to live with bags of clutter all over your floors anymore.

Lease Or Buy? What Is The Best Option?

While your home office may have sufficed for the first six months after launching your startup, the chances are that your rapid growth may mean that you need to consider alternative working environments.

The need to take on new staff, the need for more storage for goods or simply to appear a more professional outfit may result in you having to find an office or warehouse space.

Arranging a meeting with a new client, only for them to have to walk through your living room before reaching your study isn’t portraying your brand in the most professional sense.

When it comes to seeking out business premises, you have two options. You can either lease or buy. Which option is best for you?

lease of buy

#1 Leasing

The idea of purchasing a building to convert and use as office space sounds expensive. If you aren’t ready to fork out so much cash and you need more flexibility with your location, leasing could be the perfect solution.

Securing a lease means renting a commercial building for a set length of time. This could be anywhere from three months to two years. Always ensure that you only sign up for a length of time you can commit to. Remember, you can always renew a contract.

The flexibility that this gives you allows you to move locations if you find that you don’t have enough foot fall, the transport links aren’t as efficient as you thought, or you need to expand and seek a larger premises.

Leasing also gives you more readies in your pocket to spend on other aspects of your business vision. Securing a commercial property for use means that you will have to invest in public and professional indemnity insurances.

While you still might need to use an attorney if someone trips over a piece of loose carpet in your office, you will have the insurances to back you up financially.

office premises

#2 Buying

While leasing is a sound option if you need more flexibility, it can become troublesome if your lease ends early for a reason outside your control. Sometimes leaseholders will want their property back or they may be keen to sell it on without a sitting tenant. This can be chaotic for your business.

To mitigate this, you may want to buy your office building. Yes, the financial outlay will be greater, but you will have a solid base from which to carry out your business.

You will also have an asset in the bricks and mortar that you have purchased. In the same way as renting a home is seen as dead money, so is leasing a commercial property. You will be lining somebody else’s pockets and receiving nothing in the process.

See your purchased building as an investment which you can remortgage against to raise extra funds, or simply as an asset that you can cash in if you were to move premises in a few years time.

Working out how best to structure your business takes a lot of thought. Whether you choose to lease or buy, ensure that your financial plans are structured so that your cash flow remains buoyant for the benefit of your startup.