Selling on eBay Without Doing Any Work

December 6, 2007

How can you possibly make money on eBay without doing any work?  Well, you can’t really but it sure feels like I am.

I mentioned earlier how I had found a partner to help me sell on eBay.  I had a bunch of inventory I wanted to sell but didn’t have time and he wanted to increase his sales volume on eBay. We got things rolling about two weeks ago and it’s been great. He’s doing all the work and I’m still making money : ) 

Inventory Transfer
Every morning I’d load my car up with merchandise before I left for work.  We’d meet in the parking lot of my work building over his lunch hour and transfer it all over to his car.  I have to laugh when I imagine what’s going through my co-workers heads as they see us out there every day moving stuff from trunk to trunk.  They must think we’re moving “hot” items, maybe that’s why they haven’t asked what I’m up to.

Tracking with Google Docs
Managing the financial details of the partnership has been pretty easy with a spreadsheet in Google Docs. As he creates listings and uploads them to eBay he adds the item information into the spreadsheet.  When a sale is made he puts the sale price, eBay charges, shipping amount, original product cost, and final profit for each of us in the spreadsheet.  Google Docs makes it easy to share since there is common file we can both edit anytime from anywhere, pretty neat.

My role in the partnership is mainly the money man.  I took the risk to spend the money and buy the products.  My partner’s role is to actually sell and ship the items. We split the profit of each sale 50/50.  We’ve established a minimum payment he receives per item so in the unlikely event something sells for little or no profit, he’s still paid for his time to list and sell it.  Since all the sales go through his PayPal account, he will cut me a check at the end of the month for my accumulated profits. We’re not using PayPal to avoid getting hit with another payment charge.

Win/Win Partnership
The main reason our venture is working so well is that it functions just like a partnership should, both parties are benefiting from it. We talked just yesterday and I checked to make sure he felt he was making enough for the time he put in.  He’s happy, I’m happy, and my wife is happy that the storage shelves full of products in our house are steadily being emptied.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Responses to Selling on eBay Without Doing Any Work

  • Becky

    Sounds like you’ve got a good partnership there, it’s good when you’ve got someone that you trust enough to go into business with. It could help a lot of budding eBay sellers if they could have a business partner, particularly if you’re good at one aspect of it but no so much the other. If you’re literally doing everything on your own, from taking the risks, to coming up with the business model, to finding a wholesale outlet, to listing, to selling etc it can overwhelm you. That’s why I always say that you can’t view selling on eBay as a bit of fun or a hobby, if you really want to make money from it you have to take it seriously. And that means giving it a lot of time.

    But as you say, you’ve found a way to have your cake and eat it too so to speak. 🙂

  • Make money now

    good partnership program, i like it but don’t have friend with thing to sell.

  • financial hack

    I used to sell on ebay fulltime. The income was great, but the time involved and not getting much vacation time made me look for something better. Seems like a fairly good relationship if you can find someone you trust to do it.

  • Danny Tsang

    Awesome, sounds like you have a great system worked out there. If you spend the time to build a system or model that works, you start to feel like you have passive income. I sell on ebay as well as some websites and the thing I hate the most is listing products. I find it tedious and boring I’d rather concentrate on the bigger picture. I just started outsourcing and it’s paid off pretty well.

  • Michael

    I’ve made a little bit of money using this program for selling on ebay.

  • Stephan Miller

    I like the Google spreadsheet idea. I tried selling things for other people on Ebay before. This would have helped a lot.


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