Ebay has become a God-send for many home business entrepreneurs. More than providing a venue to monetize the “junk” cleared from attics or basements, Ebay has given small and home business entrepreneurs a thriving marketplace for products or services.
Ebay has also created a business opportunity for many home-based entrepreneurs – that of an Ebay Trading Assistant where you parlay your Ebay savviness by selling for others. As an Ebay Trading Assistant, you will sell other people’s items in Ebay (e.g. make a listing, take pictures, write the description, monitor the bidding, and taking charge of the item’s shipment) and earn a percentage of the sale profit in return. The article “Become an eBay Trading Assistant: Easy Home Business” by Stephanie Chadler details how to get started as an Ebay Trading Assistant and succeed in this business.
Other people, however, have taken the concept of an Ebay Trading Assistant a step further and built franchises around them! Two new franchises I’ve seen in a recent franchise trade show I attended in Washington DC are iSoldIt and Snappy Auctions .
These two franchise opportunities share the same concept: you will sell other people’s stuff on Ebay and earn commissions from the sale. This means that you will collect the items from local residents, seek out closeouts and overstock items from local businesses, staff your store, photograph the items, create Ebay listings, package and then ship the items. You also need to get an actual store where people can easily drop off their stuff for you to sell on their behalf! These two new franchise opportunities both require a store that is easily accessible with parking at the storefront and visible from the street, and about 1200 to over 2000 square feet in size.
So what’s the difference with these two franchise opportunities from Ebay’s Trading Assistant program? Well, having your own physical store and the large franchise expenses during your startup! Your out-of-pocket expenses when you sign up for any of these two franchise opportunities may be around $46,000-$55,000 (includes franchise fee for first location, fixtures & equipment, security deposit for lease, working capital, etc.) plus the monthly royalty fees and other monthly fees. On the other hand, compare the above expenses with the requirements of the Ebay Trading Assistant Program: (a) You’ve sold at least 4 items in the last 30 days; (b) You have a feedback score of 50 or higher; (c) 97% or more of your feedback is positive; and (d) Your eBay account is in good standing.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather apply to be part of the Ebay Trading Assistant program than pay $50,000 or more for a franchise opportunity that basically provides the same business.