Interview with eBay Gold Power Seller Skip McGrath

This is an interview I did this week with Jamie Garand, Internet Business Gazette

Skip McGrath is an eBay Gold Power Seller and the author of several best-selling books about eBay and internet marketing.   His best-selling book, The Complete eBay Marketing System is considered by many eBay Power Sellers to be the leading guide to running a professional business.

Staff writer Jamie Grand sat down with Skip McGrath to interview him on the future of eBay and to learn about his eBay tips and secrets to success on eBay.

Jamie Garand: Skip, eBay has been through a lot of changes and some pretty big fee increases for eBay sellers. Is it still possible for people to start an eBay business and make a living on eBay?

Not sure how many of you are reading blogs over the holiday weekend, so I though I might just throw this up in case any of you are interested. The Internet Business Gazette is a new publication that will launch in a few weeks and they interviewed me for the first issue.

Skip McGrath: Hi Jamie, good to speak with you.  The short answer to your question is yes. But probably not in the same way one could in the past.  eBay has matured as a market and there are really two eBay’s today.  There are still thousands of sellers who sell used goods, art, antiques, collectibles and one-of-a-kind merchandise. Then there are the big sellers –including some really big companies that sell popular consumer goods on eBay. This second group has come to dominate the site in terms of listings, but if a small or new seller is in the first group or sells consumer products in the second group but sticks to a narrow niche then you can indeed make good money on eBay. As for the fees, they are higher and it is therefore more important than ever that eBay sellers find products to sell where they make a good margin. Again, this is hard to do with hot consumer products but much easier to achieve with niche products or used and vintage goods.

Jamie Garand: So you are saying either to work in a small niche if you are selling new or consumer products or stick with used goods, vintage items, art, antiques and collectibles?

Skip McGrath: Basically yes. The problem with popular consumer goods such as electronics, clothing, perfume, handbags and so on is that the big sellers buy in huge quantities and they can always get better pricing than the little guy so it is very hard to compete with them on price.

Jamie Garand:  What about Drop shipping on eBay? Can you really make money doing that?

Skip McGrath: We make about ½ of our income on eBay from drop shipping. But the trick is finding the drop shippers. You can pretty much forget the big drop shipping companies that advertise all over the web.  A few of them are pure scams and the rest are very hard to make money with.  The key is to find a manufacturer or master distributor who will drop ship.  The various dropship companies are pretty much middlemen who are buying at wholesale and selling the products to you at a small discount. By the time you mark the item up and pay your eBay and PayPal fees there isn’t any profit left. But when you deal with an actual manufacturer you are getting the real wholesale price plus maybe a small dropshipping charge.

Jamie Garand:  Where do you find these drop shippers?

Skip McGrath: I have two main sources: WorldWide Brands and wholesale trade shows.  WorldWide Brands sells an up-to-date list of wholesale sources including drop shippers and all of them have been checked out and they have all agreed to work with small eBay sellers.  The other source is trade shows. There are over 500 wholesale trade shows held around the country every year.  This is where the manufacturers exhibit. Many of them are small companies and really want to work with small sellers.

Jamie Garand:  Skip – do you have any other final advice for new eBay sellers?

Skip McGrath: The main thing I tell all new sellers is that there aren’t any shortcuts or real secrets.  If you start selling on eBay, start slow, take your time and learn how to do things the right way. If you treat eBay like some sort of “get rich quick” scheme you will be out of business in no time.

Jamie Garand:  Thank you Skip. If you would like to learn more about Skip McGrath visit his website at www.skipmcgrath.com.

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