A combination of online and offline work can make you a useful income if you buy and sell at the right price.
eBay are the market leaders and offer a full range of facilities to the buyer and seller as well as a secure payment option via Paypal. There is also a great series of tutorials so that novice users can get started quickly and easily set up their own auctions.
Once you have bought and sold a few items, you'll start to get a feel for the marketplace and how you can build up your online business.
In July 2011, eBay UK reported a 25% increase in the number of businesses on the site turning over more than a million pounds a year, so your small business can turn into a not-so-small one with a little luck and a lot of work.
If you aren't sure what you could sell, take a look at what's already on sale on the various auction sites and work from there.
Is there a gap or niche in the market or do you have specialist knowledge of a particular area?
Could you buy and sell event or sport tickets? Vintage clothes? Could you make things such as craft items, paintings, pots or clothes and sell them?
Are you good at spotting a bargain in a car boot sale, charity shop or jumble sale? Try:
and also local classifieds and auctions.
Don't forget that there are also 'offline' auctions in the real world, where you can try and sniff out a bargain. These can also be great fun, just don't get carried away with the bidding - remember, you're not buying to keep. You're buying to sell on at a profit.
Many people find that they enjoy buying and selling so much that they start to sell offline at car boot sales and markets, or go on to create online stores either via eBay or as stand-alone e-commerce sites.
If you have an eye for a bargain and know your way around cars or motorbikes, then buying and selling on a small scale can be a 'nice little earner'.
There are great bargains to be had at the car auctions both online and offline, if you don't mind taking a risk, although in many ways it's safer than buying privately as some auctions will check for outstanding HP, accident write-offs etc.
You can also pay for a vehicle check of your own - this is important to consider, as you could lose your money and the vehicle if it turns out to be stolen.
RAC Vehicle Checks
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Many people are wary about buying at auction, as they feel uncomfortable with the whole bidding procedure. If you've never done it before, then pay a few visits to the auction before buying, to get the feel of it and find out how it works.
Don't forget to
check the going rate
and don't forget buyers' premiums, VAT and a deposit!
In the UK, the law says that trade sellers have many more obligations to the buyer than private sellers, so unless you want to fall foul of trading standards, make sure you understand what rules and regulations you need to comply with when you're buying and selling cars for profit.
As always, the secret is to pick work that you enjoy doing. If you do this, you are half-way to creating a good earning home business.