Small Business Trends has a quick look at how the Ebay juggernaut is impacting small businesses. (Often the impact is that of creation: many small businesses have been started solely as eBay stores!)
<blockquote>Millions of eBay sellers are small businesses, many of them home-based businesses. EBay has opened up markets and customers for them, in ways these merchants could never have accomplished on their own.</blockquote>
I know a lot of small and home based companies that are doing business on eBay… I’ve even consulted for a couple. However, when discussing the impact of eBay on small business, just about everyone focuses on selling your product or service through auctions… however, there’s more to it… a lot more.
For example, I have purchased about $350,000.00 worth of computing equipment on Ebay– servers, network connectivity gear, etc. Well, that’s the retail value of the stuff… I actually PAID closer to $15,000. If you know how to use Ebay effectively you can save a fortune on the equipment your business needs. I have a lot of equipment that would have been way out of reach if Ebay didn’t exist. It doesn’t matter if you’re a restaurant, a videographer, or a construction company– you can find what you need on Ebay at steep discounts.
Also, when its time to upgrade, you can sell your wares on Ebay as well. I’ve subsidized equipment upgrades by auctioning off the old unit, often recouping 50% of the cost!
Bottom line: don’t ignore Ebay in your business just because you don’t have a product or service to sell there. It’s a powerful tool for ALL small business owners.