Chapter 7. Building a Business Buying Plan

We all like to think of online enterprises as something special, but eBay businesses have a lot in common with their brick-andmortar cousins.

There are so many types of business models that sellers use on eBay. Some sellers are constantly on the prowl for new products, and stock their merchandise as soon as they find a deal. Others follow the trends and try immediately to get stock of the latest and greatest gizmo that's hopefully going to sweep the country (and eBay). Plenty of sellers run their businesses by selling for others, and constantly beat the pavement for new customers to serve. Then there's the new eBay e-tailer.

The eBay e-tailer (electronic retailer) buys merchandise to sell on eBay. Though they're always looking for new wholesalers, e-tailers usually specialize in a particular type of stock item, such as dolls, sports cards, lighting fixtures, or apparel. Their eBay business is organized; they sell their merchandise and then buy more to replenish their stock. But is this the best way to handle things? It definitely works for most sellers, but those who actually went to school and studied retailing know there's a better way.

One of the first things you learn when studying retail buying is the use of a six-month merchandise plan. It's the ultimate tool in the arsenal of a successful retail buyer. Although this plan was originally designed for brick-and-mortar retailers, I've adapted it here for eBay e-tailers.

Filling out the plan ...

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