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eBay: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Doing the Paperwork

Welcome to the ranks of the self-employed! Whether you're selling full-time or as a sideline, when you're doing business on eBay, you get to be your own boss. The freedom is heady, but it's not without responsibility: you have to keep good records, learn a little bookkeeping, and comply with the legal and tax requirements of self-employed sellers. This section shows you how.

Note

Although this section offers basic information, be sure to consult an accountant or tax professional for guidance on the tax laws that apply to entrepreneurs.

Write a Business Plan

The old adage, "Fail to plan and you plan to fail" is never more true than in business. If you're serious about hanging out your own shingle, you need to create a business plan.

Think of a business plan as an outline describing the goals you want to accomplish with your business, and how you intend to accomplish those goals. You want to include things like how much money you want your business to make (and when), how much money you plan to invest, what marketing strategies you intend to use, what kinds of customers you intend to go after (and how you intend to reach them)—that sort of thing.

The great thing about a business plan is that putting one together forces you to think through your business from beginning to end—before you quit your day job and invest your life savings. In other words, you get to see on paper, from the comfort of your favorite armchair, whether or not your eBay business has a good chance ...

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