Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ebay Selling Do you have to pay taxes when you sell on Ebay?

Kristine A. McKinley, CPA July 5, 2007

If you sell items on eBay for a profit, then you should report your eBay sales, and you may owe income taxes on any profits. It doesn't matter if it's just a hobby or if you are trying to build a business.

Generally, any income you receive from all sources is subject to income tax unless it is specifically exempt by law (hint: eBay profits are not exempt by law). That means that a lot of activities that you might not think of as taxable, such as garage sale income, gambling winnings, and yes – eBay profits – are taxable.

You must file a tax return if your net earnings from self employment are $400 or more. You are self employed if you carry on a trade or business for profit. If you are selling on eBay with the intent of making a profit, then you are self employed.

To report your earnings, you should file Form 1040, and attach Schedule C or C-EZ. Schedule C is used to calculate your net profit or loss from your business, which is then reported on your Form 1040.

At this point, you may be thinking "I don't run a business; I just sell on eBay as a hobby". Unfortunately, income from hobbies is taxable as well. Even worse, you can only deduct expenses up to your hobby income, which means losses are not deductible.

There are several tax advantages to selling on eBay. Personal expenses, such as the use of your car, home or computer may become partially deductible, retirement savings plans can shelter part of your eBay income from taxes, and you may be able to hire your family to help shift income to members in a lower tax bracket. So even if you only sell a few items on eBay, not only are you required to report your eBay earnings, it may even help you reduce your income taxes by taking advantage of tax opportunities available only to small business owners.

Finally, there is a common misconception that if you did not receive a 1099 or W-2, you are not required to report your income. This is not true. All income is reportable, regardless of whether you receive a form or not. EBay is only a facilitator of the auction; therefore you will not receive a 1099 from eBay reporting your sales.

Another great article!
What Should I Sell?

Copyright © 2007 - an online arts, crafts, knitting and marketing Ebay business source. All rights reserved.

What to Sell on Ebay.......Your Complete Guide to Auction Sales
Kathy AndersonJuly 8, 2007

It's a good idea to gain experience by being an Ebay customer first. That way you can learn what your customers will do and what they go through to purchase from you when they win your auctions.
Check to see what others do about shipping and handling and their other purchasing requirements. Get very familiar with how Ebay operates; their dos and don'ts. DON'T begin by going out and buying a bunch of wholesale products until you know your niche and/or know what you want to sell and how WHAT you have chosen does sell.......good or bad.

The best thing to start with is your own used goods; as I've mentioned before. Take shipping into consideration. The buyer will pay for shipping if you set it up that way. But remember they don't like papying those high shipping fees either. Keep things small and light weight. They really are the best and the easiest, for beginners at least. Paper products, craft supplies, etc.; things one pound and under makes life easier for you and the experience is invaluable. Selling small items, used and small gifts you have no use for any longer, etc. makes for low risk of any capital and all you'll risk is some small ebay fees.

Everything is for sale. Anything sells on Ebay. You might be surprised so spend some time searching and shopping on Ebay. Don't forget to check the "completed listings" box in the left hand column to see what things actually sold for.

Maybe you have a hobby or some interest that could bring in a few dollars for you. Hobby supplies or craft supplies can be just right if it's your interest. You don't need to sell high priced items to make some money. It doesn't need to be large pieces of painted furniture, outdoor patio furniture or heavy kitchen faucets!

Don't go out and buy hundreds of the latest hot item selling on Ebay. There's already too many people doing just that. You can sell these items and this type of thing later after you've gained some experience. There's plenty of import companies to buy directly. Wait and do that after you've got some experience under you belt.

It's always good to know something about what you sell. There's lots of collectors buying on Ebay. People collect just about everything. Become knowledgeable about a few collectibles. The Internet is an endless source of information.You can then, after some experience, try a larger dollar item. Remember you have to sell a lot of small priced items to make enough money to call it a real income. You'd need to sell 100 of a $2.00 item to make $200 or five $40 items to make $200. Less work for the same dollar amount.

Sometimes selling sets can bring you more money than parting out and sometimes visa versa. For instance, a set of dinnerware sold by piece may bring in more money that selling the set. Sometimes the whole set will sell better. Sometimes lots sell better when it's sold in categories. Keep same kind together. Do your homework and see how what you want to sell sells best. Use Ebay to help you make money on Ebay.

Watch Ebay auctions for large lots. You can buy the whole lot and then break the lot down into smaller lots and sell them to people wanting the item but don't want that many. Also look for misspelled description words. I'll write another article on that subject later.

You simply need some market and product knowledge. Know your product and do your homework. You will be competing with many sellers just like yourself. Make sure you know exactly what you're buying for resale so you can write a smart description and have the information. More info later on writing a good description.

There are some areas that take a lot of money to get into; electronics being one of them. There are also many many sellers in this catagory. Let's not forget the vintage catagory. That's one of my favorites. There's vintage everything. And vintage everything can be found everwhere.....garage sales, second hand stores, thrift stores and flea markets. Don't overlook this catagory.
I have not gotten into drop shipping myself but it is another strategy used by many new sellers. I cannot recommend working with drop shippers because I don't have the experience with them but I have heard many can be unreliable. And don't forget, it's your feedback and reputation on the line. Same with selling for your friends. If you do so, make sure you do the shipping. The faster you get the item in the mail the better. I very very often ship the same day or next day the item is fully paid for. I have impeccable feedback because of this. I would not and cannot recommend this way of finding product.

Ebay has a list of hot selling items. Look for it in their site map. Here's their link. Do make use of it. Maybe you'll find that one something you want to try selling and may already have. I do know that it is an Ebay requirement that if you sell clothing, it needs to be cleaned and in good repair. You need to state in the description if there's any defects. That's ok, BUT the items needs to be clean.

Here's a few ideas for you:

New and used clothing, Military and history items,auto parts, maps, art prints, calendars, pictures, fabric, old greeting cards, dishes. Just to name a very few. There's too many to mention. It's a good idea to specialize or find a niche market and learn everything about it and work it till it runs dry for you.

Now, if you've opened your Ebay account, don't forget to open your
PayPal account.

More later on this topic

Copyright © 2007 - an online arts, crafts, knitting and marketing Ebay business source. All rights reserved.