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Catching the eBay Wave

There's been much talk over the past year over whether eBay's auction business may be reaching a growth plateau, but here at its user convention newbie sellers are still flocking in to learn from the veterans how to start and run a business on the sprawling site.

"I'm not sure if eBay is saturated or not. I might have missed the wave," says eBay Live attendee Robert Olsen of Salt Lake City. (Leslie Walker-The Washington Post)

One who breezed into the Luxor hotel next door to the convention on Monday was Robert Olsen, 43. He had just returned from a wild motorcycle ride across South America, where he went for R&R after getting laid off in March from his job as a software engineer for a company that had recently been sold. Olsen, a Salt Lake City resident, said he came to Vegas hoping to find out whether he might be able to earn a living on eBay.

"I'm not sure if eBay is saturated or not. I might have missed the wave," he said. "The site seems so huge and there are so many people doing it. Is there room for more?"

Among the concerns Olsen cited were where he might store any goods he sold, how he would handle the logistics of shipping, and -- most importantly, "What can I sell that lots of other people aren't already?"

It will be interesting to see what conclusions Olsen draws after three days of attending eBay's "how-to" seminars and talking to folks who do earn their living selling online.

By Leslie Walker  |  June 13, 2006; 9:26 AM ET  | Category:  EBay Live , Leslie Walker
Previous: eBay Goes to Sin City | Next: Veterans Sell Into the Boonies

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Well, any feedback on whether this guy thinks he can make a living doing this?

Posted by: Patrick | June 14, 2006 10:12 PM

I think he needs to do his homework bigtime rather than traveling around checking things out....eBay selling is wide open, there are plenty of opportunities, BUT it requires diligence, an extremely strong work ethic, marketing talent, and the acquisition of a product you know something about and love. I speak from experience as my husband and I are Gold Powersellers (over $10k per month). I have been selling for 7 years, and my recently retired husband joined me in the business a year ago; this is our first visit to eBay Live.

Posted by: Susan Gearing | June 15, 2006 1:32 AM

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