eBay Australia remains one of the country’s most popular shopping sites, with five million registered members and more than 52,000 Australians making an income through eBay sales. One such eBay business is Jazzy Bazzar, a home-based family business currently based Canberra, which sells everything from coffee cups to camping gear.
Jazzy Bazzar buys in bulk and on-sells goods nationwide. Business Lounge spoke to business co-owner Sudhish Jayaswal to get his tips for running a successful eBay store.
1. How did you come to start your Jazzy Bazzar eBay store?
In 2010, after having our second child, my wife Adrienne decided she’d like to start a business from home. One night while Christmas shopping, I found a book on how to start a business on eBay and bought it for her. She decided to get more information and did an online course with certified eBay trainers. Adrienne started the business – selling our children’s clothes – and soon after I had to leave my job in IT, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon.
2. Who is the Jazzy Bazzar’s target customer?
Pretty much everyone, as our stock is so diverse – we sell
everything from a pencil to a trolley jack. It’s more like a supermarket. Regional customers buy things that they can’t necessarily buy close to home, women buy things for themselves and their family, and the younger generations seem to do much of their shopping online.
3. What were the main challenges you encountered in setting up an eBay store?
It wasn’t difficult to set up an eBay store, because my wife had done the training and I had a background in IT. The challenge was that
we had no experience as eBay sellers, so we had to learn what customers wanted. To do this, I had to step back and think what I would expect as a customer – and I am a very fussy person when purchasing things, so I had to meet those standards!
We always try to answer people’s questions straight away, we make sure we send things the next day and we keep our prices competitive. Now, the challenge is keeping up with the growth of the business and finding somewhere to keep the goods!
4. How supportive has eBay been as Jazzy Bazzar has grown?
eBay has been supportive, as the more we sell, the more profit they make, too. We pay 5–7.5 per cent commission on the goods we sell and if there are problems, we are able to call the eBay support team.
5. What difficulties have you encountered running the business from home? Is it hard to separate work and life?
Our biggest difficulty running a business from home is the lack of space. We have rented a shed for goods, but that is full and we’re using every spare inch of space. In terms of work–life balance, even though I work 24/7 listing new stock, researching competitors and so on, I am so happy working from home because I see so much more of my family. I was there when my youngest one took her first steps; I see the funny things they do. When I worked in IT full time, the children were often in bed by the time I got home.
6. How did you go about negotiating flat-rate shipping with Australia Post?
Volume and turnover are important to a business like ours and they are important to Australia Post, too. We do around 30 parcels a day, and our account manager has been very good to us, offering us the best rates. Having a flat rate frees me up from having to work out the cost of postage for each package. Now, we get a flat rate for packages under 10kg, and we don’t charge customers shipping unless goods are over 15kg.
1. Know the tool – your job is much easier if you know how eBay works.
2. Have a good description of the product – the customer can’t see and touch the product, so give them confidence in it by describing it well. It also means they don’t have to send questions about the product, which is better for them and you.
3. Keep an eye on the competition – people will often go elsewhere if they find a cheaper price, even overseas.
8. What are your plans for Jazzy Bazzar? Will you stick to eBay as your selling platform?
We are going to relocate to Sydney or Brisbane, as importing is more expensive to Canberra, and we are hoping to get a commercial space to work from and store the goods. Maybe in a year or so, we’ll have a Jazzy Bazzar web store too!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and the interviewees, and not of Australia Post.
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