Do You Own Your eBay Business?


I think most anyone you ask would say yes they own their eBay business and in a way they are right. When you say you own a business it means you are in total control of your business and all the decisions end at you the owner. I have both an eBay business and a landscaping business so I look at this question a bit different then most. Let’s compare the two and see the differences.

Business Owner

  1. I set my own prices
  2. I make all purchase decisions
  3. I hire and fire
  4. I choose where and how to advertise
  5. I make each and every decision affecting my business.

I also have sold on eBay for many years and have a business there but it is not the same as having my own business. I really like selling on eBay and am happy to be selling there. I think many think they own their eBay businesses and they really don’t they are more like a subcontractor for eBay. That isn’t a bad thing just different from owning your own business and how you do things as a subcontractor is different then say what you would do as a true business owner.


  1. Sets pricing within Contractor guidelines
  2. Job specs come from Contractor who deals with the customer directly
  3. Deal with Contractor not the customer
  4. The job is not technically yours it is the contractor’s job
  5. Decisions for changing things made with Contractor not customer directly

These are some fine differences between a person owning their own business and working as a subcontractor for someone. There are other differences and some similarities and it is good to know the differences if you are subcontracting work rather then doing the job as your own business.

The reason I point out these differences is selling on eBay is often more like a subcontracting job and many people fail to realize this. The terms, conditions, rules, etc are all set by eBay not the seller. For instance eBay sellers are no longer allowed to say they take checks or money orders as payment. As a subcontractor I must abide by these rules even if I don’t agree that is the difference between a person that owns his own business and subcontracts from someone and in this case it would be eBay. I don’t have the choice of putting this in my listing since eBay says it is not allowed and it doesn’t matter if it is a good or bad thing it is the rules.

I have often thought that if eBay sellers would look to their selling as a subcontractor rather then the contractor they would have an easier time of it. As any subcontractor knows the conditions and rules are in place before you accept the job. The subcontractor knows up front what is required so once he accepts all that is left to do is the job. This would also work well for an eBay seller to learn the rules and conditions before listing and becoming a seller rather then becoming a seller and trying to change the rules to fit your way of thinking.

The final thing about being a subcontractor is rules can be changed or modified by the contractor not by the subcontractor. If you are an eBay seller think about this statement and although you may not like the changes or agree it is up to the contractor to do what he thinks should be done.

I think being a business owner and also having an online business on eBay and made me think about this and I try to keep these points in mind with each new set of changes that are rolled out.

I would love to hear what you think and with any opinion I know there are some that will agree and other that will disagree but I hope this gives you something to think about if you are an eBay seller.

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Categories : My thoughts


  1. HI!!
    After reading this twice, I’ve decided it’s like leasing a store in the mall – I don’t get to make the rules so I’m not the owner. I’m the lessee.

    And it clarifies for me, that I want my own website, so I can sell the way I like to. I like to know my buyers, so I can call them or email them when I get things I know they want.

    I always did that with the action figure business way back before eBay existed. I’d see what orders were coming in from the toy companies and let folks know. I’d call or email or send a postcard saying “Im gonna have the new Batman next week”. Or “I’m getting the new assortment of Hot Wheels on the 15th, which ones do you want?”

    We can’t do that on eBay or Amazon or anywhere else. I need me my very own website like you have!!

    But meanwhile, you all come visit here > It’s the friendliest venue I found so farANTIQUEDAZE

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