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How to Use eBay to Teach Entrepreneurship to Children: What is eBay?

As a family, we love entrepreneurship. It’s something that we want to instill in our children and eBay is an easy and fantastic way to get them started with that entrepreneurial spirit. We believe that it’s important to show children how they can provide for themselves, with out needing to be dependent upon the government or corporate ladders. For the next few posts, we would like to share how you can use eBay to teach children about entrepreneurship.

When to start

eBay is very simple to understand, however, the child should be able to read, write, do basic math, have a general understanding of money, and most importantly, a willingness to learn. There is no specific age, every child is different.

What is eBay?

As an introduction to teaching children about eBay, it’s important to explain exactly what eBay is and how to use it. A great way to start would be by giving an overview of how eBay works and how they can use it to make money. You might say something like:

eBay is a place online (or on the computer) where people can go to shop for things they are looking for. Just like going to a store in town to shop, they are going to a store online to shop. We can make money by putting our stuff in this online store to sell to others.

Here are some terms and phrases that you might talk about:

  1. ecommerce: transactions conducted electronically on the Internet

  2. profit: selling an item for more than what you paid for it

  3. sourcing: the process of finding items to sell (also known as pickin’)

  4. shipping: sending the item to the customer

It’s also a good idea to talk about how they can benefit from selling things on eBay. Are they saving money for a toy or special trip? How about starting their very own bank account? Help your children set an achievable goal for how much money they would like to make.

The concepts used in selling on eBay can be transferred to any industry that a child might grow up to be interested in. Buying low and selling high, customer service, online exposure (or SEO), marketing, profit margins, finances, etc. These principles are all things that entrepreneurs need to know. Plus, selling eBay has a very low start-up cost. All you need is a computer (or tablet), internet connection, and something to sell (whether it be from around the house or from a thrift store / garage sale).

As a home school family, we greatly value education not just in books but also in day-to-day life. When times get tough, to have the know how and ability to make a living on your own is invaluable. It’s like the old quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

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