With over 165 million users worldwide, it’s easy to believe that eBay is one of the most profitable ecommerce websites online. But with such a huge pool of sellers and buyers, how are you going to make your business rise above the rest?
If you are thinking about starting your own eBay business but don’t know where to start, fret no more. We have put a lot of time and effort putting together this great guide which takes you through the entire process from start to finish.
What are the Benefits?
Before we get stuck into ways to create a flourishing eBay business, it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into. With such a huge number of users, you open yourself (and your products) to a massive audience of potential customers. You don’t need to spend more cash on promotion, awareness, or traffic because eBay handles it all for you. With a seemingly constant stream of traffic, it won’t be long before you start selling and shipping your products to customers from all over the world.
So, how do you start a profitable eBay ecommerce business online? Let’s find out:
Starting as a Buyer
If you are completely new to eBay, you may want to begin as a buyer to start off. Build up some history on the site and make a few small purchases to show you are an active member of the community. Give your sellers great feedback and this will help to increase your buyer rating, making you seem like a more trustworthy person to partner with once you transition into a seller.
Develop Trust with Customers
Developing a relationship with your customers is vital. You need to make sure that your customers are happy with their experience, otherwise, you risk losing them for good. A negative experience can reflect bad on you, your store and your products. Respond to customer queries and always reply to feedback. If the feedback is negative, respond graciously and humbly. You should also offer return and refund options to help increase trust in your business.
A huge mistake that many eBay businesses make is neglecting the fact that your eBay store is essentially a business. This means that your branding must remain consistent and fluent across your channel. Your design needs to represent your brand and this includes factors such as logos, colour palettes and even the overall layout of your eBay shop. Everything must flow well together. If it doesn’t, you risk losing potential customers because they have been put off by the fact that your business is inconsistent and unprofessional in terms of visual aesthetics.
Most eBay stores sell second-hand goods, so nobody expects the images to be of award-winning standard. However, taking the time to take quality product images can go a long way. Using a clean white background is advised, especially if you’re just starting out because it’s incredibly easy to mimic. Use natural lighting where possible so that the photographs accurately depict the correct colour and texture of the product.
Before you get started, you need to determine your prices and make sure that you have enough stock to meet demand. If you intend on selling a large volume of the same product, for example, then you need to make sure that you have the right amount of stock in place. Keeping track of your stock and how much you need to sell and meet targets each month is essential.
There’s no point running an eBay business if you aren’t going to make any profit out of it. There are a variety of things to take into consideration such as additional fees like your eBay listing fee, the PayPal fee and the final value fee. First, you need to work out how much money goes where. EBay, for example, takes 10% of the total sale. So, if you sell a product for £100, £10 of that money is going straight into eBay’s back pocket. PayPal then takes 20p per transaction and a further 3.4% of the total sale price. Many sellers incorporate these extra costs into their overall price tag to help them make a better profit for themselves.
If you plan on putting a few items up for bidding, you should start low. This catches people’s attention and encourages them to bid on the product. It won’t be long before the bidding war takes off as more potential buyers are attracted to your product. Of course, this method of bidding has its limits. If you are selling a niche product such as an antique, you may want to put a higher bid to avoid the item selling for far less than it’s worth. To avoid this pitfall, add a minimum price to your product to ensure that your item sells for the minimum amount required to complete a purchase.
Write Compelling Product Descriptions
Before someone decides to buy something, they will want to read the product description first. This is your chance to really sell the item. You need to include relevant information about the product, including its purpose and why you’re selling it in the first place. If you are selling a second-hand item, be honest about its condition. If it has any defects or slight signs of wear and tear, mention this in the description or you risk receiving a really bad review and a potential request for their money back! Make sure your product descriptions are clear, concise and compelling.
Keep Customers Updated
Once your product has been shipped, make sure that you take the time to notify your customer with a confirmation email as soon as possible. Send them their invoice and ask them to leave your store a review and some feedback when they get the chance. Buyers appreciate communication, which also helps to improve your relationship with your customers and encourages them to return to your store again in the future.