If you want to start an e-commerce business on eBay, it’s good to know how the platform works. Fortunately, starting an eBay business isn’t difficult. With skills, passion, and proper strategies, you can soon turn your online venture into a profit-earning business. The key is to be patient and consistent with your goals and efforts.
eBay currently has more than 885,000 website visits, falling just a little behind Amazon. However, selling on eBay is quite different from other e-commerce platforms. You can add new or used items to your store and sell them through an auction or at a fixed price.
Buyers can scroll through your items and buy them on eBay for free, but there is a specific fee for sellers. It includes a product insertion fee, a final value fee, and any additional cost for any advanced feature. Let’s jump into the basics of starting an eBay business and how to be successful.
4 Steps To Start an eBay Business
Starting a business on eBay is easy if you set attainable goals and strategize well. Make sure you have a good grasp of the items you’re selling and know accepted payment methods, shipping rules, and all the applicable service and customer policies. If you’re sure eBay supports your type of business, follow the below steps to kickstart your store:
Step 1: Choose Your eBay Account
Go to eBay’s official website on your web browser and click “Register” to sign up. eBay will direct you to an account creation page where you will have two options. You can choose to create a personal or a business account. If you opt for the personal account, you will primarily be selling only your casual personal stuff. However, a business account will enable you to sell more items.
With a business account, you can choose a legal name and design for your store. If you have a specific branding (logo or color theme) for your business, you can incorporate it within your eBay store.
Creating an eBay business account is free. However, you have to pay fees for creating a seller account. These charges kick in when you sell or list your products on the platform.
Step 2: Create Your eBay Account
Once you decide on the type of account, you can register it with your business name, phone number, and email ID. Then, enter a password and select your username. On the next screen, eBay will ask for your company’s address and contact number to authenticate your information.
After your account is verified, choose “Register” to start an eBay business on the platform. You will have immediate access to multiple seller features on your account.
Step 3: Make Your Desired Account Changes
From your eBay account, you can make some adjustments. Navigate to the “Account settings” on the menu bar. eBay allows you to make multiple modifications to your account. For example, you can tweak buyer requirements, shipping details, communication settings, and business-related information.
If you’re selling on eBay, it’s essential to select and add a payment method. eBay will deduct your selling fees from it. You can choose your debit, credit card, or PayPal for the transaction. eBay will automatically charge the amount shown on your seller invoice on your selected payment method.
Step 4: Add Inventory To Your eBay Store
Next up is the fun part of starting an eBay business; adding items to your store. To get started, open your account page and click the “Sell” button on the top-right corner of your screen. Then, select “List an Item” in the next window.
eBay offers two options for adding inventory to your store. The first is the basic, quick listing form, and the other is the advanced listing option. With the first option, you can enter keywords in your products’ descriptions to add them to your listings. Based on your product descriptions, eBay will put your items in the relevant categories and offer suggestions for better listing.
The second option—advanced listing—lets sellers create attractive and profitable listings. You can include product photos, titles, categories, selling information, description, and shipping details. No matter your option, eBay evaluates your seller fees depending on your provided product information. So, ensure you’re doing it with a clear mind and focus.
Get your priorities right, choose the correct account, and create an attractive product listing. Once you lay a good foundation for your store, you just have to worry about turning your efforts into a continuous cash flow.
Here is a quick step-by-step video for further reference:
Things To Keep in Mind To Run a Successful eBay Business
Congratulations on starting your eBay business! What’s next? Create an action plan for entering the market. Of course, things don’t stop here. You will have to target your ideal customers and convince them to buy your products. Remember, your efforts will be in vain if they don’t get you leads or conversions.
So, here are some helpful tips to make your eBay startup easily penetrate the marketplace and bring in customers.
Start an eBay Business With a Small Investment
When starting a business on eBay, invest a reasonable amount of money, not too much. Spend a fairly good amount in your inventory and see how things work. Search for some products to sell, capture attractive photos, make proper listings, choose the correct pricing option, and talk to the buyers. You’re all good to go, then!
You can build your product line over time. However, before that, you must learn how to operate and maintain the critical aspects of your e-commerce business. This includes order handling, fulfillment, and delivery.
Be Prepared To Pay Insertion Fees
Once you start an eBay business, you must understand the fee structure inside out. eBay allows you to list 250 items a month for free. Once you exceed this limit, you must pay 35 cents as an insertion for every product listing and category.
Sellers also have to pay a small percentage of the sale price as a final value fee after selling a product. It will include the handling and shipping amount. Typically, the final value fee is up to 14.35% of the sale amount. eBay may also charge payment processing fees directly from the company when you use “Managed Payments.”
You can also subscribe to eBay Stores to enjoy better features. The annual package starts from $19.95 monthly, giving you thousands of free monthly listings. You can visit eBay’s official fee page to learn more about it.
Pick a Business Niche
Identifying a niche is vital to start an eBay business. It will help you focus on one place and develop a brand identity. Understand it this way. Suppose you’re a clothing retailer selling high-quality clothes for women, men, and children. Happy customers will keep coming to your store to buy clothes.
Focusing on a niche can help you establish a better marketplace authority than if you sell smartphones or cookware alongside clothes. So, it’s better to specialize in one particular niche, like clothing, than clutter your store with different products.
Capture Professional Photos
Good product photography can take your eBay business to unimaginable heights. How will your customer know about your brand when you don’t show it to them? So, arrange your products in front of a plain background, preferably white, to capture their actual colors. Use a camera that can capture in high resolution, and ensure your room is well-lit.
Take photos from different angles to fit multiple screen sizes. You can also choose eBay’s picture service tool to ensure your pictures can cater to other screens.
Optimize Your Listings
After capturing high-quality pictures, it’s time to write catchy product descriptions before listing them on eBay. First, choose a product category and write their titles with the right keywords.
Make sure to write every detail of the products and optimize them for SEO. It will include choosing the correct item based on its popularity and customer perception. The easiest way to do this is from the eBay Best Match feature.
Choose the Best Prices to Start an eBay Business
The auction-style listing makes eBay a popular e-commerce platform. But you can also choose a fixed price for your products to increase their visibility and sell it more quickly.
You can use eBay’s Quick Listing feature to determine the best product prices. It will help you see how similar products were sold on eBay, which will eventually help attract potential buyers.
Make the Most of Customer Feedback
Keeping an eye on customer reviews and feedback plays a significant role in the success of your business. So, always ask customers to post their thoughts on your store’s page. It will persuade potential buyers to check out your products and improve your Seller Profile. But that’s not just limited to positive reviews only.
You can also turn negative feedback in your favor by addressing the customer’s concern immediately with patience. When other customers see how professionally you handled the criticism, they will know that you’re not there just to sell—but to make a long-term customer base.
Use eBay’s Seller Features
You can easily manage your eBay business through the free mobile app. From the app, you can create, edit, and track your product listings on the go. Not only that, but you can also track shipments and reply to customers’ queries and feedback in just a few taps.
For a more immersive experience, you can connect your eBay store with those on BigCommerce and Shopify through eBay integration. Another vital tool is the eBay Seller Hub, a centralized dashboard. It allows you to view the performance of your listings, add new items, and track orders and returns. With your eBay Stores subscription, you can create marketing strategies through this tool.
To start an eBay business, you must set your goals and priorities straight. Research the market, see which products make it to the popular list on eBay, and choose your niche accordingly. Then, create a business account and click the “Sell” option from the top menu to list your items.
Make sure to start small and then expand your product line over time. Customize your store with your brand’s theme, capture professional photos, write catchy descriptions, and create listings. Don’t forget to keep optimizing them from the eBay mobile app!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock.com.