Selling products on eBay makes for one of the quickest and easiest ways to start a business. However, creating a successful business around eBay requires more than just signing up for an account and listing a product or two. You have to consider your inventory, marketing and extra services to optimize your shop’s processes. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your eBay business. (And check out these free eBay templates.)
How to Start an eBay Store
Set Up Your Store
Though there is a lot more that goes into building a successful business on eBay, the first step is setting up the actual store. Sign up for an account, then choose the type of shop that you prefer. There are three different options, including basic, premium and anchor. They all come with different price points and features, so be sure to compare those elements when making your decision.
Personalize Your Storefront
From there, you’ll need to choose a name for your shop and add a custom header with your branding. You can also select some settings based on your preferences, like whether you’ll offer products via auction or buy it now.
Familiarize Yourself with eBay Policies
If you’re going to sell (or buy) on eBay, you need to do it within the policies set by the company. So make sure you read the terms and seller guides available on the website so you don’t risk breaking any rules over the course of running your business.
Create Your Own Policies
You also need to set your own shop policies so that customers know what to expect when they buy from you. For example, how do you ship your products? How quickly should customers expect to receive orders? Do you accept returns or exchanges?
Build Up Your Inventory
Once you have the shop basics down, you need to focus on the actual products. You can sell nearly anything on eBay, from handmade products to inventory that you buy and resell. So come up with a niche that works for you and then build up enough of an inventory to get your shop started.
Invest in Shipping Supplies
Then, once you have the products, you also need some supplies to actually ship them. Purchase a stock of boxes, bags, tape, labels and other shipping must-haves so you’re ready to go when you receive an order.
Consider Branded Shipping Supplies
When your customers receive their order, you want it to be a positive experience. So invest in some branded boxes and other packaging items that display your logo and other design elements. EBay even offers its own branded boxes for sellers.
Increase Traffic to Your Shop
You also need to focus on actually getting potential customers to visit your online shop. There are plenty of methods you can use to market it and get more eyes on your products, from optimizing listings for SEO to investing in PPC ads. Experiment with some different options and find the mix that works best for you.
Send Out Marketing Emails
You can also increase your sales by constantly connecting with your past and current customers. Email is a great way to do this. And eBay allows sellers to upload their own lists and add a ‘sign up for store newsletter’ option for buyers so you can grow your list right from your eBay storefront.
Manage Your Inventory
Once you start selling products regularly, you need a system for managing inventory so you can stay organized and know how much you have to sell at all times. The eBay Seller Hub gives you a method for keeping track of everything in one place.
Sign Up for Additional eBay Apps
There are a bunch of additional business tools available from third party providers that can help you run your shop effectively. Here are some of our top picks.
Outsource Your Processes
One app you might consider is eBay Valet. This option from eBay allows you to outsource most of the selling process, from taking photos and writing descriptions to mailing out orders. So if you just want to supply the products and outsource the rest, this option can help.
Photo via Shutterstock
What can you say about Amazon? How does eBay compare with selling on Amazon?
It is important that you have some unique products to begin with. It is not just about reselling items that you have in bulk.
Thanks for the tip. I thought eBay is no longer as popular as it used to be. Clearly, there’s still some money in it.
Apparently someone has not kept up with what is going on with ebay like the fact their Valet program went bust back in March 2018 or that setting up your own policies no longer matter and ebay has taken control over most all listings and policies and ebay has also taken away most all seller protection and is forcing sellers to accept return and make refunds for any reason whatsoever….and they also allow buyers to send back damaged items, items where parts have been removed or when they send back a box of rocks instead of the original items.