eBay drop off stores are businesses that sell items on a consignment basis for those who don’t want to set up their own eBay stores. Some of them may even purchase items for a flat rate and then sell them, rather than offering a consignment percentage. Either way, you allow people to bring in their items and then you sell them online.
These businesses were incredibly popular in the mid-2000’s. But the market has slowed a bit in recent years. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable business opportunity. It simply means that interested entrepreneurs need to have a careful plan when attempting to break into this industry.
How to Start an eBay Drop Off Store
If you’re interested in starting an eBay consignment store or drop-off site, here are some of the most essential steps you need to keep in mind.
Set Up Your Location
Unlike other types of ecommerce businesses, an eBay drop off store requires a physical location. Try to find something that’s easily accessible and centrally located, though it doesn’t necessarily need to be in a busy downtown district. Often, visitors will seek out out when they have items to sell, so marketing your location online and in your local community is more important than choosing a spot with heavy foot traffic.
In your actual location, you need to set up a reception area where you can greet people and inspect items. You should also have a stock area where you can store and display items, and a photography and packaging area where you can run the ecommerce end of the business.
You need to be very clear with customers about what the process of working with you looks like. Do they earn a commission on sales? Do you simply purchase items upfront? How will they receive payment? What types of items do you accept?
Come up with the answers to all of these questions before you even get up and running so you have a better chance of providing visitors with a positive experience. You might even post policies publicly in your shop or on your site so people can easily decide if they want to work with you.
Research Your Markets
Research is key when selling on eBay. You need to know what types of items are trending, which items sell well in general and what price points are fair for specific items. Of course, you’ll need to do ongoing research each time you get new items in. But you should also do some initial research to determine what types of items you’ll take and at what price points.
You might accept a variety of items and just keep an updated price chart to provide some consistency. Or you might stick with specific types of items that you’re comfortable with and that you’re confident will deliver a sufficient profit. For example, you might specialize in collectibles like coins, stamps and sports memorabilia.
Overall, you’d rather work with some higher priced items than a ton of low priced items. You still need to process, photograph and ship everything. So you want to make sure that your profit margin on each item is going to be worth the time commitment. For certain items that only go for low prices, it may simply not be worth it for your shop.
Open Your Online Shop
Once you have some items to stock, you’ll need to open your eBay store. You need to register and choose your subscription option. Then you should also create policies on the ecommerce side of things. For example, tell customers how quickly you ship items and what types of returns or exchanges are accepted.
You can also choose design and branding elements for your shop. There aren’t a ton of options on eBay. But you can create a memorable logo and even order branded shipping materials to create a consistent and memorable experience for buyers.
Market Your Products
Once your store is up and running, you need to make it easy for people to find your products. eBay has some sponsored product options and ads that you can use to promote your shop at fairly affordable prices. You can also invest in search ads or promote items on Google shopping to gain visibility for general searches.
Overall, it’s also important to use relevant keywords and phrases in your listings so people can find your products organically. And you can work on honing your photography skills as well to make your products look as visually appealing as possible.