Whether you are looking to open your own business or already have one selling products, it is a good idea to open a seller account on eBay and connect with millions of buyers all over the world already familiar with this well marketed e-commerce site. Lately an increased number of established brands joined the eBay sellers base, which comes as recognition of this online marketplace’s influence. EBay has currently over 100 million users and it’s expected to grow as every year more and more people gain access to the Internet all over the world (in 2012 there was only a little over 30% of world population able to go online). In this article I outlined some of the first important steps to open an eBay seller account and set up a good base for a successful start.
Open a Seller Account First thing to start with is open a seller account with eBay, which is fairly easy to do. As a buyer the process is quite straight forward, as a seller however you will have to provide some credit card information aside of your personal information so you can be able to start listing products for sale. This is mainly done for verification purposes to help keeping eBay a safe marketplace. A good thing to know is that you can have more than 1 account in case you want to use one for your business and another for buying stuff. A good source to get to know the basics is the
If you want to start selling on eBay you can start Build Good Feed-back Score One good idea is to cruise around the site and get familiar with the site, start practicing by selling things from around the house. Doing so will make you more comfortable with the process and help you build some feedback score which is an essential to a good start, for the buyers to have more confidence to buy from you. Getting stuff from eBay is also a good idea, as it will help you understand the process better from both standpoints. You can start buying and selling really cheap stuff so you can build some feedback fast. Make sure you leave feedback for your buyers/sellers as this way you’ll encourage them to do the same. Also you can include a small note in the packages when you ship items where you thank your clients for their business and ask them politely to leave a positive feed-back when they receive the item or contact you first if they have any issues with the transaction.
Define Your Niche Once you establish your account and you are somewhat familiar with the eBay selling process you must start deciding on what type of items you want to sell if you haven’t done so already. While everyone would like to deal with certain items they prefer, sellers must look at this issue from a business point of view and try to find the most profitable niche. You will have to check what is in demand, the competition, and the possibility to get the items in large quantities for a good low price. Also you may want to look at the shipping expense for such items. Therefore you may want to avoid large, heavy items as they will costs a lot of money to ship and buyers are less likely to buy them. Generally for these items there’s big sellers out there that will likely crush you with their selling prices. A good free way to research the eBay market is cruising the site and get familiar with the category you may be interested in. eBay page offers you an “advanced” search (by the search engine on top of the page) that is a great tool to get familiar with certain products selling prices, most successful titles etc. always found good info by selecting “completed” listings on the advanced search page. Also it’s worth taking a look at eBay Pulse page, which will show you the trends and hot items in the category of your choice. Another free tool to check some eBay statistics is www.marksight.com. Here you can get a general look at the sell-thru data in any category by using keywords. The best tool to get eBay statistics I found to be Terapeak. While it costs some money for the monthly subscription it is totally worth having it at least for the first 2-3 months. Here you can get a large array of information, from which items are best sold in different categories to which are the best keywords to use (based on statistics) and times of the day and week to list certain items.
Purchase Merchandise Having decided on the products you want to sell you must start looking for a supplier. While in many cases having a source is the main reason to open an online store in the first place in most cases sellers are individual or companies who look to make an extra income by re-selling products purchased from wholesalers, liquidators or drop shippers.
List, List, List Once you choose a niche and you have your source(s) you are ready to start a high volume account. eBay offers a bunch of tools for sellers that handle certain volume of goods. Handling a high volume of goods is one of the secrets of power sellers. Many new eBayers expect to sell from the beginning and many give up before they reach the point where the sales get to a satisfying point. Power Sellers know that listing items daily and running a high volume of goods is the key of running a business on eBay. Ultimately you end up selling 10-15% of your listed items weekly, which can add up to thousands of dollars in sales. It is essential to start working with the eBay Selling Manager feature, which will allow you to better manage your listings in bulk. Also as you go you will want to upgrade to the versions of the Selling Manager that give you higher advantages such as lower insertion fees, edit listings in bulk or inventory control . A great tool worth mentioning is TURBO LISTER –a piece of software that allows you to prepare your listings offline and upload them at the time /date of your choice without paying the extra fees eBay normally charges to schedule a listing upload. This tool also makes it easier to work with templates, which is essential when handling many items. The not so great thing about this free software is that is only made for Windows users. For IOS users there are other options that you’ll have to pay for. The good news is that starting this year eBay added a new feature where you can create “drafts” , which pretty much does the same thing as Turbo Lister at a smaller but effective level (you’ll have to chain sell your items one by one and save them as drafts)
Advertise your store This is another step you may want to take when starting your business. A good way to do that is business cards or flyers going in the packages with the merchandise you sell. You can include small discounts for repeat customers or for certain items that you want to do a sale on at some point. Social media is another way to advertise your items and spread the word. Publishing articles on forums and blogs can be a great way to lead people to your store. There are applications available on eBay where you can assign a domain name to your eBay store , making it this way so much easier to advertise. Overall you must keep in mind that opening and maintain an eBay store is a build up process and it can be quite rewarding if you have patience, you’re committed, serious and treat your buyers right.
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