There’s no doubt, eBay has emerged as the hottest online marketplace in the world. By launching your own eBay business, you can gain access to 200 million shoppers worldwide and nab a share of the $40 billion dollars currently exchanging hands on the online auction site. Getting started is easy thanks to a host of seller’s tools you can find on the site, and start-up costs are minimal. To get your business going, you need to:
1. Decide what you want to sell.
2. Start small with a few test items.
3. Price products effectively.
4. Take advantage of eBay’s seller’s tools.
5. Market your business.
Sign up for PayPal
PayPal makes it easier for buyers to purchase your items and allows you to receive payments from credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts and PayPal accounts. Items listed on eBay that offer PayPal as a payment option are 6 percent more likely to sell. PayPal fees (from 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent + 30 cents) are only applied when you accept a payment.
Create a seller’s account
Every seller needs an eBay seller’s account. To create this free account, you’ll need to provide credit card and bank account information. Fees, which start at 20 cents, are only charged when you list items for sale.
You don’t need a fancy computer to run an eBay business, but you do need high-speed Internet access.
Invest in a camera
Listings that include photos are more likely to result in a sale. Take photos of your merchandise from several angles using adequate lighting and a plain background. Setting your camera for medium resolution will provide sufficient quality while still allowing for quick uploads.
Develop strong listings
By supplying accurate and detailed information in your listings, you can vastly improve your chances of making a profitable sale. The best listings start with a winning title, are placed in the proper categories and feature photos and thorough descriptions that include a product’s precise measurements, sizes, colors and condition. Successful listings also list acceptable payment methods and shipping costs.
Use eBay’s seller tools
Take advantage of the seller’s tools eBay offers to help you simplify the selling process. Free listing tools can help you list a single product or multiple items quickly. Use its Web-based tracking and sales management tools to monitor your listings and maximize sales.
Complete sales efficiently
To ensure customer satisfaction and good ratings for your eBay business, ship merchandise promptly using the appropriate packing materials.
Like any business, the key to success is selling your merchandise at a profit. To pump up your profit margins, reduce your expenditures by purchasing products wholesale.
Market your eBay business
Drum up business by spreading the word about your new online enterprise. Direct potential customers to your merchandise with banner ads and email campaigns.
- Choose an eBay user ID carefully as it will become your brand identity. Choose an ID that reflects your company image and that gives shoppers an idea of what you’re selling.
- Price your products effectively to make profitable sales. Check your competitors’ prices by reviewing other listings in your product category and check current retail prices for your product if available. A good plan is to set your prices below retail value and slightly lower than your competition.
- When shoppers ask questions via email, respond quickly. A slow response time can lose a sale.
- Create a designated area where you can photograph your merchandise. An area with natural lighting and a plain background is best.
- Set aside an area for inventory and shipping materials.
- Always provide feedback on your customers. This will encourage them to leave positive feedback for you. The more positive feedback you get, the more potential customers will be comfortable buying from you.
- Purchase insurance when shipping high-priced items.