Are you selling merchandise from home? Many home-based businesses that sell goods have utilized the power of eBay to engage customers and move merchandise. When is the right time to transition from being an occasional eBay seller to having an eBay store? Here are 10 signs.
- Your eBay sales have exceeded $1,995 per month. eBay charges a final value fee for every sale generated, including those sold through online stores. If you don’t have a store, the fee is 10%; with a store, it’s only 9%. So once your sales surpass $1,995 per month, it could save you $19.95 or more each month in fees. The monthly subscription cost for a basic store is $19.95, so this discount covers that cost.
- You have large amounts of inventory to sell. Businesses that typically sell more than 50 items a month would benefit from the creation of an eBay store. Without a store, you’ll only receive 50 free listings, but the basic store subscription includes up to 200 free fixed price insertions and 100 auction-style listings per month, which can help save money in final value fees. Stores with even more volume can upgrade the monthly subscription for higher discount structures.
- You want to tap into a global marketplace. eBay provides sellers with the opportunity to sell their merchandise to people around the world. With a dedicated URL under the eBay store listing, you’ll be able to attract more buyers by assuring them that they’re purchasing items from a verified, authorized eBay merchant. Additionally, eBay stores can take advantage of marketing and SEO techniques to attract customers to their store.
- You have a large social media following. There are millions of items for sale on the Internet, making it challenging for people to find your particular store. Entrepreneurs with an established following can easily direct people to their dedicated URL for shopping convenience, and customizing the appearance of the storefront is easy. eBay can also help build an email list to send out promotional flyers and notifications of sales and new merchandise.
- You want someone else to handle marketing. eBay offers merchants marketing support and promotional materials as part of their monthly subscription. From mailers that can be included in shipments to printed business cards, you’ll receive tools for promoting your store both on- and offline. Turning the hassle of generating business over to eBay allows the store owner to concentrate on other aspects of running the store.
- You want to use auctions to sell merchandise. One of the easiest ways to generate interest in your store is to run auctions. Viewers who visit your auction will automatically receive notice of other items listed for sale in your store. This is an effective way to move merchandise that you may have multiple quantities of in stock. Listing an item as an auction allows you to showcase the other items that you have for sale, enticing buyers to purchase the item from your store outright, instead of waiting for the auction to end.
- You want to capitalize on eBay’s SEO. Search engine optimization is a complex method of ensuring that a website or webpage is prominently displayed in Google, Yahoo!, and other search engine results when people search for a particular keyword. Store owners can take advantage of eBay’s SEO assistance, increasing the likelihood that people will find their store and potentially building a customer base with little effort.
- You want to develop your own brand. eBay’s store development support allows store owners to customize the look of their store, with color schemes, logos, and a custom format that will set it apart from others.
- You’re comfortable with the eBay sales process. Many merchants want to start their online selling experience by jumping into an eBay store at the beginning of their business. They may become frustrated, however, when they try to understand the fee structure, the means of receiving payments, and the general process of listing and selling merchandise. It’s possible to sell merchandise profitably on eBay without having a store, and eBay recommends waiting until you consistently have at least 25 items for sale at all times before setting up a store.
- You have products in several categories. eBay stores allow merchants to sort their items into categories and groups, making it easier for customers to navigate through listings. If you generally have a wide range of products, this can be a powerful feature and can make the selling (and buying) process easier and more streamlined.
Merchants setting up home-based businesses can use the power of eBay to help drive their sales to even greater heights. With minimal time and expense, they can set up a professional-looking storefront to reach customers and build their business. Consider the tips above, and decide if you’re ready to start the next chapter of your business.