How To Start An Ebay Business
Ebay is one of the largest selling platforms Online and I am sure that Ebay doesn’t need any introduction about everyone has heard of Ebay and will have probably sold or purchased something from. However, many people are making a steady income from Ebay and there is no reason why you cannot do the same.
This guide is a very simple and basic overview about setting up your own Ebay business and what to do and what to avoid.
A Basic Step by Step How To Start An Ebay Business
Firstly, you will need to open a couple of accounts and these are an Ebay account and a PayPal account. Now you may already have accounts with Ebay and PayPal and if you do, that is great but if you don’t.
Note: When you are first starting out, you do NOT need to open and Ebay Store and on PayPal you do NOT need to open a Business account. The trick is to simply open basic accounts on both Ebay and Paypal and as your business starts to grow, you can then set up an Ebay Store and then set up a Business account on PayPal and change anything that needs changing at a later stage in the future.
Also, you should note that you will have limitations on these basic accounts in terms of how many items you can post on Ebay at any one time (this is usually 10 items to start with on Ebay) and Paypal may hold your money for a set period of time but you can contact Ebay to increase these limits and once your PayPal account has been fully activated, you will be able to access your money instantly in the future.
What Items To List On Ebay
Remember that at first, you will have limitation on the number of items you can list, soyou really need to concentrate on ‘In Demand’ items that will sell quickly. Good examples of high demand items are:
Video Game Consoles
The reasons for selling these items on Ebay, is because they are desirable products that people buy on a daily basis and if you can offer a good deal, people will generally tend to look passed your Feedback score and purchase the product from you. Obviously, when you first set up your Ebay account, you will not have any Feedback, simply because you have never sold via that account and having a ‘0’ feedback score or a very low one, can put off many people. Building your Feedback score is important and it is something that will obviously grow, with the more items you sell! At first, use the limitations on the number of items you can sell wisely and concentrate on selling 10 desirable items that will sell quickly. As a result, your ‘Feedback’ score will soon be at 10 and then you will be able to list another 10 items and sell them quickly and get your ‘Feedback up to 20. Continue this process and your Feedback score will soon be looking very respectable and you will also have starting to earn a little extra income from your new Online Ebay business.
How To List Your Items On Ebay
When you first start out on Ebay, you will have two options in how you can sell your items and these are ‘Buy It Now’ or ‘Auction’. Now there are advantages and disadvantages to both these options and they can both be good ways to sell. Selling as a ‘Buy It Now’ is often the preferred choice with many Business sellers but in some circumstance, Auctions can be good.
Selling on a 7 day auction will guarantee you sell your item within the 7 days, as longas somebody has bid on your item. On a ‘Buy It Now’ listing, it means that your item could be listed for 30 day and not sell! However, if you do your research into how much other people are selling the same item/product for on Ebay and you list your items at a very good competitive price on a ‘Buy It Now’ listing, your items/products should sell quickly.
Listing Your Items
On really eay way to list your items/products on Ebay, is to use the ‘sell similar’ feature. When you are looking in the ‘Sold Comparable Items’ under the picture of the item, you will see the clickable link ‘Sell Similar’ or ‘Sell One Like This’ button. You can then edit the listing to your own preferences changing the Title, Description and other specific details required.
Adding Title: Titles are very important and are good for your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Your Title is the first thing Google picks up on, as well as Ebay. So when people are searching for an specific item, they can find yours. You should always use all 80 characters allocated to the Title and include the Brand name and other relevant details.
How Much To List Your Items For On Ebay
This may sound a little silly but knowing how much to list your items for on Ebay, is a very integral part of your business and is a huge factor in determining whether your items/products sell quickly. Yes, you will want to sell your items products for as much as possible but if you list them too high, they simply will not sell!
Doing your research finding out how much other people are selling the exact same items/products for is key. The good news for you, is that this is relatively easy on Ebay, by using their ‘Sold Comparable Items’ facility or ‘Sold Comps’, as it is commonly known. The ‘Sold Comparable Items’ facility allows you to check how much recent exact items/products have sold for on Ebay. Simply go to the ‘Sold Comparable Items’ facility and type in the item you wish to list, it will then show you all the recent ‘Sold’ items. Sort by ‘recently’ sold first and then take a look at the most recent sales for the exact item/product you wish to list. Note its ‘Condition’, whether it is Used or Brand New and then once you have this information, then go and look at all the current listing on Ebay, for that very same item. See how much it is being listed for now and if they are selling well at this price. This will provide you with a clear indication of the going price and what you should list your items/products at, in order to be competitive with your competition.
Tip: You will probably see a fa variable difference in prices on some items from your competitors.
For Example: You may see the very same item listed by several different sellers and one or two may have an item listed for £150.00 and several others may have the exact same item listed for £120.00. Now, common sense tells you that if someone is looking to buy an item and they see the same item listed for £150 & £120, they will obviously buy it for the lower price. The only time they would really choose to pay more, is if the lower price sellers do not have a good Feedback score or they have bad reviews. As you will not have a big Feedback score yet and therefore not have as bigger reputation as the big sellers on Ebay and you cannot warrant charging the higher price, it is wise to list your items/products at a price that will compete with the lower prices. If you can list your items/products at a price even less that the lowest sellers and still clear a good profit, then do so, as it will mean that buyers will certainly look passed the Feedback score, if they are getting a really good deal!
Feedback Rating and Score On Ebay
As we mentioned previously, Feedback plays a big role when buying and selling on Ebay. Your Ebay Feedback rating/Score, is simply your reputation as a Buyer or Seller and it is how many people decide whether to buy from you. It is simply a way of gaining their trust and confidence, as they know other people have recommending you as being a safe and reliable person to buy from.
Obviously, when you first set up your Ebay account, your Feedback rating/score will be zero (0). This means that when you list items you wish to sell, people will look at your Feedback score and se it is (0). This means that they will also know you are a new Seller and may be a little reluctant to buy from you. However, being a new Seller is not a bad ting and having a (0) Feedback rating is nothing to worry about because it won’t stay like that for long. When you first start selling on Ebay, you simply want quick sales and for your buyers to leave you good positive Feedback. The easiest way to get this, is by simply offering them a good deal and listing your items/products accurately. Ensure you provide a very good detailed description of your items and provide them with clear ‘in focus’ pictures. If it is a used item, make sure it is listed as ‘Used’ and not ‘New’. If it has any flaws or damage, be sure to include this in your description. If you have listed everything in your description, people will not be disappointed when they buy your item and finally receive it. As a result, they will leave you positive Feedback. However, if you fail to provide an accurate description and when they receive their purchased items, they notice damage to which you did not include in your description, they are likely to leave bad negative Feedback, which is really not what you want!
Tip: When you first start selling on Ebay, you will obviously need several items yourself, in order to fulfil your duties as a Seller. These items will include supplies for shipping out your sold items and these could include, packaging, large envelopes, postage bags, boxes, tape and labels. A good way to get a few positive Feedback score on your Ebay account, is to actually buy all your shipping supplies from Sellers on Ebay. Buying from reputable companies on Ebay will mean that they will normally automatically leave you positive Feedback, once they have received payment from you. This helps you get your Feedback started and not left on (0). Don’t forget to orders these well in advance prior to you listing your first item for sale, so that you have the shipping supplies ready for your first sale.
Shipping Tip For Feedback:
Another little tip is to just list a little longer shipping time than it will actually be.
So for example: If you know you will be able to ship their item the same day as purchase or the next day, just say in your listing that shipping will be 3-5 days. When they receive their purchased items much sooner than they had expected, they will leave you positive Feedback saying something like “Woow, super fast shipping” or “Arrived faster than I expected”.
Cover Note Tip:
When you ship out your sold items, just include a very simple cover note, saying something like:
Thank you for your purchase, it is very much appreciated. We hope you are satisfied with your item but if not or there are any issues, please contact us before leaving Feedback and we will rectify the issue. If you are happy with your purchase, please leave positive Feedback and we will do the same.
Placing a ‘Thank you’ note in with your packaging, is a great way to reach out to your customers and let them know they are dealing with an individual and not a multi-national organisation. It is also a good way to provide a personal touch and one that people will remember and hopefully tell others about.
Pictures and Photos On Ebay Listings
A pictures tells a thousand words and no more so, as to when you are selling an item or product on Ebay. Remember, you are starting a business and you will want to look as professional as possible and this means great looking pictures/photos. Always try to upload good quality, well lit photos of your items/products to your listings. Photos sell your products, so ensure you provide good quality photos, photos that are well lit and clear and have a nice white background. Don’t take photos of the items you are selling, laid on the floor or hanging on your wardrobe or on top of a dirty surface. If possible, it is a good idea to take photos of your items/products either on a white surface or with a white background. Buying something as simple as a poster board or even buying a cheap photographic backdrop can really help make your listings look professional and stand out. It is really beneficial if you have a camera that take good quality pictures but even an iphone can produce quality looking pictures for your listings.
Do not use ‘Stock’ photos in your listing or photos from other Sellers listings. Ensure that you upload your own unique photos of the actual item/product you are selling. Once again, as previously mentioned, if the item/product you are selling has any damage, be sure to include a photo of this damage.
When someone purchases a product from you, you will need to ensure you ship the purchased item to them as soon as possible. There are now a large number of options for shipping on Ebay but at the beginning, you are advised to keep your shipping very simple, so that you do not become overwhelmed. By just offering a few options of shipping, will help you keep things organised and running smoothly. If the products/items you are selling can fit into any of the following categories, then try to stick to them, as it will make your life much easier:
First Class Mail in Bags
Flat Rate Envelopes
Flat Rate Padded Envelopes
Medium Flat Rate Boxes
If you can afford to offer Free shipping and by doing so, still make a good profit on your sale, then this will be a lot more attractive to the buyer. However, you need to remember that you will need to pay your Ebay fees on each sale, as well as your PayPal fees, so ensure you factor in your shipping costs, so that you will still be in profit, once you have deducted all these fees and costs.
Unfortuneately, Ebay is open to Scammers, especially when you are a new business or account. Be vigilant and use your common sense! If something sounds dodgy, avoid it! Never ship items or products until they have been fully paid for and you have received payment into your PayPal account.
Common scams are:
People offering you more money than the item is listed for.
Asking for your telephone number or email address.
Asking to ship an item to an address that isn’t registered on Ebay.
The more you list, the more you will sell!
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We hope this guide helps provide a little more information on how to start an Ebay business and help you avoid a few common mistakes.