Selling products through eBay
eBay has of course been around a long time and is most likely well known to all of you as a place to pick up a bargain or sell the odd personal item.
eBay has changed quite a lot over the years though. Where once it was mostly individuals selling stuff from home (they are still there..) it is now full of shops who have created 'storefronts'.
Setting up a storefront in eBay allows you to have a branded environment within ebay where people can view all of your products and you also get a bunch of other marketing tools and perks. There are fees involved however and it can be quite complicated to work out whether the benefits derived from a storefront will result in improved profitability once fees are taken into account. Here is a good article that tries to take you through the mental gymnastics of it:
Now you don't have to have a 'storefront'. You can just start selling products under a 'business' account without setting up a 'storefront'. You will want a 'business' account if you are a registered business as opposed to a personal account for credibility sake (there are apparently also tax benefits and possible fee reductions) and there are certain restrictions around personal accounts that business accounts don't need to worry about.
Note that you can upgrade your 'personal' account to a 'business' account if you want to. If you have a really good star rating on your current personal account this will get migrated to your business account and help you sell effectively.
- You have a big audience right away. It's a very active and popular site with folks trawling it every day (sometimes many times a day) for a bargain.
- You don't have to worry about the buying process because ebay have been doing this for years and they know howo to do it well.
- They can provide logistic and fulfilment support.
- You will be selling via Paypal. They do offer some good seller protection and fraud screening.
- There are fees and they can be complex, especially if you become a storefront.
- You don't really develop any brand loyalty on a platform like ebay. You are just one of many people selling to folks looking for a bargain. The most important thing is your range of products and your star rating (an indicator of whether you are making people happy or upsetting them during the sales process).
- You will be forced to sell via Paypal. More fees.
Read about eBay storefronts and watch some tutorials
Here is a good overview that takes you through the whole process of becoming a store: