How to Streamline Your eBay Business
Many new small business owners turn to eBay’s dynamic online selling platform to sell their products. This is a great way to jumpstart your online business, but it can also become time consuming and a bit complicated once you really get into the swing of things. The key to saving time and money is taking steps to make your eBay business more efficient.
Here are 10 things you can do to save time and money while running your eBay business:
1. Get to know eBay and how it works.
Though eBay is an easy-to-use selling platform, avoid jumping right into starting a store until you know a little bit more about how it works. The eBay University Learning Center is a great resource for those who are new to eBay. It gives you a variety of great information on how to sell and increase your sales on eBay.
2. Clearly define your payment terms.
You want to make it simple for buyers to pay you. Though you can get started with just PayPal, you may want to offer a larger variety of payment processors, especially as you grow your business. Make sure it is clear how long buyers have to pay you and what types of payments you take.
3. Have photos and descriptions prepared before you list.
Perhaps one of the most time consuming parts of running an eBay business is uploading photos and descriptions of your products. To save time (and frustration) prepare photos and descriptions when you first receive the product so they are ready to go even before you create the listing. It will also save you time in the long-run to create an organized system for managing these photos and descriptions so you can access them when you add new products to the inventory.
4. Develop a system for organizing your items.
Things can get a little hectic when you are listing multiple items on eBay, especially if you are also selling items at a physical store and on other sites. It is important that you create a system for organizing your items so you do not lose anything or sell an item on eBay that has already been sold elsewhere. One way you can keep track of what you are selling on eBay is to separate these items from the rest of your inventory. You may also want to have packaging materials ready so you can ship as soon as possible.
5. Consolidate shipments whenever possible.
Running to the post office every day after you complete an order can take up a lot of your time. Develop a system for making sure that your shipment is timely and consistent, while still being efficient. Many sellers choose to ship two or three times a week and wait until the end of the business day to send the shipments out. Make sure you clearly communicate to the customer what your shipping terms and delivery turnaround is though. Also, allow yourself more than just one business day so that you can increase efficiency by consolidating shipments.
6. Use an advanced seller program.
Once you have gotten used to using eBay and you have built up your store, you might consider using an advanced seller program. Programs like eBay Selling Manager Pro can help you significantly cut down on time by allowing you to automatically list and relist items as well as automate tasks like emails and payment notifications. These are all important steps toward streamlining your eBay business.
7. Keep up with your accounting.
You need to manage accounting on a monthly basis, especially if you do not want any surprises when tax season rolls around. PayPal and eBay statements are needed for yearly reporting and PayPal statements are only available for three months. That is why it is important that you regularly keep up with accounting by printing PayPal and eBay statements on a monthly basis and storing them somewhere safe. That way, when you need to access them at the end of the year, you will know where they are.
8. Set a monthly time to ensure all selling and return policies are up to date.
Your selling and return policies may change over time, especially as you experience new situations and get to know your customers’ needs. Having outdated information on your eBay store can confuse buyers, raise a lot of customer questions, and may even cause you to lose a sale or customer. One of the best ways to keep this from happening is to set aside a time each month to check selling and return policies, as well as images, descriptions, and prices to make sure everything is accurate.
9. Leave automatic feedback for buyers.
Whether or not you use an advanced seller program to automate your listings, you may still want to use a program that delivers automatic feedback as soon as the buyer has paid. Programs like eBay Selling Manager Pro and other third-party services allow you to enter comments that will be left automatically on the seller’s page.
10. Have funds on hand for necessary expenses.
Having adequate inventory is vital to eBay business success. Due to seasonal demand or other factors, you may occasionally find yourself needing more inventory in a hurry. Getting a loan for inventory is a great way to ensure that you always have the capital you need in these moments. Bank loans have strict requirements and the approval process can be lengthy, but alternative online lenders can offer the business line of credit you need to keep up with your inventory demands.