With more than 135 million users worldwide, eBay remains one of the most vibrant communities of buyers and sellers anywhere on the internet. Over its 27-year history, the online marketplace has matured from a quirky sales venue populated by hobbyists and thrift store sellers to a legitimate place of business where “mom and pop” stores can actively compete against major high street brands. This is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that the average eBay seller generated $42,000 in sales from the site. With that in mind, whether you have an established business already or not, here is what you need to know about selling on eBay as a business
eBay Business Account
The first step to getting started selling on eBay as a business is opening an eBay business account. You will need to provide eBay with details about your business and follow their business selling policies, you can find the eBay UK Business Seller Policy here and more information on requirements to register as a business on eBay US here.
eBay Tools and Resources for Business Sellers
If you’ve sold anything as a private seller on eBay, you’ll know how easy it is to list and sell via the marketplace. However, scaling up to run an actual business on eBay can be more challenging. Thankfully, eBay offers its professional sellers a selection of resources and tools to make their listings stand out and sell more.
eBay optimisation starts with a little education. eBay provides its sellers with a number of educational resources, including regular seller updates, online forums, and seller events. At Frooition, we strive to share the most important pieces of educational content here on the Frooition Blog. Check out our recent posts about how considered use of product images, timely shipping, and listing best practices can help improve your visibility.
Nothing will say “open for business” more creatively than a professionally designed eBay store. An eBay store will not only help businesses build brand awareness and generate customer trust, it may actually save you money in terms of listing as store subscribers get a number of free listings each month. U.S. sellers with store subscriptions can also benefit from lower final value fees in some categories too. As well as looking great, sellers using Frooition’s design services can also benefit from promotional tools like dynamic cross-promotion. You can also use our eBay design templates for your listings if you decide not to open a store at first.
You can find more information about eBay business seller fees and eBay store fees for the UK here and for eBay US here. These pages also show the free listings and other perks available for the different levels of store.
When selling in a competitive market, it might be necessary to give your eBay listings a little boost. Promoted Listings can be used by businesses selling on eBay to give professional eBay sellers a competitive edge and help them rise to the top of eBay search. But be warned; there is no point in promoting an unoptimised listing.
Fulfilment Selling on eBay as a Business
As your business grows, you’ll quickly learn that you don’t make money stuffing envelopes.
If you have an Amazon FBA account, you can actually fulfil your eBay orders too, using Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfilment. However, this is a bit pricey as Amazon charge a premium for fulfilling items that are going to customers from other platforms!
eBay does have their own fulfilment service in partnership with Orange Connex that you can apply to use. This service can also be integrated with eBays Global Shipping Program, whereby Orange Connex send the items to eBay global shipping centres for you.
eBay’s Global Shipping Program enables UK sellers to access lucrative international markets (potentially bypassing some of the post-Brexit red tape). You send the item to eBay and they will ship it internationally for you. UK sellers are still responsible for handling returns under this program. In the US this program has been rebranded as the International Shipping Program and can handle international returns for you as well as the outward shipping.
Alternatively, for UK sellers, we have a partnership with Huboo which provide a full picking, packing and shipping service both to the UK and internationally. Their prices are good and start with a £50 a month subscription for shipping up to 300 orders (on top of the per-parcel cost). They offer free inbound shipments and the first 2 months of storage for your shipments are usually free but for Frooition customers they have extended this to 6 months of free storage for your first shipment.
Frooition is a proud eBay-certified partner. This means we maintain close contact with eBay’s various technical and customer-focused departments meaning our services will always conform with the latest eBay best practices. It also gives us access to a diverse range of technology and service partners. If your business has a problem selling on eBay and we cannot solve it for you, we will know somebody that can.
eBay is a constantly evolving marketplace. What worked well last year might actually harm your business tomorrow. But as busy entrepreneurs, knowing precisely what is going on with your listings isn’t always so obvious. This is particularly true if you have long-standing listings for items you always have in stock. If you need help understanding how well your listings are performing, it may be time to check out Frooition’s free eBay Listing Optimisation service.
Sometimes, the best optimisation strategy is to extend your reach by listing your inventory on additional eCommerce channels. While eBay is one of the most accessible eCommerce sales platforms to set up shop on, it is also one of the most unforgiving. eBay businesses are built on the back of maintaining a solid reputation with it kept in check with customer feedback. This means you need to invest as much time and effort in guaranteeing excellent customer service as you do in stock. As such, it’s a great learning environment, preparing you to sell across multiple other channels.
Other marketplaces, like Amazon, Etsy, OnBuy, etc., are the obvious first ports of call.
At Frooition, we recommend sellers should do anything they can to minimise the risk of selling across a limited number of marketplaces. If more than half of your sales come from one source, your business could be in trouble if something disrupts those sales. That disruption could come from multiple sources, including competition or negative feedback limiting your sales opportunity.
The smartest sellers will take everything they learn on eBay and transfer that knowledge to build their business further on their own eCommerce store.
Frooition Multi-Channel Services
We recommend using a hosted eCommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, which gives you control over design and functionality while offering a user interface that is not dissimilar to eBay or Amazon.
Frooition are ecommerce experts with 15 years of design experience, we know how to build brands that convert sales. Using this knowledge, we are able to build fantastic multichannel designs for a number of platforms:
- Amazon Brand Stores
When we work on the same brand for multiple platforms, we only need to go through the creative process once, with this in mind we are able to offer fantastic discounts for multiple projects.
To learn more about how Frooition can help you build a business on eBay and beyond, schedule a free discovery call with one of our eCommerce experts today.