Among the many eCommerce platforms, eBay remains one of the best options. For running a serious business on eBay, you want to consider creating a store.
So how do you go about starting an eBay business?
The good news is that because of its popularity, the opportunities on eBay are endless.
The bad news is that the competition is fierce. It’s because of the latter that so many newcomers give up easily.
If you want to succeed as an eBay seller, here are the eBay business tips you should know about:
- Figure Out Your Shipping First
You want to know beforehand how much you’ll need to pay for shipping. You want to estimate how often you’ll need to ship your products each week.
This will help you decide how much to budget each week for shipping. To play it safe, you want to round up to the nearest hundred.
If you think you need $75, save $100 each week. If you need to spend $125 each week, save up $200 each week.
If you have to send 6 products per week, you want an adequate number of boxes or mailers for these products. With boxes/mailers round up to the nearest tenth.
For 6 products, have 10 boxes/mailers. If you have 12 products, have 20 boxes/mailers on hand each week.
You should also rent a postage meter to help you prepare for shipping and skip long lines at the post office.
- Start Small
You want to focus on selling a few products that have a low cost to you. This way, you can determine what products your customers like the most. You can also do this to build capital fast.
Once you consistently sell for six months, then you can upgrade to larger products that have a higher cost.
For example, if you want to sell jewelry start with selling small rings or stud earrings.
Only once you’ve made consistent sales should you upgrade to jewelry sets or luxury items.
- Low Fees
As a beginner, try to keep your eBay fees as low as possible. Whenever there’s a promotion to avoid listing fees, that’s when you should post your items.
If there’s a limit on how many items you can post for free, don’t go above the limit at first.
To run a serious eBay business, you will have to open an eBay store. This will cost around $20 per month. Don’t pay for any upgraded features until you make a consistent income.
You also want to offer cheap shipping options. Stick to standard shipping as a beginner seller.
Once you become a popular seller, you can offer options for expedited shipping.
- Prepare Your Packaging
Make sure you prepare your packaging before you list your items.
If applicable, make sure you have bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts to protect your products from getting damaged.
You also want to consider what you’ll keep inside each package. You should keep a printed receipt for your customer’s records.
You should also include a typed or handwritten thank you note. You can also include a coupon to offer a future discount.
You can create custom stickers for your eBay store within the package.
These make your customers interested in your eBay store and might turn them into regular customers.
- All in the Details
When writing your product descriptions, make sure you provide as much detail as possible.
You want to make sure you learn how to write engaging product descriptions. Make sure that your copy is readable and scannable.
For example, you can list the features as bullet points instead of in paragraph form.
Discuss what’s unique about the item and be as specific as possible.
For example, let customers know how many karats are in your earrings. Or let them know about the condition of the secondhand textbook.
The more details you provide, the greater your chance of selling your products.
However, you also want to make sure that your copy is succinct as most customers read descriptions in a rush.
At the very least, you want to earn at least 60% profit from each sale. Let’s say you buy a book for $5. 60% of $5 is $3 and this the profit you should aim for at a minimum.
Let’s say it costs $1 to pay eBay fees. Then you might pay $3 to pay for shipping costs. Your total expenses are $9 (Product + eBay fees + Shipping).
So you should charge at least $12 for this book. After your book sells and you minus expenses, you’ll make $3.
Depending on the product, you can raise your markup to whatever you like. Make sure you never go below the 60% mark.
For an everyday item, you might even wish to charge 100% of the cost you paid for.
Once you start selling more expensive items, you want to think more carefully about pricing. If you price items too high, you might deter customers forever.
To play it safe, stick to 60% in the beginning. Graduate to 70-80% once you’ve made consistent sales for six months. Once you scale your business, there are other methods to decide your prices.
- Prepare for Emergencies
You want to make sure you prepare ahead for emergencies.
For example, if an item gets lost or destroyed can you offer the customer a replacement? If not, they’ll cancel the order and demand a refund.
You’ll also have to expect that customers will want to return products at any given time. On eBay, you can require them to pay for return shipping.
Make sure that you have backup boxes/mailers in case you can’t reuse a returned one.
It’s best to have emergency cash to make up for lost sales. To be completely safe, don’t withdraw funds to your bank until you receive a positive review from the customer.
Work on Starting an eBay Business Today
Now you can work on starting an eBay business as a first-time seller! As eBay has grown, many retailers find it challenging to succeed on the platform.
If you follow these steps, you won’t have difficulty in launching your eBay store and making sales fast. Start small and plan ahead for your eBay store.
Within months, you’ll see consistent sales. You’ll eventually be able to scale your eBay business to become a full-time endeavor.
Please share this article with other aspiring eBay sellers. There are more eCommerce and business tips on our website.