Selling products online is often one of the first things new entrepreneurs consider as a business model. The start-up costs are lower than having a physical location and online shopping is growing. eBay is one of the first platforms that come to mind when considering selling online. After all, if it’s easy enough for anyone to sell used household items, starting a business on eBay can’t be that hard, right?
An eBay business, like any other business, comes with it’s own set of challenges. Try these five tips if your considering starting a business on eBay.
Make sure you are familiar with the platform first.
Have you ever sold or bought anything from eBay? You should be familiar with eBay if you are considering using the platform to launch a business. Make sure you understand how the auctions work, how the “buy it now” options work, and what the typical listings look like. It’s a good idea to do some shopping there yourself. As you browse, ask yourself what tempts you to buy one listing over another similar listing? The answer will help you start an eBay business off on the right foot.
Treat your business as a traditional business.
eBay is just an online sales platform — eBay isn’t going to name your business for you, decide what to sell, or set your prices. In that manner, treat your eBay business as a traditional business. While you may be selling online, you still need a name, a business plan, and a strategy for turning a profit. What will you sell? How will you make your listings stand out from the other listings on eBay? Answer those questions before you get started.
Use good product photos and well-written listings to stand out.
eBay is a popular platform, which usually means there’s often more than one listing for an item. Your business will do a lot better if you make your listings stand out — and not necessarily by paying extra fees to boost them. Make sure your product photos highlight the product well with good lighting and a simple backdrop. Use a variety of images as well. Work to write a clear, interesting product description to help encourage buyers.
Research the market and trends.
What you sell on eBay will determine a lot of your business model. Besides working to find something that you can consistently sell at a profit, make sure to do your research to find current trends. Selling a product that’s seeing a growth or limited availability will be easier than selling a product that isn’t very much in demand. Be sure to stay on top of market trends as you determine what direction to take your business.
Don’t stop growing.
Once you get started, continue to evaluate your business. Keep track of which products sell quickly and which products take a little longer. Track the changes to your products, prices and listings, so you can determine what changes are helping and what changes are hurting. Consider other platforms to sell products online to expand beyond eBay.
Starting an eBay business isn’t a get rich scheme, but it can build a long term sustainable business if you take the right steps. Follow the trends, treat your eBay business like a traditional business, and continue finding new ways to grow.