Getting Your eBay Business Off The Ground

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Starting your own eBay business can sometimes seem very complicated, but once you get going with it can be a great little side earner and has the potential to turn into a main source of income. That’s why we wrote this guide for you; so, you can start your own eBay business and bring yourself a little closer to being your own boss!

Choosing the Product

Before you start your own eBay business (or start selling your products on eBay) you first need to start with the product you want to sell. Pick some products that you think will do well in an ecommerce environment. Against each of these products consider how popular they are and how likely they are to sell. You want the right balance of a product that is in high demand but is niche enough that you won’t get buried under a mountain of competitors as soon as you put your first foot onto eBay. Also consider whether it’s convenient for you to sell your chosen product online; can you easily fit it into a postal box or padded envelope, or does it require a huge shipping container to reach your new customer?

So, do your market research as it can save you hassle further down the line.

eBay Business

Choosing the Price

Once you have your product/s you need to choose the right selling price. Take into account how much it will cost you to buy/make, store, package and post, and consider how much profit margin you want to make on them (be reasonable with this). Be aware that there are costs to selling on eBay.

  • eBay allows now allows up to 1000 free listing, after this there will be a charge of 35p per item.
  • Adding a product into more than one category costs extra.
  • eBay takes 10% of the total sale value of each item.
  • If a payment is made through PayPal, a 20p transaction fee will apply with an additional 3.4% of the total sale price being taken as well.
  • Varying shop subscriptions. Read here for more information on these.

Again, do market research and have a look at competitors’ prices to get an idea of what the average selling price is. Consider keeping your prices to the lower end to start off with until you’ve generated some demand for your products. Try and avoid round numbers for your selling prices like £10 or £15 and go for prices such as £9.99 or £14.99 instead as it looks less expensive!

Creating the Storefront

Make your listings look professional; be descriptive and make it clear what features the product has and what it can offer. Add good quality photos so your customers can closely see the detail of what they are ordering. Potential customers are more likely to buy your products if they have accurate information readily available to them and know exactly what they are buying.

Ensure that in this area you are truthful about the product you are selling. Don’t advertise as a premium product if you’re actually selling a value product, as it will lead to customer dissatisfaction and bad reviews. If you are selling a basic or value product that’s fine, use it to your advantage as there are plenty of potential customers looking for that!

On top of that it can also reduce the amount of questions customers ask you, therefore reducing the time you need to spend answering them.

Doing it properly 

Know the rules about paying tax on ecommerce sales. Casual selling of second hand products that you no longer use doesn’t require you to pay tax on them. However, if you’re wanting to start your own eBay business then you will have to think about paying tax. The trading allowance gives you exemption on paying tax on anything up to £1000 a year gained from self-employment or trading. Read here for more detailed information surrounding the payment of tax when selling online.

eBay Business

Dispatching and Packing

When you start making sales, pack your products wisely. Make sure that the type of packaging fits the product properly as larger parcels are more expensive packaging wise, on top of the additional postage charges. Analyse the amount of protection your product needs and pack accordingly. To learn more about how to save money on your packaging Read here. Choose whether you want your product to be dispatched via royal mail (default option on eBay) or through another courier.

Protecting yourself

Unfortunately, there are scammers on eBay and in the ecommerce world in general, who will say that they haven’t received items when they have in fact been delivered. Make sure you protect yourself and your eBay Business by sending your items by recorded delivery or at least getting proof of postage.

Managing Relations

Sometimes products do not always meet up to the expectations of customers or may be damaged in transit. Be prepared that you may have to offer refunds if you’re in the wrong. It may help maintain a good relationship with that customer and show that you are trustworthy to others, which can be worth a lot more in the long run than the loss of revenue on that individual transaction.

Hopefully you can use these steps as a guide to make it easier for you to create your eBay business and set yourself up for success in the future, Good Luck!

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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