eBay is a giant in the ecommerce world, having established itself over the past two decades as a go-to marketplace for individual sellers and businesses. With its global reach and massive user base, eBay presents a lucrative opportunity for ecommerce businesses to expand their reach and tap into a large pool of online shoppers.
However, selling on eBay is not just about listing a product and waiting for sales to roll in. It requires a strategic approach, understanding the platform's nuances and leveraging its features to your advantage.
Whether you're an established ecommerce business or a newbie just starting out, this guide will walk you through the essentials of selling on eBay. Plus, for those with ecommerce websites, particularly on platforms like ShopWired, we'll delve into how you can seamlessly integrate and manage your eBay listings, making the selling process even more efficient.
Let's dive in!
Table of contents
Understanding the eBay Marketplace
eBay, founded in 1995, has evolved from being a consumer-to-consumer platform to a space where businesses of all sizes can thrive. With over 1.3 billion listings and operations in more than 100 countries, it's a global marketplace that offers vast potential for sellers.
Let’s take a quick look at how eBay works:
eBay listing types
There are primarily two types of listings on eBay:
This is the traditional eBay format where items are sold to the highest bidder. It's ideal for unique items or products that don't have a fixed market price.
Here, you set a 'Buy It Now' price, allowing buyers to purchase the item immediately. This format is suitable for businesses with standard products that have set prices.
The type of listing you decide to run with will depend on your type of business and the products that you sell. For example, a business selling pre-owned action figures and memorabilia might prefer to use auction-style listings, but a fashion retailer might prefer fixed-price listings.
It’s important to understand eBay's fee structure, as paying fees will inevitably eat into part of your profit. Fees can vary based on the type of listing, final sale price and additional features you might want to use to enhance your listing's visibility. It's essential to factor in these costs when pricing your items, as they can start to add up.
Some of the fees you can expect to pay when using eBay are:
Insertion fee- You may be charged an insertion fee when you list an item on eBay. It's essentially a fee for listing your item. Let's say for example you get 50 free listings a month, listing your 51st item will mean you pay an insertion fee. The amount you’re charged will depend on your store subscription.
Final Value fee- The final value fee is only charged when an item is sold on eBay. The percentage you'll pay depends on the category of item. Final value fees are paid on total cost, including postage.
Optional Listing upgrade fee- To make your listing stand out, you can pay extra to add a subtitle or schedule your listing to start at a specific time. These optional listing upgrades can help your product stand out and attract more buyers.
Promoted Listings fee- Promoted Listings lets you spotlight your listings in prominent locations across the eBay platform to give them a visibility boost over your competitors.
It's important to factor eBay's fees in when determining your selling price and overall strategy. Not accounting for these fees can result in you earning much less than anticipated, potentially even operating at a loss. To ensure profitability, consider every charge related to the sale of your item, from listing to final transaction.
For example, let's say you have a vintage dress that you purchased for £30 and you want to sell it on eBay. You decide to set a selling price based on your desired profit margin, but you also need to account for the following eBay fees:
Insertion fee- As this is your 51st item for the month, you're charged a fee.
Final Value fee- Assuming the dress category has a 10% fee, and you sell the dress for £100 (including postage of £5), you would owe £10.
Optional Listing upgrade fee- You decide to add a subtitle for an extra £1.
Promoted Listings fee- You promote the listing for a 5% fee, which would be an additional £5 if the dress sells through the promotion.
Total fees- £0.35 (insertion) + £10 (final value) + £1 (subtitle) + £5 (promoted listing) = £16.35
So, even if you sell the dress for £100, after deducting eBay's fees of £16.35 and the original cost of the dress (£30), your actual profit would be £53.65.
You can find a full list of eBay’s fees here.
eBay Shops is a premium feature offered by eBay that allows sellers to create a branded space to showcase all their products in one place. You can choose a design and add all your product listings to build an ecommerce website, helping to promote your brand and expand reach.
To set up an eBay Shop, users must subscribe to a monthly pricing plan. There are three to choose from, with the basic package starting at £19.99.
Shop subscriptions also give you access to additional tools to manage your business, along with discounted fees and an increased number of free listings per month.
In a nutshell, eBay Shops provides a more professional look to your eBay presence, but it’s arguably not quite on par with using a dedicated ecommerce platform. For those who have never run a store before, eBay Shops offers a simple and intuitive solution.
Finding Profitable Products for eBay
Determining which products to sell can be a daunting task, especially in the competitive landscape of eBay.
Now, you might already have a business selling a range of popular products that you simply want to start listing on eBay. If that's you, you can skip this section. But for those looking for new product ideas, perhaps to start a new brand or expand their current product range, there are a number of things you'll want to consider when it comes to finding profitable products. It can be challenging to identify items that not only resonate with eBay's audience, but also offer good profit margins.
Let’s look at some considerations for finding profitable products for eBay:
If you want to be a market leader, doing your market research is crucial! Start by using tools like eBay's "Trending on eBay" page or third-party tools like Terapeak. These platforms provide insights into what products are currently in demand, allowing you to identify potential best-sellers.
While popular products can yield high sales, there's also intense competition. Consider focusing on niche products or categories where you can establish yourself as a go-to seller. These niches often have loyal customer bases and less competition, leading to better profit margins.
To find niche products, consider your own interests or hobbies, as you may already have a good understanding of what products may be good to sell. Can you be the solution to the next big problem?
Check Completed And Sold Listings
On eBay, you can filter search results to show completed and sold listings. This feature allows you to see which items have recently sold and at what price, giving you a clearer picture of the current market. This is invaluable information as it not only helps you to gauge the demand for a particular product but also helps you to set competitive prices for your own listings.
Once you've identified potential products, consider where you'll source them. Whether it's direct from manufacturers, wholesalers or even local thrift stores, ensure you're getting the best possible price to maximise your profit margin. It's also important to consider the reliability and reputation of your suppliers. Establishing a good relationship with trustworthy suppliers can lead to better deals, priority shipping, and ultimately, a smoother operation for your eBay business.
Consider Seasonal Trends
Some products, like holiday decorations or summer beachwear, have seasonal demand spikes. By anticipating these trends, you can stock up and list items when they're most in demand. Additionally, understanding seasonal trends can help you manage your inventory more effectively, reducing the risk of overstocking on items that won't sell until the next season.
Key Takeaway: Finding profitable products for eBay requires a mix of research, strategy and adaptability. By staying informed about market trends, focusing on niche categories and sourcing products wisely, sellers can position themselves for success on the platform.
Optimising eBay Listings for Maximum Visibility
Standing out in the crowded world of eBay is crucial. With countless sellers vying for the attention of potential buyers, ensuring your listings are optimised for maximum visibility can make all the difference.
Here's how to make your products not just seen, but also clicked on and purchased:
Just as with search engines, keywords play a pivotal role on eBay. Utilise tools like eBay's auto-suggest feature or third-party platforms to identify keywords relevant to your product. These are the terms potential buyers are using, and they should be incorporated into your listing.
Your title is the first thing buyers see. Make it count. Ensure it's not only descriptive but also includes the primary keyword you've identified. Remember, you have 80 characters in your title, so use them wisely to describe your item accurately.
A picture speaks a thousand words, especially in ecommerce. Ensure your listings feature high-resolution images that showcase the product from various angles. Clear, well-lit photos can significantly enhance trust and entice buyers to click on your listing. If a competitor sells a similar product but has better images, prospects are likely to choose theirs over yours.
Once a potential buyer clicks on your listing, the description can seal the deal. Be thorough and honest. Highlight the features and benefits of the product, and ensure any potential imperfections (if it's a used item) are clearly stated. This transparency can reduce returns and increase buyer satisfaction.
Utilise ShopWired's eBay App
For those with ecommerce stores on ShopWired, the platform's eBay app is a game-changer. It streamlines the listing process, ensuring that product details, images, and descriptions are seamlessly integrated into eBay. This not only saves time but ensures consistency across platforms, enhancing brand trust. We’ll look in more detail at this further on in this article.
Key Takeaway: Optimising your eBay listings is more than just a one-time task; it's an ongoing process. Regularly review and update your listings based on performance metrics and feedback. With the right strategies, sellers can maximise visibility, driving more traffic and, ultimately, sales.
Promoting Your eBay Listings
In the competitive world of eBay, simply listing your product and optimising it might not guarantee the visibility you desire. To truly stand out and drive sales, proactive promotion can be the key.
Here's how you can leverage eBay's promotional tools and ensure your listings get the attention they deserve:
Understanding ‘Promoted Listings’
eBay offers a feature called ‘Promoted Listings’ which allows sellers to boost their products' visibility. By opting for this, your listing can appear in premium spots on eBay, such as the top of search results or related product sections. Promoted Listings are marked with a 'Sponsored' label.
But how much does it cost to promote your listings?
A Promoted Listings Standard fee is charged based on the ad rate selected by the seller. Ad rate is the percentage the item’s total sale amount (including item price, postage and any other applicable fees) that you’re willing to spend when a buyer clicks on one of your Standard ads and then purchases any of your Promoted Listings items within 30 days of the click.
Remember, the Promoted Listings fee is additional to other eBay listing and selling fees. But it’s useful to think of it as an investment rather than a cost. The increased visibility can lead to higher click-through rates and, consequently, more sales. To be strategic, choose items to promote that have a good track record, are seasonally relevant or are new and need that initial push.
Adopt A Solid Pricing Strategy
Adopting a competitive pricing strategy doesn't just mean setting the lowest price; it means ensuring your pricing is aligned with the perceived value of the product, taking into account both current market rates and your costs. Using tools like eBay's "Completed Listings" feature can give insights into what customers are willing to pay for similar items. Offering occasional discounts or bundle deals can also attract bargain-hunting buyers.
Remember, while pricing is crucial, it's also essential not to undervalue your product. A fair price that reflects the quality and relevance of your item can help maintain profitability while ensuring consistent sales. Get your pricing strategy right and you could see sales increase compared to your competitors.
Garnering Feedback and Reviews on eBay
Feedback and reviews are the lifeblood of eBay sellers. A positive feedback score doesn’t just inspire trust in potential buyers, but it also plays a role in eBay's search algorithm, Cassini.
Encourage satisfied buyers to leave positive feedback post-purchase. Address any concerns promptly and professionally to prevent negative reviews. Offering exceptional customer service, accurate product descriptions, and timely shipping can naturally lead to more positive ratings. Remember, it's not just about the quantity of feedback, but the quality. Even if you face negative feedback, addressing it professionally can showcase your dedication to customer satisfaction. Regularly engaging with your feedback and understanding common praises or complaints can also offer insights to further enhance your eBay selling strategy.
Leveraging An Ecommerce Platform Like ShopWired
If you're a ShopWired user, managing and tracking your eBay promotions becomes even more straightforward.
ShopWired dedicated eBay app builds a bridge between your ShopWired store and your eBay store, letting you:
- Send products from your website to be listed on your eBay store
- Automatically sync the stock levels of items on your website with your eBay store (and vice versa)
- View orders placed on your eBay store in your ShopWired account
- Tell eBay when you have dispatched an order and provide the tracking reference, through your website account.
By using the eBay app, you can leverage the power of eBay without having to manually setup and manage a separate eBay account alongside your main website. This partnership is perfect if you already have an established brand, or are looking to set one up but want to sell across multiple channels from one centralised platform.
Let's take a closer look at how this integration works.
ShopWired and eBay: The Perfect Integration
Setting the app up is easy. Simply install it from the Available Apps section of your ShopWired account, then authenticate a link between your website and your eBay store.
You'll then be transferred to the eBay website and asked to login to your eBay account.
Once this is done, you'll be asked to grant access to the eBay application in your ShopWired account.
So how does ShopWired's eBay integration work?
Through ShopWired’s eBay app, your ShopWired products are directly sent to be listed on eBay. That means your titles, descriptions, pricing and other product attributes are automatically sent over to eBay without you needing to log into eBay and enter each product manually.
Once the app is installed, you can adjust the general settings for the eBay app.
In this field enter the postcode where your items are located. This will be displayed on the item listing on eBay.
Choose the average amount of time it takes you to dispatch an order once it has been received.
Choose whether or not you accept returns and stipulate how long a customer has to return an item.
Price Increase/Decrease Percentage
In this field enter the decimal amount for how much you want the prices you have entered on ShopWired to increase/decrease when imported to eBay. For example:
1.1 = 10% increase in price 0.9 = 10% decrease in price
1.2 = 20% increase in price 0.8 = 20% decrease in price
1.3 = 30% increase in price 0.7 = 30% decrease in price
1.4 = 40% increase in price 0.6 = 40% decrease in price
For example, if you have a product that costs £10 on your ShopWired website and you enter 1.2 in the field, the price of the product when imported to eBay would be £12. And if you entered 0.8 in the field, the price of the £10 product would be £8.
Shipping Cost Type
Select options for fixed, variable or discounted shipping options.
Specify a VAT Percent for eBay listings
You can choose to have an item’s VAT information to appear on the item’s listing page. To specify a VAT percent your eBay account must have a VAT-ID registered.
Import Orders from eBay
Choose whether to have orders received in your eBay account be imported into ShopWired.
Send Stock Updates to eBay
Choose whether regular stock updates will be sent to eBay for products on your ShopWired account that are linked to an eBay listing. These updates will reflect any stock changes for the product that have occurred on your ShopWired account due to a manual change or the product being purchased on your website.
The Benefits of Using ShopWired to Sell on eBay
In today's fast-paced digital landscape, integrating your ecommerce platform with top marketplaces can give your business an edge. Leveraging ShopWired's eBay integration offers a plethora of advantages. Here are five significant benefits of using ShopWired to sell on eBay:
Streamlined Product Management
ShopWired's eBay integration allows automatic syncing of product information from your ShopWired store directly to eBay. This means no more double-entry or potential for errors due to manual data entry. Whether it's updating a product's price, description or stock level, the changes are seamlessly mirrored on eBay, ensuring consistency across platforms.
Unified Order Tracking
With the ability to view eBay orders right in your ShopWired account, order management becomes a breeze. This not only simplifies your workflow but also ensures quicker response times to order-related queries, enhancing the customer experience.
Dynamic Pricing Capabilities
The Price Increase/Decrease Percentage feature offers flexibility in setting competitive prices for your eBay listings. Whether you want to attract buyers with a slight discount or cover eBay's seller fees with a markup, you have the tools at your fingertips.
Enhanced Stock Control
With the option to send regular stock updates to eBay, you can maintain accurate inventory levels. This helps in preventing overselling and ensures that your eBay listings reflect the actual availability of products.
Efficient VAT Management
The integration simplifies the complexities of VAT, allowing you to specify VAT percentages and decide on VAT applicability for shipping charges. This ensures that your eBay listings are compliant and transparent for your buyers.
Utilising ShopWired to sell on eBay provides a streamlined, efficient and accurate method of managing your online business across multiple platforms, maximising visibility and potential sales.
Sign up for a free ShopWired trial and try our eBay integration for yourself.