Nearly three decades after the emergence of the internet, e-commerce is still one of the most effective ways to make money online. The faster go-to-market times coupled with the great customer data insights makes e-commerce the perfect distribution channel for savvy entrepreneurs who want to ensure a wider reach than what brick-and-mortar businesses normally allow.
As a site with one of the largest user bases in the world, eBay provides an ideal e-commerce platform for sellers and businesses of all sizes and scales. eBay stores are a particularly effective way to tap into millions of buyers worldwide and build a strong, sustainable brand. But how should you go about creating an eBay store? And what are the benefits of selling through a store instead of selling individual items directly on the site? This article will demystify every aspect of eBay stores and walk you through the process of starting your own store.
Why You Should Consider Starting an eBay Store
While a store is not required to sell on eBay, creating one gives you access to a wide range of features that allow you to scale your business and market your products better. Here are the main benefits of having an eBay online store.
- Lower fees: One of the most notable differences between selling via a store and selling directly on the site is the low final value fee and the number of free listings available to sellers. In fact, sellers who don't have a store package are allowed between 200 and 250 zero insertion fee listings per month, whereas store sellers can list anywhere from 250 to over 100,000 items for free, depending on the subscription they choose.
- Terapeak analytics: Rather than use third-party tools, eBay store sellers can use Terapeak analytics to gain valuable insight about their niche, competitors, and what they can do to improve their eBay listings. The tool provides detailed stats about the top-performing listings on the site and helps sellers optimize their stores by giving them access to important metrics, such as average postage costs and the percentage of listings with free shipping.
- Ability to customize: Customization is a key component of building an online brand. On top of having access to a customized section of eBay, having a store enables you to define your own homepage, logo, and store format, among many other characteristics.
- Store header: A store header gives your store a professional look and provides your customers seamless access to every item you are currently selling. Having a header at the top of your item descriptions is a simple way to enhance the user experience without tinkering with the format of your store.
- Email marketing solutions: Thanks to the email marketing features of eBay stores, eBay sellers can create mailing lists and send out newsletters in a matter of minutes. Sellers can also choose a set of subscribers for each email list and have the option of customizing emails to fit specific marketing campaigns.
- Search engine visibility: One of the main advantages of getting an eBay store subscription is that it allows sellers to leverage search engine optimization (SEO) best practices effectively. In fact, new sellers can easily drive more traffic and, therefore, more eBay sales to their online store by using relevant keywords, unique identifiers, image alt tags, and concise product descriptions.
- Customer service: When operating an online business, the importance of high-quality customer service can't be overstated. This is even more so when dealing with businesses that involve a lot of logistics and management challenges, like an e-commerce business. Luckily, eBay provides comprehensive client support that helps sellers navigate any issue they may face when operating an eBay shop.
The Costs of Starting an eBay Store
Before opting for a particular package, become familiar with eBay's fee structure. The table below should give you a basic idea of the costs associated with starting an eBay store.
|Free listings allocation per month||Subscription per month (Monthly renewal)||Subscription per month (Yearly renewal)||Insertion fee per one auction-style listing, after allocation||Insertion fee per one fixed price listing, after allocation|
Up to 250 listings
Up to 350 fixed price listings + up to 250 auction listings
Up to 1,000 fixed price listings + up to 500 auction listings
Up to 10,000 fixed price listings + up to 1,000 auction listings
Up to 100,000 fixed price listings + up to 2,500 auction listings
Keep in mind that the pricing, seller fees, and free listings allowances may vary depending on the product category. For instance, the insertion listing fees mentioned above don't apply to categories like real estate classified ads. To get a detailed look at all the exceptions and exclusions associated with each store subscription, head over to eBay's Subscriptions and Fees section.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your eBay Store
Once you've weighed the benefits and costs of starting an eBay store, the next step is to create one. Below is a step-by-step guide that outlines how to set up your own eBay store.
Create a Seller Account
To set up an eBay store, you need to create a seller account. First, start by creating a PayPal business or personal account. PayPal provides efficient and safe payment solutions, and the company is a subsidiary of eBay, so users can expect quick and seamless integration with their eBay account.
If you don't already have an eBay account, create one by going to eBay.com and selecting "Register." Fill the registration form and make sure to use a current email address when signing up. After confirming your information, link your PayPal account to your eBay account and add a payment method to pay eBay fees.
If you're planning on selling items as a legal entity, you'll need to switch to an eBay business account. This is done in the "Account Information" section under "Personal Information." While forming a legal entity isn't required to set up an eBay store, forming one and opening a business bank account is highly recommended if you intend to scale your small business in the future. Limited liability companies (LLCs) are particularly suited to e-commerce due to their simple creation procedure, comprehensive asset protection, and pass-through taxation.
Pick a Subscription Plan and Name Your Store
Now that you have created a seller account, you can pick the store subscription package that fits your needs. As mentioned, the main difference between the various options that eBay offers is the number of free listings users are allowed to have. If you're starting with a limited selection of items, the starter or basic subscriptions are enough to cover your needs. Keep in mind that you can upgrade your eBay store subscription anytime you want.
Next, pick a store name that reflects the brand identity you aim to convey. This step is crucial, as this will essentially become the business name that all potential customers interact with. As a rule of thumb, avoid long names that are too vague or have little to do with your niche and opt instead for something concise, witty, niche-specific, and easy to brand.
Market Your eBay Store
There are many marketing strategies that you can use to market your eBay store and put your products in front of the right audience. The first option you should explore is eBay's Promotions Manager. This proprietary tool allows sellers to offer attractive deals geared toward enticing customers to buy more products. Moreover, eBay provides the necessary guidance to help you customize your promotions for each campaign.
Other effective strategies to consider include applying on-site and off-site SEO best practices to improve your Google rankings and advertising your store on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Improve the Way You Run Your eBay Store
Once your store is up and running, you should aim to improve the way your business processes are handled. One of the key priorities you should address is the management of your business finances. As your store continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important for you to handle your finances in a streamlined and more efficient manner.
Fortunately, many tools enable eBay store owners to optimize the way they operate their businesses. Comprehensive accounting solutions like Skynova's accounting software simplify the process of tracking expenses, ensure accurate bookkeeping with double-entry accounting, and generate detailed financial reports that help business owners make better-informed decisions.
Learn How Skynova Can Help You Grow Your Business
Like any business, growing an eBay store requires a significant amount of hard work, planning, and full-time commitment. This is why it's essential to focus on the core tasks that bring you closer to that goal while Skynova takes care of non-core tasks, such as accounting and invoice handling.
Check out our software products and get started right now!