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Guest Post – Top 10 eBay Stores Tips for Small Business Owners

March 12, 2008
Jay

Here is a guest post from our friend Scott Pooler at All Business Auctions, an eBay stires expert.

Top 10 eBay Stores Tips for Small Business Owners

1) OPEN an eBay store and stock it with merchandise – This is the first step! Once you make this initial step, your business will be on its way towards gaining worldwide exposure for your brand plus a robust and lively new customer base. Question: Are you aware that more searches are initiated for products on eBay each day than on Google? In fact there are more searches completed each day on eBay than on Google’s entire system and every search within eBay is initiated by a consumer looking for a product to buy.

2) Build up your positive feedback number – By building the eBay account feedback through purchases and the sales of your store merchandise new and exciting features of your eBay account will become available. Once your feedback rating exceeds 100 all of your fixed price and store listings will be gaining even more Internet exposure on eBay express and your eBay store merchandise will qualify for many other programs within eBay. When sales exceed $1000.00 per month, the eBay stores business you established will be listed as a PowerSeller. Powerseller status indicates to the consumer that you are a steady and reliable resource and they can have confidence buying from you. Additionally, when your sales surpass $3000.00 per month, your business will qualify for a reduction in PayPal fees. The best sellers rise to the top both in the new Best Match Search and with quality DSR’s or “Detailed Seller Ratings” on eBay. Being a great merchant now results in a bottom line discount on fees for Powersellers.

3) Research and Test – Use existing tools provided by companies like Terapeak and Hammertap to research your niche and products on eBay. Study the competition and learn your strengths and weaknesses as a seller on eBay. The world of eBay retailing is dynamic and different from even cutting edge eCommerce marketing. You must have relevant and accurate information at hand to really know the marketplace. Without research and testing (via your eBay store and auctions listings), no real eBay marketing plan can be developed. Use these easy to understand tools to learn the trends, price points, and methods your competition uses to dominate the marketplace for your niche. Research is king on eBay!

4) Design Your eBay Store to fit your brand – An eBay store is a marvelous tool to attract traffic to your merchandise but once a potential customer lands on your site you want them to stick around and see all that you have to offer. A standard eBay store design is very basic and will appear as one of a thousand similar eBay stores in the world. To stand out and be recognized, you need to invest in a professionally designed eBay store. A store designed with your company look and feel and your branding will perform much better than the stock eBay store packages with dated graphics and cookie cutter design.

5) Complete your eBay Store “About Me” Page – This is possibly the single most important step to succeed as an eBay seller! The About Me page is the only place where, within the eBay rules and guidelines it is possible to re-direct eBay traffic to your own website. If you want a portion of the 225 million eBay users to see your company website, this is where you get it done! A professional eBay store design should include a “me” page designed to funnel traffic to your off eBay website.

6) Write an eBay guide, review, or blog – Give your muse a try and write a review or a guide to how to buy a product you feature. What should a consumer look for in products similar to what your store features? How would a consumer go about finding an honest dealer like you? What kind of treasures can be found in the marketplace and how does a consumer tell the good from the fake in your field? This is not a place for blatant merchandising but more of a place to write a common sense guide about how to buy your specific category of widgets. These guides and reviews and/or blog posts are all ways to gain worldwide exposure for your company and your brand and identify yourself as an expert – eBay provides these tools to you for free!

7) Import your eBay listings into your own website – Create excitement on your website and offer ever changing content to the search engines by importing your own eBay store listings into your off eBay traditional website. The advantages of this strategy are vast and the investment is minimal. If you sign up as an affiliate of eBay (also free) your company can even realize revenue from any click through to eBay from your website.

8) Sell Internationally – With an eBay store your company becomes an international exporter overnight. Make your products available to the world and offer them on all of eBay’s international websites. You will gain new customers, additional traffic and valuable bidders for any auction listings you post. Bring the world to you with the click of a mouse!

9) Set up a Trade – In / Trade – Up Program for new equipment sales – . Example: Your business sells new and valuable products or merchandise and has a loyal customer base. You are always working toward selling your customers the latest and greatest piece of equipment or new model of your merchandise. As a business owner you hesitate to directly accept trade in equipment and then sell same used equipment for warranty and financial reasons etc… With an established eBay based Trade up program an opportunity becomes available to offer your customers a way to convert used merchandise into trade in cash on eBay if the customer will commit to buying a new stock item from you. In an eBay consignment arrangement, you never take ownership of the item and therefore you never invest in the item nor are you liable for the item. The item is sold as is to a new customer and your loyal customer applies the value towards the sale of your new inventory. Win Win – Everyone is happy. You sell new equipment by eliminating a financial objection from your present customer. – Smart Business!

10) Stick with it! – There are many tools available to your company which will automate the process of listing and re-listing merchandise which reduces labor costs and the possibility of tedium causing you to abandon an eBay store plan. When you set up your eBay store, have an eBay plan in place with goals and milestones in mind and on paper. Stick with your plan, adjust your goals, and learn your marketplace. Each sale will propel your business along the pathway to success and each sale will be a learning experience. Your company and you can do it and you can do it now!

Bonus Tip – eBay is more than a sales channel – eBay is a worlds most highly trafficked intersection of buyers and sellers. Location is everything in the world of retail and if your store is on a busy corner you will be touted as a genius for your selection of a location. Think of eBay more as an advertising opportunity and a brand building marketplace with the added benefit of producing real sales. eBay has spent as much as 4 Billion dollars per year on PPC advertising targeted for goods listed within eBay Stores, do you want a piece of that ad buy? An eBay store can have a long lasting positive impact on brand awareness and new customer acquisition all while providing actual revenue. Top tier retailers including Sears and Circuit City have invested in the eBay marketplace because it is much more than a place for collectibles. Open up to the possibilities of eBay, no other venue provides so much traffic with such a small overall investment.

Scott Pooler is an eZine Articles Expert Author and the Publisher of the “Trading Assistant Journal” . His company – AllBusinessAuctions.com provides eBay stores design, eCommerce development, Internet
& eBay solutions & software to small and mid sized businesses worldwide.
727-596-6900