More than half of all sole proprietor small businesses use eBay as their only avenue for selling their products online.
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Why? Because eBay is the simplest, most cost-effective way for small businesses to enter the ever-growing world of e-commerce.
A small business that wants to begin selling its products online has two options. It can either invest in creating its own website complete with a virtual catalog and ordering process, or it can plug into an existing virtual mall, the largest of which is eBay. Since many small businesses lack the resources to invest in designing their own e-commerce website, especially during the critical startup period, eBay has become a worldwide mecca for small businesses and their customers.
The popularity of eBay has also created intense competition among the businesses that use their service to sell their products. But don't be discouraged. There are some very simple and practical things you can do to position your products ahead of your competitors.
Research price and demand. Before you advertise your first product, spend some time researching ads and observe the bidding process for similar products on eBay. The information you uncover will help you determine how much you can reasonably expect to receive for your products when you begin selling on eBay. It will also help you determine what your ads will need to look like if you are going to be a successful eBay seller.
Establish a track record of positive feedback. Feedback ratings are the lifeblood of eBay. They are the primary way potential buyers know whether or not they can trust you to deliver the products they purchase. Develop a history of positive feedback as soon as possible, even it means starting small. A few good ratings are worth far more than many bad ones.
Use pictures & product descriptions to your advantage. The most successful eBay sellers know how to use photos and product descriptions to sell their products. Poorly done photos and abbreviated product descriptions are a red flag for buyers. For that reason, photos should be done in a professional manner and product descriptions should be as comprehensive as possible.
Nail down efficient shipping options. You will be required to ship the product to your buyers and to state the amount for shipping in the product description. Research your shipping options in advance to make sure you can deliver the product on time and for the amount you advertise.
Follow through on your promises. Above all, follow through on delivering the goods in the timeframe you promise. If the product you deliver is different than the product you advertised, you will get negative feedback and you will risk being prohibited from future activity on eBay. Likewise, make sure the product is delivered in the timeframe you promised. If you encounter unexpected delays, contact the buyer as soon as possible.