eBay has come a long way since it began in the mid-1990s. What started as a single programmer writing code one holiday weekend in 1995 has evolved to a platform with 171 million active buyers in 190 markets across the globe. For savvy entrepreneurs ready to start a business, this can be the ideal venue. Without investing in software or website hosting, you can start receiving payments and shipping items in a matter of days.
How to Start an eBay Business
To get started with your eBay business, you’ll first need to decide what type of products to sell. This is probably the most important decision you’ll make. Although you don’t have to tie your store down to selling only one item, it helps to have a niche. Perhaps you want to specialize in crafts or retro clothing. Chances are, your own personal tastes will play into this, but you’ll also need to make sure you will find enough products at wholesale prices to make a profit from reselling.
How to Set Up Your Store
Once you’ve decided to become an eBay seller, you’ll need to get things set up. First off, you need a PayPal account, since this is the preferred way to accept payments on the site. It’s free to set this up, but you should know there are fees associated with each payment you receive, in addition to the fees eBay will charge. Once you have that in place, set up an eBay seller account, which gives you access to the platform’s seller packages. These packages charge you for listings in bulk, but they let you set up a marketplace on the site where you can direct interested customers. This is in addition to the visibility you’ll get when buyers look for items like yours in general online searches.
How to Be Successful With an eBay Business
Setting up your store is only the beginning. You’ll need high-quality photos of your items. If you’re selling clothing, invest in a mannequin to give customers an idea of how the items will look on them. With any products, the more views you can give of the item, the better. As you add items, make sure to put effort into your titles and descriptions. Facebook’s Best Match algorithm does its best to match listings with the keywords that customers input into the search box. eBay’s advice is to write a clear and concise title, keeping it to less than 80 characters, and to use an accurate description of the item with as many identifying characteristics as possible.
Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous small business blogs, including Zappos, GoDaddy, 99Designs, and the Intuit Small Business Blog. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written about business for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011.