eBay is now the primary source of income for thousands of small businesses in the UK, and with 96 million unique monthly visitors, who can blame them?
Our goal isn’t to auction off a few items here and there. We’re talking about running an eBay store.
There’s just about everything you need to know about setting up an eBay shop, whether you’re looking at the different store types, the cost, or whether or not it’s right for your business.
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What is an eBay shop?
Let’s define what an eBay shop is.
eBay stores are essentially branded business pages within eBay.
eBay shops enable retailers to display all listings in one place, regardless of their format.
In addition, you can customize your shop to reflect your brand and even receive a unique store URL.
Aside from these benefits, eBay stores have other advantages as well.
If you’re an online retailer, we’ll explore why you should consider opening an eBay store, how to do it and some best practice tips and tricks to employ once you’re up and running.
Types of eBay stores
It is easy to set up an eBay store, but it does take some preparation.
Firstly, let’s examine the different types of eBay stores: Basic, Featured, and Anchor.
eBay offers three different types of subscription-based stores: Basic, Featured and Anchor. Various sales and marketing tools are included in the monthly fee to help you grow and promote your business.
- Basic Shop: It’s a good option for people with a relatively small inventory; recommended for those just starting out or those who want to try selling on eBay.
- Featured Shop: This option is best suited for small-to-medium sellers with higher volumes; it includes access to Selling Manager Pro.
- Anchor Shop: This option is best for bigger sellers since it offers the best package rates for domestic sales, access to Selling Manager Pro, and unlimited fixed-price listings.
You can choose from eBay.com’s Starter, Basic, Premium, Anchor, and Enterprise plans. The starter plan is designed for occasional sellers, whereas the enterprise plan is designed for larger retailers.
How To set up your eBay shop
You retain a lot of control with your eBay store. Plus, you can study your customers’ shopping habits. If you’re ready to have your own eBay storefront, here’s what you need to know.
You have to have an active eBay seller’s account with a minimum of 30 positive feedback comments, a credit card on file, and a PayPal Premier or Business account in good standing to open an eBay store. Try to build up your feedback score and gain some experience before opening an eBay store.
Before you open your store, make sure that you have these items lined up:
- A good name chosen for your store; this name can be (and usually should be) different from your eBay user ID
- A store inventory sufficient to make having a store worthwhile
The knowledge that you can handle the extra work of selling merchandise at any given time
When you’re ready, go to stores.ebay.com, and follow these steps to open your store:
Step 1: On the Stores home page, click the Open a Store link.
Step 2: Click the Subscribe Now button.
Step 3: If necessary, log in with your user ID and password. A Subscription Level page opens.
Step 4: Choose your subscription level.
Your buyers won’t know your store subscription level because all the core functionality comes with the Starter platform. Most sellers who are starting out choose the Starter ($7.95 per month) or Basic option ($27.95 per month) and later move up to the Premium level when they want to do more online marketing with their stores.
Step 5: Scroll down the page, and enter your store name in the box provided, and then click Continue.
You can use as many as 35 characters for your store name, so choose wisely. Don’t infringe on any copyrighted name, especially the word eBay, but make it memorable.
The Review and Submit page opens.
Step 6: Agree to the terms and click Subscribe.
Your store is live!
After you sign up for an eBay store, it’s time to get in there, spruce it up with some colors, logos, and products, and open it for business. At any time, you can manage your eBay store by clicking one of two links:
- From your store’s home page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Seller, Manage Store link.
- From the eBay Stores home page, click the Manage My Store link.
The Manage My Store page opens. From here, you have access to the main features of your store, including but not limited to the ones in the following list:
Store design: Use the Display Settings option to choose from many preformatted templates that you can use for your eBay store design. You can define as many as 300 custom store categories, such as Top Picks of the Month or Gifts Under $10. If you want to add several pages to your store, such as a policy or shipping page, use the Custom Pages link.
Store marketing: You can control any email marketing campaigns you want to run for your eBay store. eBay helps coordinate any customer lists you build, coordinates the mass emailing of newsletters and special promotions, helps design flyers, and distributes product information.
Item promotion: When you link your items and set cross-promotion rules, this function controls it all. You can specify rules and preferences for how your items should be cross-promoted throughout your store, and set up favorites to appear as featured items on your store’s home page.
Logos and branding: When you have a custom logo, use this function header to upload the logo to customized email messages that you use to communicate with your customers.
How to customize your eBay store
You’ll need to think of a name for your eBay store before you can customize it.
Particularly if you have your own brand or plan to do so later, this is extremely important. Think of a name for your store that’s memorable and reflects what you sell if you don’t already have one.
Here are the features of a custom Listing Header:
- Your shop’s name.
- Your logo.
- A link that lets users add you to their Favorite Shops.
- Up to 14 category tabs, each displaying up to five listings.
- Shop-specific search box.
- A link that lets buyers subscribe to your newsletters.
- Messages that can be customized for marketing purposes and targeted at different types of buyers.
The following steps will help you create a Listing Header:
- Go to “My eBay”.
- Click on the Account tab to see a drop-down menu.
- Click “Marketing Tools.”
- Select “Listing Header” on the left side of the page.
- Customize the appearance of your Listing Header.
- To submit your changes, click “Apply”.
What are the eBay fees for selling?
For eBay to operate, it will take a cut of the transactions made on its platforms.
In addition to insertion fees, they charge final value fees when your item sells. Your charge is determined by the item’s price, the category and format of your listing, any optional listing upgrades you add, and your seller performance.
Every month, you can post up to 200 free listings, which should be enough for individuals. In contrast, the final value fee is based on a percentage of the sale amount plus $0.30 per order. eBay’s selling fees guidelines contain a complete list of rates.
How to list items on your eBay store for sale
Now that your shop is up and running, you can begin selling your products.
You can fill out details like item name, price, selling format (auction or fixed price), and so on by following the easy and self-explanatory instructions.
You can list your items by clicking the “Sell” button at the top of any eBay page. This will guide you step-by-step through finding the correct categories for your items.
Using the Sell Your Item form or a listing tool you can create any listing format in your store automatically.
My eBay is your personal dashboard for monitoring your eBay buying and selling activity. You can get to that page by clicking the My eBay link, which appears at the top right of any eBay page.
Instead of clicking that link, however, roll your cursor over it to view an expanded list of the various sections on the My eBay page, including Bids/Offers, Purchase History, and Selling. Click the Selling link to display the Seller Hub page and its distinct sections:
- Tasks: Your to-do list showing what to complete
- Sales: Your summary of sales
- Orders: The status of all your current orders to fulfill and recently completed orders
- Listings: Your items for sale, now or scheduled, on eBay
- Shortcuts: Easy links to the most popular tasks for a seller
When you click the Active listings link (under the Listings header), you see a live snapshot of all items you have for sale on eBay: auction and fixed-price inventory items. This page shows you a lot of information about each item you’re selling:
- Current high bid
- Number of bids that have been placed
- Amount of time remaining in the auction
- Number of people watching your item
- Number of questions people have
When your item has completed the bidding stage, it appears on another page in My eBay’s Seller Hub: Orders. This page provides a checklist of tasks you need to complete after the winning bidder has been determined. This way, you know what needs to be done for each item you sold.
Read our guide on eBay listings to learn more.
Best practices for eBay sellers
Once you’ve set up your store and are ready to sell items, you should keep a few best practices in mind. You can also read our guide to selling on eBay to learn more strategies.
1. Complete all fields to list your item on eBay
Try to answer as many of the fields offered, from item specifics to shipping and return policies, so eBay can properly display your item to all interested buyers. Select the condition of the item, the payment methods you accept, how you plan to ship the item, any return policies you offer, and any other item specifics you can provide. This improves the searchability of your item and increases the likelihood of a sale.
2. Write clear, concise descriptions
Over half the shoppers on eBay are now using a mobile device to browse and buy, so a concise description is more key nowadays. Be sure to provide the key information your buyers want to know when they’re making a decision about whether to buy your item. Therefore, use the Item Specifics fields to indicate the condition of the item (its functionality, make, manufacturer, brand name, and model number) and its physical characteristics (color, size, and weight), so your description doesn’t have to repeat that information.
3. Define your shipping and return policies clearly
Define your shipping and return policies clearly. eBay requires all sellers to specify defined shipping costs for all auctions, a defined handling time to process the auction, and a defined return policy for each auction. Therefore, think about your policies in advance, research the items your competitors are offering, and ensure that every auction you create has all its policies defined.
4. Add quality photos to your listings
If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s worth even more on eBay because the buyer doesn’t get to see the item until the bidding is over. Therefore, you want the best pictures you can produce: Blurry or dark photos just scare buyers away, and pictures that are too large take too long to appear can also turn buyers away.
5. Take care of positive feedback, communication & customer service
Maximize your chances of receiving positive feedback. You can also rectify mistakes on eBay, make things right, and request feedback revisions.
Positive feedback is left when the transaction was handled satisfactorily or if both parties worked out an agreement to resolve the transaction. Neutral or negative feedback should be reserved for only those transactions where sellers grossly misrepresent themselves and do absolutely nothing to correct the situation.
In addition, buyers can rate their sellers on four different dimensions of the transaction, using a scale from 1 to 5. These detailed seller ratings, or DSRs, are designed to weed out bad sellers and reward good sellers. The buyer can rate the seller based on these criteria:
- Item as described: How closely does the item resemble its description in the auction? (A score of 5 means the same item, and 1 means grossly different.)
- Communication: Did the seller communicate with you, as the buyer, sufficiently during the process? (A score of 5 means yes, and 1 means silence.)
- Shipping time: How quickly from your payment (as the buyer) did the item arrive to you? (A score of 5 means a quick turnaround time, and 1 means that you waited a long time.)
- Shipping-and-handling charges: Did the seller charge you a fair price to package and ship the item to you, based on the category average? (A score of 5 means that it was reasonable, and 1 means that it was outrageous.) If the seller offered free shipping, this option is not available to the buyer.
Every buyer’s rating is then aggregated and shown on the seller’s feedback page as a set of stars, from 1 to 5, as long as 10 buyers have responded in the past 3 or 12 months. Seller status and benefits are partially based on maintaining very high DSRs in all four dimensions.
Learn more about how to sell on eBay.
Our recommended eBay seller tools
There are so many eBay tools available that can make selling easier.
We’ve gathered some of our favorite tools that we think are essential starter apps for eBay store owners.
Using listing management tools, you can create and manage your eBay store listings, track the status of sales, and print shipping labels from one convenient location.
In order to streamline and optimize the selling process in a larger store, this kind of tool is a must. eBay has its own version called SellingManager Pro, but there are other tools available as well.
Using Just Template IT will help improve the look of your eBay listings. This tool offers high-quality eBay templates as well as a variety of add-ons including price recommendations.
Consider Frooition or Storefront Pro if you’d like to transform the entire look of your shop.
With both, you can easily create a professional-looking, clean eBay store. Storefront Pro offers a variety of themes as well as the ability to upload your own logo.
Consider using a feedback tool if you would like to improve your feedback score.
Our recommendation is Feedback Pro, which prompts your customers to leave feedback and notifies you when they do. It can also be used to automatically leave feedback on your customers and send them personalized follow-up messages – all fantastic ways to make sure your customers remember you.
Inventory management software
An inventory management software may make sense for you if you’re a high-volume seller (or you sell on other sites than eBay, such as Amazon or your own website).
In addition to managing your stock across multiple channels, listing your items on eBay, printing shipping labels, and automating many core business processes, such a system can offer several other benefits to your retail organization.
Explore a number of key features and advantages of eBay inventory management software that can help you grow your business in the marketplace.
With any kind of website, there is a learning curve, but this covers everything you need to know to get up and running with an eBay store.
For the best results, keep your listings and feedback current, and try to make your store look as clean and simple as possible.