It’s undeniable: online shopping is now as common (if not more, in fact) than visiting a store to purchase an item.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which shocked the world this year, made online shopping an even more popular (when not essential) choice.
Millions of people around the world were forced inside their homes for weeks and months during national lockdowns. This meant that shopping online became the norm for many.
In a way, there has never been a better time to start selling online. The competition is fierce, but the demand is continually rising — and not planning to plateau anytime soon.
If you have a great business idea and would love to start selling items online, then you should look at starting an eBay business. Does it feel a bit intimidating? Not with our complete guide featuring ten foolproof tips on how to make money on eBay. Just read on!
- Open an eBay Account and Choose Your Account Type
It might sound obvious, but the very first step is very simple: you need to create a new eBay account. Do you already have one? If it’s a personal account, then you’re probably better off starting from scratch with a business one.
You can still, of course, use your existing profile, but if you’re serious about selling on eBay, then you need something that makes you look more professional.
Opening a business account means that eBay will also ask you for some legal-related questions. These include your registered business name, full address, and contact details.
- Gently Does It
You have opened your eBay business account, have accessed it, and are now ready to start selling. We understand the excitement, especially if you have a wide range of items to sell, but you might want to curb your enthusiasm for a second.
Chances are that you don’t know the ins and outs of how to sell on eBay yet, so your best bet is to start small, and gradually build up from that.
Invest some time in learning how to create a great, eye-catching listing, and make sure you handle any customer queries promptly and professionally. You will be able to achieve this only if you focus on selling a small number of items first. This will allow you plenty of time to refine your selling skills.
- Pick Your Niche
Another great tip for beginners is to choose a niche for your eBay business account. What is it that you would like to sell? What type of business would you like this to be? What customer segment are you planning to reach?
Try to map out all of this, and make sure that your account reflects that. Showcasing a good inventory of items that belong in the same category helps your buyers to identify and remember your business more quickly and easily. In turn, this allows you to reach out to people that are actually interested in your items, and maximize your sales.
- Be Quick, Responsive, and Approachable
Speaking of your customers, you probably know that it’s vital to build and maintain good relationships with them. How can you succeed at this? Just like you would if you owned a brick-and-mortar store.
Respond to any messages, comments, and queries in a fast, personable, and professional way. This will show your potential buyers that there is a real person behind your online business and that this person is nice, trusted, and genuinely interested in keeping their customers happy.
In the long run, great customer relationships can really make or break your eBay business.
- Encourage Feedback (and Address Any Negative Comments)
A bit more on this topic, because it’s very important. When listing an item for sale, you want to add a short sentence to the description that prompts your buyers to send you their feedback.
You can also remind them to let you have their thoughts and comments after they’re received their product. Be advised, though, that this might mean occasional not-so-positive reviews: if that happens, simply handle gracefully and politely.
- Upload HI-Res Photos and Provide Plenty of Details on Your Item
Now, for the real deal: your listed item. When you’re ready to put a product up for sale on your eBay business page, you want to do it in a clean, concise, professional way.
This means taking and uploading high-resolution photos of your item and writing a product description that is crisp, complete, and compelling. Check your grammar and spelling for any errors or typos, and make sure that everything is as neat and clean as possible.
And, if you want a next-level-attractive eBay listing, you should include some keywords and SEO content. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie: eBay has a great tool to help you with this.
Even if it sounds a bit too much work, we promise it’s worth investing some time in creating the best possible ad for your product. Remember: this is your virtual shopping window, and you want to keep it as polished and good-looking as possible.
- Decide on the Right Price for Each Item
What’s the third, crucial feature of a successful listing, after great photos and a captivating description? You guessed it: the item price.
While we’re not suggesting that you under-sell your products, as a beginner eBay seller you need to bear in mind that you want to be competitive and get buyers to know you.
If you’re introducing your items to the market at seriously unaffordable prices, your eBay business might not be as successful as you’d hoped.
Just like our advice on starting small, we recommend choosing prices that are realistic and affordable, at least to start with. If you don’t know how to do this, eBay has some useful tools that can give you a head start.
- Ship Your Items Quickly to Maximize the Customer Experience
Going back to the customer relationship, we couldn’t avoid mentioning the shipping process. This, especially in the beginning, can be a bit tricky and confusing, especially if you are envisaging endless trips to the post office.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like that. A fantastic alternative to going to the post office is using online certified mail. This will enable you to print USPS-certified mail labels online, attach them to your parcels, and send your products quickly and easily.
A fast, smooth, and cheap shipping process will keep your customers happy, and save you time and money.
- Handle Any Returns Swiftly and Professionally
Just because you’ve managed to sell an item, it doesn’t mean that it will always satisfy your buyer. If you’ve followed all of our tips above, chances are that you won’t need to deal with negative customer feedback or returns, but sometimes it just happens.
If it does, remember to put your pride to one side and deal with any returns just as you dealt with shipping your products: quickly and reliably. A customer that isn’t happy with your product but has managed to return it and receive a full refund is more likely to come back to you than one who wasn’t served professionally and swiftly.
- Be Patient If Sales Don’t Go to Plan in the Beginning
Last but not least, you’re going to need to tap into your patient side, particularly in the first few weeks and months.
It can take a while for your eBay business account to gain the right amount of visibility, and for you to make some money from it. Even if this is not going to be your full-time employment, you might still feel a bit deflated if things don’t go to plan in the beginning.
Don’t panic, though. You have plenty of time to review your business account, improve your listings, and create a more strategic way to reach your niche. Keep doing lots of research and use the great tools that eBay offers to boost your business and truly master the art of online sales.
Are You Looking Forward to Starting an eBay Business Now?
With all of our great advice, you are now in the best possible place to finally start selling your items on eBay, and be successful when doing so.
If you’re looking forward to starting an eBay business now, then go for it! There has never been a better time to break into the online selling world.
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