eBay has been one the be easiest ways to enter the world of selling online. There are 2 options when selling on eBay, you can choose to sell your merchandise using the eBay auction option, or the eBay buy it now option. They are one of the most trusted platforms you can use to sell your merchandise online, they have been in business since 1995. There are 25 million sellers on eBay so the potential to reach a massive audience is a built-in benefit.
- The barrier of entry is fairly easy: Setting up a sellers account on eBay’s official site is fairly simple. You just go to their registration page and you can create a free account to begin selling your merchandise. There are 2 types of accounts for selling on eBay, a personal account, and a business account. The personal account is for sellers who are selling small quantities, the business account is used for merchants, and people who are selling large quantities.
- Trust: eBay is one of the most trusted brands in the world. They have been doing this for over 2 decades (since 1995) with over 25 million sellers.
- SEO for your listing: You can optimize your listing to gain visibility to more buyers by applying SEO techniques specific to eBay sellers. e-Bay uses the Cassini search engine for optimization of listings. The algorithms take into account, price, quality of your listing, the age of your listing, shipping cost, feedback rating, etc. to rank your product. You can read more about Cassini here.
- eBay Buy It Now and Auction options: There are 2 options for selling on eBay. The eBay buy it now option gives sellers with a larger inventory the option of having a fixed price for their product. The eBay auction option gives you the option to have buyers bid on your product, which maximizes your profit for your product.
- Fees: eBay charges about 5% less than Amazon for selling on their platform. eBay charges a 10% FVF (final value fee) compared to Amazon 15% FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) fee. eBay does, however, charge a 2.9% PayPal fee, plus a $0.30 which Amazon does not. eBay still comes out ahead of Amazon by charging about 5% less than Amazon. The winner here is eBay when compared to Amazon. In fairness, Amazon does offer a lot for the fees they charge.
- Competition: Although there are ways to set your eBay storefront apart from other storefronts, the fact still remains that there are 25 million other sellers on this platform. Obviously, you are not competing with all 25 million, but even the least saturated niches could potentially have hundreds of other sellers.
- Customer Perception: e-Bay shoppers have the reputation for looking for bargains if you’re selling high priced goods this may not be the best platform for you.
- Complex Fee Structure: Although eBay fees are lower than Amazon’s, the structure can be a little hard to understand. I would suggest you do an analysis of what your cost and profit will be before you start selling on eBay
- Loss Of Brand Identity: It’s very easy for a customer to associate your brand with eBay if that is the platform from which they purchased your product. This is true for any e-commerce platform. Be mindful that using eBay or any other e-commerce selling platform may make it harder for you to establish your brand via your own website.
eBay should definitely be a consideration for starting your online business. It is still a platform that will put you in front of a large worldwide audience. The benefits of starting an eBay store offer you flexible options with your pricing, and choice of selling platforms (eBay buy it now, or eBay auction). I would recommend you do your market analysis of the niche and products that you are going to sell before diving into the eBay ecosystem.