How to Sell on eBay in 2020
Consumer behavior changes through the years. Often, these changes are wrought with gradual and subtle influences that one can only appreciate when revisited many years later. For instance, the shopping paradigm in the early 2000s consisted of three stages or moments: when the buyer decides to buy a product; when the buyer experiences a product; and when the buyer becomes loyal to that product.
A decade later, smartphones and social media have introduced a significant shift to consumer behavior. People don’t just walk into a store and buy a product. They take their time researching online about brands, looking up ratings from previous buyers, or watching videos of product reviews and comparisons. Ethical brands and companies with advocacies also fare higher among consumers.
The year 2020, came with another rather drastic shift on consumer behavior. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 52% of US consumers have spent less on their overall spending while 63% have either maintained or increased their online shopping.
These figures will no doubt change throughout the year. Still, it’s safe to presume that online shopping will continue to grow as people remain cooped up in their homes. Also, more businesses are pivoting to online operations to accommodate the changing needs of their customers.
As an entrepreneur, you want to consider the best platform for selling online. A report from Orbit Research shows eBay as a key player in online product and services selling for 2020.
While it isn’t as wide as Amazon, eBay shows tremendous potential, what with the surge of orders during the pandemic. The months of April and May alone brought 6 million buyers into the eCommerce platform.
Why You Should Learn How to Sell on eBay
It’s the best time to learn how to sell on eBay for beginners or existing entrepreneurs.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- eBay is more accommodating. With big brands flocking to Amazon, competition is incredibly fierce for smaller brands. On eBay, however, startups and new sellers have a better chance of standing out. Besides, eBay lets buyers bid on products. This makes buyers more proactive in completing a transaction.
- eBay allows more flexibility with product listings. Product categories in other eCommerce platforms have a more rigid structure compared to eBay. Amazon, for instance, restricts product listings to 40 categories, with the final product placement depending on Amazon’s decision. On eBay, sellers can choose to list their products under ‘Does Not Apply’ should they not find a suitable category. This gives sellers a chance to be more flexible with their listings.
- eBay seller payment is instant. Another advantage of selling with eBay is that vendors get paid instantly. Unlike Amazon sellers, eBay sellers don’t have to wait for a certain period to get paid. Because payments are received immediately, eBay sellers don’t need to track unpaid products or send invoices.
- eBay selling fees are lower. Sellers can expect more profits on eBay than in Amazon as far as selling fees are concerned. The former has a flat fee of $0.30 including the insertion rate, the latter charges $0.99 per sale for individual accounts or $39.99/month for professional accounts. Also, the final value fee in eBay is 10% of the sale, whereas 15% is charged in Amazon.
- eBay supports small businesses in response to the pandemic. eBay issued more than $10M grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. The company also declared June as “Sell on eBay” month, where first-time vendors can use the e-commerce platform for free for the entire month. eBay also introduced seller performance protections in the early days of the pandemic, which vendors can enjoy until mid-July.
Steps On How to Sell With eBay in 2020
- Register an eBay and PayPal account. Navigate to the eBay registration page and start setting up your account. eBay gives users the option to register manually or through their Google, Facebook, or Apple accounts. If you haven’t yet, you also need to set up a PayPal account to link to your eBay seller account.
eBay has a straightforward, user-friendly interface that tells users how to sell on eBay for beginners step by step. You also need a business name, email address, and phone number for your account. Verification for your account should only take a few minutes.
TIP: You can choose to sell locally or internationally. Whichever route you go, remember that your option will affect the currency by which you will be paid and your shipping rates.
- Setup your store. eBay will give you the option to start selling as an individual seller or create a personalized storefront. If you have several products to sell, you may want to select a personalized storefront.
- Price your products. Chances are, you already know what products to sell. Before you enlist your products, make sure to set an appropriate price for each item. This will help you get the most profit and attract more customers. eBay has an appraisal tool to help sellers determine the value of a product as well as its trending price in its category.
- Select your selling format. There are two types of selling format you can choose from:
a. Fixed Price Listings – as the name suggests, Fixed Priced Listings lets sellers determine the product rates. This format is also known as the “Buy It Now” method. Shoppers know the product price upfront, so you don’t need to deal with haggling, bidding, or waiting for an auction to end.
b. Auction – this selling type is one of eBay’s most popular features. At the start of the auction, the seller needs to list an opening bid and wait for customers to place theirs. If you select the Auction style format, remember to set a reserve price. That way, you still control the product rate.
- Work on your product titles and descriptions. Titles and descriptions play a major role in how your listing will perform. Product titles are restricted to 80 words, and they influence your ranking in eBay search results. They also grab the attention of customers and give them an idea of your item in one quick glance.
Your product descriptions should include relevant keywords or product identifiers. Structure the product identifiers or attributes similar to how users enter them on the eBay search bar. Creating product titles and descriptions can be tricky. It’s best to hire a content writer VA who is especially trained and skilled for this task.
- Manage your product listings. If you’re selling less than a dozen items, you can use a spreadsheet to track, monitor, or manage your products. If you have more products to sell, it’s better to use eBay feed management. This tool makes it easier to track and edit products listed on eBay. Should you add new products, update your inventory, or edit your prices, the changes are automatically applied and shown on your eBay seller account.
- Manage orders. Managing product listings and orders should go hand in hand. You don’t want to be put in a position where you get orders for items that are out of stock. Use a feed management tool that updates and synchronizes your inventory and orders.
Best eBay Selling Practices
It’s one thing to know the steps on how to start selling with eBay; it’s another to know how to sell on eBay to make money. Here are 4 best eBay selling practices to remember:
- Optimize your About Me page. Help users make faster purchase decisions by adding and optimizing the About Me page in your seller account. Include feedback from previous customers as well as your own hobbies and interests. It would also be good to mention if you are selling on eBay on the side or full-time.
- Offer low-cost but quick shipping. Many eBay products are shipped for free, but this doesn’t mean that you’re required to cover all shipping costs. It’s important to consider, however, that fast shipping and low shipping costs are important to eBay shoppers. It’s crucial to establish a system where you can process orders promptly and get them sent out as soon as possible.
- Only use high-resolution photos. Online shopping deprives customers of the chance to physically touch and inspect a product. That is why it’s important to only use crisp, high-resolution photos of your items. Make sure to feature your products in different angles too. Close-up shots and sufficient lighting also help customers inspect a product carefully.
- Practice first-rate customer service. Chances are, there are already dozens of vendors who sell the same products as you are. There are many ways to beat business competitors, not the least of which is through excellent customer service. Check your messages and orders regularly and make sure to promptly reply to queries and customer concerns.
eBay is an established eCommerce platform that shows even greater potential amidst these tough times. Use it to launch or advance your business by following these steps on how to sell on eBay in 2020.