How To Choose An eBay Business Model
Are you considering starting your own eBay business? With all of the sales pitches that you’ve heard about getting rich fast the easy way on eBay, how do you not get fooled? If it was so easy to get rich quick, everyone would be a successful seller on eBay and making loads of money. In the real world of selling online, it is challenging and extremely competitive because buyers having so many options to choose from. Sellers on eBay have used several business models to run their businesses successfully. When choosing an eBay business model, keep these points in mind.
* What’s your business? Keeping in mind the kind of business that you want to do, there are several models. Most sellers on eBay follow the business models of drop shipping, wholesale-retail, liquidation/thrift loss/surplus, local goods and crafts, hobby and specialty, and brick and mortar. Each of these business models has their advantages and disadvantages.
* Drop shipping: Drop shipping involves you acting as an eBay salesperson for another company. You need not keep inventories, nor pay for shipping. However, you do need to post listings of products, handle customers, and collect money. If the buyer wishes to purchase a product, he or she will pay you. You then place the other with the company at a cost, which is a bit lower than what the buyer has paid you. The company in turn ships the goods to the buyer directly. Most sellers face the problem of low profitability as they need to pay eBay fees. Besides, there is a lot of competition among sellers in drop shipping. Furthermore, the next time a buyer wants to purchase goods, he or she will directly buy them from the company. So, your chances of running such a business with success are quite low.
* Wholesale-retail: This model involves you selling goods of your choice. You contact suppliers for goods, stock your inventory with items that you purchased at wholesale prices from the suppliers and sell them on eBay. One major problem is finding space to stock up inventory. The second is that you need capital to invest in purchasing goods from the supplier, as well as managing various business tasks, such as licensing, bookkeeping, among others. You run the risk of an unsuccessful business if your goods do not sell. However, if you have experience in the retail business, eBay is ideal for high profitability.
* Liquidation/thrift loss/surplus: Like the wholesale-retail model, you purchase goods at a wholesale price and then sell them to eBay shoppers. The difference is that now you sell items that are rare, such as items that have been discontinued from the market. The problem is selling the potentially unsellable. However, since your goods are unique and not easily available elsewhere, you have a greater chance of having a successful business.
* Local goods and crafts: Selling unique products, services, crafts and goods from your personal contacts or local region on eBay can be challenging. You need not keep inventory, but you will have to search for interesting products to sell online. There is much potential for this business to run successfully if you have the right contacts and if you know that there is a market for these kinds of goods.
* Hobby and specialty: Selling products that you enjoy making as a pastime, or selling stamps, baseball cards that you have collected over time can be quite lucrative, if you have the knowledge of what you are selling, to whom you are selling-your target audience and if there is a demand for it in the market.
* Brick and mortar: If you have a “real” store, eBay becomes the next best option for selling-an online store that can provide lucrative profits. This is where you can sell items that don’t sell in the real store. The biggest problem is managing labor and inventory, bookkeeping, among others. Customers who purchase online expect quicker service.
* Know your market: Once you have decided on the type of business model that you want to engage in on eBay, you need to know your market.
* Research: Study the product that you are selling, and research listings from accomplished sellers that sell similar products to yours. Understand the features that they are highlighting.
* Build a good reputation: Building a good reputation takes a lot of time, but once accomplished, you just might have a successful business. Be a responsible seller. Be extremely knowledgeable about the product that is being sold in the market and what is available at your eBay business center. Create a blog where you can post information and your opinion about the product. Make contributions to discussion boards that have relevance to your market. Once you have established a name for yourself, you will find numerous online buyers at your site.
* Be eye-catching: One of the best ways to grab a web user’s attention is by attracting their attention. Ensure that the template that you use is consistent. This allows buyers to get used to the look of your products, layout, and navigation. Use multiple high-quality photographs and detailed descriptions of the products. Choosing good colors, attractive theme, and a catchy name for your store are also vital steps.
* Have different methods of selling: Besides having auctions to sell your items, there are other ways of selling your products.
* Set fixed prices: Pay a monthly or yearly fee to eBay, whichever is suitable for you to keep your online store running in order to sell your products at a fixed price. Buyers are sometimes more comfortable paying a set price rather than buying at an auction.
* Give your contact information: If you give your contact information, you give buyers the choice of purchasing goods from you offline. This will increase your profit, as you do not need to give eBay a cut of the product sold.
* Don’t show everything: Don’t display all your products on eBay. If you have gained the trust of a buyer, he or she is sure to ask for more products from you, even if they are not showcased. Selling offline will be profitable.
* Choose relevant keywords: One of the best ways of gaining traffic to your eBay store is choosing the right keywords for your products. This allows the eBay search engine tool to show your products if a relevant keyword is used in by the potential customer.
* Be professional: To gain success and the trust of your buyers, be the ultimate in professional in your business dealings. Triple-check for grammar and spelling errors be communicative to their queries, and give specific, clear descriptions of your products. Be fair in your shipping prices for and clearly mention which states impose sales tax.
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