How to set up an eBay store: key facts & FAQs
Selling on eBay can help you multiply your sales. Thousands of online businesses in the USA and the UK now earn their primary income from eBay.
So you may already be selling online via your website or maybe you’re about to start listing your products. Either way: this post will help you decide whether you should use eBay as your (additional) sales channel and if so, how to set it up.
This guide includes key facts & FAQs about:
- Setting up an eBay store, including, branding, design and launching of your store
- Key terms, e.g. eBay fees (insertion fees, final value fees), subscriptions, eBay listing templates
- Best practices for eBay listing optimization and selling on this platform.
Download our FREE quick guide with the essentials about setting up an eBay store for easier reading and sharing with coworkers.
Is selling on eBay worth it?
Yes, selling on eBay is worth it in most cases.
There are 182 million eBay users worldwide and a total of 1.3 billion eBay listings (eBay, 2019). Even though the USA is the company’s strongest market, the platform’s users are scattered across 190 different markets.
After setting up an eBay store, sellers can display all their listings in one place, regardless of format. They can also personalize their shop to reflect their brand and get their own unique store URL.
Benefits of setting up an eBay store
- Convenience: you can list all the items you have for sale in one central, personalized place.
- Cost-effectiveness compared to regular selling, especially if you sell a lot of products.
- Professional look: more people are more likely to buy from you if you look like a legitimate retailer and sell on an established marketplace.
- Customization: you can personalize your eBay store with your own branding and a unique sense of identity.
- Reduced competition: visitors to your store will only see the products listed by you, i.e. you’re not competing that much with other sellers.
- Promotion: the possibility to use eBay Promoted Listings to boost your selected items.
- Easier management: the possibility to stock additional products and access to useful seller tools to help you manage your business more efficiently.
Independent online store owners shouldn’t underestimate the advantages of selling on marketplaces. The fact is that more people are more likely to buy from you if you look like a legitimate retailer and sell on an established marketplace.
According to Paulina Bijok, Sales Manager at Webinterpret:
Some buyers may have security concerns about buying products from online stores they don’t know. However, if they see your store on established and generally trusted marketplaces like eBay, they’ll probably automatically trust you. This way you can significantly expand your customer reach and promote your own brand at the same time.
How to set up an eBay store?
To set up your eBay store, you need to:
- Register as a seller
- Choose your eBay Store’s subscription and a Store name
- Utilize available tools to help you maximize your sales.
There are 3 different types of eBay stores available for a monthly subscription charge: Basic, Featured and Anchor. This monthly fee includes access to various sales and marketing tools to help you build and promote your business.
- Basic Shop: should work well for those who have a relatively small inventory; recommended if you’re a small-scale seller or you just want to try out selling on eBay.
- Featured Shop: suitable for higher volume, small-to-medium sellers; this option includes access to Selling Manager Pro.
- Anchor Shop: suitable for bigger sellers, especially due to cost savings and the lowest package rates for domestic selling; this option includes access to Selling Manager Pro and gives unlimited fixed-priced listings.
Note that eBay.com has Starter, Basic, Premium, Anchor and Enterprise options. Starter is for occasional sellers vs. Enterprise that is dedicated for the largest retailers.
The best subscription plan for you boils down to your monthly volume of listings.
After choosing the kind of eBay store you want to open, ensure you meet the requirements to set up that shop type. For example, you’ll need a business account with eBay and a PayPal account so that online transactions can be securely made.
To set up:
- A Basic Shop: you must be PayPal Verified.
- A Featured/Anchor Shop: you must be PayPal Verified, a registered business seller on eBay and have an “Above Standard” seller level (or be an eBay Top-rated Seller).
After setting that up, go to the Subscribe to eBay Shops page and choose the kind of shop you’d like to create. Then design, brand and customize your store.
What are eBay selling fees?
The default mode of selling on eBay involves two main fees:
- Insertion fees (for posting your listing)
- Final value fees (eBay’s cut of the final sale price, reduced for sellers with Store subscriptions).
Store subscriptions work differently: you pay a monthly fee in exchange for more features and zero-insertion-fee listings.
Click the links below to check subscriptions and fees:
How to customize your eBay store?
First, think of a name for your eBay store. It can be the name of your own brand or, if you don’t already have one, a name that’s memorable and reflects the kind of products you sell.
Second, you can set up and customize a Listing Header in “My eBay”. A custom Listing Header features the following:
- Your store’s name
- Your logo
- A link that lets users add you to their Favorite Shops
- Up to 14 category tabs (each displaying up to 5 of your listings when clicked)
- A search box specifically for your store
- A link that lets buyers subscribe to your newsletters
- A message that you can customize for marketing purposes and target towards different types of buyers.
To successfully customize your eBay Store, keep in mind the following:
- Your billboard is like the Facebook cover photo for your store. Here you can communicate a lot about your personality and value through a simple banner image.
- Your logo should represent your business in a simple and professional way (consistent with the rest of your branding). It shouldn’t be a personal picture or avatar.
- Your store description: you can tell sellers what you have to offer and why they should buy from you.
- Featured items allow you to highlight certain products, e.g. your bestsellers or products that represent your inventory well.
- Categories communicate at a glance what it is that you sell and help shoppers find what they’re looking for.
How to list items on your eBay store?
To list items on your eBay store, click the “Sell” button at the top of any eBay page, which will take you through the step-by-step process to find appropriate categories for your products. Setting up your store categories is crucial as they help buyers navigate your store.
All listing formats automatically appear in your store. They can be created either by using the “Sell Your Item” form or a listing tool.
Selling your items on eBay is easy with you filling in details like item name, price, selling format (auction vs. fixed price) and so on.
Additionally, it’s important that you’re familiar with eBay’s product identifier requirements (GTIN, UPC, EAN, MPN). We’ve prepared a useful guide for you to download in our article about product identifiers on eBay.
eBay listing optimization: best practices for selling on the marketplace
The following best practices for optimizing your listings and selling on eBay will help you increase your sales opportunities on the platform.
#1 eBay best practice: take care of product images
When taking photos of your items, stay professional and focus on the product. Try to take a few shots from different angles to give your visitors a good view of the item. If the item is hard to size, position it next to a ruler in the shot so shoppers know what they’re getting.
With professional-looking pictures, you’ll be taken seriously as a business as opposed to a casual seller.
It’s worth following eBay’s best practices and image guidelines. In general, photos should be well-lit, high-resolution, clear and set front and center against a plain white background.
#2 eBay best practice: take care of product descriptions & keywords
Provide a clear description of each item. Add details about its features (measurements, dimensions, color, condition of the item and so on) and explain how to use the item.
It’s crucial that the buyer knows exactly what they’re going to get so they don’t return the item or give you poor feedback. Your shipping and return policies should be clear, too.
Finally, ensure your items are discoverable. Your product titles should be rich with the keywords your buyers are searching for. Use the same keywords (and other relevant keywords) in your product descriptions.
#3 eBay best practice: take care of positive feedback, communication & customer service
Maximize your chances of getting a positive feedback score. On eBay you also have the chance to rectify mistakes, make things right and request feedback revisions.
Negative feedback will bring down your seller score. If it goes below a certain limit, you may not be able to run your eBay store. Something you probably don’t want to risk.
Above all, ensure that your items are 1. as described; 2. delivered on time.
Make sure that goods are well packaged to avoid damage in transit. Keep the buyer posted, for example by messaging them that you’ve shipped their item. Have a clear returns policy.
Finally, respond quickly and politely to problems, questions and negative feedback.
#4 eBay best practice: stay efficient & keep track of your sales
Use eBay’s Selling Manager Pro to stay on top of the admin that comes with high volume sales, for example:
- Scheduling listings in bulk
- Automating feedback
- Printing invoices
- Viewing sales at a glance and more.
What are eBay Listing Templates?
On top of good content, you need an eBay HTML template that communicates value and professionalism through its design, images and descriptions.
The majority of buyers interact with you through individual product listings. Keep them on these pages by using templates to create engaging, branded product listings.
For example, IROFFS uses a custom eBay listing template to display their brand and encourage shoppers to explore the rest of their store.
Now: to create listings, you can insert custom HTML into the product description section (HTML listing template).There are 3 ways to create this kind of template:
- Use a free or paid tool to create an HTML template on your own
- Buy software that includes a library of listing templates you can edit and use
- Have a designer create a custom listing template for you.
Whichever way you choose, your product listings should stay consistent with your eBay Store design. Categories, images and general aesthetics should be aligned so your brand is easily recognizable.
Is it better to build your own eBay template or buy one?
When it comes to creating an eBay HTML template, you can either invest in a professional template or design your own with a tool. Your decision will depend on your goal for your listing and your technical skills.
If you have some background in design, coding, or branding, designing a template on your own is the cheapest option, but requires more work on your part.
Otherwise, it’s probably best to invest in a professional template. It’s more expensive, but it also makes it easier for you to get a template that matches your vision for your brand. Commissioning a unique custom template is a good option.
Examples of tools to help you create your own eBay HTML template:
- Dewiso app is a straightforward editor that allows you to quickly and easily generate a simple eBay HTML template.
- Eselt offers the best customization options of any free eBay HTML template builder. It has an intuitive interface and base templates to get you started.
- WidgetChimp helps sellers build custom, responsive eBay HTML templates.
Alternative ways to building your own template:
- Use a pre-made template or have one custom designed for your brand. Bear in mind that the best template libraries are also the most popular so it may be harder for your listing to stand out.
- Choose the best listing management tool for your business. Then hire someone to design an eBay template that fits your unique brand and will help you stand out.
Good options for a custom eBay template are:
- Diztinct: ecommerce design studio that specializes in eBay listing templates
- dZine-Hub: eBay design package that includes both a custom eBay listing template and a matching eBay store design; both are optimized for mobile and search discovery
- NinjaTemplates: offers sellers several design packages to choose from.
What are eBay tools that can help make selling easier?
There are a number of tools that will help you make the most of your sales on eBay:
- Listing management tools to streamline and optimize your selling process. They help with creating and managing your eBay store listings, tracking the statuses of sales and performing important post-sales tasks (all from a handy central location).
- Just Template IT to help improve the look of your listings. It provides high quality eBay templates and different add-ons including price recommendations.
- Frooition or Storefront Pro: something more comprehensive that can transform the entire look of your shop and add an attractive, professional-looking, clean design. Storefront Pro offers a variety of themes and gives you the option of uploading your own logo and other details.
- Feedback tools to improve your feedback score, e.g. Feedback Pro that prompts your customers to leave feedback.
- Inventory management software for high volume sellers or those who sell on more channels, such as eBay, Amazon or your own online store, to help them manage their stock across multiple channels.
- Tools for selling on eBay internationally that will automatically take care of the translation and localization of your eBay listings.
Webinterpret supports merchants selling on big, international ecommerce platforms, such as eBay and Amazon as well as more local marketplaces, such as Cdiscount. If you want to grow your online sales, feel free to contact our sales experts.
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