How to Set up an eBay Shop

Here we'll walk through the process of opening up a shop with eBay. Before you start this process, there are two important hurdles to overcome. To open a Basic shop, you must have an existing eBay membership with a minimum feedback score of 10. In other words, you must have received ten feedback ratings from purchases you've made on eBay. Alternatively, you must be PayPal Verified. Frankly, you need to be PayPal Verified in any case to be able to run any sort of business online, so I would suggest that if you're not already, you go through the process of getting verified. This is just a matter of connecting your PayPal identity to a bank account. These requirements are there to make it harder for scam artists and other undesirables to set up eBay shops and, inconvenient though it can be, it does makes sense.

How to start a eBay Store
How to start a eBay Store

YOUR PRODUCT

Don't start building your shop until you have your product ready. When we set up the eBay shop, we had our first sale within two hours. Online buyers expect next-day despatch at the latest, so if you haven't got an initial stock you're risking embarrassment and, worse, negative feedback.

Feedback — the ratings you're given by those who buy from you — is an incredibly important element of eBay trading. Make sure you're very clear about the cost of making your product. Keep this in mind as you add your product listings, because eBay presents you with all sorts of opportunities to "enhance" your listings. These may help sales, but they cost money and therefore reduce your profit margin. On the plus side, listing fees are per listing, not per product: if you're selling ten products in the same listing then — assuming you sell all ten — the actual cost per product is a tenth of the total fee. Selling fees, however, accrue on top of this and are paid on each individual sale. Follow these steps to create your eBay shop.

STEP INSIDE

Go to www.ebay.co.uk and sign in, then point your browser to www.ebay.co.uk/ shops and click "Open a Shop". (There may also be a link to this on the eBay home page, but it tends to move around quite frequently.)

eBay Store
eBay Store

START WITH THE BASICS

You'll almost certainly want to begin with a Basic shop. "Featured" shops have lower fees to compensate for their higher monthly fee, but you need to sell slot of products to make it worthwhile. Note, though, that Featured shops seem to appear higher than Basic shops in the product listings for any given search, all things being equal. You also need to enter your shop name. In most cases you should be using a name that includes your search keywords, and if you intend to set up your own website, the shop name should be very similar to your domain name. Click Continue.

TUNE-UP TIME

You'll then be asked if you want to perform a "Quick Shop Tune-up" of your nascent emporium. I suggest you take a look and decide for yourself which of the options makes sense to you. Personally, I prefer to specify the settings for my shop from the ground up. To do this, go to My eBay and select Selling. Under Shortcuts, click Manage my shop. This should bring up the "Manage my Shop" summary screen.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Click Display Settings to edit the appearance of your shop. If you have a logo, make sure you include it in your design (to find out how i got my logo, and why I don't recommend you take the same route, check out www.scribbleit.co.uld/blog/?p=229. The aim is to have your eBay shop and your future website share a similar design, even if that only really amounts to the colour scheme. For professional logo design at a low price, check out http://99designs.com We look at colour choices, so take a look at that when coming up with a palette. In my case, orange and yellow are considered "creative" colours, and are also reminiscent of fire, so they fitted in well with candle making.

SAME DIFFERENCE

Click "Change to another theme" to browse through the available shop structures. Although there's a reasonable range of themes, they all tend to be much of a muchness. This is a weakness of selling on eBay, but at least everyone's in the same boat! Personally, I prefer the "classic" themes, which you can access by clicking the Easily Customisable link. I think they result in cleaner, more appealing designs which you can more easily mould to your liking. Click Save when you're done. Choose "Edit current theme" to modify the colour scheme, some fonts, and that's about it. Choose colours from your palette and pick plain fonts (Verdana is a good choice from the limited options). Click Save Settings and then go through the other links under Shop Design to customise your shop. The most important one to sort out at this point is Product Categories. When you've finished tweaking, click the Shop Summary link to go back to the "Manage my Shop" screen.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Finally, click the View • My Shop link to see your shop in all its glory.

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