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Should I start an Ebay Store?
Building a business through online auctions
Just as many other people do these days, I have often looked into ways to become the next internet millionaire! As I am learning through my research, there really isn't really an easy way to make this happen. So, I figure that I might as well start somewhere- for me that somewhere was Ebay. Am I going to be an overnight millionaire? No way...but for a low starting cost, I could take a ride on the e-commerce freight train and start my own online business. I began by posting anything and everything around the house that I wasn't using. Posting clothing, odds and ends, and even broken electronics (my highest profit items and quickest sellers were broken electronics) began filling my mornings and evenings. After a run of SUCCESS I began to wonder what came next. Should I continue to post items as an individual or do I take the plunge and start my own Ebay Store? As I started my research I learned that there were benefits and drawbacks to both. The first - fees. Paying fees seemed silly BUT there is a lot of business management assistance that comes along with those fees. Second- the Inventory hurdle. Easily solved...I looked into drop shipping (you can see my blog on drop shipping). Establishing a Brand was yet another thought. I can't do that without a store and I can't become a success story without a brand..right?
Opening an Ebay store is an easy low cost solution to starting your own e-commerce empire. There is very little upfront investment to get it started and through unique inventory methods can have a store fully stocked in no time without ever touching a product. From ebay, you will receive special marketing and merchandising opportunities (such as daily deals) and you get to legitimize yourself as an online storefront where customers can browse just your selection and make their purchase. You also get special deals on insertion and final listing fees. Sounds great, right?.....maybe. It all depends on what kind of seller you are. Making the wrong decision could cost you a bit more in the long run. Here is some of the information that I found through my research.
Who Should Open An Ebay Store?
Ideally, you should be a seller who sells more than 50 items per month. The monthly fee is somewhere around $15.95 a month for a basic store. With over 50 items sold a month, you will see the benefit of paying that monthly fee to get the reduced rates and the tools that ebay provides to help you track your success. If you are selling below 50 items a month, it may be best for you to stay as an individual seller. You already can sell up to 50 items a month and get these at free insertion fees with your only cost being the final value fee.
It is also advised that you spend 3-6 months selling on ebay before opening an ebay store.In that time you will get better versed in the process and in selling. This will also give you some "real" numbers to base your decision on. You will know what items sell best for you, what price point you are successful in, and what fees you are paying. These are vital pieces of information in making your decision to either open an ebay store or to continue as an individual seller. Without these, you are simply guessing. That being said, all investments involve some type of risk and with the low start-up costs...it may be okay for you to take the gamble. I prefer the facts!
So..How Do I get Started?
1.Establish a Verified Premier PayPal Account
2. Set up an Ebay sellers account. For this, you will need to place a credit card on file to cover buyer protection.
3. Click "Subscritions" under the Accounts tab on Ebay's website. Then you are ready to go to "design my store" and get started! As a store owner, you can take advantage of tools to list items,run your business and to manage your PROFIT!
If your new online store takes off and you are selling more than 250 items a month...it may be time to upgrade. For an increase on your monthly fee you will get a higher discount on your insertion and final value fees.
Now you need to get your inventory and stock your store! You are paying a monthly fee so no need to sit around! Visit my blog on using drop shippers at http://mommymay.hubpages.com/hub/To-dropship-or-not-to-dropshipthat-is-the-question-Selling-on-Ebay. Through drop shippers, you are able to provide a full inventory with no money upfront. There are definite benefits and drawbacks of using them so please do your research! If you have your own inventory to sell..FANTASTIC. Get it posted and start making money!
Stay focused on a niche. Think of your ebay store as a specialty store and not a "big-box" retailer. You want your customers to have a reason to revisit or recommend your store. Knowing what they will find there will increase these odds.
Don't let ebay do all of the work for you! You should also promote your items through social media, friends, and family. You can share the link to your store or to specific items on facebook, linkedin, and other social media outlets. Draw attention to your store by taking advantage of the special marketing provided by Ebay and to really DRIVE your sales and profits!
Remember, nothing worthwhile is easy and not that many people legitimately become overnight internet millionaires. Starting an Ebay store is a low start-up way to get your feet wet in the crazy world of e-commerce and is a great way to test your entrepreneurial skills. If you are still debating on if an ebay store is right for your selling purposes, follow this link http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/start.html and use the FEE ILLUSTRATOR Calculator. Insert last months selling results and it will show you what your costs would have been with and without a store.
Good luck in your online ventures and please share any advice that you have!