The Top 10 Things to Know Before Selling on eBayFebruary 4, 2021 in Blog
If you sell products online, you’re probably also considering the possibility of selling products on an external platform such as eBay.
On eBay, like Amazon, companies can register as sellers, list their products, and start selling within the platform. Unlike other popular e-commerce marketplaces, eBay offers a variety of ways to sell, from simple listings to virtual auctions, and gives you the option of allowing your potential buyers to choose to bid or buy now.
In one of our previous articles, Amazon vs. eBay, we reviewed both platforms and revealed which one is better overall.
In this article, we are going to show you what top 10 things you should know before selling on eBay, so that way you can start on the right foot.
What can and cannot be sold on eBay?
You can sell almost anything on eBay. You can simply sell anything from autographed artist photos, video games, cars, strange artifacts, perfumes to clothing, toys, parts, appliances, books, and any other item you can think of.
But some items are restricted according to eBay’s prohibited and restricted items section. Prohibitions are based on local or international law and it’s important to understand that what is legal to sell in your country or state may be illegal elsewhere. For example, related products to sex, drugs, wildlife, weapons, fundraising and currency.
When you Create an eBay Account, which type should you choose: Personal or Business Account?
Before you start your eBay business as a seller, you must choose between a personal or business account, depending on how many products you’re planning to sell.
There are two types of eBay accounts. A personal account is best for a casual seller, it’s the option for those who buy or sell products sporadic under a username. This type of account allows you to buy or sell new, used or refurbished items; communicate with other eBay users and evaluate them after any transaction.
A business account is appropriate for sellers who plan to sell in large quantities or people who already have their business established. This account is the best option for formal businesses that have regular operations and that sell new items that they manufacture or buy to resell. Also, with a business account, you can open an eBay Store and operate under your business name. You can break down the tax in the price of your products and receive an invoice for the platform’s service fees.
What are eBay’s Store Subscription Fees?
eBay offers sellers five different subscription options, each with its own monthly or annual fee and seller benefits.
The first thing when you subscribe, you’ll choose between monthly or annual renewals, but eBay will give you considerable savings if you decide to pay the annual subscription fee. For both options, the platform will charge you the subscription fee on a monthly basis.
In addition to the subscription fees, you should know that there are other 3 main costs to consider when selling on eBay: insertion (listing) fees, final value fees and PayPal transaction fees (if using it).
Some other optional extra fees such as fees for advanced listing upgrades, auction listing fees and classified advertising.
In a section of one of our articles, Which Has Lower Selling Fees: eBay or Amazon?, we present an example of the fees applied by eBay against those applied by Amazon.
How to Set up a PayPal Account?
To start selling on eBay, you need to establish a pre-authorized payment method so that the platform can charge you commissions and refunds. You can choose PayPal, credit card, debit card or bank transfer.
eBay recommends using PayPal as a payment method for your customers since this will make the purchase process easier for those who usually prefer to pay via PayPal.
Well, with PayPal you will have to give up a percentage of the sale, but for the customer, this is a very convenient tool and a very high percentage of eBay sales go through PayPal.
You can choose between a personal PayPal account or set up a PayPal account for your business. The current fee is 2.9% plus .30 per transaction, with higher rates for international sales and discounted rates for merchants and non-profits.
How do you Ship with eBay?
Selling on eBay involves more than just posting your product on eBay and selling it. You also have to consider where you’re planning to store your products and more importantly how to send them.
eBay doesn’t have a Fulfillment program as Amazon has (perhaps this is one of the biggest differences between these platforms). Sellers are responsible for both inbound and outbound shipping. You have to choose who handles the shipping, how much it will cost, and which carrier to use.
If you wonder, Which Is Easier to Ship Items with eBay or Amazon? you can find the answer in this article.
What Marketing Tools Does eBay Provide?
eBay Seller Hub is free to use and offers the tools, information and insights to see your business process on eBay.
eBay provides sellers with sales statistics and reports that help sellers keep track of statistics so that you can:
- Tools to better manage your listings, returns, and cancellations
- Insights into sales, selling costs, and buyer traffic
- Business performance analytics
- Growth opportunities and competitive insights
What does it mean to be an eBay PowerSeller and a Top Rated Seller?
Having the PowerSeller badge means being one of the highest-rated sellers on eBay.
The marketplace will only give this badge to merchants who offer excellent service and receive almost exclusively positive feedback.
In summary, a PowerSeller is characterized by maintaining two things:
- A high volume of sales (100 or more transactions and $1,000 in sales during the last 12 months with US buyers).
- A high customer satisfaction
However, Top Rated Sellers are the eBay sellers that at this level don’t have to have a large volume of sales as an eBay PowerSeller, but they face stricter customer service requirements.
Can you Integrate eBay with Shopify?
The answer is yes, eBay and Shopify have partnered to allow all sellers to connect their eBay accounts to their Shopify accounts.
You can connect eBay with your online store by choosing an eCommerce platform with a strong integration that includes the ability to import your eBay items into your online store.
Some advantages of connecting eBay with your Shopify account are the following:
- From the product catalogue of your online store, you can create eBay ads directly.
- In your online store and eBay, the available quantities of the products will be automatically synchronized.
- When a sale is made on eBay, orders will be created in your online store.
- The payment system will be PayPal and buyers will be able to buy your products through this payment gateway.
How does eBay Partner Network work?
Don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Having affiliate programs is a good choice and more when it’s free.
eBay Partner Network is a referral program where sites pay commissions to affiliates who send traffic to their site that results in a sale. By signing up and sharing your listings outside of eBay, you can get a credit for your final value fees when you share your item and it sells.
Besides, this affiliate program offers sellers free tools such as link generator, bookmarklet, smart links, creative gallery, smart share and smart replacements.
What are the Reasons Why eBay Suspends Listings and Sellers?
As a seller on eBay or Amazon, it can sometimes be a bit frustrating to open your email inbox, afraid of finding a subject line that says “your account has been suspended”. eBay suspension is every seller’s worst nightmare.
The best way to avoid suspension is to learn what eBay disapproves (and of course do not take these actions). Here the types of suspensions you can find on eBay:
- Account holds: Your account can be put on hold due to minor issues such as expired methods of payment or late payments, and your account can be reinstated as soon as you update your payment method
- Account restrictions: Here the situation is a little more serious, and it is when your account doesn’t meet eBay standards. The punishment can vary but eBay might restrict you from selling certain items or lower your placement in search results.
- Account suspensions: this is the worst situation, and it‘s reserved only for serious violations like selling illegal merchandise or engaging in hate speech. Suspended accounts cannot sell on eBay anymore, not even registering a new account.
eBay is a great starting point for entrepreneurs who want to experiment with e-commerce, but is a big marketplace and can be complicated at times. Make sure you take the proper steps to educate yourself about eBay policies and rules before jumping in.
However, as time goes on, you’ll want to bite the bullet and launch your own online store. The advantages of scaling your business by developing loyal customers and having complete control over your online store will eventually outweigh any benefits of using eBay.