Online Store Scaling Secrets – 10 Tricks to Increase Your Sales on eBay
Whether you want to trade a piece of your mint in box toy collection or want to start selling the antiques inherited from your beloved war veteran great-grandpa, eBay is the perfect place to start selling. An online marketplace with 20 million sellers and 187 million active buyers, eBay has a competitive and thriving market.
Yet eBay is not only a place for collectors. With approximately 1.7 billion live listings, it is a melting pot of both unique and mainstream products. Hence, a promising marketplace for anyone wanting to be a player in the e-commerce business or maybe scale an already set up online store.
Still, without planned strategies, your listings will be buried under so many other competitions. As most online marketplaces become saturated thanks to the continuous digital shift, you have to find the edge of your business or products from all others in the same niche out there.
It is one way to attract bidders and buyers. If you’re worried that your listings won’t get actively noticed, or you will get stuck with sluggish sales, the good news is, there are ways YOU can do and eBay resources you can tap on to boost your sales.
What is eBay Seller Hub?
Whether you’re a beginner or not, you need to learn how eBay selling works in order to come up with marketing strategies that will boost your sales. If you aren’t selling on eBay yet, you need to create an account to become a seller.
Then, you need to use the eBay Seller Hub, which is a product listing and management tool that allows you to monitor, analyze, and modify your listings. It provides sellers with support and tools you’ll need to enhance the overall performance of your e-commerce store. On the other hand, eBay Seller Center allows you to manage your payments and view your overall selling information.
How to Register an Account on eBay
To start selling on eBay, naturally, you need to create an account. You have two account options: 1.) create a personal account, and 2.) create a business account.
You can choose to register a personal account if you’re only planning to sell preloved or unused items but if you plan to sell diverse and large quantities of products, a business account is recommended. Here is a five-step method to create your eBay account:
1. Open eBay on your browser and input your name and email address. Alternatively, you can choose to automatically sign up using your Google, Apple, or Facebook account.
2. Set up a password for your account. If you chose to sign up with Google, or Facebook, allow eBay access on your public profile and confirm your email address. If you use Apple, you need to enter your Apple ID, password of your Apple account and the verification code sent to your Apple device. Then you need to confirm by clicking Trust this browser.
3. Lastly, select Create an Account or Create a business account. Your eBay account becomes active and ready for use.
How does eBay Work?
Compared to other world-renowned e-commerce marketplaces, eBay is an online marketplace that encourages bids, offers, and auctions of items. Here, sellers can sell both used and unused products and retail from suppliers.
You can use your personal account or the business account you registered to sell items from your home or from suppliers.
You can list an item you want to sell using both quick and advanced listing tools provided by eBay. You may also set the type of selling you prefer: auction-style listing or fixed-price listing.
From the names themselves, buyers bid for the items listed for auction while for fixed-price listing, they can buy the item for its listed price in real-time. Simply put, a fixed-price listing offers buyers a “Buy It Now” button so they can secure the item for themselves without winning a bid.
10 Tips and Tricks to Increase Your Sales on eBay
1. Use proper keywords – Keywords have the key to boosting your sales- pun intended! Keywords increase your product’s searchability thereby increasing your sales. However, optimizing your descriptions, titles, and metadata doesn’t mean you can just use any keyword you think is related to the product.
You have to figure out the right keywords to use to make sure you’ll appear on top of search results when buyers search for a product that’s the same or related to yours.
So, the question is, how do you find the right keywords?
The short answer is research. Research your competition. See what keywords work for your competition and analyze whether there’s too much of that keyword on the market already.
Maybe you need keywords that would put your product in a new light. Use the product research and listing tools available on eBay to know what keywords are associated with what products.
Research using keyword research tools too. Independent keyword research tools like Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, and built-in eBay SEO Keyword Tool are helpful in determining what keywords you may need for a specific listing.
2. Use high resolution and optimized images – A huge part of a virtual sale is owed to graphics. Why? It’s for the simple reason that colours in images are the first to attract the eyes of customers. It commands attention.
It doesn’t mean, though, that any listing you have with images will be bought and will be bought fast. Keep in mind that graphics help establish the trust of your buyers.
Pixelated, blurry, and overexposed images prevent buyers from purchasing your products because it makes it hard to discern if the products are in good condition or not. It gives customers the impression that you are being shady and you want to hide the real condition of the product.
As much as possible, use clear and well-presented pictures that capture the product from different angles. You can add a maximum of 10 images per product listing so you have the opportunity to highlight every feature that the product has. The images you add to your listing says a lot about you and your business. It shows professionality, aesthetics, and consideration for your target market.
3. Write clear, readable, and fact-based product titles and descriptions – You might think keywords are the only things that matter in the titles of your listings as well as in product information. But clarity and grammar also play a vital role in appearing on top of Cassini search results.
If you’re still not familiar with it, the Cassini Search engine is a built-in search engine on eBay that customers use to look for products available on the marketplace. Although grammar and syntactic rules would be the least of customers’ concerns when they search for a product, wrongly-spelt and misleading descriptions do more harm than good in your sales.
When your customers input wrongly spelt keywords, Cassini will still show relevant results based on the Best Match algorithm. But when your listings are the ones with problematic titles and descriptions, you might not move up the bottom of the results or worst, not appear in the results at all.
Moreover, customers may accuse you of “click-baiting” them and might go and report your account. Furthermore, readable text and easy-to-understand product information give the impression that your store or account is professional and can be trusted. Clarity influences the purchasing decision of your customers.
4. Give your products fair and competitive pricing – To increase the chances of your products getting picked by customers, offer competitive pricing. Part of what you need to do as a business owner is to research a lot about your market. That involves analyzing your competitors. Make sure you don’t price your products too far from the prices of your competitors.
Moreover, cheap doesn’t always mean your items will get picked by buyers. Online shoppers are getting smarter the more that the digital shopping experience becomes normalized.
They now know that the quality of raw materials used is being sacrificed to produce very cheap items. Instead of pricing cheaply, price your products fairly. You’ll always find customers willing to spend an extra dollar or an extra pound for quality items.
5. Take advantage of eBay marketing tools like Promoted listing – To effectively convert eBay visitors to customers and ultimately increase your sales, you have to boost your visibility. Visibility means you are raising awareness about your products or store through marketing efforts.
One way to increase visibility is to pay for promotions. You can advertise your products through a promoted listing. It increases the exposure of your products to the target market by 30%. To be able to do this, you only need to:
- Select the products you want to add to the promoted listing.
- Set the ad rate or the money you are willing to spend for the advertisement of the products.
- Lastly, review the content (text, images, and videos) of the ad then launch your campaign.
Your marketing campaign will only run as long as you want it to. You can modify the campaign and make changes that you see fit in the course of the campaign.
In addition, the products you added to the promoted listing will not only be seen on eBay customer searches but also on eBay partner sites. It gives you bigger coverage, making way to better conversion rate, and ultimately, leading to better sales.
6. Offer shipping fee promotions – Customers love to find items with free shipping. This is especially true for customers outside the UK borders because the shipping fee is higher when the package has to travel overseas. And honestly, who doesn’t love anything free?
Shipping coupons and free shipping vouchers help your items appear on search results. But how will you earn a profit if you make the shipping cost-free? You might be thinking that you have to shoulder the shipping cost. Yet, one strategy you can do is incorporate the shipping fee into the product’s asking price. Technically, it’s the buyer who will still shoulder the shipping cost.
Of course, incorporating the shipping fee into the asking price will make the price of your item higher than the competition. Unless they, too, are doing the same strategy. That’s why you need to discern which products would still have reasonable asking prices when the shipping costs are added.
7. Provide fast shipping time and a longer return window policy – When you have a customer base that’s outside the country where you operate, or far from the country where your suppliers are based, waiting longer for the items to arrive is usual. That’s why it becomes your brand’s edge when you can deliver items faster than the norm.
Although some customers can usually wait especially if they badly want an item, everyone would prefer to get the items as fast as possible. You might argue that delivery time would still depend on the partner couriers in the countries of your customers. That’s true. Yet, there’s a way to provide faster shipping to your customers.
You can enter into eBay Guaranteed Delivery, eBay’s counterpart shipping program. It helps your products appear on customer search results when customers filter their searches within a 3-day delivery time. Its main purpose is to showcase products with a quick turnaround time that’s as fast as a day to three (3) days.
This helps boost your sales because it is another avenue to expose your items. It means more chances for conversion.
Additionally, you can get Fast ‘N Free tags when you offer free shipping while under the eBay Guaranteed Delivery program. You have to pass certain listing criteria, though, just like with any online marketplace.
A longer return window policy, on the other hand, gives your customers more time to arrange the return of the item. If they are from a farther and stricter country, or they lead busy lives, they would appreciate the longer time frame given for the return. You’ll get better feedback for the consideration you offered them.
8. Offer proactive and agile customer service – When you visit stores with hundreds and thousands of reviews, you’ll notice that a few feedbacks appear more commonly than the others. Feedback about customer service is one of the most common reviews you’ll read from customers.
It’s because in an online market, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you have no assurance that you’re dealing with a real person. Reaching out to your customers and assisting them as promptly as you can with their issues show the legitimacy of your business.
It also makes them feel connected to a real person just like them and it adds to their level of security in transacting with you.
Good customer service yields to customer retention. If you don’t want your sales dropping, you have to build trust between you and your customers so they don’t go somewhere else to buy what your business can also offer.
When you are also able to handle queries and concerns efficiently, it reflects in your reviews and seller rating. It encourages new buyers and prospective customers to try your brand. Finally, they will add to your new sales.
9. Maintain customers’ trust and loyalty through good seller rating – Another way to build trust between your brand and its customers is by maintaining a positive seller rating and a high positive feedback rate.
According to a consumer study done by Trustpilot last year, 89% of consumers, or 9 out of every 10 shoppers check reviews before deciding to purchase goods online.
These days, most online shoppers leave reviews to raise issues about the products they buy and help other customers make informed decisions before clicking the Buy It Now button. With online shoppers becoming smarter and more assertive, it’s better to create fact-based product descriptions to avoid getting irate and negative reviews.
On that note, you don’t have to worry too much about a few negative feedbacks. Buyers know that you can manipulate accounts to fake reviews or use apps, therefore, a perfect seller rating may also sometimes feel suspicious to them.
What customers need to see are not negative feedbacks but the way you address the issues being raised through reviews.
Some customers edit their reviews to give update about how you handled their concern. Some also check the way you respond and the time it took for you to respond to their feedbacks. Prospective customers gauge your reaction to their issues and feedbacks to learn what actions they can expect from you when they purchase from you and encounter issues.
Lastly, feedbacks help your visibility. The more your account or store receive positive feedbacks, the more your listings become exposed to prospective buyers.
10. Make new and active listings frequently – As a first time seller, eBay will limit you to a 10-item product listing a month which should total to $500 once sold. This standard limit increases once your account or store proved credible and reliable in selling. This is the new eBay rule for all sellers so that customers can avoid being scammed.
Eventually, when you become an established seller, the limit also increases. You can check your existing limit on eBay Seller Hub. When this happens, you’ll be able to list more items.
The trick is to list items regularly or frequently. If you have a limit of 10 items per month, instead of listing all of the items in a day, aim to list one per day. That way, you’ll have more chances of appearing frequently in search results.
Listing daily or regularly makes you look “active” so you may get priority from eBay. New listings are being prioritized compared to old ones because honestly, who would want to buy a month old item that no one seemed to like? Also, the more you list, the more you sell so frequent listing of items will definitely bump up your sales.
If you want more profit, maybe you can try to sell on Amazon too! You can check out our blog: How to buy on eBay and sell on Amazon
What listing types are available on eBay?
There are several listing types available on eBay. The first and the most famous one is auction-type listing. Then, there’s an auction with Buy It Now button, Fixed Price listing, and Fixed Price with Best Offer. For those who signed up for eBay Store, there’s also a Good Til Cancelled listing type and Good Til Cancelled with the Best offer.
How much does a Seller Account set-up cost on eBay?
Setting up an account on eBay doesn’t cost a single penny. Yet, eBay Store subscription costs from $7.95 to $349.95 a month depending on the store type. You’ll also have to pay a listing fee known as an Insertion fee for every time you list an item. Then, there’s a Final Value fee that eBay takes for every sale of an item. The final value fee ranges from 1.5% to 12% of the selling price of an item.
What Payment methods are required and accepted on eBay listings?
PayPal, PayPal Credit, and bank transfers are payment methods offered at eBay checkout. Apple Pay, Google Pay, payment upon collection, and online payment services like CertaPay, XOOM, and Allpay.net are also accepted.
Setting up a store or listing items in your account doesn’t mean you’ll be able to sell steadily. It takes more than an account with a product listing to hit your sales goals.
That’s why you need to learn about your market as well as the tools that the online marketplace like eBay can offer. Learn about seller programs and other subscriptions that will bring more benefits to your brand.
It will give you necessary resources to run your business and help you develop marketing strategies that will drive sales. Most importantly, reach out to professionals for things you cannot do on your own, like curating professional images.