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Everything you need to set up a successful eBay business

11/05/2020

Thus out of small beginnings, greater things have been produced

All business have to start somewhere. You may be suprised where some of the largest companies started their businesses. Many of top the companies we see today, started out of their homes. Anyone with an idea, hard work ethic and passion can start and grow a succesful business.

In this guide, we will walk through most of things you will need to think about when starting your eBay business. We will cover a variety of topics from choosing products to which strategy you should employ. We will also provide some special tips for your growing business once you are up and running.

Getting Started!

You can't run an eBay business without creating an eBay account. So go to eBay’s website and register your account.

Pay as you go, or subscription

After you set up your account you will have to decide weather to register your account as a shop or remain as the default account. You don’t need a shop subscription to sell on eBay, however it does come with a few benefits. It can help you reach the right customers, manage your orders and building your online brand. There three types of shop subscriptions, Basic, Featured and Anchor at £25, £69 and £399 respectively. As your business’ profits grow and your workload increases it will make sense to increase your shop subscription. But for the purposes of this guide having the default eBay account is sufficient.

Finding your product

This may be hardest things about setting up your new business. What are you going to sell?

Consider areas you have knowledge in

These could result from hobbies, work experiences, or things you have read about. This is always a great place to start for beginners as your already have a sense of how this particular market works, and the general do’s and don’ts of this area.

Brainstorm all the possible products and products lines that you can offer

Write down all the possible products and variants of the products that you could offer to potential customers.

Start narrowing down

Start narrowing down your ideas to realistic and specific niches. For example, lets say your area of knowledge is fashion. Fashion is a very broad market when it comes to marketing and products. So, lets narrow it down to maybe hats, or wrist bands, or scarfs. By narrowing down our ideas, we can focus our resources into a specific market and increase our chances of success.

Market research

Being passionate about your products is completely different to making a business offering those products to consumers. You will need to product research in the areas that your product resides.

What does product research entail?

Product research is like a background check for a new product idea. The research process includes many different things such as checking on similar offerings already in the market and estimating the selling potential of the proposed new product. Here are somethings that would be helpful to include in your product research.

General product researching

This involves doing general searches to get a better idea of how products in your niche perform and are represented in the e-commerce market. You can start buy conducting your searches on eBay, Amazon and other major retail outlets that hold your item. A trick that you can use is just start by doing google searches, and then see from there what’s retailers handle your products or similar ones. If your item is around £20 that can be an advantage as your item may be more likely to have impulse buyers.

History

Learn about the history of the product and the market you are entering. For instance, if you are developing a hair cream, learn all you can about the hair care business and look for data about previous hair cream releases. This research might reveal specific ingredients of features that motivate customers to buy those types of products.

Surveys

Survey potential buyers on your product. Provide them with a profile of the proposed product, including price, features and benefits. Ask questions about their interest levels in the product and any feedback they may have. You don’t need to apply all their feedback, but it’s important to know what customers think about certain features your product offers.

Keyword research

Keyword research is an essential element of product research especially for e-commerce businesses. By performing keyword research you will be able to determine whether there is demand for what you intend to sell. Supply demand drive the market on any and every product, resource and service. If an item is in demand it will simply sell for a higher price and with more volume, depending how many of those items are available. Ideally you want there to be demand for your product, but not have too many suppliers providing the same item.

Strategy

There are a variaty of strategies or business models you can choose to employ for your eBay business. The model you choose to employ can effect where you will source your items from. We will walk you through a couple different business models, so you can see which one will be the best fit for yourself.

Reselling

A reseller is an individual that purchases goods with the intention of selling them for a profit. The reselling business model is a very popular model for first time entrepreneurs, but like any other online business reselling requires patience, commitment and knowledge of the market you are entering.

Why become a reseller

Reselling or flipping items has a low start-up cost. You can start with as little as £5 and work your way up to thousands of pounds. By buying bundles, going to flee markets, looking through eBay auctions and even searching trash, you can find many items that you can resell for a profit. The low start up costs with the chance of selling big margin items, makes reselling popular with a lot of entrepreneurs.

Pricing and fees

As a reseller you will always have to be mindful about margins, as this is what will determine how much you will make reselling your products. There are a variety of cost that are involved when you become a reseller that you will have to account for.

eBay fees

If you sell an item under £50 on eBay you will pay 8.75% of the final selling price to eBay. If the item is over £50 you will pay 8.75% of the initial £50, plus 4% of the remaining selling price.

Postage fees

When selling your item, you will also need to account for postage fees. It is becoming more and more common among eBay sellers to offer free postage to their customers.

Adding value

When reselling its vital to add value to the item that you have just brough, or it may be difficult to get a substantial amount more for it, compared to what you originally paid. This can be done by taking better photos or by having a better description and title than the original listing. You can also add accessories to the item. For example, if you are reselling a mobile phone, you can purchase a cheap phone case, earphones and a charger. This will increase the perceived value to potential buyers and will help your item sell at a higher price tag.

Sourcing items

Resellers have a variety of options when it comes to sourcing items. As a reseller your product sourcing can even be the very same market you are selling to. For example, if your niche is mobile phones, you can buy undervalued mobile phones in eBay auctions, and then go and sell them the same phone on eBay, for a profit.

Other resellers prefer to come off eBay's platform, and instead go to local car boot sales. Where there may be less competition for an item, resulting in them acquiring it a lower price.

The most important step for resellers, is buying their items. If you buy your items at too high of a price you will certainly operate at a loss or struggle to make a profit. However, if you try to get items at a really low price, you may struggle to buy any items at all. This part of your business is mainly left to your intuition. You will need to work out for yourself, what price you are comfortable paying for items.

Private label

It’s becoming more and more difficult to perform arbitrage to turn a profit. Especially today, where there is more saturation and increased competition. That’s why many sellers turn towards private labelling.

Private label is the process of a retailer rebranding/renaming a product that is already being manufactured on their own brand or label. According to Jungle Scout’s 2020 survey, this is one of the most popular business models. Selling private label on eBay is very similar to dropshipping. The online market place simply does not necessitate any physical store, so all you need to is fill out eBay’s sell your item form and you are ready to go.

The great thing about private labelling is that you can scale it to what best fits your life. If you want a passive supplemental income, then once you’re set up, you can take a step back. If later on, you find you want to add additional products to grow your brand and start making it your primary source of income, you also have the option to step up and start growing.

Here are somethings to consider if you decide to go down this route.

Supplier

China, at this point in time, is the most dominant player in contract manufacturing, so it will be easier to find a manufacturer there, that can meet all your needs. If you are reluctant to outsource to China, and want to find a manufacturer in Europe or the United States you will have to work a lot harder to find one that can offer you products at a cost that you can turn a profit on.

If you are unsure of where to find a manufacturer, Alibaba would be my recommendation. Conduct some searches for your product and scroll down to the product descriptions. If you see something along the lines of “custom accepted” or “customisable branding”, you will be able to use that manufacturer for your private labelling product.

It is always good practice to look through reviews to confirm that they have experience and are reputable. When you contact manufacturers keep a note of their response rate and how they conduct themselves. If they reply to your messages in good time, and are respectful and professional, they will most likely be good manufacturer to partner with.

Once you have made your agreements with manufacturer, ask them to send you a sample of your product.

Shipping

With shipping you have two alternatives. Air cargo or boat. While having products shipped by air means that they will arrive quicker, as you probably guessed, it will cost a lot more money. However, if you decide to go with boat shipping, don’t expect to see your items for at least 4 weeks. Delivery by air means that it can be delivered straight to your home, warehouse of FBA location.

Branding

What should it look like? How will it make people feel? Will it attract my target audience? Where do I see the brand in 5 years? These are few questions you will need to ask, while you are in the process of building your new brand. If you can answer all of these questions you are on your way to making a great brand that will help your product excel on eBay’s marketplace.

Dropshipping

Drop shipping is a business model in which the seller does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers its stock directly from manufacturer to customer. This means you never directly handle your own products. Dropshipping is popular mainly due to the fact that it has a low-cost barrier and you don’t need to invest a lot of time or capital to get started. However, this means that a lot of sellers employ this method resulting in more competition in this area.

One of the great things about dropshipping is that setting up and operating is very simple. You can run a dropshipping business by yourself and still be very profitable. However, like with every business model you need to be smart and identify ways to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Here are some things that you will need to do, if you decide to choose the dropshipping business model.

Selecting a niche

Selecting a great niche is the most important thing you will have to do when you start dropshipping.

Margins

You need to find an item that has a high margin. In dropshipping, the amount of work it takes to sell an item is the same regardless of its price, so you may aswell sell an item that is £100 rather than £10.

Shipping

Low shipping costs for your item are also very important. Even though your supplier will handle the shipping, if the cost of shipping is too high on your product, it will repel potential buyers. Finding something that is inexpensive to ship also gives you the option of offering free shipping to your customers, which always attracts more sales.

Impulse buyers

Have a product that appeals to impulse buyers, with money to spend. When you are focused on driving traffic to your platform you will to want to experience the highest conversion rate possible. The fact is most of your visitors will never return, so you only have one shot to sell to them. The products you are selling need to induce impulse buying.

Secure your supplier

Partnering with the wrong supplier will ruin your business, so its vital that you don’t rush this step. As noted in the private labelling section, most viable dropshipping suppliers are located overseas. As always pay close attention to the ratings of the supplier and how the conduct themself when they reply to your messages. This will help you understand if this supplier will be competent enough to perform their role.

Driving traffic to your store

Having a finished store and working product is great, but we need to think about how we will drive traffic to our new product. There are several ways you can attract customers on eBay.

Titles

Have a great title that is keyword optimized. This is most tried and tested way to drive traffic to your store on eBay. Make sure your titles are clear and concise and allow customers to quickly asses what you are selling.

Photos

This is a no brainer, but having professional photos of your products will always help you stand out from the crowd.

eBay promotions

eBay promoted listing are very simple. You chose which item you want to promote, and how much you are willing to pay to promote this item. eBay will then boost your item up the search results. If a buyer clicks on your item and buys it, you pay the promotion fee as well as the listing fee. If no one buys your item you pay nothing at all.

FaceBook adverts

Facebook is great platform to host ads, because of their low cost-per-conversion. Facebook adverts are quick to set up and get running. They can be a much more profitable way to market your business then other platforms such as google AdWords.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can help brands boost their authenticity, which is necessary for building trust. It can also help drive engagement, website traffic, and conversions.

Time to go live!

Now that everything is set up its time to go live. From here on out expect to do be doing a lot of customer support. Customer support is important because it will increase customer loyalty which in turn increases the amount of money each customer will spend with you.

However, most e-commerce business do not have a solid plan for their customer support. Having no guide to how you deal with customers, will create inconsistencies and can display a lack of professionalism. Here are somethings you need to think about when performing any type of customer support.

Practicing active listening

Behind every customer complaint is a real human who has a question or concern that needs to be answered. That person needs to feel understood, heard and served. Active listening is a skill that will allow you to have every customer leave feeling satisfied.

Learn to empathise

The ability to empathise with a customer’s situation and how they are feeling, can de-escalate conflicts and create a more enjoyable interaction between you and your customers.

Use positive language

When attending customers problems, try to use positive language. This will take away stress from your customers. Words are powerful and they can create trusting relationships with your customers.

What are you waiting for?

The internet provides so many opportunities, we just need to take the first action and start.

Everything you need to set up a successful eBay business

11/05/2020

Thus out of small beginnings, greater things have been produced

All business have to start somewhere. You may be suprised where some of the largest companies started their businesses. Many of top the companies we see today, started out of their homes. Anyone with an idea, hard work ethic and passion can start and grow a succesful business.

In this guide, we will walk through most of things you will need to think about when starting your eBay business. We will cover a variety of topics from choosing products to which strategy you should employ. We will also provide some special tips for your growing business once you are up and running.

Getting Started!

You can't run an eBay business without creating an eBay account. So go to eBay’s website and register your account.

Pay as you go, or subscription

After you set up your account you will have to decide weather to register your account as a shop or remain as the default account. You don’t need a shop subscription to sell on eBay, however it does come with a few benefits. It can help you reach the right customers, manage your orders and building your online brand. There three types of shop subscriptions, Basic, Featured and Anchor at £25, £69 and £399 respectively. As your business’ profits grow and your workload increases it will make sense to increase your shop subscription. But for the purposes of this guide having the default eBay account is sufficient.

Finding your product

This may be hardest things about setting up your new business. What are you going to sell?

Consider areas you have knowledge in

These could result from hobbies, work experiences, or things you have read about. This is always a great place to start for beginners as your already have a sense of how this particular market works, and the general do’s and don’ts of this area.

Brainstorm all the possible products and products lines that you can offer

Write down all the possible products and variants of the products that you could offer to potential customers.

Start narrowing down

Start narrowing down your ideas to realistic and specific niches. For example, lets say your area of knowledge is fashion. Fashion is a very broad market when it comes to marketing and products. So, lets narrow it down to maybe hats, or wrist bands, or scarfs. By narrowing down our ideas, we can focus our resources into a specific market and increase our chances of success.

Market research

Being passionate about your products is completely different to making a business offering those products to consumers. You will need to product research in the areas that your product resides.

What does product research entail?

Product research is like a background check for a new product idea. The research process includes many different things such as checking on similar offerings already in the market and estimating the selling potential of the proposed new product. Here are somethings that would be helpful to include in your product research.

General product researching

This involves doing general searches to get a better idea of how products in your niche perform and are represented in the e-commerce market. You can start buy conducting your searches on eBay, Amazon and other major retail outlets that hold your item. A trick that you can use is just start by doing google searches, and then see from there what’s retailers handle your products or similar ones. If your item is around £20 that can be an advantage as your item may be more likely to have impulse buyers.

History

Learn about the history of the product and the market you are entering. For instance, if you are developing a hair cream, learn all you can about the hair care business and look for data about previous hair cream releases. This research might reveal specific ingredients of features that motivate customers to buy those types of products.

Surveys

Survey potential buyers on your product. Provide them with a profile of the proposed product, including price, features and benefits. Ask questions about their interest levels in the product and any feedback they may have. You don’t need to apply all their feedback, but it’s important to know what customers think about certain features your product offers.

Keyword research

Keyword research is an essential element of product research especially for e-commerce businesses. By performing keyword research you will be able to determine whether there is demand for what you intend to sell. Supply demand drive the market on any and every product, resource and service. If an item is in demand it will simply sell for a higher price and with more volume, depending how many of those items are available. Ideally you want there to be demand for your product, but not have too many suppliers providing the same item.

Strategy

There are a variaty of strategies or business models you can choose to employ for your eBay business. The model you choose to employ can effect where you will source your items from. We will walk you through a couple different business models, so you can see which one will be the best fit for yourself.

Reselling

A reseller is an individual that purchases goods with the intention of selling them for a profit. The reselling business model is a very popular model for first time entrepreneurs, but like any other online business reselling requires patience, commitment and knowledge of the market you are entering.

Why become a reseller

Reselling or flipping items has a low start-up cost. You can start with as little as £5 and work your way up to thousands of pounds. By buying bundles, going to flee markets, looking through eBay auctions and even searching trash, you can find many items that you can resell for a profit. The low start up costs with the chance of selling big margin items, makes reselling popular with a lot of entrepreneurs.

Pricing and fees

As a reseller you will always have to be mindful about margins, as this is what will determine how much you will make reselling your products. There are a variety of cost that are involved when you become a reseller that you will have to account for.

eBay fees

If you sell an item under £50 on eBay you will pay 8.75% of the final selling price to eBay. If the item is over £50 you will pay 8.75% of the initial £50, plus 4% of the remaining selling price.

Postage fees

When selling your item, you will also need to account for postage fees. It is becoming more and more common among eBay sellers to offer free postage to their customers.

Adding value

When reselling its vital to add value to the item that you have just brough, or it may be difficult to get a substantial amount more for it, compared to what you originally paid. This can be done by taking better photos or by having a better description and title than the original listing. You can also add accessories to the item. For example, if you are reselling a mobile phone, you can purchase a cheap phone case, earphones and a charger. This will increase the perceived value to potential buyers and will help your item sell at a higher price tag.

Sourcing items

Resellers have a variety of options when it comes to sourcing items. As a reseller your product sourcing can even be the very same market you are selling to. For example, if your niche is mobile phones, you can buy undervalued mobile phones in eBay auctions, and then go and sell them the same phone on eBay, for a profit.

Other resellers prefer to come off eBay's platform, and instead go to local car boot sales. Where there may be less competition for an item, resulting in them acquiring it a lower price.

The most important step for resellers, is buying their items. If you buy your items at too high of a price you will certainly operate at a loss or struggle to make a profit. However, if you try to get items at a really low price, you may struggle to buy any items at all. This part of your business is mainly left to your intuition. You will need to work out for yourself, what price you are comfortable paying for items.

Private label

It’s becoming more and more difficult to perform arbitrage to turn a profit. Especially today, where there is more saturation and increased competition. That’s why many sellers turn towards private labelling.

Private label is the process of a retailer rebranding/renaming a product that is already being manufactured on their own brand or label. According to Jungle Scout’s 2020 survey, this is one of the most popular business models. Selling private label on eBay is very similar to dropshipping. The online market place simply does not necessitate any physical store, so all you need to is fill out eBay’s sell your item form and you are ready to go.

The great thing about private labelling is that you can scale it to what best fits your life. If you want a passive supplemental income, then once you’re set up, you can take a step back. If later on, you find you want to add additional products to grow your brand and start making it your primary source of income, you also have the option to step up and start growing.

Here are somethings to consider if you decide to go down this route.

Supplier

China, at this point in time, is the most dominant player in contract manufacturing, so it will be easier to find a manufacturer there, that can meet all your needs. If you are reluctant to outsource to China, and want to find a manufacturer in Europe or the United States you will have to work a lot harder to find one that can offer you products at a cost that you can turn a profit on.

If you are unsure of where to find a manufacturer, Alibaba would be my recommendation. Conduct some searches for your product and scroll down to the product descriptions. If you see something along the lines of “custom accepted” or “customisable branding”, you will be able to use that manufacturer for your private labelling product.

It is always good practice to look through reviews to confirm that they have experience and are reputable. When you contact manufacturers keep a note of their response rate and how they conduct themselves. If they reply to your messages in good time, and are respectful and professional, they will most likely be good manufacturer to partner with.

Once you have made your agreements with manufacturer, ask them to send you a sample of your product.

Shipping

With shipping you have two alternatives. Air cargo or boat. While having products shipped by air means that they will arrive quicker, as you probably guessed, it will cost a lot more money. However, if you decide to go with boat shipping, don’t expect to see your items for at least 4 weeks. Delivery by air means that it can be delivered straight to your home, warehouse of FBA location.

Branding

What should it look like? How will it make people feel? Will it attract my target audience? Where do I see the brand in 5 years? These are few questions you will need to ask, while you are in the process of building your new brand. If you can answer all of these questions you are on your way to making a great brand that will help your product excel on eBay’s marketplace.

Dropshipping

Drop shipping is a business model in which the seller does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers its stock directly from manufacturer to customer. This means you never directly handle your own products. Dropshipping is popular mainly due to the fact that it has a low-cost barrier and you don’t need to invest a lot of time or capital to get started. However, this means that a lot of sellers employ this method resulting in more competition in this area.

One of the great things about dropshipping is that setting up and operating is very simple. You can run a dropshipping business by yourself and still be very profitable. However, like with every business model you need to be smart and identify ways to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Here are some things that you will need to do, if you decide to choose the dropshipping business model.

Selecting a niche

Selecting a great niche is the most important thing you will have to do when you start dropshipping.

Margins

You need to find an item that has a high margin. In dropshipping, the amount of work it takes to sell an item is the same regardless of its price, so you may aswell sell an item that is £100 rather than £10.

Shipping

Low shipping costs for your item are also very important. Even though your supplier will handle the shipping, if the cost of shipping is too high on your product, it will repel potential buyers. Finding something that is inexpensive to ship also gives you the option of offering free shipping to your customers, which always attracts more sales.

Impulse buyers

Have a product that appeals to impulse buyers, with money to spend. When you are focused on driving traffic to your platform you will to want to experience the highest conversion rate possible. The fact is most of your visitors will never return, so you only have one shot to sell to them. The products you are selling need to induce impulse buying.

Secure your supplier

Partnering with the wrong supplier will ruin your business, so its vital that you don’t rush this step. As noted in the private labelling section, most viable dropshipping suppliers are located overseas. As always pay close attention to the ratings of the supplier and how the conduct themself when they reply to your messages. This will help you understand if this supplier will be competent enough to perform their role.

Driving traffic to your store

Having a finished store and working product is great, but we need to think about how we will drive traffic to our new product. There are several ways you can attract customers on eBay.

Titles

Have a great title that is keyword optimized. This is most tried and tested way to drive traffic to your store on eBay. Make sure your titles are clear and concise and allow customers to quickly asses what you are selling.

Photos

This is a no brainer, but having professional photos of your products will always help you stand out from the crowd.

eBay promotions

eBay promoted listing are very simple. You chose which item you want to promote, and how much you are willing to pay to promote this item. eBay will then boost your item up the search results. If a buyer clicks on your item and buys it, you pay the promotion fee as well as the listing fee. If no one buys your item you pay nothing at all.

FaceBook adverts

Facebook is great platform to host ads, because of their low cost-per-conversion. Facebook adverts are quick to set up and get running. They can be a much more profitable way to market your business then other platforms such as google AdWords.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can help brands boost their authenticity, which is necessary for building trust. It can also help drive engagement, website traffic, and conversions.

Time to go live!

Now that everything is set up its time to go live. From here on out expect to do be doing a lot of customer support. Customer support is important because it will increase customer loyalty which in turn increases the amount of money each customer will spend with you.

However, most e-commerce business do not have a solid plan for their customer support. Having no guide to how you deal with customers, will create inconsistencies and can display a lack of professionalism. Here are somethings you need to think about when performing any type of customer support.

Practicing active listening

Behind every customer complaint is a real human who has a question or concern that needs to be answered. That person needs to feel understood, heard and served. Active listening is a skill that will allow you to have every customer leave feeling satisfied.

Learn to empathise

The ability to empathise with a customer’s situation and how they are feeling, can de-escalate conflicts and create a more enjoyable interaction between you and your customers.

Use positive language

When attending customers problems, try to use positive language. This will take away stress from your customers. Words are powerful and they can create trusting relationships with your customers.

What are you waiting for?

The internet provides so many opportunities, we just need to take the first action and start.

Everything you need to set up a successful eBay business

11/05/2020

Thus out of small beginnings, greater things have been produced

All business have to start somewhere. You may be suprised where some of the largest companies started their businesses. Many of top the companies we see today, started out of their homes. Anyone with an idea, hard work ethic and passion can start and grow a succesful business.

In this guide, we will walk through most of things you will need to think about when starting your eBay business. We will cover a variety of topics from choosing products to which strategy you should employ. We will also provide some special tips for your growing business once you are up and running.

Getting Started!

You can't run an eBay business without creating an eBay account. So go to eBay’s website and register your account.

Pay as you go, or subscription

After you set up your account you will have to decide weather to register your account as a shop or remain as the default account. You don’t need a shop subscription to sell on eBay, however it does come with a few benefits. It can help you reach the right customers, manage your orders and building your online brand. There three types of shop subscriptions, Basic, Featured and Anchor at £25, £69 and £399 respectively. As your business’ profits grow and your workload increases it will make sense to increase your shop subscription. But for the purposes of this guide having the default eBay account is sufficient.

Finding your product

This may be hardest things about setting up your new business. What are you going to sell?

Consider areas you have knowledge in

These could result from hobbies, work experiences, or things you have read about. This is always a great place to start for beginners as your already have a sense of how this particular market works, and the general do’s and don’ts of this area.

Brainstorm all the possible products and products lines that you can offer

Write down all the possible products and variants of the products that you could offer to potential customers.

Start narrowing down

Start narrowing down your ideas to realistic and specific niches. For example, lets say your area of knowledge is fashion. Fashion is a very broad market when it comes to marketing and products. So, lets narrow it down to maybe hats, or wrist bands, or scarfs. By narrowing down our ideas, we can focus our resources into a specific market and increase our chances of success.

Market research

Being passionate about your products is completely different to making a business offering those products to consumers. You will need to product research in the areas that your product resides.

What does product research entail?

Product research is like a background check for a new product idea. The research process includes many different things such as checking on similar offerings already in the market and estimating the selling potential of the proposed new product. Here are somethings that would be helpful to include in your product research.

General product researching

This involves doing general searches to get a better idea of how products in your niche perform and are represented in the e-commerce market. You can start buy conducting your searches on eBay, Amazon and other major retail outlets that hold your item. A trick that you can use is just start by doing google searches, and then see from there what’s retailers handle your products or similar ones. If your item is around £20 that can be an advantage as your item may be more likely to have impulse buyers.

History

Learn about the history of the product and the market you are entering. For instance, if you are developing a hair cream, learn all you can about the hair care business and look for data about previous hair cream releases. This research might reveal specific ingredients of features that motivate customers to buy those types of products.

Surveys

Survey potential buyers on your product. Provide them with a profile of the proposed product, including price, features and benefits. Ask questions about their interest levels in the product and any feedback they may have. You don’t need to apply all their feedback, but it’s important to know what customers think about certain features your product offers.

Keyword research

Keyword research is an essential element of product research especially for e-commerce businesses. By performing keyword research you will be able to determine whether there is demand for what you intend to sell. Supply demand drive the market on any and every product, resource and service. If an item is in demand it will simply sell for a higher price and with more volume, depending how many of those items are available. Ideally you want there to be demand for your product, but not have too many suppliers providing the same item.

Strategy

There are a variaty of strategies or business models you can choose to employ for your eBay business. The model you choose to employ can effect where you will source your items from. We will walk you through a couple different business models, so you can see which one will be the best fit for yourself.

Reselling

A reseller is an individual that purchases goods with the intention of selling them for a profit. The reselling business model is a very popular model for first time entrepreneurs, but like any other online business reselling requires patience, commitment and knowledge of the market you are entering.

Why become a reseller

Reselling or flipping items has a low start-up cost. You can start with as little as £5 and work your way up to thousands of pounds. By buying bundles, going to flee markets, looking through eBay auctions and even searching trash, you can find many items that you can resell for a profit. The low start up costs with the chance of selling big margin items, makes reselling popular with a lot of entrepreneurs.

Pricing and fees

As a reseller you will always have to be mindful about margins, as this is what will determine how much you will make reselling your products. There are a variety of cost that are involved when you become a reseller that you will have to account for.

eBay fees

If you sell an item under £50 on eBay you will pay 8.75% of the final selling price to eBay. If the item is over £50 you will pay 8.75% of the initial £50, plus 4% of the remaining selling price.

Postage fees

When selling your item, you will also need to account for postage fees. It is becoming more and more common among eBay sellers to offer free postage to their customers.

Adding value

When reselling its vital to add value to the item that you have just brough, or it may be difficult to get a substantial amount more for it, compared to what you originally paid. This can be done by taking better photos or by having a better description and title than the original listing. You can also add accessories to the item. For example, if you are reselling a mobile phone, you can purchase a cheap phone case, earphones and a charger. This will increase the perceived value to potential buyers and will help your item sell at a higher price tag.

Sourcing items

Resellers have a variety of options when it comes to sourcing items. As a reseller your product sourcing can even be the very same market you are selling to. For example, if your niche is mobile phones, you can buy undervalued mobile phones in eBay auctions, and then go and sell them the same phone on eBay, for a profit.

Other resellers prefer to come off eBay's platform, and instead go to local car boot sales. Where there may be less competition for an item, resulting in them acquiring it a lower price.

The most important step for resellers, is buying their items. If you buy your items at too high of a price you will certainly operate at a loss or struggle to make a profit. However, if you try to get items at a really low price, you may struggle to buy any items at all. This part of your business is mainly left to your intuition. You will need to work out for yourself, what price you are comfortable paying for items.

Private label

It’s becoming more and more difficult to perform arbitrage to turn a profit. Especially today, where there is more saturation and increased competition. That’s why many sellers turn towards private labelling.

Private label is the process of a retailer rebranding/renaming a product that is already being manufactured on their own brand or label. According to Jungle Scout’s 2020 survey, this is one of the most popular business models. Selling private label on eBay is very similar to dropshipping. The online market place simply does not necessitate any physical store, so all you need to is fill out eBay’s sell your item form and you are ready to go.

The great thing about private labelling is that you can scale it to what best fits your life. If you want a passive supplemental income, then once you’re set up, you can take a step back. If later on, you find you want to add additional products to grow your brand and start making it your primary source of income, you also have the option to step up and start growing.

Here are somethings to consider if you decide to go down this route.

Supplier

China, at this point in time, is the most dominant player in contract manufacturing, so it will be easier to find a manufacturer there, that can meet all your needs. If you are reluctant to outsource to China, and want to find a manufacturer in Europe or the United States you will have to work a lot harder to find one that can offer you products at a cost that you can turn a profit on.

If you are unsure of where to find a manufacturer, Alibaba would be my recommendation. Conduct some searches for your product and scroll down to the product descriptions. If you see something along the lines of “custom accepted” or “customisable branding”, you will be able to use that manufacturer for your private labelling product.

It is always good practice to look through reviews to confirm that they have experience and are reputable. When you contact manufacturers keep a note of their response rate and how they conduct themselves. If they reply to your messages in good time, and are respectful and professional, they will most likely be good manufacturer to partner with.

Once you have made your agreements with manufacturer, ask them to send you a sample of your product.

Shipping

With shipping you have two alternatives. Air cargo or boat. While having products shipped by air means that they will arrive quicker, as you probably guessed, it will cost a lot more money. However, if you decide to go with boat shipping, don’t expect to see your items for at least 4 weeks. Delivery by air means that it can be delivered straight to your home, warehouse of FBA location.

Branding

What should it look like? How will it make people feel? Will it attract my target audience? Where do I see the brand in 5 years? These are few questions you will need to ask, while you are in the process of building your new brand. If you can answer all of these questions you are on your way to making a great brand that will help your product excel on eBay’s marketplace.

Dropshipping

Drop shipping is a business model in which the seller does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers its stock directly from manufacturer to customer. This means you never directly handle your own products. Dropshipping is popular mainly due to the fact that it has a low-cost barrier and you don’t need to invest a lot of time or capital to get started. However, this means that a lot of sellers employ this method resulting in more competition in this area.

One of the great things about dropshipping is that setting up and operating is very simple. You can run a dropshipping business by yourself and still be very profitable. However, like with every business model you need to be smart and identify ways to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Here are some things that you will need to do, if you decide to choose the dropshipping business model.

Selecting a niche

Selecting a great niche is the most important thing you will have to do when you start dropshipping.

Margins

You need to find an item that has a high margin. In dropshipping, the amount of work it takes to sell an item is the same regardless of its price, so you may aswell sell an item that is £100 rather than £10.

Shipping

Low shipping costs for your item are also very important. Even though your supplier will handle the shipping, if the cost of shipping is too high on your product, it will repel potential buyers. Finding something that is inexpensive to ship also gives you the option of offering free shipping to your customers, which always attracts more sales.

Impulse buyers

Have a product that appeals to impulse buyers, with money to spend. When you are focused on driving traffic to your platform you will to want to experience the highest conversion rate possible. The fact is most of your visitors will never return, so you only have one shot to sell to them. The products you are selling need to induce impulse buying.

Secure your supplier

Partnering with the wrong supplier will ruin your business, so its vital that you don’t rush this step. As noted in the private labelling section, most viable dropshipping suppliers are located overseas. As always pay close attention to the ratings of the supplier and how the conduct themself when they reply to your messages. This will help you understand if this supplier will be competent enough to perform their role.

Driving traffic to your store

Having a finished store and working product is great, but we need to think about how we will drive traffic to our new product. There are several ways you can attract customers on eBay.

Titles

Have a great title that is keyword optimized. This is most tried and tested way to drive traffic to your store on eBay. Make sure your titles are clear and concise and allow customers to quickly asses what you are selling.

Photos

This is a no brainer, but having professional photos of your products will always help you stand out from the crowd.

eBay promotions

eBay promoted listing are very simple. You chose which item you want to promote, and how much you are willing to pay to promote this item. eBay will then boost your item up the search results. If a buyer clicks on your item and buys it, you pay the promotion fee as well as the listing fee. If no one buys your item you pay nothing at all.

FaceBook adverts

Facebook is great platform to host ads, because of their low cost-per-conversion. Facebook adverts are quick to set up and get running. They can be a much more profitable way to market your business then other platforms such as google AdWords.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can help brands boost their authenticity, which is necessary for building trust. It can also help drive engagement, website traffic, and conversions.

Time to go live!

Now that everything is set up its time to go live. From here on out expect to do be doing a lot of customer support. Customer support is important because it will increase customer loyalty which in turn increases the amount of money each customer will spend with you.

However, most e-commerce business do not have a solid plan for their customer support. Having no guide to how you deal with customers, will create inconsistencies and can display a lack of professionalism. Here are somethings you need to think about when performing any type of customer support.

Practicing active listening

Behind every customer complaint is a real human who has a question or concern that needs to be answered. That person needs to feel understood, heard and served. Active listening is a skill that will allow you to have every customer leave feeling satisfied.

Learn to empathise

The ability to empathise with a customer’s situation and how they are feeling, can de-escalate conflicts and create a more enjoyable interaction between you and your customers.

Use positive language

When attending customers problems, try to use positive language. This will take away stress from your customers. Words are powerful and they can create trusting relationships with your customers.

What are you waiting for?

The internet provides so many opportunities, we just need to take the first action and start.