As your auction business begins to increase and your customer lists begin to grow, you’ll want to start looking into building an online store to compliment and enhance your online auctions. Having a store will allow you to place merchandise up for sale for much longer periods than the week that an auction allows. The question that seems to be debated quite a bit is whether you should open your own website store or an eBay store.
The answer is that you should eventually open both. While you will undoubtedly hear arguments as to why one platform is better than another, both have different redeeming qualities that will increase your sales if you use the resources each provides. Your ultimate goal should be to build a business where you have a presence in both areas.
For those of you who don’t already have your own webpage, start out by opening an eBay store. The advantage that the eBay store provides over your own website is that you can link to items in your eBay store directly from the regular auctions you list while you are not allowed to link from an eBay auction to your own website. An eBay store will also allow you to set up after sale advertising of other, similar items you have for sale to show buyers once they have purchased something from you on auction which can result in additional sales. This will also automatically show a selection of photos of other items you have for sale in your store and on an auction that is similar at the bottom of your auction listings.
To make the store successful, you will have to take it upon yourself to drive traffic to the listing there. Unlike auctions, your eBay store listings do not appear in the eBay search engine. Don’t assume that people will go to your store just because you have a store icon by your name. You will want to place links to your store items directly inside your auction explanation to maximize the traffic going to your store and creating more sales.
You should begin thinking of building a store when you feel comfortable about a set price your items should sell for. Unlike your auction listings, eBay store items are sold at a set price and the listing fee is a set $0.02/30 days no matter what the price you set on the item. Even if you start out a store listing at $1,000.00 or more, it is only $0.02 to do so (the same final value fees as auctions still apply to all sold items). The monthly store fee is $9.95 which is similar to what you would pay to have your own site hosted on the web.
Your eBay store is a good place to put auction items that didn’t sell after listing them a couple of times. Instead of listing the same item a third time, place it in your store using the “good till it ends” option. You will be charged $0.02 each month the auction remains in your store, but this is still a better deal than listing the item a third time. Why? Because eBay has free listing days every few months where you can list your items with no listing fee. Simply keep your items ready to go in your store and then when a free listing day arrives, switch all the items in your store to auctions. This allows you to list auctions at less than the $0.30 eBay currently charges for items under $1.00 and can save you a huge amount on items with larger starting prices all while also having an opportunity to sell the items through links in your regular auctions.