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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Starting a Successful eBay Business (Part 4)
BUILDING AN eBAY EMPIRE
Congratulations! Your eBay business is now up and running and bringing in the dough! You may even be ready to expand your part-time operation into a full-time adventure. Let’s examine some ways to upgrade your business and continue on this successful path.
It is important to be flexible. Be willing to change the market you’re in to match the current trends. New opportunities will come knocking, and you have to be willing to take advantage of them. Flexibility also means variety, which, as they say, is the spice of life.
Quality Customer Service
Upgrade your customer service to the next level. For example, you may want to provide a handy 800 number for potential buyers to reach you immediately for answers to their questions. Send customers an e-mail with each new phase in the conclusion of your transaction, such as thanking them when you receive their payment, notifying them when their item has been shipped, and following up with them when they receive the item to ensure satisfaction.
Providing a tracking number with every shipment earns brownie points and gives the buyer peace of mind. You may also want to consider providing discount shipping to your buyers with the purchase of more than one product from you. This strategy is a must if you are selling products such as books or movies, since the shipping cost for multiple items increases minimally. This option is very popular and one of the first incentives that buyers look for. A seller who doesn’t provide a multiple item shipping discount can really turn a buyer off.
Tips, Tools & Advice
Joining an eBay community can help you to determine what buyers are interested in as well as get advice from fellow sellers, or just meet new people through discussion boards, blogs and chat rooms. The PowerUp Newsletter provides helpful tips, ideas and eBay news.
There are also some great tools available to help you improve your eBay business. Sellathon.com provides a 30-day free trial of ViewTracker, which provides information on potential buyers, including what search terms brought them to your listing. Seller’s Assistant Pro is eBay’s desktop sales management tool. And eBay’s free program Turbo Lister allows you to recreate your listings in bulk, without having to retype each, and without loosing that professional quality.
Who You Are
Don’t forget to fill out the About Me Page. This gives you an opportunity to share with your potential customers what led you to start your eBay business and what ideals your business holds to. Providing this information to your buyers helps them to feel as though they can trust you and will keep them coming back.
The best way to boost your sales and expand your eBay business is to open an eBay store. On average, sellers see a 25% increase in sales within three months of opening an eBay store. Your store will cost a monthly fee, but you do receive discounts on other eBay fees and access to many other features and services that are not available with regular listings. You can create both auction-style listings and items with fixed prices, adding flexibility to your setup. Your eBay store will allow buyers to find your products in one location, on a customizable webpage designed just for your business.
eBay Store Fees
Subscription fees for an eBay Store vary depending on the size of your operation, starting at $15.95 for the basic store package to $499.95 for the anchor store package. For more information, visit the eBay Store Subscription Fees page to view side-by-side comparisons of the 3 available storefront packages. Also available is the eBay Store Fees page which contains information about Insertion, Final Value, Listing Upgrade and Picture Services fees.
Implementing these additions to your already thriving eBay business will have you well on your way to an eBay empire. Many eBay business owners see sales in the millions each year. Though some days you may have to stretch and stand on your toes to get there, success in the eBay world is well within reach.
Related Small Business Buzz Posts:
Starting a Successful eBay Business (Part 1)
Starting a Successful eBay Business (Part 2)
Starting a Successful eBay Business (Part 3)
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