eBay is one of the world’s most popular online marketplaces. It provides individuals and businesses of every size with an opportunity to connect with international audiences, but the competition is also pretty stiff. For beginners to sell on eBay successfully, they need to understand the basics and master skills like listing optimization. This may seem overwhelming, but that’s where we come in.
Want to know how to sell on eBay? Here’s everything you need to know in six simple steps.
Step 1 – Create an account
This is pretty straightforward. You’ll see the option to register or sign in at the top of most eBay pages.
Simply click to register and you can set up an account. eBay guides you through the process and asks for some basic details. Easy!
If you plan to sell on eBay as an official business, this page also offers the option to set up a business account. This is fairly simple too. Though you’ll need to provide an official company name.
Unless you’re just clearing the junk out of your attic, this is probably the best option for you. However, you can always change your account type later if you need to.
Step 2 – Learn the basics
Before you list any items, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the eBay fundamentals.
There are countless resources online and on eBay that can help, but here are some basics to help you stay in eBay’s good books and prevent any losses.
When eBay was first set up, it was all about selling used items in auction-style sales.
Today, you can still opt to list an item for ten days and sell it off to the highest bidder. But 91% of eBay products are now sold using fixed price or ‘Buy It Now’ listings. This means you set a price and ship an item the moment an order comes through. The same way most online stores work.
How much does it cost?
Figuring this out isn’t exactly straightforward. There are all sorts of eBay fees and many of them are optional.
But here are two every seller needs to know about:
- Insertion fees: This is a listing fee which is charged pre-sale. Sellers receive 50 free listings each month. After that, eBay takes a flat fee of 35c on every item you list. Though if you sign up to a monthly store subscription, this fee is reduced.
- Final Value Fees: A percentage of a product’s final sale price is charged once an item is sold. The percentage depends on what product category your item was listed under. Most commonly, it will be 12.35%.
eBay selling policies
Failure to follow eBay’s rules can lead to reduced visibility for your listings and, sometimes, even account suspension.
Some rules are common sense, while others are less obvious. We recommend reading over eBay’s selling policies when starting out, but here are some major pitfalls to avoid.
- Don’t sell banned items, such as drugs, alcohol, counterfeit products or recalled items
- Don’t use product images taken from other websites
- Don’t try to close any sales outside of the eBay platform
- Avoid cancelling customer orders
- Avoid late shipments
- Don’t ignore buyer complaints
- Don’t list contact information, external links or misleading information in listings
eBay selling limits restrict the number of listings a seller can have. They apply to most accounts but are particularly inhibiting for beginners.
For new sellers, the limit starts at just ten items per month. For this reason, you won’t be able to use eBay’s bulk listing tools until 90 days after your first sale. You’ll need at least ten positive eBay reviews too.
These selling limits are intended to protect customers from the likes of fraud or substandard products. But once you establish a positive selling history, eBay will trust you to sell more.
Step 3 – Fill out your profile
To appear trustworthy, it’s a good idea to add a photo and a description to your seller profile.
To do this, you can simply click on your name, which appears in the top-left corner of eBay when you’re signed in. Click on your avatar and you’ll be able to edit your profile details.
When you sign up to eBay, you’re assigned a random user ID. You should also edit this to include your brand name so eBay shoppers will take you seriously.
To do this, head to the My Account tab in My eBay. Then click ‘Personal information’. Here, you’ll be able to edit your username and add your social media accounts.
If you really want to build your brand on eBay, you should consider signing up for a store subscription. This is optional and comes with a monthly fee. But plans start at just $4.95 per month and you get to customise your storefront. It also comes with perks like smaller fees.
Step 4 – Set up your store policies
When creating a listing, eBay will ask you to fill out details around shipping, payment and returns.
You should consider these policies carefully because they significantly affect costs and profits, as well as customer satisfaction and eBay feedback.
- Payment options: eBay managed payments was recently introduced to most sellers. This consolidated platform allows you to offer payment by card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal.
- Shipping policies: Here, you specify your dispatch time and the delivery services you offer. The faster the better! But you should also be realistic. 71% of items sold on eBay are shipped for free, so try to offer free shipping if you can. But if you sell large or heavy items, this could be risky. In this case, you could consider offering your customers combined shipping instead.
- Returns: Here, say whether or not you accept returns. If you do, state how many days this is available for and who pays for the cost of shipment. A generous returns policy may increase sales, trust and your chances of appearing at the top of eBay search results.
Step 5 – Choose profitable products to sell on eBay
Product sourcing and pricing is tricky. But you’ll find it much easier if you specialise in a niche that you’re passionate about. You’ll be better at identifying great products and creating listings which appeal to your audience.
Beyond this, you should spend time researching brands. You could even consider investing in a product research tool, which scans the internet for profitable products in your niche.
You can also do some research on eBay! On each listing, you can see the number of times an item sold.
If you click this figure, you’ll be brought to the product’s purchase history. This offers insights into a product’s popularity and pricing.
When sourcing and pricing your eBay products, you’ll want to offer better value than your competitors. But be sure to factor in marketplace fees, fulfillment costs and any other outgoings your business has. At the end of the day, you want to make a profit.
Step 6 – Create and optimise your listings
To create a listing, you simply sign into your account and click the ‘Sell’ button which appears in the top-right corner of almost every eBay page.
eBay will prompt you to enter a product ID or name, so it can automatically populate your listing.
Alternatively, you can go to a product page and click the ‘sell now’ button.
If your product has been listed before, it will save you a lot of work. You can simply add your own store policies and make sure the content is accurate.
Whether you’re creating a listing from scratch or getting help from eBay, here are some ways to optimise it.
- Product category: Make sure you list your product in the most relevant category or it won’t be seen by your target audience.
- Photos: Providing lots of high-quality photos can help increase sales and reduce negative feedback from buyers.
- Title: While this should include some keywords, it’s also about attracting clicks from shoppers. Ask yourself: what would my customers type when looking for this product?
- Description: This is your main opportunity to convince shoppers to buy your product! eBay recommends writing at least 200 words and including keywords throughout the text. This will help your listing appear in more search results. We also suggest keeping sentences short and using different fonts and formatting to highlight key selling points.
- Fill in as many details as you can!
There’s a lot to learn about how to sell on eBay, but if you take it slow and consider all of these steps, you should be able to avoid major slip-ups. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable seller, you can then start to increase your listings and drive sales with eBay promotions.
Did you know that over 60% of US online retail purchases were made through Amazon last year? Amazon’s hold over eCommerce is well established, with 9.1 million active Amazon sellers worldwide and an average of 66 thousand orders per day. Newer sellers may be wondering how they can get more sales on Amazon in such a competitive environment.
The truth is, they absolutely can because with Amazon’s booming market share come many opportunities. We’ve assembled this digestible list of 14 quick wins and strategic moves, to help you up your game and sell more on Amazon.
1. Do keyword research
Having the right keywords can be one of the most important tactics in reaching your target audiences. Using the keywords that are common to searches for your products is the objective, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving game. That means that keywords used successfully in the past may not be as effective with updated search engine algorithms today.
The terms used by customers to find products change daily and are affected by seasonal, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, it’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and make sure you cast a wide net when implementing keywords for each product listing.
Each product should be optimized with as many relevant keywords as possible – into the hundreds! This gives you the best possible chance of getting your products found by customers, helping you sell more on Amazon.
Amazon keyword research tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, Jungle Scout, and AMZ One can help by generating a list of related keywords with search volume, competition level, and other useful metrics, making it easier for you to choose the best keywords for your product listing
2. Use a repricing tool to get more sales on Amazon
When it comes to sealing the deal and making a sale, price is a main deciding factor for many customers. As an Amazon seller, you always want to make sure you’re pricing your products competitively, but equally, you don’t want to lose your margin!
This is something that using repricing software can help with. Repricing software automates the pricing process in real-time, ensuring your prices stay in line with those of competitors, and with market fluctuations, while you get more sales on Amazon.
Repricing software also has many customisable features that allow you to set prices at optimal levels to help drive sales, without compromising profit. It’s worth taking a trial to see how it can help lift your sales.
3. Get more Amazon reviews
Online reviews are important to spread confidence through word of month and for building credibility for your brand. It’s also a fact that 72% of shoppers won’t buy until they’ve read reviews of a product from people like themselves – people they trust.
Even a strong product with great marketing behind it still has to overcome the fear of the unknown if there’s no social proof. Plus, positive reviews are a significant factor in deciding which products win the Amazon Buy Box.
4. Provide great customer service
Customer service is absolutely essential in eCommerce. Offering top-quality customer service not only adds value, but helps retain customers. A big part of making a sale is assuring the customer that they can trust you to deliver, and that trust is hard earned but easily lost. Providing good eCommerce customer service is critical, and committing to providing great customer service is all the more so!
As an Amazon seller, you need to be on top of your customer service. Responsiveness, a friendly manner and quick and easy resolution processes are all ingredients that make for a winning approach to great customer service.
But it can be confusing trying to streamline it all. Thankfully, there are all sorts of tools available to make this job easier, like helpdesk software to keep all your customer interactions in one place. This helps you to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries when they come in, so that your customers always know you’ve got their back.
5. Leverage Amazon seller tools
The best part about being an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous tools available to help you maximize your business and get the most out of selling on Amazon, whether third-party or FBA.
From repricing tools, to help desk software, to review software and even shipping assistance, many tools exist on the market today that specifically help Amazon sellers optimize their listings, prices, feedback, shipping, customer service and even their taxes.
There are many different seller tools available, so it’s worth reading about options and making an informed decision about the right ones to choose for your business. With the right tools, you can grow your business more than you ever thought possible.
6. Get more sales on Amazon with ads
Running ads is almost guaranteed to help you get more sales on Amazon, but it’s easy to just throw money at them and hope for the best. You can do better! Pay attention to your advertising cost of sales (ACOS) metric, the figure for how much ad spend you need in order to make a sale.
By advertising more efficiently, you lower your ACOS and ensure you get more bang for your buck. Over time, you’ll learn what works and you can employ a strategy with regards to how you run your ads. Taking an insight-driven approach to Amazon ads results in a more profitable Amazon business!
7. Optimise your product pages
The old saying goes that 80% of readers never make it past the headline of any piece of content. That means once you’ve written your product title, you’ve effectively spent 80 cents of your dollar.
When writing product titles, stick to the formula of:
- Brand name
- Product name
- Features (size, colour, gender etc).
This lets you include the right keywords in the right order to immediately tell shoppers that this is the product for them.
Moreover, making sure to visually design your product pages so that they’re clean, simple and easy to read will also help win over shoppers. No one wants to read through a cluttered page. The more straightforward (yet informative) and the cleaner you make your design, the more likely you’ll be to win over those elusive eyeballs!
8. Win the Amazon Buy Box
The quickest way to get more sales on Amazon is by ensuring that your products show up consistently in the Amazon Buy Box (the area in the top right of a product page, where shoppers can ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’). This is because over 82% of sales happen through this highly sought after space.
Although the exact formula to win the Buy Box is unknown, there are a few things that we know are essential. These are mainly metrics that prove the seller is providing a good customer experience. Customer reviews play a big role here. The more positive reviews a seller can amass, the likelihood of winning the Buy Box increases.
In addition to reviews, something else that’s obviously very important to Amazon shoppers is price! By using repricing software, you can automatically set your prices at the optimal level to win the Buy Box and maximize profit, even if you’ve got an enormous inventory.
9. Amazon account health rating
The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a new feature that helps you monitor your account health based on its adherence to Amazon seller policies.
It considers both negative factors (such as the number of unresolved policy violations on your account) as well as positive factors (how your account positively impacts the customer experience through its selling activities).
Each account will be given a rating, which is regularly reviewed as Amazon monitors the performance of its sellers. If your account is off-target, you will be notified so that you can improve your performance. Conversely, a good AHR rating will work in your favor, helping assure customers that they’re doing business with a compliant seller.
10. Maintain your Amazon SLA
A big part of being a seller is cultivating trust with your customers. That means showing them that you operate in an above-board manner and that you’ll make good on your promise of fulfillment to them. One way of doing that is by making sure your Amazon store has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a promise to your customers that they’ll receive their orders on time. When it comes to fulfillment, the SLA is based on the capacity to fulfill open orders and on-time shipping and delivery.
SLAs help manage customer expectations by defining standards and outlining circumstances under which you as the seller won’t be liable for unfulfilled promises (e.g., natural disasters preventing shipping, etc).
eDesk’s customer service solution is designed to alert you when your SLA is expiring, so your business is never caught without one. Having a current SLA helps you maintain transparency with customers, thereby building trust which helps ensure customer loyalty.
11. Focus on products that already sell
Most ambitious business owners want to try new streams of revenue, but it’s important not to lose sight of the things that are making you money now.
By doubling down on the products that already provide your Amazon store with a reliable revenue stream, you not only deliver to market demand but ensure that you have the financial runway required to take risks on innovative new products, if need be.
Review your financial statements every quarter and look at the items that are performing best in your store. Think about how you can continue to market these with ads, SEO keywords and upgraded images to maximize their selling potential in your online store.
12. Sync your inventory
Inventory can be a delicate balancing act. Hold too much inventory for too long and you need to pay over the odds to store it. But hold too little inventory and you lose out on vital sales, or even customers, due to an inability to fulfill. Amazon can also penalize you if your inventory performance isn’t up to standard.
Stock control is something every seller needs to understand and have the capability to manage for optimal results. Smart inventory management is an under-appreciated way to increase your Amazon sales and profit margin. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Investing in the right tools and software can help sellers take the stress out of balancing supply and demand.
13. Expand into new Amazon marketplaces
Amazon currently has 20 marketplaces around the world, which include the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and more.
You can scale your brand by moving into some of these marketplaces. This can involve doing market research to find out which products are popular in each market and then uplevelling your shipping operations in order to be able to ship globally.
But expanding into new markets also means you’ll need to take language into consideration and localize your listings so that they feature each marketplace’s local language and SEO keywords in the appropriate language. Multilingual customer service is also needed in order to be able to service customers across various marketplaces in their local language.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. eDesk’s help desk solution is designed to support customer service and workflow in multiple languages, so you can expand your business without investing in the overhead of hiring a global team.
14. Spy on your competitors
Ok, maybe “spy” is a bit of an exaggeration, but profitable sellers are always on the lookout for what their competitors are doing. You want to make sure you’re offering the right inventory for your market at the right prices. Repricing software will monitor this for you, taking the guesswork out of pricing at the right levels.
Using data gleaned from helpdesk reporting can also help you gather valuable insights and feedback from your customers, which will help you to better understand what customers want and need. Acting on analytics-driven insights from easy-to-read reports means you’re always one step ahead of the competition.
The quest to increase your store’s Amazon sales doesn’t need to be an uphill struggle. There are many resources available to Amazon sellers today to help them optimize their store and develop a healthy sales pipeline.
By staying in touch with how the Amazon platform grows and using the right tech tools to drive your business, you can continue to do what you do best: building a great brand, winning customers, retaining existing customers and improving your bottom line.