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Ebay stores/shops – are they really worth it?

Wherever you look on the internet there is someone that has an opinion on what works and what doesn't on Ebay, well I am no different but whereas most opinions banded around have no basis mine are all based on the hard facts from actually ‘doing it' or ‘having done it'.

The question that gets asked regularly is: “Ebay stores/shops – are they really worth it?

Well the simple answer is, in my opinion, damn right they are! Why? You ask, well let me explain. Ebay has got huge traffic passing through its sites on a daily basis, not many selling venues can compete with it and as such this is what you want to capitalise on.

Most Ebay sellers that claim to want to make a living off Ebay simply think that listing an item for sale will ensure a profit that can be turned into a business…how wrong they are! Nothing in life is free, this is especially true when starting up and maintaining a business.

Why would someone expect that using an Ebay store/shop to make a living would be any easier than making it from your own web site?

One of the biggest issues raised about Ebay is its fees, personally I am quite happy with them all things considered but hey not everyone is like me. Ebay stores/shops allow for listings to be made at a fraction of the cost of standard listings, for example, a no bells and whistles standard auction listing costs $0.20/£0.15 for 10 days whereas with a shop it costs $0.02/£0.03 for 30 days thus giving three times the potential exposure for a fraction of the outlay. The only drawback is that these items do not appear in the main auction search listing, however there are ways to get around this and as a bonus shop/store listings actually get crawled by the search engines.

To illustrate the example:

1000 regular listed items cost $200/£150 for 10 days, whereas for the same money in an ebay store/shop you can actually get 10,000/5000 items listed for a month. That alone should convince you of their worth, sure makes the $15.95/£6.00 monthly fee worthwhile.

“Well no one will see the items I am listing if they don't appear in the search listings, therefore I am wasting my money”

This is the typical response to what I have just said above. I actually agree with this statement if all you do is list them in your Ebay store/shop and do nothing else to get them noticed, whereas a simply solution is to use what the brick and mortar stores have been doing for years and employ loss leader tactics. What you want to do is list a product from your range that is popular as a standard auction ie. not within your Ebay store/shop and aim to sell it at a small loss or hopefully cost, this auction will be the teaser for the viewer and a simple line of text in your listing that states “Please visit our Ebay Shop for other great deals” (within Ebays TOS) can direct them to your Ebay store/shop and start the traffic building.

The key is then to ensure that you lock these viewers into your Ebay shop, once they are locked into your products/services that your Ebay store/shop offers then they will come directly to your shop to see what's what first meaning that you can take advantage of a lower listing fee and still get the views/sales.

Put simply then, I recommend an Ebay store/shop to anyone that is serious about developing Ebay into a business opportunity, the two reasons above should be enough to make you recognise the power that they have but just in case I have put together a few more Ebay store/shop tips to help you develop your ebay business..

1. Assign a unique domain name to your Ebay store/shop, this can then be cross linked from your own web site to increase search engine awareness and develop traffic to BOTH sites.

2. Make sure that your Ebay store/shop matches the look of your own web site, after all you are trying to establish yourself as a brand and a brand image is very important when selling any product.

3. Ensure your ebay store/shop utilises the keywords that you are targeting, this will allow the search engines to rank you for the terms you are looking to be ranked for. After all good search engine ranking can seriously drive traffic numbers.

4. Use keyword navigation categories, what I mean by this is that you should utilise the keywords that your web site is targeting as your Ebay store/shop categories. Obviously make it user friendly as well and utilise your full allowance of categories to increase your keyword densities.

5. Always link to your Ebay store/shop from other sites such as forums and other related web sites that you may have, why not consider running an advertising campaign using pay-per-click techniques to drive traffic to your Ebay store/shop.

Points three, four and five are very important because by sending traffic from outside Ebay to your Ebay store/shop can actually reduce your Final Value Fees(FVF)! This reduction is not small either because the US site reduces your FVF's by 75%, this is only applicable to the US site at the time of writing although most US options filter through to the UK site pretty quickly.

Lastly like running your own web site, always monitor your stats. Your shop has a good stats package and it is vital that you use this to monitor where your traffic is coming from so that you can maximise the effort of targeting this source, this information alone will help you too greatly increase your Ebay store/shop sales and make you more money.

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