eBay Tips 2008: What about a website?

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Of all the eBay sellers I’ve met over the years, I’ve never met one who regretted setting up their own website. But almost every single one I’ve spoken to regrets not having done it sooner.

I think that every seller dependent on the eBay monster needs some sort of independent online presence. It could be just a blog or a single webpage but for many I reckon that a full-blown ecommerce enabled site is a very good idea. At the very least your own site is good cyber-squatting and also good marketing sense. At best, it will come to eclipse your eBay sales. Bottom line: you can’t rely on eBay. She may not be malicious but she can be a cruel mistress, unintentionally. Moreover, if you’re making a success of eBay you can replicate that success with your own website.

If you start now and spend a bit of cash, by Christmas 2008 you could be selling a lot of stuff from your own site, in your own way. It’s worthy of serious thought. Depending on the path you choose (and I’m hoping for lots of comments from people who’ve already had a pop), I reckon that even a relatively small outlay of £500 will pay for itself within months. Hopefully, there will be some perspectives on good packages and services too.

eBay delivers a lot of things. When it comes to buyers and traffic, nobody does it better but there are other ways of getting sales. So why do it? I think that every eBay seller can find greater profits. It’s crazy to depend on eBay alone and a website is a really good step towards diversification.

Some benefits:

You’re in charge: No more fussing over what eBay will do next. Build a site and you’re the boss. Organise how it looks and feels, take charge of the findability and create the buying experience that you think your buyers like.

Fees will be lower: Your site will have costs associated with it but they will in all likelihood be cheaper on a per item basis.

Incremental sales: website sales will hopefully be additional to those you’re already making on eBay and not cannibalising them to any real extent (unless you want them to!).

Building loyalty: For a seller, a website represents a good opportunity to build relationships with regular buyers. If they like what you’re selling and like how you’re selling, then in all hope, you can migrate them to your own platform.

8 Responses

  1. I have had my own site for a few years now and despite it being hard work it has been worth it.

    Eggs and baskets is the key.

  2. We have a new website by firepages, it was good value and is very easy to use, we had our first sale last night, it was so exciting!!!

  3. Website sales are always exciting 😀 e.g. conversation in the bead shed this morning:

    Mr Biddy: What are you looking so happy about?
    Biddy: I just didn’t pay £4.37 in FVFS 😀

  4. Sue,

    Too true, too true.

    The Professional eBay Seller’s Alliance members (www.gopesa.org) have been working hard for years to add more sales channels and move sales away from eBay.

    We have been doing the same, and I think every serious seller should be looking to spread their eggs around in more than one basket.

    Not only can you find and use systems like ChannelAdvisor to manage feeds to comparison sites, online stores and ebay sales from the one central location, but you can also invest time in other marketing techniques like Google adwords, blog marketing, affiliate marketing and of course, converting all those eBay buyers to online store buyers!

    It was only last week that we had our first day ever when online store sales were higher than eBay sales. Today was another day like that, so the trend is continuing.

    It takes time, but if your readers are serious about growing their business they should start working now!

  5. It seems a bit of a paradox for PeSA to be moving sales away from eBay, but they’re right! Having more than one arrow for your bow is pretty essential to survival these days.



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