6 steps to revitalise your eBay business in 2011

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Happy New Year…. and back to work. This is the time of year many people will set personal goals and New Years resolutions which will shape their lives over the coming months. It’s also a good time to step back and evaluate your business and set your goals and plan for where you want to be in another year’s time.

Do a business health check

Find where you could save money. Could you get a better deal from your courier or by switching to another? Does your packaging supplier still offer the best prices? Could you save money by buying in bulk? Can you reduce your storage costs by eliminating slow selling lines? Don’t forget the more times your turn your stock over the harder you money works for you.

Evaluate your software requirements

Are their solutions which could save you time, money or both? Are the basic tools like TurboLister and eBay Selling Manager good enough for your business or are there others which are more efficient. Your business has grown since you first started selling online so if you’re still using the same software tools to run it there are almost certainly solutions you should consider to streamline your operation.

Check your eBay listings to make sure they’re up to date

Are you selling and returns policies up to date? When was the last time you updated item specifics on your old templates? If it’s more than a couple of months ago then they’re probably out of date and not working for you. Make sure all your listings still have their images and that the pricing is correct for the current market conditions.

Diversify

eBay is not enough to run a mature business, get your own website if you don’t have one and if you do get another in a different niche. Get onto Amazon, Pixmania, Play, Etsy and whichever other sites fit your product set. Don’t forget to list on overseas eBay sites – eBay.com UK and Germany are the biggest, but Australia and Ireland are also English speaking. Amazon France and Germany are worth considering adding to your portfolio of marketplaces.

Use all the marketing available to you

Consider branching out into shopping comparison, paid advertising and coupon sites. Make use of all the marketing available to you for previous customers. Use your eBay shop email marketing and if you have built your own marketing list for website customers start sending offers to turn them into repeat customers. Don’t forget to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to advertise your business and attract customers.

Finally if it’s not broke don’t fix it

Evaluate what is working well for you, which products lines are best performing. What pricing and listing formats are working well for your categories and are there tips and tricks you can learn by researching your competitors.

Doubtless eBay will have some changes to make in the first Seller Release of 2011 that will affect how your run your business but don’t wait for eBay to force you to review your business. There are plenty of things you can be doing now to streamline operations and increase profitability for 2011.

14 Responses

  1. dont be a busy fool, who spreads thin with the tail wagging the dog,
    you wont find Harrods on every High st or in every country,
    we dont have a website ,we dont use facebook ,we dont twitter

  2. Investigate alternatives to Royal Mail, they are the weak link in our business. They will escape too much criticism by using the excuse of the weather for their failures this year. However it is clear the biggest problems have been in areas which have adopted new working practices such as ‘loop deliveries’ and with these due to be rolled out to more areas things will only get worse. Also delivery targets mean backlogs are not cleared as they have already been hit by the financial penalty, instead newly posted items are processed first as they are not yet late. This makes a mockery of Royal mail’s advice to post early or Christmas, penalties should be for each day late rather a single penalty once an item is late.

  3. “Finally if it’s not broke don’t fix it”

    “Doubtless eBay will have some changes to make in the first Seller Release of 2011 that will affect how your run your business”

    Changes for changes sake. eBay have this habbit of making something simple that is not broke complicated and broken. Frustrating to the nth degree for long term regular sellers.

    (examples:- search, item specifics, edit, feedback, eBay messages)

    The only thing eBay need to do is introduce a shopping basket to improve the multiple purchase environment for buyers and sellers. This should have been launched several years ago when eBay launched “New” shops.

  4. I had a experience of shopping with eBay i found it quite good, but didn’t had the chance again ti shop with eBay, will try soon and these tips are very informative.

  5. You are great Tame bay but can you suggest how i can get a product i sell (i am an athrorised supplier)on Amazon?
    Its in the health and beauty section and you need pre approval.
    I have asked them and they reply that they need to see my website = i dont yet have a website so im in a catch 22 situation.

    Also i am planning a website but intend to use namesco any thoughts good or bad?

    Lastly I am ok at selling or finding items people want at the right price but i am wondering if i should use a company to check my ebay shop and offer advise and how much it will cost.
    I realise i am asking allot but this is such a hard climate to sell in and my last ebay bill was £1k which was 10% of sales does this sound about right as its more than double our mortgage payments.
    Please help tiz the season etc + i am dyslexic as i am always saying but if anyone would care help i would be so gratful
    AMFM

  6. New Years Resolution – I think not to be rude to Northumbrian(that won’t last long). Where do I want to be in a years time – Retired after all with my various ailments and age its about time. Another reason for retiring is that I can spend my time watching Cricket on TV. Slow Moving Stock – That just about describes everything I have left in stock. The stock I have accumulated over some 30 years and it originally found its way into my Store-room because it was slow moving.

  7. In reply to Amfm at 6 above.

    You most definitely need a website.
    Your products need to be professionally photographed on white or clear background. Your website needs to show your privacy policy, your return policy, shipping etc. You must conform to DSR and all consumer legislation.
    Amazon is not ebay. They only want businesses at a certain level on their ‘approved’ areas. It is not difficult as long as you go about it in the correct way. It is not a catch 22 situation at all.
    You will not make sales on Amazon unless you put forward a professional image. Amazon is not as price driven as Ebay, customers are prepared to pay a little more for a professional service and Amazon will charge you more than ebay for the privelige – in my area Jewellery, an awful lot more.

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