I have a friend who makes a pretty good living selling softball bats through eBay. He’s been doing this for about 7 years but has repeatedly spurned my requests for him to start an eBay store. He said he’s already built up good feedback scores and his regular customers can find him easy. I counter with a question of how credible he looks to potential buyers when they browse his purchase history and see countless My Little Pony transactions (he maintains his wife is an avid collector.) Some of you may also be weighing the debate about whether to open up a professional looking eBay store or maintaining your personal account and here are a few takes on the situation.
The Case For Personal Accounts
If you’re like my friend and have spent years building up an online rapport with trusted customers, it may be akin to hitting reset if you decide to switch to an eBay store. Of course, you can still use your same eBay user id to open the store but some of your customer’s might prefer the tried and true method. While you may bring in new customers with an eBay store, some of your loyal patrons might think you’re selling out or they’re not getting as good of a deal. Also, items in an eBay store don’t show up in search results unless it’s a rare item. If you own a store and want your items to show up in search you’ll have to pay an extra price or list them under a different individual account.
The Case For An eBay Store
An eBay store will give your items a background of professionalism and customers are more likely to trust you. An eBay store helps you market a brand instead of just an item and people are inclined to buy more than one item while visiting your store, especially if you offer discount shipping on multiple items. Also, even though eBay store items don’t appear in search results there are benefits such as lower listing fees and the ability to run your auction for longer. Also, it’s easier to advertise an eBay store around the web than it is to shamelessly promote your individual account.
Some Other Options
One of the great things about eBay is its flexibility for both buyers and sellers. Where else on Earth can you see a Mork & Mindy lunchbox for sale directly beneath a listing for a Maserati? There are a couple other choices people can make besides the black and white buyer or seller account.
Use An eBay Store or Personal Account To Promote A Store You Own
In the short term, developing you own store somewhere on the web besides eBay is time consuming and costly but its long term effects can be very lucrative. Ideally, when you’ve developed your own store you can sell things without having to pay eBay a percentage and you open up other avenues to draw customers such as Google Shopping or other web searches. That being said, you might as well take advantage of the world’s largest online marketplace to draw the initial waves of visitors to your store. You can build up a good base of eBay customers in the hopes of luring them to your personal store in the future. See how to create a bidding frenzy for your eBay auction.
Have Multiple Personal Accounts or Open An Ebay Store
So maybe you don’t want your softball bat customers to know that you also have an affinity for My Little Pony creatures. You also might not want people to know that you’ve purchased a Mork & Mindy lunch pail for $1 and are trying to re-sell it for $85. What many prominent eBay sellers have done is create multiple personal accounts – perhaps one for buying and another for selling. The only thing you’ll need to open a second eBay account is a valid email address so there’s really no reason not to split up your business eBay dealings with your personal ones.
As you can see, there are many different options a person can take in regards to an eBay store or personal account. Of course it depends on how much buying and selling you do and the average ticket price of your items but in time you’ll develop the perfect ways to get those Mork & Mindy lunch pails flying off the shelves.