Originally a site where users could auction off bits of unwanted junk, eBay has grown into one of the world’s most-popular ecommerce sites.

It’s estimated that the UK version of eBay is visited around 280 million times per month, so if you’re a small business owner it could be well worth your while to begin listing there – of course doing so could open up your products to a global audience too.

But there’s plenty to think about before you simply start listing your wares…

Only post quality product photos and descriptions

Separating your listings from the amateurs, loft-clearers and second-hand hawkers is crucial.

Make sure your product descriptions read professionally – if you already sell your goods on a site of your own, use the same wording so that your branding remains strong from platform to platform.

And if you don’t already have professional images of your products available, invest in this immediately. A shaky smartphone snap with your bedroom furniture in the background is no good.

Learn the eBay system

Are you going to offer your products for auction? Set them to Buy Now only? Or welcome offers from prospective customers?

If all that is going over your head, it’s well worth your while to use eBay a little before you commit to using it as a selling platform.

Understand your costs

Although eBay often runs free listings at different times of year, registering as a business means you will be subject to selling fees.

Not only that, but you will need to properly factor in your delivery costs – make sure you know exactly how much you will be charged to ship each item beforehand, so that you can add these costs to each and every listing.

Invest in the right equipment

As you move into more online sales, you’ll need to get some kit together to make your life easier.

A reliable computer and internet connection might sound obvious – but having that support in place will be vital. Similarly cut down on time at the post office with a label printer and sturdy packaging. Weighing scales will help you tot up those delivery fees to the last penny so you are never short.

Keep track of your records

Properly monitor your costs in creating your products. Factor in all the materials and don’t forget to make allowances for your time as well.

Using this you can then set what you believe is a fair price, with records of your sales helping you to properly judge what customers believe is the right amount for whatever you’re selling. You can also monitor seasonal spikes in demand by properly tracking your sales, helping you to plan ahead for these in the future.

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