First of all, allow me to clear up some terminology about eBay stores. In the USA, they are known as eBay stores, whereas in the UK the term eBay uses is shops. Just to make it easy for me, I’ll be calling it eBay stores throughout this article but remember, if you’re in the UK, everything I say applies equally to eBay shops.
Now, you may not have heard of eBay stores. Or, you may have heard of them but didn’t believe they were relevant to your eBay activity. Perhaps it’s time for a re-consideration. Let’s see what you may be missing.
So, what exactly is an eBay store?
The best way of describing it is that it’s like having your own e-commerce site where you can offer items for sale which you may or may not be auctioning on eBay.
Your store has a unique URL and can be personalized by creating a logo and writing an outline of your business and your policies. The cost of listing items is far less than in eBay auctions.
It’s a snip to add inventory to your eBay store as the listing creation process is the same as you’re already used to. You list items in your store on fixed price format, just like Buy it Now, and you can have them appear in your store for 30, 60, 90 or 120 days. Or you can list items indefinitely, paying a small monthly ongoing fee for each one.
In addition to listing fees, running an eBay store incurs a monthly fee. Currently there are three levels of store:
1. Basic for $15.95 (£6) per month
2. Featured for $49.95 (£30) per month
3. Anchor for $499.95 (£300) per month
The best place to start is with a Basic store. As I write this, you can get one month’s free trial of your store. Note that you must have a feedback rating of at least 20 before you can sign-up for an eBay store.
When anyone accesses your store they will be presented with both your store only items and your auction items.
Now, how do you get traffic to your store?
Here are some of the ways you can do this:
1. Mention your store in your auction listings e.g. “We have more great inventory & accessories you can BUY NOW from our eBay store”.
2. Offer discount if people purchase from your store as well as your auction on the same day.
3. Include your unique store URL in your email signature.
4. Use eBay’s Merchandising Manager to cross-promote your store items.
5. Run targeted email campaigns to your previous customers, pointing them either to your store or, more effectively, to a specific relevant category in your store.
Viewers can also search your store for anything they might want. And they can click through to your store from the door symbol next to your eBay user ID.
If you want to investigate more, you can find everything you need here ( http://pages.ebay.com/help/specialtysites/stores-ov.html ) for USA eBay Stores, and here ( http://pages.ebay.co.uk/storefronts/store-features.html ) for UK eBay Shops.