Thousands of small businesses in the UK now earn their primary income from eBay, and with 96 million unique monthly visitors to the eCommerce site, who can blame them?
But we’re not talking about auctioning off a few items here and there; we’re talking about running an eBay shop.
Whether you're looking to understand the different store types, the cost or whether or not it's a good fit for your business, we've covered just about everything you need to know about setting up an eBay shop.
What is an eBay shop?
Let's start by defining what an eBay shop is.
An eBay shop - also known as an eBay store - is essentially a branded business page within eBay.
More specifically, by setting up an eBay shop, retailers can display all of your listings in one place, regardless of format.
It also allows you to personalise your shop to reflect your brand and you even get your own unique store URL.
But those aren’t the only benefits of opening an eBay store though.
Below, we’re going to look at why you should consider opening an eBay store if you’re an online retailer, as well as how to set up an eBay store and some best practice tips and tricks to employ when you’re up and running.
The benefits of setting up an eBay store
Setting up an eBay store has many benefits, especially if you’re an online seller with a large number of items in your inventory.
Let’s look at a few reasons why you should consider selling through an eBay store instead of simply listing your products like a regular user:
- Customisation. With the option to personalise your eBay store with your own branding, you can make your shop look exactly how you want it to. Giving your store a unique sense of identity helps people remember you, differentiates you from your competition and encourages repeat customers. (A word of warning: It’s important to remember that you can’t direct people away from eBay to another site (i.e. your webstore) - if you do this you will be penalised!
- It looks professional. People are more likely to buy from you if you look like a legitimate retailer with a strong brand, and not just a regular person that’s selling old stuff from their shed. If you look professional, people will trust you and feel more comfortable purchasing from your site.
- Competition is reduced. When people visit your store, they will only see the products listed by you, so you’re not competing (or at least not as much) with other sellers.
- You can stock more products and they’re all conveniently located under one roof, so they’re much easier to manage.
- It’s much more cost-effective than regular selling. As a store owner, you pay 20p per listing instead of £1.30, which is what regular sellers pay. If you have an Anchor Store this reduces further to 1p per listing. You can take a look at the UK eBay seller fees here.
- Items will stay live until you manually remove them instead of automatically expiring after a set amount of time like regular listings.
- You have access to some very useful seller tools, which can help you manage your business more efficiently (we’ll cover these later). We'd also recommend taking a look at our guide which provides guidance on how to sell more on eBay.
How to set up an eBay store
Setting up an eBay store is easy, but it does take a little preparation.
Before we start outlining the steps though, let’s take a look at the different types of eBay stores: Basic, Featured and Anchor.
A Basic Shop is best suited to those who have a relatively small inventory, as you can sell up to 65 fixed price items per month. It’s a good, affordable solution if you’re a small-scale seller, or if you just want to try out an eBay store to see if it works for you.
Costs: £20.85 per month, insertion fees from 10p.
A Featured Shop would work best if you’re a higher volume seller who stocks up to 600 items per month. This option includes access to Selling Manager Pro, and if you’re a UK or Irish resident your international listings are discounted.
Costs: £62.60 per month, insertion fees from 5p.
If you’re a really serious seller who stocks up to 5,000 items per months, then an Anchor Shop would be the most suitable option, especially if you’re looking for cost savings and the lowest package rates for domestic selling. Access to Selling Manager Pro is also included, and if you're a resident of the UK or Ireland, you will receive listing discounts.
Costs: £260.86 per month, insertion fees from £0.00.
(The above prices include VAT at 20%.)
Take a look at the image below to fully compare the eBay shops and determine which eBay store type is the best fit for your business.
Once you’ve decided which kind of store you want to open, you need to check whether or not you meet the requirements to set up that eBay shop type:
If you want to set up a Basic Shop the only requirement is that you are PayPal Verified.
Setting up a Featured Shop has a few more requirements. You must:
- Be PayPal Verified.
- Be a registered business seller on eBay.
- Have an “Above Standard” seller level or be an eBay Top-rated Seller.
Setting up an Anchor Shop has the same requirements as setting up an Featured Shop.
Setting up your eBay shop
So, you’ve picked which kind of store you’d like to run based on your needs, now it’s time to actually go through the motions of setting up your shop.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a business account with eBay. You can do this by going to My eBay > Account > Personal Information, then click Account Type > Edit.
Now you can enter your business name and click the “Change to Business Account” button.
Once you’ve set up your business account, go to to the Subscribe to eBay Shops page and choose which kind of shop you would like to create. The next step is to set up, design, brand, and customise your Shop.
Customising your eBay shop
When it comes to personalising your eBay store, the first thing you’ll need to do is think of a name for it.
This is really important, especially if you have your own brand or if you’re planning on building one at a later stage. If you don’t already have a name for your store, think of something that’s memorable and reflects the kind of items you sell.
A custom Listing Header features the following:
- The name of your shop.
- Your logo.
- A link that lets users add you to their Favourite Shops.
- Up to 14 category tabs, each displaying up to five of your listings when clicked.
- A search box specifically for your shop.
- A link that lets buyers subscribe to your newsletters.
- A message that you can customise for marketing purposes and target at different types of buyers.
Here’s how you can set up a Listing Header:
- Go to “My eBay”.
- Hover over the Account tab to see a drop-down menu.
- Click "Marketing Tools."
- Select “Listing Header” on the left side of the page.
- Choose how you would like your custom Listing Header to appear.
- Click “Apply” to submit your changes.
How to list items on your eBay store
Now that your shop is up and running you’re ready to start selling your items.
The process is very easy and self-explanatory with step-by-step instructions that you can follow to fill in details like item name, price, selling format (auction vs. fixed price) and so on.
To list your items, simply click the "Sell" button at the top of any eBay page. This will take you through the step-by-step process to find appropriate categories for your items.
All listing formats automatically appear in your store and can be created either by using the Sell Your Item form or by using a listing tool (see below for our recommendations).
Best practices and eBay seller tips
Once you’ve created your store and you’re ready to start selling tems, there a few best practices to keep in mind before you begin listing.
Images are really important. The more professional your pictures look, the more likely you’ll be taken seriously as a business and not be mistaken for a casual seller. Aim for high resolution pictures with a white (or plain) background, and try to take a few shots from different angles to give your visitors a good perspective of the items they want to buy.
Product descriptions are also key. You can be as flowery as you like in your language, just as long as the description is accurate. Think about detailing things like measurements and dimensions, colour and condition of the item. Remember, it’s fine to sell something that’s used and not good-as-new as long as you’re upfront about it and the buyer knows exactly what they’re going to get.
On that note, be clear on your shipping and return policies too.
Think about keywords. Ensure that your product tiles are rich with the keywords your buyers are searching for. Use the same keywords in your product descriptions and add in any other keywords that you think might be relevant. This is the best way to make sure your items (and your store) are discoverable.
Positive feedback is absolutely crucial to maintaining a good reputation - something you really want to do as an eBay seller, professional or otherwise. Receiving negative feedback will bring down your seller score, and if your seller score goes below a certain limit you may not be able to run your eBay store any more.
Getting positive feedback isn’t difficult. Just make sure your items are as described and that the buyer gets their item on time. You can request feedback revisions in eBay, so if you do receive negative feedback for whatever reason, at least you have the chance to rectify your mistake and make things right, and hopefully turn your negative feedback into positive feedback.
Communication and customer service can make a huge difference to repeat purchases and feedback. If you can spare the time, message your buyers to let them know that you’ve shipped their item. Reply quickly to any product questions - this will give the user a good indication of what your customer after-care is like should they have any issues with the product. As we mentioned before, respond promptly (and politely) to negative feedback. All of these actions can help win repeat customers and encourage positive feedback.
In addition, there are multiple things that can put users off buying from your eBay store. Busy pages with bright, flashy graphics; misspellings; too much text and poor grammar can all ring alarm bells for potential customers. Be clear and accurate in your descriptions, and keep things tidy and simple for the best results.
You should also make sure you register your business with HMRC if you haven’t already done so, because anything you sell on eBay as a business will be subject to tax.
For more eBay seller tips and best practices, make sure you have a read of our Selling on eBay guide.
Our recommended eBay seller tools
There are so many different eBay tools out there that can make selling easier.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite tools that we think are essential starter apps for eBay store owners.
Listing tools - These kinds of tools can help you create and manage your eBay store listings, track the statuses of sales, and perform important post-sales tasks printing shipping labels, all from a handy central location. If you own a larger store, this kind of tool is a must if you want to streamline and optimise your selling process. Selling Manager Pro is eBay’s version, but there are other tools on the market.
If you need something to help improve the look of your listings, try Just Template IT. This tool provides high quality eBay templates and a variety of add-ons including price recommendations.
SEE ALSO: Get Our Free HTML eBay Listing Template
If you’re looking for something more comprehensive that can transform the entire look of your shop, try Frooition or Storefront Pro. Both allow you to easily add an attractive, professional looking, clean design to your eBay store. Storefront Pro includes a variety of themes and gives you the option of uploading your own logo and other details.
Feedback tools - If you want to improve your feedback score, try looking at using a feedback tool. We recommend Feedback Pro which prompts your customers to leave feedback and notifies you when they do. It can also be used to automatically leave feedback on your buyers and send personalised follow-up messages afterwards - all great activities for getting more customers remember you.
Inventory management software - If you’re a high-volume seller (or sell on more channels than eBay, such as Amazon or your own webstore) it’s worth considering using an inventory management software. This kind of tool can help you manage your stock across multiple channels, list your items on eBay, print shipping labels and more. Check out the solutions Linnworks offers for an all-encompassing inventory management solution.
Of course there’s a learning curve that comes with selling on any kind of website, but this covers everything you need to know to get up and running with your eBay store. Just remember to keep on top of your listings and feedback, and try to make your store look as clean and simple as possible for the best results.