In my previous post, I went through most of the basic functions an eBay seller should be familiar with. In this post, I am going to show some essential tools you can subscribe to your eBay account to improve the efficiency of selling products. Even though most of them are paid tools with monthly charges, I highly recommend you to at least give them a try (you can always cancel them at any time. You might have to pay for one month though), because the time and energy they end up saving you is invaluable.
Why open an eBay store and pay a monthly charge?
Image the difference between selling random things on a website such as Craiglist and selling several categories of different product lines on an official online retail store, it’s not hard to tell which one will present more professionalism. There are lots of benefits to have an eBay store.
Most importantly, to generate steady monthly income, you want to build up your brand on eBay, which is the best way to retain earnings from your loyal customers to a well-organized store after providing first class customer services.
In addition, with a fixed monthly charge, insertion fee for listing each individual product in a store is significantly lower than the fee without a store. E.g. Insertion Fee for 1 Fixed Price listing without a store is $0.50; it only costs $0.20 to list the same product in a basic store; for veteran sellers with subscription of the most comprehensive store (Anchor Store), the same listing only costs $0.02. It’s not hard to figure out how much it can save you when you have hundreds or thousands of listings.
Efficiency is always an important thing I personally care the most. No matter how much money I can make per month, if my time is used up, (e.g. I need to work for 12 hours a day on average) my future growth will become nearly impossible – if I have no time to explore new opportunities, I rather stop what I am doing even though it’s making good money. Therefore to manage my eBay business efficiently is what I enjoy the most from eBay store subscription.
How to subscribe (open) an eBay store?
On “My eBay” page, under the tab “Account”, by clicking on “Subscription”, you will be brought to “Subscription” page as showing below
As you can see, there are total 5 subscriptions to choose from. In my post, I will only focus on “eBay Stores” and “eBay Selling Manager” (later in this post). Please feel free to try other subscriptions yourself and if you have any great experience from them, please come back and share it to everyone.
eBay Store has 3 different levels, basic store, premium store and anchor store. For a complete comparison among them for price, listing charges and features, please check out this eBay page. If you are a new seller account, with the current requirement from eBay, you can only start with the basic store, but as your sales go, as soon as you hit more than 10 feed backs with a good standing, you will be granted the option to subscribe a different store. The following table has complete recommendations and requirement for each store.
If you like numbers, there is another tool provided by eBay. It can show you how much it will cost you very month based on volume of listings and sales in your store – which is my favorite part. Based on the analysis, my pick right now is Premium Store package.
Handy eBay Store Functions
I am not going through each function of eBay stores in details as I assume if you are serious enough on your eBay business, you will spend some time to look into them. Here I just want to share my experiences of using some functions of Premium Store (the one in my subscription) which I found very handy while managing listings and sales.
– Custom Page & Custom Store Header: With a store subscription(any store), you have the ability to use customized pages to build up your brand. You can add your own logo and links to the store header to help customers easily recognize your brand and navigate in your store.
– Promotion box: If you have any featured item or anything on sales, this function can highlight them to cause more attentions from your customers.
– Store Categories: Up to the capacity of 300 categories (including sub categories). If you are not good at HTML or do not feel confident enough to make some Custom Page, this function can help you organize your listings and your customers will definitely appreciate the easy navigation.
– FREE sales management tools: I am going into more details in the next section
– Markdown manager: Want to boost sales when holiday season is approaching? This function can easily add a dollar amount or a percentage discount to your existing listings. To put something on sales, you can have them done in as quickly as 5 minutes.
– Vacation Hold: Once switch on, the system will send an auto message to customers when they have any inquiry while you are away. I traveled to China 3 times last year and I can’t tell you enough how much I like this handy function.
– Off eBay Email Marketing: After buyers subscribe your store newsletter, guess how many opportunities will be opened up to you when dealing with your loyal customers.
I highly recommend you to play around with the functions of eBay Store, I am sure you will be surprised by how much the store features can help for your business. Want to be a store owner now?
Selling Manager Pro
I went through functions of “My eBay” in my last post. It’s a very basic selling tool to handle individual listings and sales. Now to go on a step further as you want to prepare yourself before volume is picking up, I will introduce a new tool – Selling Manager Pro. To review the difference between different selling tools on eBay, you can take a look at simple comparison among 3 selling tools on eBay. In this section, I will highlight the benefits of using Selling Manager Pro.
Easy to Start
Selling Manger Pro is a paid tool costing $15.95 per month, but eBay is nice enough to provide a 30-day trail to get you try it before you commit – so you have nothing to loss, yeah! One thing I want you to keep in mind is, if you subscribe “Premium Store” or “Anchor Store”, this tool is free to use, so by taking this combination into consideration, Premium Store is not really too much more expensive than Basic Store – which is one of the main reasons I picked Premium store.
Please note that Selling Manager Pro is subscribed per each eBay site, so I highly recommend you to subscribe it to the site you use to list all the products. In my case, I use ebay.com, so I subscribe it to my account at ebay.com. If you want to subscribe it to more than one eBay site, you will need to pay the monthly charge for each site – don’t pay more than you need to.
Easy to Use
You can find Selling Manager Pro at your selling section because it’s an upgrade of that section. Now let’s look at the regular selling section from My “eBay” and Selling Manager Pro side by side,
As you can see, Selling Manager Pro has more functions while managing listings and sales. Similar to last section, I am only going through the functions I used the most. Please feel free to have your own investigation done as well.
Selling Manager Pro provides the ability to edit same section of multiple listings at the same time. The sections I advise a lot includes:
– Handling time
– Payment information
– Price, Quantity and Best Offer
– Return Policy
For example, if you want to revise your return policy, you can simply choose all the listing that you want to revise and enter the new return policy once. You should not go through each individual listing for the same stuff, so now you do not have to.
By setting up automation rules, you can relist or stop the listings under certain circumstances. This is very useful when controlling inventory. If your listing is stopped as soon as you run out of inventory, you will never run into the situation that you have to apologize to your buyers about the item is not in stock after they bought the item – trust me, this is a big time saver.Furthermore, if you list your items for a duration of 10 days or 30 days and you want it to be automatically relisted after they end, with this function, you do not need to log into your account to manually relist them every 10 or 30 days.
If you mind being polite to leave feedback to your buyers or want to be notified when things went wrong with listings, this is a perfect place to handle them by the system without spending extra time. Another big time saver with no doubt.
Want to increase your sales volume, marketing is an essential. eBay add this new section to help start some marketing strategies by implementing Email marketing, Promotional flyer and RSS Feeds.
With Selling Manager, I only need to work average 2-3 hours per week mainly on answering questions from customers and process the order (collecting money, nice!). To automatically manage the sales and listing revisions on over 500 listings, the benefit of using Selling Manager Pro makes me sell like a pro!
“Applications” section is added by eBay not too long ago, but there are lots of great tools in the section help making a revolution change to experience of selling on eBay. As it’s very new, I personally do not have too much experience with it yet, but I will talk about some basic stuffs here and leave the rest of the venture to be explored by you, my readers.
How does it work?
If you have any experience with smart phone apps, this works in a very similar way. Thinking of eBay account as the operating system of the smart phone and the applications are like apps you can download to your phone as plug–ins to add more functions to your phone. Or it’s just like software you can install to your computer empowering it to work for you on different tasks.
Two Applications I personally use
– eBay Listing Analytics: It gives great insights of your products and provides the detailed data of the sales from listings in your store. If you enjoy statistics like me, this is a very effective way to improve your sales by studying the previous record. Plus all the data is downloadable, so you can have your work down even when you are offline.
– Outright: This is a tool to help record total sales, profits and expenses. The simple charts make your sales report and accounting report easily. I used to manually record each listing into my own excel sheet by plugging in mathematical functions to calculate eBay and PayPal fees, but since I found this tool, it saves all my hassles on report making. How much time this tool saves me per week? At least 2.
The future potentials
What makes Apple iPhone a better smart phone than the phones made by its competitors such as Samsung, Nokia and Blackberry? Better display or easy-to-use system, cooler design or better battery – maybe a little bit. The most powerful Apple iTune App Store gives the best user experiences ever. Thousands of new Apps are developed every day and total iTunes app download is over 10 billion times after 6 years since it first appears onto the market. This huge influence in the world is absolutely amazing!
eBay adopted the same idea by laughing “Applications” section in eBay seller account . Millions of eBay users will be definitely benefited by more handy “applications” in the future, so I truly believe this is going to be the future of eBay selling.
Alright, I know you have been reading a lot and about to complain…I apologize for the super long post, but hope you enjoy the reading some far. I have covered lots of things in the post and if you have any questions, please leave your comments and I will help with clarifications and detail explanations. Thank you!
Have a great one, everybody!
I hope you had some fun with my demonstration in the last post. Please continue bearing with me for this post and the coming post as I am going to show you how to use Ebay account to operate your business.
In this post, I am going to talk about all the basic functions every ebay account comes with and in the next blog post, I will focus on talking about the add-on tools. (There will be monthly charge involved for most of the add-ons) I will leave the decision to you to choose from the tools that suits your situation.
As Ebay has very detailed information about all the functions and features, I am not going to go through everything in details. Here I will only focus more on the functions and Things I use the most. If you need help on basic stuff, please find the information from Ebay Customer Support. If you have any questions regarding the methods I am using, please contact me directly. If you are not using Ebay very often, the functions and features might look a little bit complicated at the beginning, but trust me, once you get used to it, it’s fairly easy to use. Please feel free to skip some of the details if you are already familiar with them.
After log into your ebay account, by clicking on My Ebay (at the right top corner of the page) -> Summary, you will see your main page. If you are new to Ebay, the default “My eBay” landing page is set to “Summary”. By any chance you want to change that, on the right hand side of the main page, there is an option to change that setting (Please see the picture below).
What is behind your ID?
On the main page, right below Ebay logo, you will find your Ebay ID. In any communications with customers, this is used as your nick name. In my opinion, this needs to be easy to remember, as it gives you more opportunities to generate business – when there is chance for you to tell someone about your business, at least they can easily keep you ebay ID in mind.
Right beside your Ebay ID, there is a number showing. It’s called feedback score, which is used to keep track of the reputation of a seller/buyer on ebay. In most of the cases, higher the score, more transactions have been completed for the Ebay ID.
If you have a brand new account, in the first 30 days, you will have the shining icon right beside your feedback score (as showing in the picture above)
Both of Ebay ID and on the main page are clickable. By clicking on Ebay ID, you will be brought to Ebay My World page. This is a little place you can add some information about yourself. Many sellers on ebay spend some time to personalize this page, because it gives people who you communicate with a personal touch, so they do not feel like they are dealing with a machine or robot. By clicking on feedback score, you will be directed to feedback profile. Please click here to find out more about how feedback works on Ebay. To better understand how feedback profile is working will not only help you on maintaining your own reputation, but also help you study how other sellers were doing – this is especially important when you study your competitors.
3 most used Tabs
Now let’s go back to the main page and look at the three tabs under ebay ID.
Active and Sold are the sections I use the most. “Active” section shows all the products I am selling and I always make sure the ended items (after the listing period) are renewed properly and have a basic idea what percentage of my listed products are sold. “Sold” section tells me the selling history, so I know which products are more popular than other and what kind of sales volume I am having for each time period.
This part of your account is acting as a simplified version of email system. Even though it does not have all the fancy functions life Google Gmail and Microsoft Hotmail, for simple communications between sellers and buyers, it’s sufficient and easy to use. If you know how to use email, I don’t think you have any trouble with it.
In last blog post, I went through the PayPal section of the tab. Other sections such as personal information, addresses, communication preferences and site preference, have all the basic information of your account. These are straight forward, so I would not waste any time here. What I want to talk about a little more are the followings:
If you are an experienced ebay seller and have any good information to share about handling Ebay account, your comments and ideas are greatly appreciated here. See you next time.
In my last post, I went through the process of opening Ebay and PayPal accounts. Once the accounts are opened, you can link them together to build the backend of your business and put in the hard work consistently. Before I dive into the details of the PayPal account, let’s look at how to link your Ebay and PayPal accounts together.
Link Ebay and PayPal accounts
To link Ebay and PayPal accounts, you will first need to log into your Ebay account. Once logged in, most likely you will be directed to “My Ebay Summary”, of not, simply click on “My ebay” at the right top corner of the page (Please see the picture below)
In the middle of the “My Ebay” page, right under your id, there are four tabs, which you will use a lot when operating your business, but as this post is focusing on PayPal, I will not go into too much details. For more information about Ebay, please stay tuned for my next 2 blog posts regarding Ebay particularly.
By clicking on “PayPal Account” from the drop down menu of the tab “Account”, you will be landing onto the page showing as following:
By clicking on the button, “Link My PayPal Account” and entering the login information of you PayPal account, your Ebay account and Paypal account will be linked together. Not sure if it’s done properly? You can go back to “PayPal Account” section in your Ebay account and double check. Now you will see the following.
Ok, now if you want to purchase anything from a seller on Ebay by using your account, you can do so. After you have done shopping, when check out, the linked PayPal account will pop up and ask you to enter your login information in order to submit your payment.
Inside PayPal account
2. Basic functions:
“Protection for items not received
When you ship to the address on this page and provide proof that the item was delivered, you’re protected against claims for items not received. For complete requirements, seeterms.
Protection for unauthorized payments
When you ship to the address on this page and provide proof that the item was shipped, you’re protected against claims for unauthorized payments. For complete requirement, see terms.”
Therefore as a seller, when receiving a payment, you need to make sure you are eligible for seller protection (as showing in the picture below) – to give you a safe mind.
3. Paypal fees: PayPal is collecting fees while providing the platform and protection to help buyers and sellers complete financial transactions.
The amount of fees that PayPal collects can be found in the 8th section of this file. What I want to emphasis here is merchant rates, because it can potentially save you some money. The following is an example for domestic purchase payments in Canadian Dollars. Make sure to apply for merchant rates when you have bid volume in sales as that 0.4% – 1% does matter in your profit margin.
Please follow this instruction to apply for merchant rates:
Fees (once log in, click the link “fees” at the bottom of log in page – right above the copyright info) -> purchase (click on the link in the purchase section on the left hand side) -> PayPal Merchant Fees (click on the link in the “accepting payment” section) -> standard merchant services (click on the link, “view all fees” in “standard merchant services” section) -> Volume Tiers (click the link in “Volume Tiers” section)
I think I will end this post here, but that does not mean I went through all the major functions of PayPal. In fact, if you run an online store (I mean by having your domain name, own website.), PayPal can provide much more powerful tools, however as my purpose is to help Ebay sellers, the information above should be sufficient.
To the readers
I apologize for the long and dry demonstration. I was trying my best to make everything as clear as possible. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.
Even though most of you have had some experiences with ebay, I still want to spend some time to go over the process of setting accounts with Ebay and Paypal very quickly here. I know newbies will definitely appreciate it, so please bear with me. If you have already gone through all the account setting of Ebay and Paypal, you can definitely skip this article and check my next few blog posts for other information.
No matter where you are located in the world, I will suggest you to try to register your account at ebay.com. Even though some of the functions are not working for you if you are not living in USA, as long as you can list your products onto ebay.com, always start from there, because ebay.com is the top ebay site with the most visitors. I don’t how many times I want to mention it here – For an online business entrepreneur, traffic and conversion rates are the only two things matter to you.
In this post, I will use pictures to demonstrate the process. As there are lots of details I want to emphasize, in my opinion, videos might not work as well as pictures. Of course if you miss my voice, you can always go to my YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/createvalueshare.
Register an ebay account is very straight forward, after you go to ebay.com, on the left hand side of your screen (see the picture below on the left hand side), you will see a link to bring you to the registration page. Click on the link and fill out the information on the registration page (see the picture below on the right hand side)
I will highly recommend to have a separate email address for your ebay business. Depending on the number of listing and your sales volume. You might expect well over 100 emails a day – I an not kidding, so in order to make your life easier, please do not use your regular daily personal email address that you communicate with family and friends for the business purpose. If you are having trouble to register any email address, please check my video on How to register a Gmail Email Account.
Once you submit you personal information, you will receive confirmation on your computer screen and also in your email box that you provided to Ebay and you will be logged into you new ebay account automatically.
Paypal as a financial institution handling online payment for buyers and sellers need more information for its account opening. Similar to ebay, the “Sign Up” link (as showing below)
will bring you to the page to choose account type. As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s completely up to you run the Ebay business online as a person or business. If personal, I will suggest to go with Premier as it provides functions to seller for collecting payment.
All the detail personal information is mandate. When there is any change to your personal information, make sure you update the information as soon as possible as I am assuming you do not want to miss any important message from Paypal when they have questions about money in your account.
After you fill out the personal information, Paypal will ask you to link either your bank account or credit card to your Paypal account. As a seller, you will most likely transfer your profit from Paypal account to bank account in the future, I will suggest you to go with “Pay with my Bank Account”.
Unless you know your banking information by heart like me, (My advantage of working for a financial institution before kicks in here!) you will need a cheque handy to enter your banking information. After you enter all the information, the following page will appear as to be safe, Paypal wants to confirm your account to make sure it gets linked to your right account.
One more important thing to mention here is to get your Paypal account confirmed as soon as you receive the two small amount deposited into your bank account. This will remove the limit on your Paypal account. For details of verifying your account and limit on your brand new unverified account, please click on the link on the front page of your Paypal account. (as showing below)
It sounds very sad. So does it mean that you as a beginner have no opportunities at all. Absolutely not! There are tons of small manufacturers and suppliers out there, who are not very well known and could not even afford to budget on their massive marketing yet. They are waiting to find retailers to spread out their brand as quickly as possible, but the problem is, if they don’t speak loudly, how are you able to hear their voice?