Surprisingly a common question for new businesses starting out on eBay and the short answer is no, you don’t need to have an eBay shop to list items on eBay.
However there are a few scenarios that we should consider to answer this question fully and in this article I cover them.
The Private eBay Seller
If you are only selling the odd couple of personal items per month, then an eBay shop for you would be almost pointless and an expense you can easily avoid. While you are now allowed to open an eBay shop as a ‘private seller’, insertion fees for the 30 day listing format is 20p would probably mean you are verging on the ‘Semi-Professional seller’ covered in a few moments.
So for a few items per month, opening an eBay shop is not really required, unless you wish to upgrade your account and use the additional features of the eBay shop and the 30 days listing format.
The Semi-Professional Seller
If you are selling items continuously on eBay, then it may be prudent to open an eBay shop. There are many reasons for doing so and these reasons are covered in articles on this site, however a brief outline is below of the key features
- Its your own, brand-able slice of eBay
- Potentially cheaper to list on eBay
- You can categorise your listings in a matter that makes sense to you and your customers
- You can add a minimum of 5 custom pages to your eBay shop
- Increase exposure on eBay
- Put your listings on hold, if you are away
- A “listing frame” for your listings
- A single point of reference for all your live items
- You can add & control cross-promotions
- Newsletter list & email marketing tool
These are just a short list of the benefits of opening an eBay shop, the main benefit other than having your own slice of eBay is that you are able to use the Good Till Cancelled (known as GTC) listing format, which allows you to list items for much less than it would in 10 day listings.
3 Questions To Ask Yourself
The best questions to ask yourself if you are considering opening an eBay shop are these:
- Do I have lots and lots of items to list on to eBay (eg more than say 40 per month)?
- Do I have lots of stock of one or more items?
- Do I want the extra features included with the eBay shop?
The Professional Seller
If you are listing multiple items onto eBay every day, or every few days and possibly have multiples of stock, then opening an eBay shop would be a great choice and probably quite a cost effective one also.
The listing fees would be much less than listing items through auctions / fixed price listings for 10 days. For example the current ‘Basic’ eBay shop fee is £14.99 per month and owning your shop would allow you to list items for 30 days for 10p.
There are a three subscription levels to the eBay shop, briefly we’ve covered the basic eBay shop level above, however there is also a feature eBay shop for £49.99 per month, with listing fees for GTC listings at 5p each and the level above that called ‘Anchor’ is £349.99, however the listing fees are free for GTC listings.
Quick Note on eBay Fees
While in May 2011 eBay made steps towards simplifying the eBay fees structure, they can still be a little confusing and that’s why I’m covering the basics here.
We’ve mentioned some fees for the eBay shop and the fees for the GTC eBay listing format, however we have no covered the final value fees and there are incentives to upgrade your account to a business seller on eBay IF it meets your business requirements.
For one the “Final Value Fee” or known as FVF for business sellers are almost always less than it would be as private seller, along with some discounts for reaching certain criteria as a seller. These are too complex to cover here in this article, however you should be aware these are to be noted and investigated thoroughly.
There are advantages to both account types, personal and business. However to sell on eBay doesn’t require that you create an eBay shop, although there are advantages such as lower fees and owning your own slice of eBay to market customers too. It really depends if you are a professional seller or a part-time seller.
A question is, which eBay shop description level do you have? Comment below!