If you’re considering getting started in e-commerce, having your own eBay store is a great way to gain experience—it’s like putting your own website up right on eBay. According to eBay University Instructor Janelle Elms (http://JanelleElms.com, http://StoresSuccessVideo.com), there are considerable advantages to starting online with an eBay store rather than an independent website:
•It’s quick and easy. Launching a website involves time and preparation—you have to secure a domain name, find a host, and then design your web pages, or hire someone to do it for you. With eBay, you can literally have a store up and running in a matter of hours.
•It’s cost-effective. At only $16 a month, it’s highly affordable. And many of the marketing and optimization tools you would pay for with a stand-alone site are included for free with your eBay store. Says Elms, “The marketing opportunities are phenomenal. I’ve had clients who’ve ranked number one on MSN, Yahoo, and Google, for sixteen dollars a month.”
•It produces fast results. You can spend months optimizing and advertising a traditional website before you start seeing results; but with an eBay store, you have built-in traffic from the moment you go live. With some 212 million registered users, eBay stores give you the ability to reach a significantly larger audience. And because eBay’s site is already optimized, eBay stores tend to rank higher with the major search engines than independent websites.
While most people realize starting an eBay store is often the simplest, most successful entry route into the world of ecommerce, many of them mistakenly believe that, for one reason or another, it wouldn’t work for them. Following are some of the more common excuses people give for not cashing in on this valuable resource AND the reasons why those excuses don’t work:
•“I sell services.” This is just a simple matter of marketing. Services can easily be packaged and sold in an eBay store, and you can quickly gain significant exposure for your business.
•“I have a brick and mortar store.” If you have a physical storefront, eBay stores present a great opportunity for you, not only to find buyers for merchandise that doesn’t sell well in your brick and mortar store, but also to expand your business to a much wider audience.
•“I already have a stand-alone website.” Having an eBay store is a great way to market your website. By utilizing eBay’s marketing tools, you could have nothing in your eBay store and just have your business marketed to the entire world on a shoestring budget—no other place on the internet gives you that kind of opportunity.
EBay stores offer an easy learning environment when you’re beginning in online retail, and an effective means of expansion as your business grows. They work well as a complement to your existing business, or they can become your full-time income. But Elms asserts, “If you’re going to be successful online, you’re going to have to have an eBay store—they’re just that powerful!”