Home eCommerce Blog eBay Store Benefits -- Much More than Low Insertion Fees!!

eBay Store Benefits -- Much More than Low Insertion Fees!!

This is a guest post from SaleHoo member, eBay Powerseller and Former eBay Top Seller Account Manager, Erika Garnica.

When eBay announced recently that SIF (Store Inventory Format) listings would be going the way of the dodo, there was widespread panic, confusion and concern on the part of many eBay sellers.  In my capacity as an eBay trainer and consultant, I spoke with dozens of these sellers around the time of the announcement, and the overriding question most of them asked me was, “Should I close my store?”

Like many others, these sellers were under the mistaken impression that the primary benefit of having an eBay store was the lower insertion fee associated with SIF listings.   I’m going to tell you now what I told them, and what I hope you remember forever.....the main benefits of having an eBay Store have nothing to do with lower insertion fees.  They never have. 

But first, the answer to the question, “Should I close my store?” in most cases is a resounding “NO!” If your eBay selling activity merits opening a store in the first place, then by all means, keep it open! In my opinion (one which was formed during 6 1/2 years working at eBay in Seller Support, followed by the next 1 1/2 years as an eBay expert and Powerseller), the only sellers who should not open an eBay store (or keep it open, as the case may be), are those whose monthly sales are less than $100, and/or who only list a few items here and there, those who aren’t serious about selling on eBay and making a living at it. 

Anyone who has around at least 20-25 listings up on eBay all the time and/or is making a few hundred dollars or more on eBay every month can benefit greatly from opening an eBay store. 

I could write volumes about all of the benefits of having an eBay Store, but in the interest of presenting you with an understandable, concise summary, I’m going to divide them into 2 types of benefits -- benefits ON eBay and benefits OUTSIDE of eBay.

Benefits On eBay

1.    You'll have a unique, personalized and customized section of eBay just for your listings to be presented to potential buyers.
2.    You'll be able to develop your own brand, including a color scheme, theme, logo, and format for your Store, to become more memorable and recognizable to other eBay users, particularly buyers.
3.    You'll be able to have a Store header at the top of all of your item descriptions that includes links to some of your Store products/categories/pages, your Store logo and/or color scheme, and even a search box for buyers to search all of the items in your store right from an item page for one of your listings.
4.    You'll have access to many additional advertising and marketing tools and techniques, including the ability to create Promotional Boxes to display prominently on your main Store homepage, announcing new items, specials, sales, or featured products
5.    You'll have an email mailing list for which eBay users can sign up and opt in to receive promotional emails, newsletters, etc. from you, all of which will include links to some of your current listings so people can essentially buy your items right from their email inboxes!
6.    You'll have several different buttons, links, icons, logos, etc. you can use to promote your store and drive attention and traffic to it.

Benefits Outside eBay

1.    Having an eBay Store is one of the most effective methods of obtaining exposure for your listings outside of eBay.  There are many features included with an eBay Store that can provide greater prominence to your listings within the search results on Google, Yahoo and other search engine websites, and many of these don’t exist within regular eBay listings.  For example, the Search Engine Keywords feature within “Manage My Store” gives you the invaluable opportunity of determining your own keywords and meta tags for Google indexing. 
2.    Along with that, there are certain sections of your eBay Store that are highly searchable on the internet, even more so than your Store in general, and you can optimize those aspects of your Store quite easily to improve your rankings in the search results on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.  One of the most notable of these is the custom pages you can create, which are considered extremely content-rich and thus, highly searchable.
3.    You'll have a FREE subscription to Traffic Reports, which measures how many people visit your store, where they came from, what they looked at/clicked on within your store, what keywords they typed in that took them to your store, etc., so you can continue refining and streamlining your store pages, keywords, etc. and constantly be improving it to obtain more and more traffic and site visitors which will then turn into more and more buyers, purchases, sales, and money for you.
4.    You'll have several different buttons, links, icons, logos, etc. you can use outside eBay to promote your store and drive attention and traffic to it.
5.    You'll have several promotional tools available to you so you can print store-branded business cards, promotional flyers, email templates, etc. and market your store both online and offline.

Last but definitely not least, you'll be given a toll-free telephone number to contact eBay Stores Support, which is a luxury non-Store sellers don't get unless they become a Powerseller, instead of or as well as having a Store.

Believe it or not, these fantastic features and benefits are just the tip of the iceberg of the vast multitude of functionality and abilities suddenly available to you when you open an eBay Store.  Every serious eBay seller needs to have a Store, without question.

Erika Garnica
eBay User ID theauctionguru
http://stores.ebay.com/theauctionguru
eBay Powerseller and Top-Rated Seller
Former eBay Top Seller Account Manager

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18 Comments Add your comment
Full Member
Hi Erika; thank you for writing this blog, you're so spot on on the immense benefits an Ebay store can have. I have 2 Ebay stores, one at Powerseller level and another smaller one. I find that each time I go into "Manage My Store", there's always something new I learn and I'm amazed about all the different features and benefits for any serious seller. Once a seller has an Ebay store it is very important to update it regularly just like you would to a traditional "bricks n mortar" store. Change the layout, colors, fonts, promotion boxes, custom pages, create sale items, etc, give potential buyers something new and exciting to entice them to stay around for awhile. Regarding the great benefit of being able to add keywords and meta tags for search engine capabilities is fantastic and it really works! I test it every month or so. I just do a search on Google for the name or particular product I have in my store, and "voila" my store page link with that particular item comes up on the very first page of the search- wonderful! In conclusion, having an Ebay store is crucial for any serious seller's selling success. Once again, thank you for bringing this subject up on Salehoo. Regards, Susana Reply
Being a store owner and power-seller, what you point out has great value. I use most of the tricks in your article. I find my worst enemy is myself, finding the time to update all the time is hard to do, but has great value with the search engines. We also get special offers from eBay now and again, only for store owners. What do you think of the new Prostores, and what are their benefits, would like to hear from current prostore owners. Reply
Full Member
Thanks Erika! I've been using eBay for several years and love it... i've never opened a store b/c i've never been able to find anything i was able to sell consistently. I'll plan on opening one now as soon as i hit my first goal of making $100/mo (and be able to sustain that). Is there anything in particular you see people doing w/ their stores that is a BIG mistake? Thanks again!! :) Reply
Thank you. I am new to ebay selling and appreciate all your information regarding advantages of having an ebay store. Someday I hope to have enough product and sales to warrant a store. Reply
SaleHoo is doing a great job of keeping members informed of ways to benefit starting a business and growing one. This blog is proof of that. I hope to be able to use the information in the future, when I get organized Thanks. Reply
Without doubt one of the most factual blog's i've read to date on eBay stores, its informative and realistic, everyone who is on eBay (with or without e Bay store) should read this blog, as i agree entirely with every detail. Thankyou & Well Done! Andrew Burgess eBay id:andyb667788 UK Powerseller & Top Rated Seller http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Andy-s-Lifestyle-Bargains Reply
You forgot to mention the piece of mind you get from knowing that you are making ebay millions of dollars while you put everything you have into your store just to make a small profit or break even. Ebay's mismanagement and corporate greed has ruined a lot of our businesses as they continue to jack up the fees and provide horrible customer service. Yes, while I still sell (some) on ebay just out of necessity, I am looking forward to the day I can rid myself of this Stalinistic corporation bent on reaping the rewards of my blood, sweat, and tears Reply
THANKS FOR SHARING THIS WITH US. I LIKE MY EBAY STORE BUT WOULD LIKE TO MAKE MORE MONEY AND MORE TRAFFIC TO MY STORE. I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO WORK IT FULL TIME AND MAKE A LIVING SO I WOULDN'T HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER JOB. BEING NEW ON THE COMPUTER I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE ALL THE BENIFITS THAT GOES WITH THE STORE. AND DON'T HAVE THE FUNDS TO BUY MORE TRAFFIC TO MY STORE. I APPRECIATE EBAY FOR THE HELP THEY HAVE GIVEN ME TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A STORE ON EBAY. Reply
thanks for the great info ! please keep it coming !!! Reply
Hi sandra K, just a hint Upper case writing is SHOUTING, some people get very upset about that, i have done it before and have been told : ) To add to the store blog being a trade assistant is a good way to bring in product with out cost to you only profit, if you work it. Reply
Full Member
Fantastic thanks Erica this clears up this issue for me as a Ebay powerseller who as been trying to make up my mind as to wether to open a store or not you have sold me on the benifits so i just got to get of my tush and do it Reply
Using Upper case writing may be associated with shouting to some people, but it is so much easier for us older people to read. lol I just wish more would do this. It's a shame that someone can get upset over such a minor thing when it actually helps others. chipsdigitalpc, I have to say I understand what you are referring to. I still list some products on Ebay as a buy it now, but I closed my ebay store over 2 yrs ago due to the high fees I was being charged. I was selling about $1100.00 a month but after paying Ebay and Paypal fees I was barely clearing anything. Usually less than $100.00 and sometime I went in the red.. There are some benefits to having the stores, but each seller has to make their own decision if it's worth having a store or not. It flat was not for me. It was a lot of work for such a small profit in my opinion. Ebay has the traffic there is no denying that, however in these hard times, it has now boiled down to who is selling the products the customer is looking for,r at the lowest price. I really don't feel rating on the sellers matter that much, unless they are just really low The new lower listing fees are a great start in selling on ebay, but until they cut back on the finalization fees, I don't think anyone will be able to make much profit selling on Ebay, unless they want to list thousands of items. One thing that I never understood is why a seller with an Ebay store would mark their products higher in their stores, and then put them out at auctions at a greatly reduced price. Then they wondered why they sell so much in the auctions than they do in their stores. Since they are selling it for less in the auctions, why would anyone go to their stores and purchase from there? If I sent something to auction that I also had in my store, I usually started the bids at just 1-2 dollars less for those that are addicted to bidding and can't force themselves to do the Buy it now. When I closed my Ebay store it was after I did a comparison between it and the store I had opened on eCrater.com. I sold less on eCrater but cleared about $200.00 more due to the fees I was being charged.. Now I make sure that everything I list in my eCrater store is less than what I have a as a buy it now on Ebay. I can do this only because of the fees Ebay charges. I figure out what Ebays fees are going to be then mark the items according to what Ebay was going to charge. I keep a little more of this profit myself , but then the customer gets the larger savings. This way we both win and they have a reason to get off Ebay. Ok rambling here now..lol I think you get my drift. Reply
Full Member
Very good explanation of the benefits. I agree as successful store owner at different levels over the years. I'd like to point out the biggest benefit I have had sales wise and that would be the up sell feature and inclusion of similar items showing up as an option at checkout. While I know this feature should still exist , it wont ever be the same without an inventory of store listed items only. There were tons of items I sold at checkout that were not listed on eBay but were in my store. I will now lose those sales. sure if I want to still have them, I could list them for sale on the marketplace, but products I sold had a low conversion rate that way. New policy stinks . The pitfalls of the change were not mentioned and should be considered. It will be more costly to run my store and operating on thin profit margins already for many on the highly competitive eBay marketplace is just going to get worse. Reply
Full Member
I also share the same feelings in regards to eBay fees. I have just started my eBay store and after 2 months now, I am breaking even. The sad part of all this is simply volume and time. If you dont sell alot in a short span then you get hit by listing fees every 7 days, store fees and so on. Doing so is of course very profitable to eBay but it slowly chips away on my profit. I am not one to give up, so I am considering investing more into my store in time and money to see where this journey will lead me. My concern is more items I list in hopes of provding more variety will also result in more fees. So if I dont sell more, I would definitely be spending more in listing fees and eBay will reap the benefits. I am also trying my hand at eBid, they have no listing fees and a very smal FVF @ only 2%. However you must keep in mind, eBay has an average of 14.5 million listings where as eBid has around 1.2 millions. If you are interested in viewing more comparison and stats, I came across this site that you might find interesting. http://online-auction-sites.toptenreviews.com Thank you for posting my comments, good luck and great success to all. Reply
Full Member
Well i took the plunge and opened a store a couple of weeks ago only benifits i have seen so far are lower insertion fees and longer duration listings up to 30 days plenty views and watchers but no action everything is priced very competivealy or even lower than same products, where as i was selling before using 7 day Buy it now listings and auctions without a store (i am a power seller) now i have a few of the same items sitting in my store not selling as Buy it Nows or Make an offer., running as Auctions going of like hot potatoes at the same time as the Buy it now 30 day listings doing nothing! Am i not suppose to see a 25% sales increase i read somewhere on this forum or was that a 50% increase in Ebay fees. Maybe i am doing something wrong or i picked a bad time to change my selling format ie sales are down all round? i dont know i feel i may have made a bad move? Reply
Site Admin
Hi pcostie, How are things with your eBay store? Hope things are much better :) I can't say exactly, what may have caused the drop in your sales, but you might want to work on driving more traffic to your store. One thing you can try if you haven't already is keep some of your Buy It Now listings - these will be a potential source of traffic and old customers will learn about your new store. All the best! Reply
Full Member
OK now i am eating my words i started a store first month or so results were dismal only things selling were my 99c auctions was ready to close down my store and go back to my old format of selling but gradually sales started rising now at a point where i am flat out answering customer inquires and ordering products. As i only do this part time most of my spare time is taken up with this (wife not Happy) am i making Money? i haven't had the time to access more sales more money=more eBay fees Reply
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