When is the Right Time to Set Up an eBay Store?

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When is the right time to set up an eBay store?

💡 Quick Answer: The right time to set up an eBay store is when you're consistently generating a good volume of sales each month and find yourself frequently listing new products. If you're looking to build a recognizable brand, need better tools to manage your inventory, or want to save on fees, an eBay store is a good option. If your online selling is becoming more than just a hobby and you're ready to take it to the next level, it's time to set up a store.

For most people, starting an eBay business is very exciting. The desire to have a successful, thriving business and make lots of money right away can be overwhelming.

This makes some new sellers go a bit overboard in the beginning.

One of the primary ways new sellers often take on too much is by opening an eBay store as soon as they start selling on the platform.

This is a big mistake and an even bigger waste of money.

In this guide, we'll show you the best time to open an eBay store. We'll also cover how to set up your store, the benefits of having one, and how to optimize your listings.

Let's dive in!

What is an eBay Store?

An eBay store is a subscription-based service provided by eBay that allows sellers to create a customized online storefront. This storefront helps you showcase your products, manage inventory, and build a brand presence on eBay.

There are many features of an eBay store that justify its monthly subscription fee and can greatly enhance your eBay business.

  • Custom branding: Create a unique storefront with your own logo and design elements.
  • Advanced listing tools: Access to enhanced listing features and templates.
  • Marketing and promotion: Utilize promotional tools to drive traffic and sales.
  • Analytics and reporting: Gain insights into sales performance and customer behavior.
  • Reduced fees: Benefit from lower listing fees and final value fees on certain items.

However, new eBay sellers should not focus on these features before establishing a solid sales flow on the site.

Do you need a store to start selling on eBay?

No, you don't need a store to start selling on eBay. You can list and sell items directly on eBay without a store subscription.

Some new sellers get confused. They think having an eBay store is the equivalent of selling items on eBay. That's completely incorrect. In other words, they think they have to open an eBay store in order to list items for sale on eBay - again, that's totally inaccurate.

Can you succeed on eBay without a store?

Many, many eBay sellers don't have eBay stores and are still very successful at selling on eBay. In fact, having a store won't do much in and of itself to help sell your items or improve your sales. That's not the purpose of an eBay store, nor is increased sales a normal result of opening an eBay store - unless by pure coincidence.

There are many features of an eBay store that justify its monthly subscription fee and which can significantly enhance your eBay business. But new eBay sellers should not be taking the time to worry about any of these things before they've even established a solid sales flow on the site.

When should you open an eBay store?

eBay's official recommendation is that sellers should not even think about opening a store until they have at least 25 or more listings on eBay at all times, but I would venture to go a bit further.  Based on my 8 1/2 years of experience working at eBay and being an eBay Powerseller, I recommend that new sellers wait until they have been selling for at least 3-6 months on eBay as well, and until they are already generating at least $500 a month in sales.

Additionally, once you have met all of the above requirements, if you're still struggling with obtaining enough exposure for your listings and/or getting enough sales, you should hold off opening a store until you've made more progress in these areas.

You need to make sure and spend enough time to become very comfortable and efficient with the eBay listing and selling process. You also need enough time to learn how to refine and improve your listings and your listing strategy, as well as develop a successful approach to gaining exposure in eBay search results.

You will still have a Seller List that displays all of the items you have for sale. Sure, it's not fancy nor unique -- it looks almost like a regular eBay search results page -- but it gets the job done and then some.  In fact, many buyers prefer to review a seller's items from their Seller List instead of their store, since it's very easy to quickly review everything a seller has listed for sale, all on one page, which usually isn't what you'll see on a seller's main store page.

There will also be a prominent link to "See other items" on your listings, which will take people to your Seller List. It's really unnecessary to also have a store so people can quickly and easily see everything you have for sale.

Is it worth opening an eBay store?

At this point, you may be wondering whether you should ever open a Store. The answer is a resounding "YES." There's a reason why over 788,000 eBay sellers have created their own stores.

Opening an eBay store is definitely worth it if you're serious about selling online and want to grow your business. It offers significant benefits like reduced fees for high-volume sellers, better tools for managing and promoting your listings, and a more professional storefront that can attract more buyers.

Plus, features like custom categories and marketing tools can enhance your visibility and sales. If your sales are steady and you're looking to expand, an eBay store can provide the structure and support you need to succeed.

Let's take a closer look at the benefits of opening an eBay store.

On-platform benefits of having an eBay store

Customized storefront

You'll have a unique, personalized, and customized section of eBay just for your listings to be presented to potential buyers.

Brand development

You'll be able to develop your own brand, including a color scheme, theme, logo, and format for your Store. This can make you more memorable and recognizable to other eBay users, particularly buyers.

Store header

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.

Additional advertising and marketing tools

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.

Email mailing list

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. These will all include links to some of your current listings so people can essentially buy your items right from their email inboxes!

Promotional tools

You'll have several different buttons, links, icons, logos, etc., that you can use to promote your store and drive attention and traffic to it.

Off-platform benefits of having an eBay store

Exposure for listings

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.

Search Engine Keywords

The Search Engine Keywords feature within "Manage My Store" gives you the invaluable opportunity to determine your own keywords and meta tags for Google indexing.

Highly searchable sections

Certain sections of your eBay Store are highly searchable on the internet, even more so than your Store in general. You can easily optimize those aspects of your Store 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.

External promotional tools

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.

Printed promotional tools

You'll have several promotional tools available to you. For example, you can print store-branded business cards, promotional flyers, email templates, etc., and market your store both online and offline.

eBay Stores support

Last but definitely not least, you'll be given a toll-free telephone number to contact eBay Stores Support. This is a luxury that non-store sellers don't get unless they become Powersellers.

The main thing to remember about all the benefits listed above is that they are all supplementary tools, benefits, and resources to help improve your eBay sales. But they won't be very helpful to you unless you already have developed a solid, effective listing strategy and a healthy sales success rate.

How to set up an eBay store

Setting up an eBay store is a simple process that will lay the foundation for your online business. Let's break it down.

Step 1: Create an eBay account

First, you need an eBay account. It's super easy to set up. Just head over to eBay's homepage and look for the "Register" button.

Click on it, and you'll be prompted to enter some basic information like your name, email address, and a password.

Step 2: Subscribe to an eBay Store plan

With your account ready, it's time to choose the right store plan for your needs. Go to the eBay Stores subscription page. Here, you'll find several options like Starter, Basic, and Premium:

If you're already generating a ton of sales each month, you might want to go straight for an Anchor or Enterprise subscription:

Each plan comes with different features and benefits.

You need to consider a few factors when choosing your subscription. Think about how many items you plan to list, the level of customization you want, and your budget.

For example, a Basic plan might be perfect if you're just starting out. You get up to 1,000 free fixed-price listings per month. If you think you will sell more than that, go for a Premium Store.

When you've made a decision, click on your chosen plan. eBay will guide you through the subscription process. You may need to fill in some additional information and payment details.

Step 3: Customize your store

Now for the fun part - customizing your store!

Start by naming your store. Choose a unique, memorable name that reflects your brand. This name will be your store's identity, so make it catchy.

Next, think about your store's visual appeal. Create a logo and a banner that represents your brand.

If you're not too confident in your graphic design skills, you can hire a freelancer for an affordable price. Platforms like UpWork and Fiverr can help you connect with freelancers.

Your logo should be simple and distinctive. For your banner, you can create a branded design or highlight your key products.

Don't forget to write a compelling store description. Tell your potential customers who you are, what you sell, and what makes your products special. This is your chance to connect with your audience.

Step 4: Organize your store

Think of your eBay store as a physical shop. You'd want to have clear sections for different types of products, right? Create categories for your items to help customers easily find what they're looking for.

For example, if you're selling clothes, you might have categories like "Men's Wear," "Women's Wear," and "Accessories."

eBay isn't just for second-hand products. In fact, over 80% of listed products are brand new.

Check out the resources below if you need some help finding winning products for your store.

Step 5: Optimize your listings

Next, it's time to optimize your listings. You have two goals here: visibility and conversions.

Use relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions to increase the chances of your products being seen. This will help your items appear in search results for relevant queries. Think about what words buyers might use to find your products.

Clear, high-resolution photos are crucial for conversions. Show your product from multiple angles and highlight any important features.

Pricing is also important here. Look at what similar items are selling for on eBay to ensure your prices are attractive but still profitable.

Step 6: Set Store policies

The last step is to set your Store policies.

Start with your shipping policy. Let your customers know how long it will take for items to be shipped, the shipping methods you use, and the costs involved. Being transparent here helps build trust.

You also need to decide on your return policy. Will you accept returns? Within how many days? Under what conditions? Make this information easily accessible so customers know what to expect.

Growing a business on eBay in 2024

If you're aiming to build a brand, an eBay store can be a game-changer. But it's not something you need to rush into.

A store can accelerate your success. However, you need a solid foundation before you try to scale. First, focus on growing your sales and selling great products. Then, look to expand with a Store.

Looking for a reliable source of quality products? Check out the SaleHoo Directory. It's a comprehensive resource for finding trusted suppliers and profitable products.

Find lucrative eBay products!

Start your journey towards eBay success with SaleHoo. If you have any questions about eBay or eCommerce, our 24/7 customer support team is here to help.


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

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