Even if you are new to online business and eCommerce, you might still be aware that eBay.com and Amazon.com are the most popular online shopping sites all over the world. They are not just the favored, but also the largest and oldest eCommerce companies found on the web. They have built an empire with the ability to offer tons of various opportunities for every entrepreneur, whether you’re a beginner or have been in this field for quite some time. Amazon even garnered USD 136 Billion in its 2016 net sales.
Whether you sell digital products, physical products, or other items, Amazon and eBay offer a lot of possibilities for you to market your item. These sites offer unmatched opportunities for you to use their sites to acquire the maximum visibility for your company or business. Hence, if you are planning to do business via eBay and Amazon, here are 12 online business tips to build your empire.
Online Business Tip #1: Create your Unique Personal or Business Account
In starting an online business, your first decision will involve whether you want to set up a personal or a business account. Thus, you must first read and determine the dos and don’ts, as well as the policies, for each account type. Unless you have already put up a business unit and are ready to begin earning some cash, you should first start with creating a personal account. If your personal account grows, then you can change it to a business account. However, if you already have a business unit, whether it’s an online business or just a retail store, you can start with creating a business account.
If you badly want to kick-start your business and open an Amazon or eBay business account, you have to see to it that it is created legally and in accordance to the policies of the two eCommerce companies. This will include registering your account using your business name and state. Everything you do must be in accordance to your state’s laws, especially when it comes to the sales tax collections.
Online Business Tip #2: Set Up a PayPal Account
Once you have created an Amazon or eBay account, whether for personal or business purpose, it is high time that you set up a PayPal account. This is very important if you want to get paid in the most convenient and accessible way once you start engaging in your online business. You can either use your personal PayPal account or set up an official business PayPal account. However, it is highly suggested that you create an official business account so as to avoid any mixing of income and charges. Also, PayPal allows a user to have two PayPal accounts: one for personal use and the other for your business. As of October 10, 2016, PayPal has a total of 15 million active merchant accounts.
It is also imperative that when you create your account, each must have a unique bank account and email address associated to it. It must also be linked to a unique credit card. Another fact regarding PayPal is that buyers don’t normally pay fees when they use it. However, sellers have a different footing since PayPal lets them pay a certain amount. The current bill to be paid by a seller is 2.9%, with an additional $0.30 for every transaction.
Online Business Tip #3: List Products after Procuring Shipping Supplies
When you want to list your product for sale on eBay and Amazon, you will be tasked to input the dimensions of the weight and box of your product. This means that you have to secure the cushioning material, box, and weight of your product before submitting the listing. Don’t give estimates for the size of your box, the size of your cushioning material, and even the weight of your package. Give exact measurements when you submit the listing.
Likewise, it is important that you do not accept the possible options that will automatically increase based on what other individuals or sellers do with their shipment. This will really mess up the shipping fees of the product you are trying to sell. If you’ll be the one to pay for the shipping fees, you will end up paying a much larger amount than what you expect. On the other hand, if you decide to let the buyer pay for the shipping fees, they will have the expectation of paying the actual cost provided. Thus, they will be disappointed or furious if they find out that they have to pay a higher price.
Online Business Tip #4: Use Quality Packaging
Few eBay and Amazon sellers know that using quality packaging can increase their sales and help them avoid additional charges. It is also important to give your buyers the biggest impression that you can make on the value of the product you are selling. The difference between amateur and professional packaging creates an enormous impact on the buyers. Attractive wrappers or packaging make a big difference. Hence, you should select quality packaging if you want your buyers to keep on purchasing your items. There are times when packaging fees become generally insignificant, especially when your product is bought in bulk.
Likewise, you should include a unique printed card that provides an explanation of what your buyer’s possible options are if they want to return the product. You can even add occasional promotions and other pieces of information on the printed card.
Online Business Tip #5: Generate Physical Products and Leverage Growth in Digital Product Sales
Once you’ve completed the set up, it is now important that you know how to generate your physical product sales and leverage the growth of your digital product sales. In generating the former on eBay and Amazon, you should try to take advantage of the marketplace, pro-merchant account, and web store.
Apart from this, it is also advisable that you create and sell print-on-demand DVDs and books when you use Amazon. You can use Amazon Create Space for this purpose. Likewise, you can publish a book or just a short description to build the credibility of your business. You can even use your digital products as part of your upselling strategy.
Online Business Tip #6: Use Professional Photos
Every customer buys an item, depending on its quality and how it looks. Thus, it is imperative that you assign product photos that look professional. You must entice the customer to view your product. You must also post photos that will stand out from the rest if you want to gain more viewers and buyers. Although it may be challenging, especially when you are selling clothes or apparel, you should never stop making your images look beautiful and recognizable. Try to learn how to capture photos using various technologies and lighting, so as to avoid further expense from hiring a professional photographer. You can even ask a friend who has the hands of a professional photographer to capture the images for free.
If you don’t have the skills, you can always use Photoshop to enhance your images. Just make sure that they will not be totally different from your actual product. You don’t want to deceive your customers.
Online Business Tip #7: Ensure Your Availability
Since eBay and Amazon are the top eCommerce sites on the web, they operate 24/7. Thus, if you engage in this kind of online business, you should be available most of the time, since you will be receiving emails 24/7. You don’t want to keep your buyers waiting for your response because there will be times that they’ll get tired and look for other sellers who are readily available. However, if you need to keep them waiting because of your busy schedule, you can just email them a holding message. This way, you will be able to get back to them without any worries.
To keep your buyers informed of the opening hours for any transactions, you can simply state the opening hours on your listings. You can also set your phone to receive the emails so that you can answer your buyer’s queries even if you’re on the go.
Online Business Tip #8: Properly Handle Returns and Feedback
One of the hardest lessons in online business involves the returns and feedback on your products. Here, all products are normally sold at auction basis. There is also a warning stating “buyer beware” for the consumers’ protection. Thus, selling items on eBay and Amazon can be tough. You will be trying your best to avoid possible mistakes so as to please your buyers. However, there will always be instances when your buyers may become irrational and unreasonable. In this regard, it is better not to quibble over returns, since you can no longer do anything to change the situation.
As for the feedback rating, let it serve as a challenge for you. Since you sell products according to your buyer’s preference, you should know by now that you can never please every single buyer. Hence, it is wise to get those negative feedback ratings and consider it as an area for improvement. Also, when you are just starting, you need to begin with a high feedback rating to give the impression that you’re reliable and well-established. Since you are doing online business, you should know that buyers feel confident in purchasing your items if you are a well-established seller. Although it may be tough, you have to go through this process if you want to create an eBay or Amazon empire.
Online Business Tip #9: Look at Your Competitors
Another key to attaining a successful online business is to jump-start your business such that you stand out from the rest. Thus, it is imperative that you look at your competitors. Study their product descriptions, the images they are posting, and the other things that will help you reach and surpass their level. Think of unique ideas that will give you leverage in comparison to other sellers. You can even have discounts and other promos that will entice your buyers to choose your item.
Online Business Tip #10: Never Place a .99 Cents Auction
If you have understood and studied the eBay and Amazon fees before you submitted your listing, you will know what the consequences will be. Thus, you should know that eBay and Amazon also get paid as soon as you have completed a transaction. You must understand that your profit does not directly go to your PayPal account. There will still be some fees that you should pay from using eBay’s and Amazon’s platform.
Online Business Tip #11: Know the Import and VAT Duties
Since you are engaging in a global market, you must know the different import and VAT duties of your buyer’s location. You need to include the possible VAT and postage charges to your product price in order for your buyers to pay for them. Likewise, you should be aware of the import duties that will be charged to your buyers who are located outside your state. You have to see to it that you comply with the rules of the Customs Declaration every time you complete the transaction.
Online Business Tip #12: Take Advantage of the Seller Tools
To make your online business easier and more convenient to run, you should know how to make use or take advantage of the available seller tools. EBay provides a wide array of tools and technology to make precise listings that will help you manage your business more easily. It has a Sales Manager Pro service that permits you to manage your feedback, disputes, posts, sales, and auctions from a single page.
These are just some of the many online business tips to help you build your eBay and Amazon Empire. Do your research before you engage in this kind of business in order to ensure your success.