Ebay is a great way of selling many things, including niche products like those we’re interested in. People all over the world use the site, so your access to a huge potential market is assured. On the other hand, you’ll be just one among huge numbers of other traders; so what can you do to stand out from the crowd and give your new business a better chance of success?
Do your product research
Before doing anything else, you need to think carefully about the products you’re going to be selling. Is there a gap in the market, something not easily available elsewhere? Are there any parts that you know there is a high demand for? What problems are the different models suffering from most regularly? For example, the 2008 Accord has had a lot of issues with premature brake wear, while owners of Toyota’s 2001 Rav4 have been consistently reporting problems with the transmission.
You’ll also need to be able to demonstrate product knowledge. More than with most items up for sale on Ebay, being able to give expert advice is vital if you’re going to earn the trust – and hopefully business – of potential buyers.
Check out the competition
There are a lot of people trading on Ebay and some of them are going to be in the same business as you. Before you decide on anything else, take a look at what they’re selling, how much they’re charging and what their delivery terms are. There’s no point doing it at all if someone else is going to be selling the same stuff cheaper and delivering it quicker.
The other thing worth doing is taking a look at their reviews to discover what they’ve done right and what they’ve done wrong. That means you can take advantage of the lessons they’ve learned the hard way and know from the start what your customers are going to be expecting in terms of pricing and service.
Once you know what you want to sell and you know what you want to charge, getting everything listed is relatively straightforward – they like to make it easy for even the most technophobic of potential users to register! There is a guide on the site that will take you through the process step by step. Make sure you place it in the right category, so that you can be easily found.
Think carefully about the sort of terms people looking for your products are likely to use in the search engine, and use them in your product titles and descriptions. You can get some help finding the right keywords using Google’s Adwords, which will show you how many times people are searching for particular words and phrases both locally and worldwide.
Lastly, whenever possible, include pictures of your items and label them with your top relevant keywords.
Look after your customers
Talk to your customers and do your best to earn their trust. Respond quickly to any questions with clear and accurate information. Once a customer commits to a purchase, keep them informed of the status of their order – when it’s been dispatched, when delivery is expected and so on. If you want to make a success of an Ebay business, you need people to want to give you a good rating to tell others that you’re a reliable and trustworthy supplier. To do that, you need to provide the very best customer service to give them that reason to recommend you.
Packaging and delivery
Making a sale is not the end of the matter – to get those all-important ratings which will help bring in new business, you need to ensure the goods reach the customer safely and in the timeframe promised. Find reputable packaging suppliers who’ll be able to provide strong, high quality cardboard boxes and the sort of protective packaging (bubble wrap or packing peanuts, perhaps) that will look after your parts wherever in the world you send them. You’ll also need to find a reliable courier you can trust to deliver quickly.
Just as your potential customers can use your Ebay reviews when deciding whether to purchase from you, you can check out possible packing suppliers and couriers on sites like Trustpilot and see what others think of their service levels. You may still get marked down when your customer comes to rate you if there’s been a problem with the delivery, even if it wasn’t your fault!