It’s no secret that eBay is a veritable behemoth as an online marketplace. If you’re running a sales-based business on the internet, eBay is one of the most robust sales avenues an online marketer can take advantage of in order to increase market exposure and boost revenue — in fact, it’s almost a must that you do. eBay can be used by just about anyone selling over the internet to increase their business’ exposure to potential customers and increase sales. If you’re running an online store, or thinking of starting one, it would be wise to take account of how also implementing and making use of an eBay store can work to compliment and support your online store in order to help maximize results.
A lot of online store owners tend to focus either exclusively on their stand-alone online store, or they open an eBay store and instead focus entirely on that. Doing business this way, however, in the world of online sales, is really kind of like cheating yourself. If you’re exclusively operating and focusing on an eBay store, then your entire revenue stream is reliant on eBay — an independent, third-party business that you have no control over. Your business is effectively shackled to eBay, and exists at the whim of eBay’s terms, conditions and polices. If they make a change to any of those things that has the result of crippling your earning power somehow there’s not much you can do about it — and, you could find yourself in a situation where you see your, up until now, successful business that was paying your bills begin to falter, irrevocably, overnight. Your business, of course, will also be entirely subject to any and all fees that eBay decides to apply to your store. And, eBay has the ability to raise or lower such fees pretty much arbitrarily and entirely at their own discretion.
On the other side of the coin, if you’re exclusively operating and focusing on your own stand-alone online store, then you’re simply not taking advantage of the very broad exposure to relevant markets that the eBay behemoth offers. It’s also a much simpler task for consumers to find the products that they’re already primed to purchase through a central marketplace hub like eBay, rather than hunting around a myriad of different individual online store websites. And, eBay carries with it a badge of trustworthiness to the average consumer — your online store website, which most visitors are probably only hearing of for the very first time when they first visit, most likely does not. Everybody knows eBay. And, people, in general, have little or no qualms about making purchases through eBay. The same is likely not true for your online store.
So, one should, by now, be able to see how using both and wisely integrating the two to compliment each other would be attractive for those selling on the internet. An online merchant would do well to leverage the independence, personal control and security of a stand-alone store, and also reap the benefits of being able to tap the market exposure potential of the eBay store.
The most advantageous way to make use of both methods of online selling is to use eBay and the tools and services it provides to attract and acquire new customers for the purpose of directing them to your stand-alone, individual online store. It’s important to note, however, that eBay has a policy of not allowing store operators to direct viewers away from the Ebay site to an alternate point of sale on any eBay product page. So, attempting to direct eBay viewers to your personal web store in this way can easily get you banned from eBay. But, there are means for using eBay to publicize your personal online store that fall entirely within eBay’s acceptable use policies. Creating an ‘About Me’ page on your eBay store which informs visitors about yourself and/or your business and mentions the website for your online store is one such method. Another is to imprint any image you upload to your eBay store with an identifying watermark — such a watermark might display your logo, along with the URL to your online store.
A good many of the better eCommerce software packages today offer eBay store integration modules for their software suite. Such modules allow the operator of an online store using one of these online store software packages to add functionality to their administration area that will allow them, usually with just the click of a button, to add products directly to their associated eBay store when publishing new products to their online store’s catalog. The better of these will provide the online store operator with total control over what items will be added and displayed, and exactly how they will be displayed, or removed, from your associated eBay store, and will automatically update products on your eBay store entirely from your stand-alone online store software — usually without any manual intervention required on your part.
There’s no doubt that a wise online store owner will want to integrate the operations of their own online store with that of an eBay store and use the symbiotic relationship between the two to help maximize revenue potential. But, not all types of products are well suited to being sold through eBay. If you’re dealing in such a product, or perhaps some sort of service, that isn’t well suited to being sold through an eBay store, you can still take advantage of the benefits that integrating an eBay store with your own individual online store provides. You simply need to source products for resale that in fact are suited to such. Simply take advantage of a service such as SaleHoo to source products that can easily be added to an eBay store of your creation. Use Salehoo to find dropshippers offering products which might be in some way related to the market you’re selling to with your regular inventory. Since the products are dropshipped directly by the supplier, there isn’t any added hassle to you in handling product in order to fulfill your orders. You simply receive the sale and payment from your eBay store, and put the order in with your supplier — all electronically — to have them fulfill the order and ship the product ordered out to your buyer. Of course, your eBay store still has your “About Me” page informing visitors of your main online store, and your images are all still watermarked with the intention of doing the same. Plus, when you do make a sale, you can include promotional materials for your online store — perhaps special deals, incentives or offers — when corresponding with the eBay buyer who has purchased from your eBay store.