eBay Store Changes Open New Avenues

There are many variables to consider, but stores can benefit even casual sellers.

by Danna Crawford
- Apr 12, 2010

eBay's recent pricing and format changes have given eBay Store subscribers a lot of questions to consider: Will I pay more or less in fees? Should I use auctions or stick with fixed-price? Should I upgrade my store? Do I even sell enough to justify the monthly store subscription fee?

After living with the changes for several weeks now, I can honestly say that the new eBay Store policies have actually made my life easier, while also giving my listings more exposure.

I'm an old-school kind of eBay seller. That is, I maintain a Basic eBay Store and create listings using the fewest number of tools and extras possible.

My method isn't for everyone—I'm what I consider a "casual" seller. But mine is one possible approach eBay Store subscribers might consider to minimize selling fees under the new rules.

I am self-taught in the art of Web design, having learned code on my own since joining eBay in 1997. WebMonkey is a great resource for HTML help. This site became my best friend back in the day when I was trying to brighten up my eBay pages.

I also have been a dedicated Photobucket user since the free photo-sharing service first started. I've never had to pay extra eBay fees for posting additional photos in my listings. While teaching eBay classes over the years, I've reflected my "wisdom" onto new eBay sellers, showing them how they, too, can save listing fees by inserting their own photos and learning a bit about code insertions.

Fast-forward to today's eBay. I must say the recent eBay Store changes have made my life much easier! A previous update added convenience by simplifying the description box, and now eBay allows store subscribers to add 12 additional photos to our listings for free! As I've listed items since the new store rules took effect, I've noticed this particular change has become a great time saver for me. No more need to upload my photos to Photobucket and then insert them into eBay. I have eliminated two very time consuming steps and I am very pleased.

My editor would like me to point out that with Auctiva, you can add up to 24 images per listing, and the free Supersizing feature makes images twice as large as eBay's. For sellers listing items that have a lot of detail, this is another option to consider.

I love that Basic subscribers can now create 15 custom pages

So many possibilities, so little time

Deciding on which store subscription was an easy decision for me: Since I'm a casual seller, I'm sticking with the Basic store. For sellers with more inventory to move, it makes sense to consider upgrading to a higher tier. In fact, I have recommended the premium store to several of my students. While I didn't change my store subscription, I did spend the time to update my store and give it a new look. Check it out.

I also love the fact that Basic subscribers can now create 15 custom pages! But I must be honest: It was challenging enough to come up with ideas to use the five pages allotted before. Now with 15, I'm grappling with what new pages to create. I have seen a few sellers using the pages as a way to promote listings and I personally do not suggest that as a solution. Better to spend some time to come up with quality page ideas, and not just "stick" something up there. But I highly recommend eBay Store owners take advantage of this 15-page opportunity.

You'll notice when you visit my eBay Store, I have five pages under construction. I am working on templates as I write this (yes I am a multi-tasker)!

Need some ideas for how to use your pages? Here are a few suggestions to help you brainstorm:

  • Newsletter: Create a sign-up page for your off-eBay newsletter.
  • Social networking: Add a page with links to Facebook, Twitter and other sites where you socialize.
  • In the news: Post links to articles about you or your products, podcasts, radio shows, etc.
  • Item information: Add a page about the history of items you sell or measurements of clothing styles, grading of records or media you may be selling.
  • Cross-promote: Create reciprocal links with your friends' sites and swap banners with other eBay sellers.
  • Tell your story: Why do you sell on eBay? How did you get started? If someone inspired you, write about them.
  • Share some information and history about the city you live in.

The possibilities are endless! However, it is possible to share too much about your personal life. For instance, if you have small children, I do not recommend including their photos on your eBay pages or in your listings.

I appreciate being able to enter my items into the world's largest online marketplace

Is an eBay Store the way to go?

Opening up an eBay store may or may not be right for you. You'll have to take into account the type of items you sell, your typical volume, and the format you use to list. Several sellers I know have begun using two IDs: one for listing items in a store, and one for their 99-cent auctions, which qualify for free listing. The catch is that those auction listings incur additional fees for multiple photos: eBay gives auction sellers the first photo free, but each additional photo will cost 15 cents (up to $1.00 for 12 photos).

For those sellers who don't need to post additional photos or who are using an image-hosting service, this is a legitimate solution for reducing your listing fees. Personally, opening an eBay Store and self-hosting my photos has been a whole lot more efficient than trying to manage multiple eBay IDs.

There are other benefits to owning an eBay Store:

  • Final value fees are lower for store owners,
  • Store items now show up in "core" eBay searches, and
  • Store listings are submitted to Google

I appreciate being able to enter my items into the world's largest online marketplace. Growing my business at my own pace and getting the bills paid is the priority. The eBay Stores platform allows me to get the job done!

About the Author

Danna Crawford, CEO of PowerSellingMom, Inc., has been a successful eBay seller since 1997. In 2008, she received eBay's Community Hall of Fame award, as well as the Golden Ribbon Community Seller Award from eBay Giving Works. As an eBay Certified Education Specialist, she teaches at the community college and university levels, and frequently speaks on topics such as how to make money blogging, writing eBooks and more. Crawford can be heard every Friday night on her Internet radio show, PowerSellingMomRadio, and in weekly webinars at VirtualOnlineLearning.com.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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