As the world’s largest online marketplace, eBay is a fantastic place for a small business owner to sell products to a vast customer base. However, the process of selling on eBay can be incredibly time-consuming if you don’t take active steps to streamline your eBay business processes. The following guidelines can help you save time and money when operating an eBay business.
Learn the eBay System First
It can be tempting for a small business owner to jump in and start setting up an account immediately. However, by investing a little time with the eBay University Learning Center, you can save yourself a lot of time down the road correcting errors made because of not having a complete understanding of policies, procedures, available tools, and strategies.
Define Your Payment Terms
Many new eBay sellers aren’t sure how buyers can pay them. To begin with, you may need only a PayPal account. However, as you grow, you may want to offer a larger option of payment processors. It’s important to note that the number of eBay businesses accepting checks as payment is dwindling fast. Accepting checks as payment can be risky and time-consuming, so you should consider if you want to do this when working towards streamlining your eBay business.
Have Your Items Grouped and Ready to Ship When You List Them
It can get chaotic when you’re listing multiple items on eBay and on other sites and/or selling them at a brick and mortar store. You definitely don’t want to risk losing an item you’ve sold within the rest of your inventory. To minimize this possibility, it’s a good idea to separate items listed on eBay and place them in an area with suitable packaging materials when you list them. By keeping them separate, you can simply pack, attach a shipping label, and send out as soon as the item is sold.
Stay On Top of Accounting
Accounting is something you should manage at least on a monthly basis. For eBay sellers, this is particularly important because keeping PayPal and eBay statements are necessary for yearly reporting. And, because PayPal statements are only available for up to three months, you don’t want to find yourself in a predicament at the end of the tax year where you don’t have the records you need to file your taxes.
Running to the post office and UPS every day is certainly no way to streamline your eBay business. So, it’s a good idea to clarify with customers when orders are shipped. Many sellers establish a practice of shipping two to three times per week as the last “to do” item of the day to save time.
Use an Advanced Seller Program
Once you get accustomed to selling on eBay, using an advanced seller program like eBay Selling Manager Pro can reduce the number of hours you need to manage your online business. By automatically listing and relisting and automating tasks like email and payment notifications, you can streamline your eBay business significantly.
Have Photos and Descriptions Ready Ahead of Time
Uploading photos and descriptions is a big part of managing an eBay business. Instead of creating these as you’re adding a listing, it can save a lot of time by having these ready ahead of time. The top eBay sellers produce these when they first receive a new product, and keep a good, organized system of managing descriptions and photos to pull from as new products are added to inventory.
Set a Schedule for Monitoring Your Selling and Returns Policies
Outdated information about shipping, returns policies, etc. on your templates can be confusing to buyers. This leads to you having to answer questions or possibly even losing a sale. An easy way to streamline your eBay business is to set a regular monthly time when you make sure your business information is up to date. This can also be the same time when you check on your listings, their images, descriptions, and pricing. The better you manage the information you provide, the most efficient your online business will be!
Have Funds Available
Applying for a bank loan to obtain funds to buy inventory or hire seasonal help can be a long process. Choosing an alternative source of small business funding like Kabbage can help streamline your eBay business by enabling you to always have available cash on hand when you need it. Obtaining cash is quick (often in less than 10 minutes) without the hassles and delays of traditional bank lending.