As highlighted in our Seller Profiles series here on Auction Nudge, many eBay sellers choose to maintain a website for their business. For some, it is simply a way to advertise their eBay listings outside of the main site, while others enjoy the opportunity to run their own online store alongside eBay. For those reluctant to create a website or haven’t yet considered doing so, this article may just convince you otherwise.
Benefits of having a website for your business
Creating and maintaining a website alongside an existing eBay business is worthwhile for a number of reasons. Here are just a few of the main considerations:
eBay isn’t the only way to sell items online
While the eBay marketplace attracts millions of potential buyers every month, it is not the only place to sell items online. There’s a whole world out there, inhabited by many millions of people who do not use eBay for online shopping. Many people still think of eBay as an auction website selling used items only. Having your own website with an additional sales portal widens the market and offers a greater chance of increasing overall sales.
The importance of diversification in business
Ever heard the phrase “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”? This commonly said piece of advice refers to the risk of concentrating all resources and funding into one particular area. If this one area (or method) fails, everything is lost. The same goes for business owners who only sell on eBay. Sellers always remain at the mercy of eBay who can suspend and ban users at their own discretion.
Increase of authority and buyer confidence
Having a business website isn’t only helpful for selling items outside of eBay. It can also help increase buyer confidence on eBay. While it is true that many eBay buyers do not look twice at a seller’s name, there are still those who will do their research. Having a presence on the internet away from eBay promotes authority and legitimacy as a professional business.
Integration of eBay and a business website
Selling on eBay and having a business website do not have to be mutually exclusive. eBay sellers are not allowed to link to external websites from eBay listings (only in a few exceptions), but it is, however, possible to advertise eBay listings on a business website. The easiest way to do so is to use Auction Nudge, a simple to use (and completely free) advertising tool that automatically inserts live auction listings once a code snippet has been added to the website. It is easy to set up, with a range of customizations available.
Building a brand
While it is true that links to external sites are not allowed on eBay listings themselves, sellers can still advertise their website in other ways. Consider the opportunity to include promotional materials (or even branded packaging) with each eBay shipment, directing the buyer towards the business website. Buyers are more likely to become familiar with your brand and may even bypass eBay next time they want to make a purchase.
Full control over your business
There is no question that eBay’s selling platform offers easy access to a marketplace of millions of potential buyers. This does, however, come with some restrictions. For sellers feeling restrained by eBay’s rules and regulations (particularly on advertising), having a business website can be something of a relief. A website can feature the exact look and design as desired by the seller, showcasing products exactly as preferred. With no limits on text or photos, sellers have much more freedom to promote as they wish, with no selling guidelines or time limits.
Enhance relationships with buyers
When using eBay, the seller/buyer relationship is inherently restricted by eBay’s rules and conditions. Having a website offers the chance to form a different type of relationship with buyers as well as the opportunity to market at potential buyers in a different way. Email marketing, for example, can provide exceptionally high sales conversions and is easy to administer through a business website.
The disadvantages of building a business website
Building a business website undoubtedly compliments and enhances any existing eBay business. Having said that, there are a few downsides that may put off some sellers from immediately making the leap.
Upfront costs and fees
It is true that website creation usually involves some kind of payment. This can be mitigated to a certain degree though, depending on how sophisticated you would like the website to be. At a minimum, a personalized domain name is highly recommended, to customize the address of the website. The annual fee for a domain name varies between $10-30.
Investment of time
The biggest investment in building a website is most definitely time. But perhaps not as much as the average person would think. Building a simple website doesn’t necessarily involve learning code or technical lingo. Updating and editing the site at a later date can also be a surprisingly easy process. WordPress, a popular free software tool, is exceptionally user-friendly. An alternative is to use an e-commerce platform such as Shopify.
Do you have a website for your eBay business? If not, why not?