Setting up an eBay shop
How to use eBay to help your business
Useful links to get started:
- Register your eBay business name with our preferred company formation agent (external site, opens in new tab)
- See if you can get a Start Up Loan to help you start a eBay business idea (external site, opens in new tab)
The opportunities offered by eBay stretch way beyond the chance to sell unwanted bric-a-brac or discarded Christmas presents.
eBay has allowed millions of people to go into business who previously wouldn’t have considered it, while growing numbers are making healthy second incomes by buying and selling online for profit.
With hundreds of thousands of users currently running a business on eBay or using the online auction site as their primary or secondary source of income, an eBay store presents a promising start-up opportunity. Read our guide to find out how it works, how to get set up and what fees are associated to eBay shops:
How an eBay shop works
eBay users can set up online shop within the auction site. An eBay shop allows you to showcase all your auction listings in your own customisable ‘storefront’. You can also list your items for much longer than with a normal consumer eBay account and businesses registered with eBay receive discounts.
If you have a business already then move on to the ‘registering your business’ step. However if you want to start a business from scratch on eBay you will need to decide on your business proposition and what product you want to sell.
eBay customers are often searching for unique or hard-to-find items so the more niche your products are, the better.
It may be worth considering seeing if you can get a Start Up Loan (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) to help you with financing, and mentoring to start this business idea. You'll also need to think about registering your business, either as a sole trader or as a company - if a company, then Smarta Formations (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) are an organisation that can help you set up.
If you are serious about selling your products on eBay then you will need to source a supplier to provide you with products on a wholesale basis. For more information on finding a supplier for your business, visit our dedicated choosing suppliers channel.
Registering your business on eBay
To start trading under your business name, you need to set up a business account with eBay. All you need in order to do this is a UK address to receive a confirmation letter through the post, and bank account details to set up a direct debit.
To open an eBay shop, you need to have a PayPal account as well as a minimum feedback score of 10 positive feedback reviews. PayPal is eBay’s preferred payment system which allows for payment transactions to be made online but if you don’t have a PayPal account, you need a minimum feedback review score of five. You will also need an automatic payment method on file to pay seller fees (credit card, debit card, bank account).
Your customers will then be able to add your shop to their ‘Favourite Shops’ list in their eBay account page. You can also choose to set up and receive reports that analyse your sales.
Once registered, you will need to decide on a price for your items. To find out how to construct your pricing strategy, read our guide on budgeting and setting prices.
Setting up an eBay shop is just the same as starting a business so you will need to register as self-employed with HMRC and you may want to register the business as a limited liability company to prevent risks if the business fails. You will also need to register for VAT if you think your eBay shop will make over £68,000 a year.
Subscription fees for eBay shops
- Basic Shop – £19.99 per month. Suitable for sellers who are just starting out and want an affordable and easy-to-use platform to sell online.
- Featured Shop – £59.99 per month. A more comprehensive package for small-to-medium sized sellers who want to grow their online business.
- Anchor Shop – £349.99 per month. An advanced shop for higher-volume sellers who want maximum exposure on eBay.
Feedback ratings for eBay shops
In order to attract customers and ensure that they will buy from your eBay shop, you will need to attain a positive feedback rating as this a central deciding factor for eBay consumers. Ensure that you provide great customer service by having a clear returns policy, answer questions from customers promptly and provide a good post and package service.
Any negative feedback you receive cannot be removed and although eBay offer the right to reply to any feedback, it is important that you maintain a good relationship with your customers.
To set up an eBay shop for your business, visit http://www.ebay.co.uk/