Should eBay Sellers Open an Independent Web store?

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The old cliché “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?”

Here is the good news, since opening our independent websites our sales have over doubled and now 58% of our revenue comes from our websites.

The bad news is, from our experience just “opening” an independent store costs time and money and your new store is the “needle in the haystack”.  Rarely will a customer searching for an item which you sell, find your new store unless,  you have implemented some sort of traffic generation strategy driving traffic to your store.

So… the good news is from our experience having your own independent website can over double  your sales, however you need to get traffic to your site.  Here is how you can do it:

  1. Collect email addresses from every eBay sale to create an email database, then email the database weekly with offers and a link guiding them to your website.
  2. Put a discount card for your website in every parcel you ship from your eBay sales.
  3. Buy traffic from Google however… don’t spend a cent buying traffic from Google or any other PPC (pay per click) advertiser before studying a good PPC book.  PPC is a fantastic way of buying quality traffic however for an unskilled operator, it is a great way to suck your credit card dry… fast!
  4. Buy traffic from comparison shopping engines
  5. Buy traffic from Facebook advertising
  6. Get free traffic from social media sites (my least favourite),  however again be careful with this. Whereas PPC is a great way for the inexperienced to suck their credit card dry, social media for the inexperienced can be a great way to suck away all of your spare time and more, with very  limited reward.
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7 Responses to Should eBay Sellers Open an Independent Web store?

  1. Anthony says:

    Hi Neil
    I think one of the cheapest forms of PPC that people aren’t writing about is YouTube Advertising. Typically $100 gets 333 full views and about 3333 impressions which are free partial views. Skip now button comes in a 5s so get at least a logo and message in first 5 seconds, then majority skip before 50% so get 15s ad which is long for free. If people don’t watch up to 30 seconds or ad in full whichever comes first your advertising is free and best of all the targeting can be pin point accurate. I have ads running on circle radius as small as 2klm.

    • Angus says:

      Hi Anthony
      Could I ask what kind of conversion rate you get? My PPC experts tell me that historically they find Youtube ads don’t have as good conversion rates as Google Adwords and are better more for big budgets to create brand awareness. Thoughts? Thanks

      • Hi Anthony,

        Conversion rates vary for each product and each platform. There are many many platforms to advertise with Youtube and Google being two of them.

        Yes as a general rule Google produces higher profits however any marketplace where you can spend one dollar on advertising and get back more than one dollar profit is a good platform.

  2. So where is the best place to have an independent store? Is it on Facebook or a stand alone? should it have only your eBay listed stuff OR should it have NONE of your eBay stuff but other, not on eBay stuff?

    • Hi Andrew, an independent store needs to one you own i.e. a store.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks Neil
        Andrew’s 2nd question is interesting – I have gone to several independent sites of eBay vendors only to find they have the same items as on eBay but for more $$. After a couple of visits I’ve tended to not go back to them but instead purchase out of eBay. So if they stocked different items to the ones they stock on eBay I would need to go back over to eBay to do a “price check” with other sellers to see if they were competitively priced. In most cases I would still go back to the “safety” of buying via eBay.

  3. Tracie says:

    I tried an independent store because i thought (and still think) ebay fees (on postage?!) were outrageous and its policies concerning returns for my particular type of sales, considering i sell preloved and vintage clothing and accessories, were and are unsuitable… but the stuff i list on ebay sells before i have time to get it onto my independent store. ..which i grudgingly admit says something in itself. ive read your books and subscribe to your newsletter so i do actually know how to make money on ebay and independent sites but i just love selling what i sell so its hard to get inspired by selling ‘widgets’. i suppose if i sold a million of them i could quickly become inspired though 😉 thanks for another informative newsletter Neil. Even if i learn a little, i learn a lot 🙂

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