5 Strategies to Help You Become an eBay PowerSeller
- May 18, 2015 | Ryan O'Donnell
To say selling on eBay is competitive business, is a wild understatement. A search for "ipad mini" returns over 3,000 results, a search "callaway big bertha" returns over 17,000 results, and a search for the recently released "apple watch" returns over 1,000 results!
One way to separate yourself from other eBay sellers is to achieve the level of PowerSeller thereby positioning yourself as the best of the best. To reach this pinnacle, a seller has a lot of work ahead of them. It's a title reserved for sellers who earn at least $2,000 a month in sales and have a 99 percent positive seller's rating.
Obviously every serious eBay merchants wants to earn this title, but to become a PowerSeller, you need more than a good product. You have to put the right strategy in place. Here are five insider tips you should put to work in your online store to help you achieve the level of eBay PowerSeller.
Sell Something You're Passionate About
While other eBay sellers may only be in it for the money, it's best to try to develop a deep interest in what you're selling. It could be golf accessories, cameras, vintage clothing or spare bicycle parts, but many eBay PowerSellers are selling products they love, use every day and understand from top to bottom. This leads to a higher level of expertise that just can't be achieved by reading reviews, watching YouTube videos, or talking to users.
Other strategies for deepening your understanding of the product your selling include attending trade shows, researching the industry and speaking to other enthusiasts. If you can sell something you're excited about, you increase your chances of translating that passion into more sales and more expertise on the product.
PowerSellers Understand the Ins and Outs of Tax
PowerSellers understand that a huge part of the eBay sales experience is in the details, and one of those big details is sales tax. The ins and outs of sales tax collection is beyond the scope of this post. But suffice it to say, if you have any business presence in a state beyond your home state, you are legally required to collect sales tax on sales to residents of that state.
Online merchants learn quickly that charging sales tax on an item raises a marketing dilemma. On one hand, charging sales tax leads to a higher price point for the buyer (bad for marketing). However, if a seller can get their product nearer to the seller and reduce shipping costs through fulfillment services and remote warehouses, there is an opportunity for the buyer to save on delivery fees (good for marketing).
As such, there really is no right answer here. If your goal is to avoid sales tax outside of your home state altogether, you are limiting your reach to the state within which you operate. No remote employees, no remote products, and no traveling out of state to expand your market (goodbye business conferences!). If you're a serious eBay seller, that's just not practical.
PowerSellers, spend the time necessary to learn about sales tax compliance and structure their business to limit their exposure to nexus. Choosing which states to operate in, where (and when) to invest in fulfillment services, how to properly tax the products you sell, and investing in tools like Avalara TrustFile to speed up and simplify the sales filing process are all power moves savvy eBay merchants make.
PowerSellers Know How to Promote
PowerSellers know how to promote their business. They use past customers as sales leads to promote new listings, use customer recommendations to draw further buyer interest, and stay top of mind by sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter. You could also offer previous customers special discounts to increase and reward repeat buyers, list items at a time when they are likely to receive the most viewer traffic, and list items through eBay's other international sites to increase your pool of buyers.
You should also consider using eBay services to make your items stand out, like using eBay keywords, adding a photo gallery and using eBay's listing designer to create an attractive storefront.
Shipping Is Always a Top Priority
Shipping is a crucial element PowerSellers use to maintain a high rating. That's why PowerSellers tend to ship an item within 24-hours after a sale, send automatic emails with shipping information and confirmation numbers, and take safety precautions such as including insurance for expensive items. Ensuring you always have the necessary packing material on hand, adequate space for packing products, and exercising care when packing delicate items are final details smart eBay sellers pay attention to.
Get familiar with little shipping hacks like scheduling USPS and UPS couriers to pick up your packages for free, which saves you a trip to the post office.
Obsessive Customer Satisfaction
eBay PowerSellers understand their customers and respond to their needs in a way that other sellers simply don't, which is a huge reason they maintain a near-perfect customer satisfaction rating. To do this in your store, promptly respond to all questions, comments and feedback. If a buyer is unhappy, quickly remedy the concerns before you're hit with a negative rating. Never let emotion dictate your interaction with customers, even if a customer is rude, demanding, or wrong.
Other customer services you should provide include ensuring you charge a fair shipping price, leaving prompt feedback for buyers and shipping every item exactly as described. If you treat each customer interaction and sale with professionalism, you can expect to reap the benefits.
Ultimately, eBay PowerSellers approach business in a smart way and use practices that apply to every successful small business owner. Think about using these tips to bring your online business to the next level and get the enviable status of eBay PowerSeller.