eBay is a popular entry point for people desiring to start a home-based business. eBay is also popular with already established businesses. With 147 million registered users (1), it’s easy to see why eBay is so attractive to merchants! One feature of eBay is the ability to open a permanent storefront on eBay. These are known as eBay Stores. Are eBay stores worthwhile for an online business? Let’s look at some advantages to having an eBay store.
Lower Listing Fees
One of the biggest advantages to an eBay Store is the money you can save on listing fees. Basic listing fees for an eBay store are 2 cents each. In addition, many of the other listing features are sharply discounted. For example, gallery pictures are 35 cents for normal eBay listings, but only 2 cents for an eBay store listing. This is advantageous for anyone who wants to list lots and lots of items on eBay. For 4 cents, you can get a listing that would cost you about 90 cents otherwise. Do the math over about 200 listings and that amounts to huge savings. Wait.. let me do that math: $8.00 versus $180.00!
eBay’s regular listings are temporary. Whether it’s the short 3-day auction or the long, drawn out 30-day real estate listing, they’re temporary. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo do not bother indexing regular eBay listings for that reason. eBay stores on the other hand are permanent fixtures. With an eBay store, you get a permanent URL that you can list in directories, get inbound links to, and use many other SEO strategies. It’s like having your own website under eBay’s ‘roof’.
Also, the listing themselves are somewhat permanent (eBay calls them “Good till Canceled”). This allows you to set something up once and not have to worry about it again until it sells or you want to cancel it.
eBay stores start out at about $16 per month which is far less than the cost of most other web hosting arrangements with built-in shopping carts.
Tommorow, I’ll look at some of the downsides of eBay stores – stay tuned!
(1) Source: Forbes.com – 4/21/2005