Setting up a professional online storefront has never been easier, but it still involves a lot of work. Fortunately, there are other avenues available, allowing you to sell your products without the initial investment of time and money that a full online store would require.
There are several reasons you might want to take this route. You may be treating your print on demand business as a part-time gig. It could be that you want to dip your toes into the market before diving in. You may also already have your business up and running, and are looking at other outlets to sell your products.
Getting Started Selling Print on Demand on eBay
If you don’t already have an eBay account, that will be your first task. eBay accounts are free-they make their money on various fees-so you don’t need to invest anything more than a little time to get started. You will also need to have an account with one of the payment processors that eBay supports. The obvious one is PayPal; however, they also support some other platforms, such as Paymate.
Once you’re set up as a seller, you can log in and head over to the seller’s hub. From here, you’ll be able to see a ton of useful information about your listings, sales, and more.
Now, you can sell items as an individual, in which case, there are no subscription costs to pay. You will have to pay various fees per listing; however, new eBay accounts get a certain amount of listings for free, so you can try before you buy.
If you decide to become an eBay subscriber, however, there is a monthly fee involved, but you get several benefits (cheaper listing fees being one of them). Another advantage is that it gives your eBay presence an air of authority. Buyers will be less cagey about buying from a business than they will an individual. With an eBay subscription, you can brand your store, which will simultaneously improve your image and give you a central place to direct prospective customers to. This articles has a ton of advice about eBay listing and fees and how can you handle them.
Handling Growth on eBay
If you expect to sell large quantities of items, you will need to register as a business account. You can upgrade from a personal account to a business account, but you can’t reverse the process, so only upgrade if you’re sure you’re ready to be an eBay business.
There are also limits on what you can do when you start a new eBay account. For example, new accounts have a limit on how many listings they can have. To get around this limit, you will need to submit some documentation to eBay, but they will usually review your account and lift the limit within a few business days.
In the early stages of your eBay journey, you will need to consider your ratings. List only a few products that you are sure will sell well, to begin with. And, while we’re sure you have only the highest standards with your business, put extra effort in during these first few weeks or months. An occasional bad review isn’t the end of the world once you’re established, but a bad review early on can prevent you from becoming established in the first place.
While there’s considerably less work involved in setting up an eBay store over rolling your own, you still need to put the work in when it comes to selling your items. There are over 150 million users on eBay, and around 25 million of those are sellers. In short, you have plenty of competition.
You need to craft your listings like any other product page. Let the customer know exactly what they’re getting, and then tell them why they want it. Make sure you have high-quality pictures that show the product clearly. For smaller items, you can find inexpensive lightboxes that make it easy to take well-lit, clear photos.
You should also observe good SEO practices on your listing pages. Use keywords in your titles and descriptions to increase the likelihood that someone will find your listing organically. Remember, people who come to your listing through an organic search result are far more likely to buy your product. After all, they arrived there already looking for it.
As time goes on and your eBay presence grows, there are things you can do to improve and maintain your selling power. First and foremost, try to maintain the best possible customer service you can. We understand that there will always be awkward customers who are beyond pleasing, but they are not a majority. Seller ratings play a huge part in eBay success, and if your rating starts to dip, so too will your sales.
Continually add new items to your roster. Many sellers are limited by the product they sell, and buyers come to them for that single product and nothing more. As a print on demand seller, you have the opportunity to build an invested customer base who will check back to see what your latest products are. By consistently adding new products, you can keep the interest in your store alive.
If you build enough interest, you could try limited-run items, where you put an item on sale for a limited time, and after that, it is no longer available. Limited run items are great for fan-bases, as they are more dedicated than your average buyer. They will love to get their hands on something that other fans might not have.
Don’t limit your options. Selling print on demand products puts you in the enviable position of not having to worry about inventory. You don’t need to keep track of how many T-shirts you have left to avoid inadvertently sell your last one on eBay and have none left for a buyer on Etsy.
Take advantage of that position-sell in other places and increase your revenue streams. Not only will you expand your market, but you also will not be reliant on one platform for your whole enterprise.