How to build a strong brand on eBay

There is more to selling on ebay than just being the lowest priced seller.  If you want to be one of the top sellers in your category on ebay, you need to learn how to build a strong brand on eBay first.  Selling on eBay is a lot like selling in a retail store.

  • You need to offer a good product at a competitive price
  • You need to have good customer service
  • You need to display your product in an attractive manner
  • You need to be able to educate your customers about your products
  • You need to drive people to the product you want to sell most
  • You need to have a simple return policy
  • You need to keep in touch with your customers

The only difference is in the way you accomplish these goals.  Offering a good product at a competitive price is pretty straight forward, so I won’t spend a lot of time there.  However, having good customer service is an area that may be new to you, if you are new to eCommerce.  In traditional retail good customer service is usually done in person or over the phone.  Online, you typically interact via email, telephone and live chat.  I am a firm believer that you should always offer all three options, but which communication method you focus on depends on the type of product you sell.  If your product is not too technical than you should try to limit phone calls and use live chat as much as possible because you can minimize the number of Customer Service people needed.  On the other hand, if your product is technical and requires more human interaction to help sell your product, than telephone may be the best method of communication.

Displaying your product in an attractive manner is like having a professional looking product in a top quality retail store vs. selling at a yard sale.  If you make your products look cheap then they will be perceived as cheap and therefore you always have to compete with just price.  If you make your products appear to be high end and offer more information like multiple product images, videos demos, reviews, specs, etc.. then people will see your products as having more value.  This is why I recommend all serious sellers on eBay setup a professional looking custom HTML store and a custom HTML eBay listing template.

Assuming you offer a high quality product the best way to sell more product is to educate your customers about your product.  The more educated your customers are and see that you are the one educating them, the more they will trust you as a seller.

Like the retail industry online selling abides by the 80/20 rule so drive your customers to the 20% of your products that drive 80% of your sales.  Use tools like your home page banners, feature products, email marketing, social media and other online marketing tools to drive customers to your top selling products.

Having a simple return policy is vital for all eCommerce sellers because the only drawback to buying online is the perception that buyers have in not being able to walk into a store to return an item.  If you make it easy for customers to return items you wipe out that fear.

Just like in retail it is so much easier and cost effective to sell to your existing client base then to acquire new customers.  Keeping in contact with your customers via eBay messages, eBay emails, email marketing, social media and more are all key factors in successfully growing your eBay business.

Now there are other factors that come into play but these are some of the core principles in building a successful eBay brand.

Derrick Chan

Derrick Chan

eCommerce Consultant at ECOMsultant
Derrick started his career as an Online Marketing Manager for a small eCommerce company that bought and sold used cell phones.For the past 9 years Derrick has covered the full spectrum of eCommerce positions, ranging from Sr. eCommerce Project Manager to Director of eCommerce for multiple companies.

Derrick has developed an expertise in B2C and B2B eCommerce, especially for sellers that have a presence on multiple sales channels (e.g. web, ebay, amazon, wholesale, retail, etc.) He is currently helping Taco Bell to pioneer eCommerce for the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry.Derrick started ECOMsultant as a way to help other businesses outside of his day job to achieve their online sales goals.
Derrick Chan

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