When you're going to sell online, the first place many retailers go is Amazon. That's to be expected since Amazon is the largest e-retailer in the United States. But selling your products only on Amazon is doing your business a disservice. eBay is another online marketplace with a high amount of traffic and tons of opportunities for brands to gain mass exposure and sales. Not only does eBay have a huge audience but it can also have less competition for retailers.
Even though Amazon and eBay are competitors in certain areas, eBay doesn't want to become Amazon or incorporate Amazon's business model into their own mission. "Amazon is perhaps trying to be the last retailer left on Earth," said Devin Wenig, president and CEO of eBay since 2015, in an interview with Fast Company. "eBay is not a retailer. We don’t own goods. We don’t want to do that. We want to be a partner to retailers and brands." And eBay is making good on that promise, because big retailers are eBay's fastest growing segment in their online marketplace.
With 159 million active buyers and $17.9 billion in net revenue, eBay is a prime piece of online real estate that's as good (or better, in some cases) than Amazon for retailers.
eBay isn't just an auction site anymore.
This is a common misconception held by many retailers. Although eBay started as an auction site in 1995, it has since expanded to be a complete online marketplace offering a wide variety of goods. By making a move into the fixed-price realm, eBay has attracted both big and lesser known brands to put their entire catalog on the site.
As of 2013, only 15 percent of eBay listings were auctions, indicating that even though auctions are still around, they're quickly being replaced by fixed prices, which eBay refers to as "Buy It Now" prices. If you were avoiding eBay because of the auction format, you should give the marketplace a second look.
But shoppers still love the auction feature.
If you sell products from many different brands, the auction may be a good feature for certain products. Not only does it allow people to name their own price, but it can also drive the price up far higher than your standard fixed price if you get multiple bidders. The potential downside is that listing or selling a product for a lower price could do damage to your brand, so if that’s a concern, you should stick to fixed prices.
eBay is a great place to showcase your brand.
Before you start listing products, think about your brand's identity and how you want to present it to eBay's users. Then consider these tips to help your brand flourish:
- Make sure your logo or store billboard is appealing and professional.
- Create a style guide to ensure your listings are consistent and cohesive.
- Provide excellent customer service in order to make a lasting impression on customers.
- Look at top eBay sellers to see what they do with branding.
Sellers gain visibility with the Daily Deal program.
Certain approved sellers can participate in eBay's Daily Deal program as long as they meet eBay's requirements. Daily Deals are featured on eBay's homepage, but if you go directly to the deal page, you can see a plethora of other deals being offered in tons of different categories including technology, fashion, and home and garden. eBay also shows customers which deals are trending and which products are almost sold out. If you qualify to post a Daily Deal, you can move a bunch of products in a short time span and gain brand exposure on their homepage.
eBay is great for selling specialty items.
Many people already use eBay to sell unique, one-of-a-kind items. And brand names are no exception. Brand names can benefit from selling specialty items in their eBay store in an auction format.
Specialty items could include a first prototype, a signed copy, a customized or personalized item, a rare item, limited edition merchandise, or something with a high value that will definitely attract customer. When selling these types of items, you could also donate a portion or all of the proceeds to charity to gain positive brand exposure. This kind of special event auction can generate buzz for your brand.
And it reaches an international audience.
It’s already been mentioned that eBay has over 159 million active buyers, but it’s important to remember that those buyers are located all over the world. eBay has global sites in 27 different countries with buyers from 208 countries.
When you create listings on eBay you can choose to use their International Site Visibility feature, which will automatically create a listing in worldwide eBay markets. Or you can simply create your own listing on other countries’ eBay sites. eBay offers other tools to help with international sales that include a universal currency converter, time zone calculator, and an international shipping calculator to make selling internationally a breeze.
The bottom line when it comes to online marketplaces is that you don’t have to stop at Amazon. Although Amazon is a leader, it’s not the only marketplace in the game. eBay is also a leader when it comes to online marketplaces, and besides offering you an overall excellent platform to sell your products, eBay can also give you the exposure, sales boost, and opportunity to build your brand.