I've been hearing from lots of eBay sellers: What's this eBay Express site all about? Will it really bring me more business? Why aren't my items listed on the site? How do I know if someone buys my items? That's a lot of questions, but eBay sellers like to feel they're in the loop. Although eBay has lots of Town Hall meetings, most sellers don't have the time to attend, so let me ferret out some of the basics of Express.
Express is set up to attract the casual or new eBay shopper. These are the people who are much more comfortable shopping at your standard e-commerce websites. They're comfortable at Amazon.com, Bloomingdales.com, beauty.com--you get the picture. They're more at ease shopping on websites where the selection of sellers isn't as overwhelming as it is on eBay because it doesn't appear to have hundreds of thousands of sellers (Amazon deftly masks the fact that there are thousands of sellers selling on the site). The key here is having one shopping cart, and Express turns the eBay shopping experience into just that.
When a buyer makes their selections at the Express site, they can put as many items as they want into one shopping cart. The buyer makes one payment (eBay and PayPal divvy up the payments between the individual sellers in the transaction behind the scenes). The transition from click to buy is seamless. It's just the same as shopping at one of the other huge e-commerce stores. There's only one catch: If a buyer shops at a large amount of sellers, their shipping costs will go sky high, so it's still a benefit to buyers to buy more items from one seller in order to take advantage of combined shipping.
Seller Tip: Your item description still shows up when your listing is on the Express site. Be sure to pitch your other items to the prospective buyer in your description. Mention that they can save on shipping when buying multiple items from you. (Hopefully this will encourage multiple purchases in addition to pointing out the benefits to the buyer.)
Selling on Express isn't an open market. eBay has been desperately trying to make Express a place for new shoppers to feel comfortable and safe, so if you want to sell on Express, here's what you need to know:
- Your eBay feedback rating must be a minimum of 100.
- Just like a Power Seller, you must have at least a 98% positive rating.
- Your items (which will appear automatically in Express) must be in Fixed Price or Store Inventory format.
- Your listing must include a photo, the item's condition (in the Item Specifics area--not just the description), and you must quote any shipping costs.
- PayPal is the primary payment system on the site, so you must accept it for payments.
Express gives you, the seller, the opportunity to reach an entire new group of buyers. Anyone with a credit card can shop on Express--and it has a much easier look and feel than shopping on eBay. It's explicitly designed to look like a typical e-commerce site. No fancy bells and whistles or confusion.
Seller Tip: If you want to find your listings on Express, type the following into your browser: http://search.express.ebay.com/merchant/marsha_c. Be sure to use your Used ID instead of mine (marsha_c) when you run your search.
If you qualify, start preparing for it:
- Build up listings for your items in your eBay store.
- Check out how the competition lists on Express. (Be sure your descriptions are clear and to the point.)
- Start getting ready (yes, now) for a huge upcoming holiday season of sales on both eBay and eBay Express!