As you add more and more auctions, you'll find yourself deeper and deeper in terms of time commitments to eBay. And if you want to keep your feedback rating high, you need to keep on top of auctions, promptly processing payments, answering e-mails and shipping out items. So how do you do it? Here are some of the ways eBay businesses handle their growth:
- Add an eBay Store: Basically, this is your own storefront within the eBay system where you can establish your brand, and, as Collier says, "set up your virtual shingle on eBay." You pay a monthly $9.95 fee and a $.05 insertion fee for an item--whether you list one or 100 of said item. But store items don't show up as auctions unless you pay the auction insertion fee--and all auction items do show up in your store. Decide carefully where you want to showcase items so you can make the best use of your fees.
- Invest in auction software. There are a variety of programs on the market that will help you save time by automating your auction process, from sending out end-of-auction e-mails and uploading photos to tracking buyers and keeping inventory. All will take a chunk of your bottom line, so research thoroughly to determine which best serves your needs. See Auction Resources for more information.
- Become a Trading Assistant. This program allows experienced sellers to sell items for other users for a fee. Of course, there are restrictions regarding your feedback level before you're allowed to become a trading assistant.
- Move out of your home. It sounds almost too good to be true, but it happens often enough: eBay sellers become so successful they move into warehouse space and hire employees. This may or may not happen to you--and you may or may not welcome the idea--but it's definitely an option to be aware of as your business grows.