eBay Business startup checklist


To the uninitiated, eBay can seem a bit complex and in order to get the best out of the marketplace for your business it is important to understand how eBay works and gain some experience selling products.  I have seen several businesses give up selling on eBay as they did not put the time into preparing for their eBay sales.  Businesses should:

  • Research the eBay marketplace to understand where the opportunities lie for your business
  • Take time to understand how the eBay platform works
  • Ease yourself into the world of eBay by selling a few trial items.

eBay Account

In order to sell on eBay, it is of course necessary to have an eBay account.  Although this is a fairly easy process, it still takes a few days as eBay sends a letter via snail mail to confirm your business address.

As buyers generally don’t like buying from an account with zero feedback, it is a good idea to build up some feedback before trading.  This can be done by buying and selling a few items to gain experience and feedback.  Furthermore, in order to sell fixed price item on eBay it is necessary to have a feedback of 10 or greater

PayPal Account

PayPal is the default method of payment through eBay, and offers both buyers and sellers advantages such as fraud protection and convenience.  As an eBay seller, it is vital to offer PayPal as a method of payment for your customers, as it is the preferred method of payment for 85% of eBay’s members.

Setting up an PayPal account is free, but the process can take several days each account requires several methods of verification and a funding source setup through direct debit

Description and Photos

Every item which you sell on eBay will require a description and one or more photographs.  The more complete the description, the less questions which you will receive and the greater the chance of a sale.

An item description should also include information about your terms and conditions of sale, delivery and payment methods accepted.  Descriptions can generally be taken from your website, however these will require some tweaking to optimise them for eBay.

eBay Shop and Template

eBay offers multiple opportunities to promote your brand and stand out from the crowd.  eBay listings are HTML allowing attractive designs to be implemented.  Furthermore, eBay offers businesses the opportunity to open up an ‘eBay shop’.  This is a page within eBay displaying all the products which a seller has for sale which can be configured to display your company’s branding.  In addition, an eBay shop allows sellers to list items for long durations at a low cost.

Auction Management Software

The process of managing eBay sales can be labourious especially if it is not integrated into your current systems.  Fortunately help is at hand.  For the smaller business seller eBay offers seller manager pro which allows sellers to manage their eBay inventory and offers some process automation. For larger sellers, services such as ChannelAdvisor and eSellerPro offer a much wider range of automation functions as well as enabling sellers to promote their items through other channels such as Amazon and shopping comparison engines.

Think About Other Channels

If you are thinking of selling on eBay, then you should also be thinking about selling through the other major online marketplace, Amazon.  Selling on Amazon is all at a fixed price and listing products is free, with the seller only paying when an item is sold.  Several of the leading auction management applications also enable sellers to list their products on Amazon.


  1. Jim Davis says:

    This website has another great value added tool that can be useful for those selling items online.


  2. “If you are thinking of selling on eBay, then you should also be thinking about selling through the other major online marketplace, amazon. ”
    I have been an eBay sell since 2001, and at one point I dabbled in other auction sites, (bidz, squeagle, yahoo auction, amazon, ebid, and others I can’t remember right now) but unfortunately; none came close to the traffic that eBay has to offer. Sure, there’s more competition, but if you can find a small niche that’s untapped compared to something like ‘consumer electronics’ then nothing compares to the eBay traffic.

Start the Discussion!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *