This gives you more flexibility in how your products and shop “look” on the ebay platform compared to Gumtree. But, you are still limited by their templates and site design.
Like Gumtree, you still need to make your brand stand out. The Seller Hub has its limits, but it can be a useful stepping stone towards running your own online store. It lets you build more of a distinct brand feel for your online store. You also have access to more digital data than you would when selling as an individual.
Ebay also let you have control over price. Their original business model was as an auction-price site. Though, you now have the option to set auction and fixed prices with them.
They can help manage payments. For every transaction, ebay take a 10.9% fee from the final payment amount. Depending on the category, they may also take other listing and transaction fees.
Ebay do not however manage the products, shipping and delivery for you. So any online sales you generate though ebay, you need to plan how you will then deliver that product to the buyer.
Ebay do have more processes in place to protect buyers and sellers. “Bad” accounts can be reported and removed. So, it feels like a more controlled selling platform than Gumtree.
Renting a small store in a large mall
The main benefit of ebay is the large number of online shoppers who go there. When people visit the ebay site, they are in product search and “buy” mode, so you have access to high potential shoppers who might be interested in your product.
When you work with them, it’s a little like the digital equivalent of renting a small store in a large shopping mall. In fact, a lot of major retailers like Coles, Chemist Warehouse and Myer sell though ebay.
However, there are some challenges to selling through ebay.
You have to abide by all ebay selling rules and processes. The only changes you can make to your store are those pre-defined by ebay. You will not have the same flexibility to change as you would with your own online store set-up.
So, you can change design elements of your ebay “shop”, so it feels more branded, for example. But you can’t change much of the functionality. If shoppers drop out at a certain stage for example, it’s more difficult to diagnose why. And, to find a solution to improve sales.
You won’t be able to add any extra technical support systems, for example. With your own store on Shopify or WooCommerce for example, you can add lots of extra support and functionality.
Not possible with ebay.
With ebay, you “rent” space on their platform. So, you don’t have any “ownership” advantages, as you do with your own store website.
Search traffic to your product on ebay might drive sales, but you get no search boost for your own site. You have limited access to data to build up your CRM data.
Ebay’s an interesting option to sell, with definite pros and cons for your online retailer strategy. Its biggest pro is just how popular it is. But it’s biggest con, is the lack of flexibility to really tailor your offer.