Each year the question is asked: Should small ecommerce sites offer up goods on eBay to close more sales during the holidays? Responses vary, and it all boils down to the goals of the business itself.
This year, eBay is shining the light on it’s Buyer Protection program. The goal is to make more eBay shoppers comfortable using the auction site, and, in turn, attract more sellers – especially those offering niche products. It’s good marketing, because every retailer wants buyers, and eBay’s internal search as well as external results can funnel quite a bit of traffic to key listings.
However, store owners cite both pros and cons when it comes to selling regular products on eBay.
- Reach a much broader audience.
- Take advantage of eBay’s selling tools.
- Utilize a recognizable selling platform – repeat eBay buyers already know how the system works.
- Competing with sellers who are cut-throat about pricing. Many times other sellers will make little to no profit in order to outsell a retailer.
- Lack of automation with existing order processing software. Unless the current software used integrates fully with eBay, retailers may spend a great deal of time handling things manually.
- Dealing with “on-the-cheap” consumers who want the lowest price possible, even if it’s at a loss to the retailer.
- Affecting the company’s branding as a result of price adjustments made specifically to be competitive on eBay.
When it comes to selling currently stocked products on eBay, retailers have to consider not just whether the pros outweigh the cons, but if selling through the auction site itself will be better for business in the long run. Some small store owners have experienced a decline in web site shopping as a result of cross promoting products on eBay. For some, the result was a long-term expectation of lower prices at both sites.
That said, eBay can be a viable outlet for selling the last remaining quantities of specific items, or items which are slightly damaged. Even then, not every retailer advertises auction links on the web store itself.
Unfortunately, decisions can’t be made based solely on statistics and the need for instant income. Each store owner needs to determine how selling at potentially lower prices in order to gain the numbers an eBay audience can bring will be beneficial long-term.
How about you? Have you sold on eBay alongside an existing ecommerce site? Was it successful?