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Internals Of An eBay Store

Aug 17, 2007
EBay has evolved over the past 10 years and now it is more than just an auction site. In fact, billions of dollars in fixed-priced items sell through eBay stores there every year. What started as a virtual flea market is now a thriving online marketplace that accounts for almost 10% of the entire world's ecommerce sales, year after year.

From a branding perspective, serious web marketers can't afford to forget about eBay stores, and most successful marketers utilize eBay stores as a place not only to liquidate merchandise and generate brand awareness, but also to acquire new customers.

There is currently a lot of controversy regarding the eBay stores. With approx 500,000 online stores, which are set up more like a retail sites then traditional eBay auction listings and representing 83% of all listing, stores only generate 9% revenue for the auction giant. In order to increase the low revenue generated from stores, eBay recently introduced new fee structure where stores will see their selling fees go from approx 7% to 10 % of the final selling price.

So while the increases may appear small many store owners are complaining it's going to drive some of them out of business, because on top of eBay fees you have store fees, picture storage fees, listing fees, promotional fees, and when it sells, they get hit with selling fees, and then Pay Pal fees. With all the fees many less sellers operating on a tighter margin are seeing themselves being squeezed out of the stores. Regardless of the recent price increases many would argue that eBay stores still offer great value for the money, at a base price of only 16$ per month the eBay stores offers many great features including;

1.A single, branded place on the web to boost your brand awareness.
2.An HTML site editor to personalize your store.
3.Store Home Page and Unlimited Product Pages.
4.In addition to Auction-style and Fixed Price, eBay Stores subscribers get access to inventory insertion format which has a longer duration and lower Insertion Fees.
5.You get your very own URL so you can drive all online buyers directly to your Store.
6.Stores logo appears next to your Store name in listings.
7.All listings include an additional "See All Items Listed in Your Store" link.
8.Listings show up in eBay Stores gateway search and browse results.
9.Customized e-newsletters and promotional emails.
10.Analytics of your Store traffic to improve you're merchandising strategies.
11.Integrated bookkeeping-great for QuickBooks users.

Because of eBay's very strict rules against advertising your website on regular eBay auction listings, an indirect feature offered by the stores include, the ability to advertise your web site and link to it. So directing traffic through an eBay Store is the only way that you can cost-effectively advertise your brand and product line on eBay. You can post and advertise your products on an eBay Store for as little as $0.05 per item per month, and store items get cross-linked from any of your featured eBay Auction listings bringing you tremendous targeted traffic.

With so many sites fighting to get up in search engines result pages (SERP) like Google and Yahoo, and with eBay getting most of the auction traffic an eBay Stores constitute an essential factor in any eBay or ecommerce strategy. For a very low investment you get high visibility, analytics monitoring tools, and increase your other site's visibility and you get to move products as well. So as some less profitable entrepreneurs may get squeezed out of eBay stores many shrewd ones will be looking to get in.
About the Author
Claude Bourgoin (MBA) is a marketing consultant and
a contributing author on web marketing and online auction. He can be reached here for more on auctions.
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