One thing is for certain: if you want to make money with your business, you’ve got to go online. There are a number of different options available to businesses, such as whether or not they want to open up an eBay account, or their own ecommerce website. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each so that you will be able to make the best decision for your company.
The Start-Up Costs
How much do you have in your budget to get your business up and running? Opening up an eBay account or storefront is easily less than $100. Another benefit is that since there are already millions of people on the site every day, you don’t have to spend as much on advertising fees.
Building your own ecommerce website will set you back a bit more, easily costing at least $5000. You have to pay for things like:
- Hosting service fees
- Domain registration fees
- Web designer fees
- Marketing fees
- Credit card processing start up fees
But here’s the thing about eBay: you may have to pay credit card processing fees too, as well as PayPal fees once you get selling. Whenever you sell an item on eBay, you also have to pay a “final value fee” (FVF), so you lose a percentage of your sale every time you sell an item, and may lose money again when accepting their PayPal payment.
If you have never dabbled with ecommerce before, then eBay can give you some helpful hints and advice. They have their eBay “University” and forums that can connect you with other eBay sellers, including “Powersellers” (the high earners on the site).
Create your own ecommerce site, and you’re on your own. That being said, there are a number of resources available online that can provide you with the exact same information that eBay provides its users. You just have to go digging for it.
This is where having your own ecommerce website can benefit you in the long run. While eBay may immediately bring you millions of potential customers, no one will remember your name. No one will remember your brand. All that a customer will remember is that they “bought it on eBay”.
Having your own ecommerce website, however, immediately helps you build up your brand. People will remember your web address and refer people back to your company if they like your product or your services. Your company will grow in popularity rather than remain stagnant.
Another important point is that on eBay, you’re immediately listed alongside some pretty stiff competition. If you don’t have the best price for an item or the best shipping deal, there’s a slim chance you’ll make a sale.
This isn’t to say that competition doesn’t exist outside of eBay; it certainly does. But if you learn SEO and other important inbound marketing practices that will boost your online business, you’ll be doing well.
eBay is a great place for sellers who want to make a quick buck, can offer great prices and who don’t care about building their brand. But for businesses that are in it for the long haul, an ecommerce website is an absolute must. Not only will you be building up your brand, but you’ll be bolstering your business’s reputation online. This is what your company needs for long term success.