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Ebay or own website?

Discussion in 'First steps to starting a business' started by yueandmey, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. yueandmey

    yueandmey UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']I am looking to start selling goods online. I have discovered that a lot of people have huge success in selling their goods on eBay. Would you recommend a startup business begin in eBay, and then relocate to a larger store using Magento? Does this progression work well? Do people experience problems doing this? Is there a stigma attached when going from eBay seller, to independent seller? Thank you.[/font]
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
    Posted: Oct 11, 2013 By: yueandmey Member since: Oct 10, 2013
  2. JamiePMortimer

    JamiePMortimer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 176 Likes: 28
    Hi yueandmey,

    first of all, I've never tried to make the transition so have no experience.

    That being said, there are benefits and drawbacks of doing it and you have to weigh up which is best for you.

    eBay is a great platform that has lots of traffic, so for a new business, the hardest part is solved.

    However, getting sales is going to be harder because you're basically on a comparison website. People will just look at price, so if you're not selling a unique product ten potential customers are looking at several competitors while looking at your site also.

    In terms of making the transition, I'm told it's very difficult. Because people are used to going to these platforms to see the wide range of products available. In their mind, they're shopping with eBay, not you and that is the sacrifice you make getting an abundance of traffic. I don't think there is a stigma to it, there are plenty of established high street shops with a presence on eBay so that isn't an issue.
    Posted: Oct 11, 2013 By: JamiePMortimer Member since: Oct 4, 2012
  3. MBE1

    MBE1 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 648 Likes: 213
    /\ /\

    Fair advice, I used to sell a lot on ebay and then set my own site up, ebay is easy for getting sales, but very frustrating at the kid of clients and the constant meddling with your business by ebay, who obviously run ebay for their own benefit.

    You can build a nice business and overnite ebay will sometimes find a way of ruining it, on your own website getting the sales is ten times harder, but you tend to have few if any issues regarding poor quality clients, scam merchants etc.

    Ebayers are hard to migrate to a private site, they like shopping on ebay.
    Posted: Oct 11, 2013 By: MBE1 Member since: Jun 1, 2012
  4. HGSecurity

    HGSecurity UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 170 Likes: 48
    We sell on several platforms (Ebay, Amazon and our own website) and by far the biggest bulk of sales are from ebay. Obviously costs more than selling from your own site, but at least you are shifting stock.
    Posted: Oct 11, 2013 By: HGSecurity Member since: Aug 15, 2012
  5. yueandmey

    yueandmey UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    Ebay can shift a lot of stock I agree. However it seems to be very difficult to shift over to a 'brand' name. The company I know have had their own website for over a year and only manage to make a handful of sales each month from their website. Their eBay page is running hundreds of sales a day.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    Posted: Oct 13, 2013 By: yueandmey Member since: Oct 10, 2013
  6. danieldd

    danieldd UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 31 Likes: 6
    Why not do both. I say this because setting a quality website that will get visits and sales means you will need quite some time. You cannot expect to have an earning website overnight.

    Something else - there is enormous amount on competition for most e-shops. This is also worth considering - are there many other websites that sell goods similar to yours? If yes - stick with ebay, or take your time to create a better e-shop, or at least set a strategy to beat the competition.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    Posted: Oct 13, 2013 By: danieldd Member since: Sep 18, 2012
  7. @Peter

    @Peter UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    My experience with eBay are that of success when it came to sales. BUT the drawback I had was twofold...

    1. Constant interference from eBay and nagging clients.
    2. No control over the customer as they list on eBay

    Now you want to ask yourself what are you selling and do you want the client base to resell or up-sell an additional or second tier product afterwards.

    Now in my case I wanted the client for life as nowadays it becomes even more difficult to start an online business that sells products from start. However, there are ways to overcome this hurdle. I for instance did a course on how to set up my own website and eCommerce store. I then created my site in a day and the full store was finished after a month. Was hard work though but in the meantime eBay was giving me sales. The setup of the site and online shop costed me only the site hosting as the course I did was for free and very helpful.

    Now my advice is start your own online shop alongside eBay and when your sales kicks off on your own site start decreasing the work on eBay.

    I at this stage has a far better turnover on my won site than what eBay could ever give me and above it all have a personal relationship with my clients and have full control over what I sell and even when. My current closing ratio on up-selling is between 90% an 93% depending on the product which is far better than what I experienced on eBay.

    Hope this insight helped.

    Peter Jansen van Rensburg
    Posted: Oct 13, 2013 By: @Peter Member since: Oct 12, 2013
  8. TJEntrepreneur

    TJEntrepreneur UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 25 Likes: 4
    eBay is fine if you're willing to sell on there exclusively. But as people said already, ebay is concerned with building it's own business which means complying with whatever rules they throw at you. It really makes more sense to build your own brand via your own website in my opinion. Building a brand on eBay is difficult cause you're seen just as another seller to many. Use eBay in the beginning to gain sales while having a strategy to build your own website in the longrun with the profits made.

    Sent from my HTC One using UK Business Forums
    Posted: Oct 13, 2013 By: TJEntrepreneur Member since: Sep 10, 2013
  9. PeterJ81

    PeterJ81 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 18 Likes: 1

    I'm web developer. I designing online stores, websites, logos, business cards, ebay templates.
    Why do not start on ebay and with own online strore?

    I can offer you a hosting on very fast and reliable server for 35 pounds/year, domain will be free for 1st year.

    The whole package so online store+live chat+business card+logo=299 pounds

    Please let me know if you need any help.

    Posted: Jan 15, 2014 By: PeterJ81 Member since: Oct 16, 2013
  10. GarethShaw

    GarethShaw UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 69 Likes: 17
    eBay can often become a race to the bottom in terms of price. You have to offer a good product, great customer service and comply with all the rules they put on you. My advice is to start on ebay and amazon and look to drive customers to your website once you have a firm base. You can get going on eBay for peanuts without having a website.
    Posted: Jan 27, 2014 By: GarethShaw Member since: Jan 22, 2014
  11. UseYourWeb

    UseYourWeb UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 158 Likes: 39
    Use both, for every ebay sale, place a leaflet in the package with details of your site and if I were you, I'd roll with some sort of 10% off or free delivery on orders through yours site using a voucher code contained in their ebay parcel :)
    You'll find that once they've used you once (due to website only promotion), as long as you look after them and they're happy with the service, they are far more likely to shop on your site again.
    Posted: Jan 27, 2014 By: UseYourWeb Member since: Jan 19, 2014
  12. UseYourWeb

    UseYourWeb UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 158 Likes: 39
    also paying for google shopping listings via a froogle feed can bring in vast online sales via your own site through an existing customerbase (googles)
    Posted: Jan 27, 2014 By: UseYourWeb Member since: Jan 19, 2014
  13. UseYourWeb

    UseYourWeb UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 158 Likes: 39
    lol it has, its what my php class that exports the feed is called so bit of a habit :)
    Posted: Jan 27, 2014 By: UseYourWeb Member since: Jan 19, 2014
  14. TODonnell

    TODonnell UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,214 Likes: 178
    Ebay and Amazon have the 'eyeballs'. Your little shop won't, initially. They're great for reaching people. They take their % and their credit-card processor takes his whack. You can't complain about that. People gotta get paid.

    One could copy customer info into an Excel spreadsheet as you go along. Then they're your customers. You can then import that info into any kind of mailing system and off you go.

    One could also sell low-cost items on these platforms while upselling the more expensive stuff on your own site. eBay even lets you run pure classified ads. Pimp offa dem beasts!
    Posted: Jan 29, 2014 By: TODonnell Member since: Sep 23, 2011
  15. MyBusinessStory.co.uk

    MyBusinessStory.co.uk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 44 Likes: 3
    I would choose own website every time, i have never sold on ebay for business but with your own website you dont have the added cost, you can also target your keywords better on your own website and this will rank better.

    depending on your product there is also ETsy, i find them very good
    Posted: Feb 19, 2014 By: MyBusinessStory.co.uk Member since: Feb 19, 2014
  16. anthonyp01

    anthonyp01 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 47 Likes: 6
    I would use both. Have eBay to get sales in and while your doing that, build your own brand and popularity in the mean time.
    Posted: Apr 8, 2014 By: anthonyp01 Member since: Apr 8, 2014
  17. Transpiredigital

    Transpiredigital UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 23 Likes: 2
    There are sooooo many more options than just ebay and why not use them all?

    Certain sites will sell certain products better than others so use them all and also your own site
    Posted: Apr 16, 2014 By: Transpiredigital Member since: Apr 16, 2014
  18. Deimante

    Deimante UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    I think ebay is amazing for selling your items, I've been using it for four years now. For clothes I'm using Vinted app I can sell, swap and buy there and I find very trendy clothes, so this is great for me!
    Posted: Nov 17, 2014 By: Deimante Member since: Nov 14, 2014
  19. leshka_uk

    leshka_uk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 1
    check understandingE [dot] com to see how you can DIY it. no point inventing a wheel and building from scratch. You need a good CMS system. Also you can get design done designcrowd [dot] co [dot] uk
    Posted: Nov 19, 2014 By: leshka_uk Member since: Sep 9, 2014
  20. allquality01

    allquality01 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 0
    I would echo this advice. ebay can be a good 'kickstart' to help you move products while you are establishing a website, give you valuable impetus and experience in sales, returns, stock control etc. My only issue would be what you do once you have your website up and running, do you continue selling the same goods on ebay AND your own website? Obviously your ebay pricing is going to need to reflect the costs of sales (ebay/paypal fees).
    Posted: Nov 19, 2014 By: allquality01 Member since: Oct 28, 2014