E-commerce website or sell on ebay?

The great thing about the Internet is that it makes it possible to purvey virtually any wares you want from your own business website or by hosting your products on a site like eBay or Amazon. Whether you carry as much as a major retail store or just a few items from home, it is possible to do all of your business online.

eBay Merchants

You can list thousands of items on eBay, if you are able to handle that kind of volume and your business warrants it. Several major merchants list nearly 10,000 products. They probably do not make a lot per item, but are able to make up the difference by selling more merchandise than they would by having fewer, less popular items.

The reason these stores are able to be so successful is that they do not list online auctions or fixed price products. They use a variety of sales options and list some of their items starting at less than a dollar.

It does not sound very savvy to sell merchandise with bids starting that low. However, there is a high demand for deals on everyday items. Moreover, Internet consumers love the idea that they may get their products for that cheap. By hosting these auctions, sellers like make a profit from quantity of sales, rather than the size of profit from individual sales.

How eBay Compares to Basic eCommerce

eBay has some serious advantages. However, most merchants want to run their products from their own sites and this has a number of advantages as well. Here are the most common reasons cited for wanting to sell direct from the store site:

There is no finalized sales charge to sell through your own site. On eBay, a charge is applied of typically 12% from PayPal once a transaction is completed. Smaller fees apply to selling from the merchant's website.

It is difficult to promote a brand through eBay. The focus is really on eBay itself. They do not let the merchant stand out from the site in many ways. Most consumers who use the site do not bother to take much note of the seller more than taking a look at their reviews and star ratings.

eBay does have some rules about pricing that would not apply to a merchant selling what they want on their own site. eBay also handles any customer service problems that go above a simple message exchange between buyer and seller. In this way, a company loses control over how they handle customer relations.

Yes, all of the above reasons are great reasons for opting to use your own site. However, unless a merchant already has a huge name and presence in the market, eBay is virtually necessary. Small businesses do not have the added weight of high-ranking sites or instantly recognizable branding. They have to work their way up and the only way to make sales in the meantime is to make your product available to millions. eBay does that.