With 180 million global users, eBay is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world. Sellers benefit from being exposed to a massive buying audience, but they also face stiff competition.
In order to tap into the platform's potential, sellers need to distinguish and promote themselves to get the best search return results. Fortunately, eBay provides an array of tools to help with that, including the Seller Center, Seller Hub, Promoted Listings, Promotion Manager, Promotion Boxes, and the Global Shipping Program.
Starting With the Seller Center and Seller Hub
Before putting energy into promotion, the Seller Center is a good place for sellers to start. It has everything they need to know to get going and be successful. Sellers can get info on creating, managing, and promoting items, along with tips for optimizing their listings with strong keywords, which can yield higher search engine results, and more.
The Seller Hub is another resource that is available for free to all sellers. It lets them see their seller status, review their sales statistics, track orders, manage listings, get listing improvement tips, and most importantly, manage marketing efforts, including setting up Promoted Listings to make their listings more prominent to buyers.
Promoted listings are eBay's version of a sponsored ad similar to Facebook advertising and give sellers higher search result placement. Sellers have to pay for this feature and there are eligibility requirements, but the investment is minimal and there are no upfront fees (the fees are taken from a percentage of the proceeds of the sales generated by the ads).
To be eligible, sellers either need to have earned Above Standard or Top Rated seller status (ratings determined by a metric that weighs their sales and customer service quality against eBay's set standards) or they can set up a store, which gives them access to even more tools.
There are five different store subscriptions available to sellers with fees that range from $4.95 or $7.95 per month for the Starter to $2,999.95 per month for a year for the Enterprise plan. Once a seller has a store subscription, setting Promoted Listings are rather simple.
- Sellers choose the listings they want to be promoted either by picking a category or selecting individual listings.
- Sellers then choose an ad rate between 1% and 20% of the sale price. They can either set a single time ad rate or base it on the trending rate, which is based on the average rates of the other sellers.
- The fee is charged when a buyer makes a purchase after clicking the ad within 30 days. If the item doesn't sell in that time, there is no charge.
- Sellers have access to data that shows ad performance and clicks, so they can adjust the promoted listings for maximum results.
Sellers who have a store subscription can also use the Promotions Manager to set up order and shipping discounts, which can attract more buyers. They can also create codeless coupons for digital and social media marketing, custom URLs for specific items that sellers can use on email blasts or share on their individual Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter pages.
eBay offers promotion boxes to help advertise items in a seller's eBay Store. The graphic displays can be used to highlight featured items, announce specials, or describe a variety of ways to browse items. eBay offers three types of promotion boxes:
- Advertising Specific Items: Sellers can use this type to feature on one or more of their store items. They can highlight items that are newly listed or ending soon, both of which get a boost in search. Sellers can choose items manually or allow eBay to feature their items automatically.
- Provide Links to Other Parts of Your Store: Sellers can give buyers alternative ways to find items in their store. Custom links can point to a store category, a custom page within the store, another eBay page, or custom search results. Sellers can also include clickable graphics or pictures that provide access to these other pages, using predesigned graphics or they can provide their own.
- Design a Custom Promotion Box: Create your own unique promotion box to show information like shipping and payment details, links to your email newsletter signup page, or your feedback page. Sellers can write their own HTML for the custom promotion boxes, but it must be mobile-friendly. You don't want to do all the work to get a buyer to your listing and then lose them because they can't read the listing on mobile.
Global Shipping Program
One other way to attract more business is to include international buyers in advertising efforts. While dealing with international sales might seem unappealing to some sellers because of shipping costs, eBay offers a Global Shipping Program.
When a seller sells an item to a buyer who is out of the country, they can send it to the eBay's Global Shipping Center (GSC) in Kentucky and have eBay handle the entire process. The fee is based on the final cost of the item, plus standard fees and delivery costs to the GSC, and shipping is available to 104 countries.