blog / article

Lessons Learned from 2019: eBay Edition

by Leo Chan
2 Dec 2019

The smell of crackling firewood permeates the air. The hum of the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer and anxiety is amplified by advertisers babbling and compelling the public to purchase their wares. Firetrucks wail in frustration over yet another fried turkey fire. “Why can’t they just cook a ham?” they lament. Meanwhile, you are sitting by your computer clicking and sighing trying to wrap 2019 into one neat little package. You’re a master negotiator in a slick sales game but putting the pieces together in an attempt to start 2020 off right constantly escapes you. There is so much to know and so much to conclude.

The process doesn’t have to be frustrating and you don’t need to peruse through massive Excel files to help tie a bow on the year. Since some incredibly smart people have made it their job to ensure your success and keep you updated with sage advice, you can take what you know about 2019, make a plan, and set goals for the next year.

Absorbing and implementing lessons in business works similarly to grasping and applying life lessons. Anyone who has experience and is successful will instruct you to look at what doesn’t work as well as what does. After reviewing the quarterly analyses and projections for eBay in 2019 you can see sales projections and view counts in general and adjust accordingly. According to Marketwatch, a Cowen and Co. survey indicated there was a decrease in visitor trends. In September there was a 30% slip in the number of people visiting eBay. Most of this seems to be due to the tech behemoth Amazon. Basically, it comes down to competition. It’s also important to keep the financial health of your buyers in mind. The bulk of your buyers are going to be middle class simply because there are more people in that economic class. Sellers have to work smarter to engage and convince buyers who often work paycheck to paycheck. Fortunately, we have the tools to combat these challenges and propel you into success.

One tool at our disposal is technology. Utilizing the software and hardware, some of which is literally at our fingertips is akin to using a power drill versus a screwdriver. It saves time and ends up producing cleaner and more accurate results. Office suites such as Microsoft Office include database and accounting software as well as task managers to help you stay organized and keep track of what you’ve accomplished and what you need to accomplish. The Internet also offers seemingly endless software programs and resources. eBay offers their users a Seller’s Hub. Streetpricer uses Artificial Intelligence to seek out competitors and automatically reprice eBay listings and Shipstation helps you choose your shipping carriers, track your shipments and customize order fulfillment. If you don’t want to crowd your home with products and packages, dropshipping from third-party order fulfillment services might be the way to go. The main idea is don’t be afraid of innovation. It’s there to help you.

That’s great but how do you attract customers in the first place?  The first thing you want to do is offer items people want. Check out the eBay’s trends page and ask people you know what they usually buy.  Once you know what to sell share your store and listings on social media. Millions of buyers peruse social media checking out deals and clicking on ads. You can also purchase a website or use a free blogging platform to advertise your merchandise and link it to your eBay store. If you don’t want to write blog articles you can hire a content creator on a variety of platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and the Problogger Job Board. Some sellers have found that using third-party advertisers like Google Ads can be useful for getting the word out. Basically, you need to let people know that you have what they might be seeking.

Succeeding in eCommerce runs parallel to succeeding in life. Failures and declines are a part of the learning curve. Don’t be afraid to try something different if what you are doing isn’t working. Use what is available to you. Test sales and shipping software. Make use of the plethora of resources and advice articles. Hire people to help you out. The lessons we should be learning from 2019 are summed up by the photographer Chris Grosser. “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”


Cardy Chung is the founder of StreetPricer. Read more articles by Cardy Chung.

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