How to Sell on eBay in 2023: An Easy Guide for Shopify Merchants

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Looking for new ways to grow your Shopify business? Increasing the number of channels you sell on might be just what you need.

According to Statista, multichannel online retailers generated more than $350 billion in sales last year, and experts predict the figure will surpass $575 billion by 2023.

While Shopify lets you connect a host of sales channels to your online store, we’re dedicating this post to the global ecommerce giant eBay. Selling on eBay can get your products in front of 135 million active buyers worldwide, with the marketplace operating in more than 190 countries

So how do you start selling on eBay via Shopify? In this post, we’re going to cover all the steps needed to set up the eBay sales channel for your storefront.

how to sell on eBay

How to sell on eBay as a beginner, step by step

1. Choose your business model

When you’re just starting out on eBay, it helps to select a business model—the approach you’ll take to provide value to your customers and make money in the process.

There are a few different types of business models: 

  • Private labelYou can work with manufacturers to design your own private label items to sell on eBay.
  • Wholesale: This involves buying large numbers of products for a discount and reselling them for a profit.
  • Reselling: With arbitrage, you can buy discounted products from in-store or online retailers and resell them on eBay. 
  • DropshippingPurchase products directly from vendors who can package and ship them directly to your customers. 

When choosing your business model, think carefully about how you’re going to fulfil your orders. With certain options, like dropshipping, fulfilment is handled for you. With others, like wholesale, you’ll need to figure out shipping and packaging yourself.

2. Decide what you want to sell

You can sell almost anything you can think of on eBay. However, most retailers start with items that fall within the ecommerce site’s top-performing categories: 

  • Health and beauty: Makeup, hair dye, nail polish, and tools.
  • Home and garden: Cleaning supplies, small appliances, and lawnmowers.
  • Toys and hobbies: Model-making kits, board games, and video games.
  • Crafts: Sewing supplies, model-making materials, and jewelry making.
  • Sporting goods: Weights, fitness equipment, bicycles.
  • Computer and networking: Webcams, printers, and wireless routers. 
  • Pet supplies: Feeding bowls, grooming tools, and toys. 

Choosing a category you’re knowledgeable or passionate about is a good way to improve your chances of success.

You can also use market analysis tools that give you demand and pricing data to determine what to sell. The best one is Terapeak—it’s an eBay-exclusive tool that makes item recommendations based on real data from millions of eBay transactions. You can use it for free as long as you’re subscribed to one of eBay’s four Store plans.

3. Create an eBay account

After choosing your business model and products, the next step is to open an account. You’ll need to provide eBay with your business name, type of business, and address to register successfully. 

  1. Visit the Registration page.
  2. Type your name and email address.
  3. Enter a password and choose Create an account.

create an eBay account

After you set up your account, eBay will ask you to verify your identity by clicking on a link sent to your email address. After verification, you’ll be able to start listing your items.

Note: If you’re registered as a business (LLC, sole proprietor, etc.), you can set up a business account with eBay through the registration page. 

4. Subscribe to a Store plan

Subscribing to an eBay Store package gives you discounted fees and additional free listings per month. Also, you get bonus tools to promote your business to potential buyers. 

You’ll need to connect a checking account for payouts to sign up. But before you subscribe, you’ll want to understand the Store features you’ll need to compare plans. 

If you can get by with up to 250 products per month, an eBay Store subscription will cost you only $4.95 per month. The next subscription plan starts at $21.95 per month and includes up to 1,000 product listings and lower final value fees. eBay also has plans for high-volume merchants, with subscriptions starting at $59.95 per month.

After you subscribe, you’ll get the opportunity to name your eBay storefront. Ideally, your store name should match your brand and reflect the type of products you’re selling. If you still need a brand name, find ideas with Shopify's business name generator.

5. Connect your Shopify store to your eBay account

The eBay Shopify app helps merchants manage their business through one cloud-based dashboard. You can consolidate your inventory, manage your orders, and increase sales, seamlessly.

Plus, the app lets you:

  • Communicate with customers using built-in messaging 
  • Expand your visibility on eBay’s global marketplaces
  • Showcase your products to millions of shoppers on mobile and the web

Connect Shopify to eBay

Merging your eBay and Shopify solutions is easier than you’d think. Here are the steps:

  1. Install the eBay app from the Shopify App Store.
  1. Log in with your Shopify store information and follow the prompts:
  1. Click Add channel in your Shopify dashboard and you’re done. 

Next, set up the eBay sales channel for your online store. This requires you to configure the eBay app settings, which you can do through the eBay channel under the Sales Channels menu. 

Click eBay and select Account > Business Policies. Next, click Create Policy to build shipping, payment, and return policies. If you have existing policies, select Force Sync from eBay to add them to Shopify. 

Next, Click the Sync Settings option under the eBay Sales channel menu to sync settings.

eBay sync settings Shopify

Then configure them by defining your default package size, inventory location, primary categories, eBay tax table, and inventory sync preferences.

Then click Save settings to finish.

6. Start listing

To list your products on eBay, click the Sell button on the top of any eBay page and complete the form details provided. eBay allows sellers to create templates for their listings using the “Save this listing as template” checkbox.

You can also list products from Shopify directly. Click the Listings option under the eBay Sales Channel menu, then click Add Listing. Next, configure the following for each listing:

  • Title and description
  • Details and category
  • Quantity, weight, and price
  • Package settings

It’s possible to leave the last two settings blank in order to use Shopify product values. 

When you’re done, click Save and Publish.

How to be successful on eBay

Prospective customers will first experience your brand through your listings, so it’s crucial to put your best foot forward. Here are some key best practices you can leverage to drive purchases on eBay:

1. Optimize your listings

Customers search for products on eBay just like they do on Google: using keywords. eBay’s algorithm assists people in finding products that meet their search criteria so they can quickly make a purchase. 

Adding product identifiers and relevant keywords to your listings ensures your listings will appear whenever shoppers enter queries relevant to the products you sell.

optimize eBay listings

You can edit the title and description of each eBay listing from within Shopify. Be careful as you do this—searches on eBay commonly take the following shapes: 

  • “64gb iPhone 12 pro max unlocked”
  • “women’s under armor sneakers red”
  • “boba tea bottle medium size 12 oz”

To ensure shoppers see your listings, include long-tail phrases in your listing titles. Then set them as identifiers in the Publish view:

  • Brand (“Samsung,” “Puma”)
  • Product description (“flip flop,” “waterproof smartphone case”)
  • Size (“men’s size 11,” “medium”)
  • Color (“holographic,” “blue”)
  • Model (“Pro Max,” “Air Yeezy”)

It’s also a good idea to think about the questions your customers might ask when looking for a product like yours:

  • Which size is right for me?
  • What are the dimensions of this product?
  • Is this product new?
  • What accessories are included?

The more questions you answer, the less your buyers will hesitate. Plus, you’ll be able to reduce the number of messages you get from shoppers. Use proper punctuation and capitalization to make your listings look more professional, and make product information digestible using bulleted lists instead of long paragraphs.

2. Offer a branded shipping experience

One of the best ways to make your brand memorable for buyers is to offer a professionally branded fulfillment experience. Keep the following tips in mind to become the go-to merchant for your customers:

  • Deliver orders promptly.
  • Avoid cancelling orders whenever you can.
  • Invest in branded shipping supplies to make your packages look professional.
  • Provide a clean and organized fulfillment experience, with duty information and shipment tracking.

Implementing these tips will reward you with shoppers that see your listings first in their search results or even bookmark your store and visit you directly for future purchases.

3. Price yourself competitively

eBay’s marketplace is vast, with merchants offering similar items across a range of prices. eBay shoppers make buying decisions based on a variety of factors, like sale terms and shipping costs, but a competitive price is still the most appealing factor. 

You can select one of two selling options on eBay:

  • Buy it now. This refers to the fixed-price listings that let your customer pay for something and have it shipped immediately. It can be ideal for shoppers who don’t want to wait for an auction to end. Buy it now can also encourage more people to buy on impulse.
  • The auction. Auctions last from one to 10 days and sometimes encourage people to pay more for your product. Auctions motivate buyers to compete with each other, but you’ll need to ensure your listing gets people excited. Auction-style listings are valuable for items in high demand, with limited supply, like rare collectibles. They’re also ideal if you don’t know what price to sell at.

When choosing a starting price for your auction or a Buy it now price, it’s a good idea to check the listings created by other sellers to get an idea of what your item can go for while ensuring your pricing is in line with the ongoing price on the eBay marketplace.

Start growing your sales with eBay

With over 154 million users and prominent brands selling on its platform, it’s clear that eBay is a good place to build awareness for your products. The low barrier to entry for Shopify store owners makes it an ideal channel for selling products beyond your main store. 

Start by installing the eBay Shopify app, then connect the two platforms together to start selling your Shopify products on the eBay marketplace.

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