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How to Start an eBay Business

If you’re researching how to start an eBay business, you’ve come to the right place.

eBay is an online shopping and auction platform that allows people to buy and sell used or new products. It is one of the biggest retail phenomena of our time. The opportunities offered by an eBay business stretch way beyond the chance to sell unwanted bric-a-brac or discarded Christmas presents. Read on to find out how to get started, set up and registered as the boss of your own eBay business.

What Is an eBay Business?

In the third quarter of 2020, eBay reached 183 million active buyers worldwide.

The simplicity of setting up on eBay has persuaded millions of people who would have never previously considered going into business to start out for themselves. Millions more have established healthy second incomes by buying items and selling them online for a profit. A lot of eBay businesses are expansions of sole hobby sellers and eCommerce businesses looking to get a wider audience for their products. While anyone can create an account on the marketplace platform and start selling and buying products, eBay does make a clear distinction between a business and a seller account.

An eBay seller must register as a business if, for example, they sell items they have bought to resell, they make items to sell them or if they buy items for their business. While the site is free to use, eBay does charge some fees . There’s a per-item sales fee, as well as fees for any additional but optional features used.

Conduct Your Research

Before you set-up your eBay business, it’s of paramount importance that you do your research. The huge number of sellers on eBay means that the platform is highly competitive.

Researching the eBay market in your particular sector, as well as on the internet to see what the competition is doing, can help you work out what to sell and what price to sell it at. It is vital that you identify a point of difference that will set you apart from your competitors. This is known as business’ Unique Selling Point (USP). Without defining a clear USP, your business is likely to become lost amongst the others and fail to generate any good revenue. Other areas of research you should carry out are:

  • What is your brand name?
  • What are the start-up costs and expenses?
  • What are your business model and legal structure?
  • What rules and regulations must you follow?
  • Do you need a storage facility for your products?
  • How will you logistically send your products to your customers?
  • What is your marketing plan and how will you build your online presence?

How to Start an eBay Business?

Once you have a clear business plan and products to sell, you can set-up your eBay account.

To start your eBay business, you'll first need to register ; this can be done quickly and easily on the eBay website. Once your registration is done, click on the drop-down menu labelled “Sell”, found in the top right-hand corner of most eBay pages, and follow the step-by-step instructions from there. You may wish to upload a picture from a digital camera or one from the web to illustrate your product.

Next, create a business account. To start trading under your business name, set up a business account with eBay. To do this, you'll need to provide a UK postal address or landline telephone number, and details of a bank account capable of accepting Direct Debit instructions.

Once you have had a few successful sales, you can also opt-in to the platform’s eBay Shop option . This is a subscription feature that eBay offers to its business sellers. Though you don't need to have a Shop subscription to sell as a business on eBay, an eBay Shop can help you reach the right customers, manage orders and build your brand. Your buyers can learn about you and your business, can browse your items through a customisable shopfront and you can benefit from reduced fees. To be able to open a shop on eBay, you need to have a PayPal account, plus a minimum score of five positive feedback reviews.

Register Your eBay Business as a Company

Setting up an eBay shop is just the same as starting a business. If you sell more than £1,000 in a year on eBay then you will need to register a self-employed business and pay taxes depending on your income. Every country has different rules and regulations regarding the taxes you must pay on income made from an eCommerce enterprise, so please consult an accountant in your country of residence.

In the UK, when you are ready to start your eBay business you need to register with HMRC. If you plan to make selling online a large enterprise, you might consider forming a limited company. This will prevent cost risks falling on you if the business fails. If it’s more of a side hustle, you can go the sole-trader route.

Deciding and completing your company formation is crucial to your business success. We can help you get set up fast and easy.

Are you ready to start an eBay business? We’ll secure your business name and get your company registered fast so that you can start doing what you love.

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