So You Want to Set Up an eBay Store?

eBay has been referred to as the “flea market of the world”. If it is indeed a flea market, what an example it has proven itself! Only, real flea markets rarely, if ever, sell planes and supercars and supersmart mobile phones, not to mention the rest of the exciting stuff for a homo sapiens of any gender and age.

It’s so easy to use, you can always go and tell your friends later on, “I got it sold on the internet.” But if you need to set up a proper store on eBay, there are a few things you need to consider. Here is a short list of pointers you should consider before you plunge headlong into eBay store:

  • Is eBay an appropriate channel for your business?
    You will find eBay particularly useful if you sell discount or discountable items or collectibles. Returned, used, closeout sale goods, and excess inventory items sell well on eBay. Shopping on eBay is extremely price competitive. Goods that are hard to find elsewhere or priced lower than other retailers will have a greater chance of getting sold.
  • Make a slow start. Start with a few items to sell. If you take more orders than you can successfully fulfill, you will start on the wrong foot. That will have an adverse effect on your business. First perfect the processes and gain confidence at selling. Then on, you can gradually move on to bigger things.
  • Customer service is important. If you sell frequently and are also able to maintain good customer service ratings, you can a part of eBay’s top-rated seller program. Sellers who get great reviews from their customers show up higher in product search results than other sellers with lower ratings. A better public feedback profile on eBay helps a lot, since buyers want to ascertain that they are not entrusting their money to unscrupulous vendors or purchasing spurious products.
  • eBay Store
    eBay Store
  • Effective product listings are equally important. Never use harsh or restricting TOS. The terms should be simple, laid out in the bulleted list format, and accompanied by robust product descriptions. Look for quality content for each one of your products. This matters for the same reason mentioned above.
  • Be consciously branding your eBay store: eBay provides as many as 15 customizable pages for your store. Put them to good use. If necessary, get expert help and advice from an eBay developer. Professional service providers can undertake to build the entire store or parts thereof.
  • Play to the gallery: Offer free shipping. Try out your eBay store for yourself, as a customer. These tactics work because a) you need to be able to offer what many other vendors are already offering – free shipping and b) you need to be a better vendor than those others. Build on your own experience as a customer at your own store.

Need help with setting up your eBay store? Let us know. We’ll do the rest.

6 Benefits of Getting a Yahoo Store for Your Online Business

A Yahoo Store is both a great option for those who want to start out with a new online store as well as those that already have an online store but need a better platform for conducting online business. You can opt for a standalone Yahoo Store or add one onto your existing ecommerce store. Yahoo Merchant solutions render the entire process of e-tailing far easier and simpler than it ever was. This post points out 6 benefits in particular of getting a Yahoo store for your online business:Yahoo Small Business

  • Design: You can get a custom-designed store for your business. Your idea of your store’s design can be exactly as you want it, being limited by your imagination and your developer’s capability to realize it. Yahoo will also allow you to use any third-party tools that might be required.
  • Product Catalogs: Yahoo store offers online product catalogs that are highly flexible. It allows you to add products, upload current products, and make whatever other changes you might want to make to your online catalog.
  • Product Promotions: Using the promotion features on your Yahoo store, you can offer discounts when you want to as well as coupons and gift certificates. Yahoo Stores also has a search feature that lets your customers search for the product they are looking for.
Benefits of Getting a Yahoo Store
Yahoo! Store Benefits
  • Shopping Cart and Checkout: Another benefit of opting for a Yahoo store is that you will have a shopping cart and checkout pages to use for your online business. In the hands of a good developer, you can also have it customized to suit the particular requirements of your own business. Customers can save their shopping cart for later use, and you can configure it to automatically add taxes and other options. Yahoo also supports products that need to be downloaded.
  • Payment Processing: All your payments are securely processed with Yahoo ecommerce solutions. You can accept both debit and credit cards, without any additional payment for these services. You can even validate and verify the credit cards that are used to shop at your store.
  • Order Processing: Yahoo makes order processing extremely user friendly. You can print out your invoices and labels for the shipping of purchased goods and send out automated emails to provide your customers the status of their orders with automatic updates. In addition, your customers will see only your current inventory, which ensures that you always have the products available.

Have you obtained a Yahoo store for your online business yet? If not, go get it fast. Drop Ydeveloper a line if you’d prefer to have expert guidance in setting up your Yahoo store.

All the best!

The Importance of Netiquettes in Online Business – II

Facebook and Its Value as an Online Business Tool

The other day, I saw an online report that talked about the perils of over-sharing on social media sites such as Facebook. It said that college students were prone to sharing a lot of information over social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. This wouldn’t be such a problem if the habit did not continue beyond graduation, it said.

Very true, of course. You cannot share too much online regarding your business. I’d doubt that anyone would ever want to share any such sensitive information. But small online businesses run by young entrepreneurs are the subject of the discussion here, and they need to take special care that they do not share any information that could come back to haunt their business later on.

While I do very much doubt that even a young entrepreneur would ‘share’ too much online in ways that threaten his/her own business, I have also nevertheless seen the typical, in-the-face online and offline marketing and advertising of businesses, which often gets excessive and proves to be a nuisance overall.

Netiquettes in Online Business
Netiquettes in Online Business

All online sharing and advertising should be a carefully planned exercise – not a free-for-all kind of hammering-away-till-you-get-customers campaign. And Facebook threatens to be that as well, besides compromising privacy and leaving you, your business, and even your associates vulnerable to attacks such as s*xting and the lot.

There have also been complaints regarding other negative side-effects of Facebook. Being the powerful medium that it is, Facebook has big potential for misuse, despite being inherently a good thing to have. That’s my take on it.

For heaven’s sake, you could misuse flowers if you were bent upon doing as much. Also, I doubt that most young companies have the time and the personnel to dedicate to social media. A sense of propriety and timing as well as appropriate content are all necessary in your planning for your organization’s Facebook page.

Startups will do well to thoroughly envision their strategy for engaging their audience on Facebook. Done well, you can reap rich rewards. Ensure however, that there’s not an iota of any negative sentiment toward anyone in any of your Facebook posts.

The Importance of Netiquettes in Online Business

While looking up something for my daughter on the Internet the other day, I discovered a site with a page or two on netiquettes or Internet etiquettes. That set the ticking in motion and in less than a minute after seeing those pages, I was asking myself: Just how important are online etiquettes in your business communications?

That question, in turn, led to several other questions as well, such as: What are the dos and donts in business communications? How does one ensure that the best practices are incorporated in all your communications? What criteria determine the netiquettes every business must follow? What follows are my thoughts on these issues.

It just happens that I have seen such a lot of inferior-quality online marketing and other business content, I am pleasantly surprised that there are a few entities with an online presence that are promoting the use of netiquettes. It’s almost touching!

Netiquette
Netiquette

I have seen, for instance, content that genuinely means well. It informative and to the point. It even sincerely attempts to be polite. However, the manner in which it is written, with an utter disregard for linguistic finesse of any standard whatsoever, makes it read really offensive.

That’s another angle to the whole concept of online etiquettes. I brought it up because much of all that content online suffers from this malady.

How many times have you seen the phrase ‘Content is King’ on websites? A million times, probably, I should think. Especially if you have been reading up on content related to search engine optimization or business websites.

Actually, that’s offensive in itself, for why should I be seeing those words repeated on a million different websites? Why not some other words to say the same thing? Why not a better or a different take on the same concept? What about the reason why content is king?

That example serves so well to illustrate just how the lack of sensibility and sensitivity in using words online can actually have a negative impact on your online presence. The moment I read such a sentence online, I want to move on because I have already been there and read that. Which brings us to the point that innovation is a major part of web content.

Yes, content does indeed have blue blood in its veins. And the king should have royal robes – excellent netiquettes. One needs to respect that before one starts to write for a website or other business communication.

I have stumbled upon a huge topic that deserves full attention. I do not imagine it possible to do any justice to it over the scope of a single post.

I will of course bring it up here later. The time I have spent on the topic will be justified if I have only managed to underline the importance of netiquettes for the time being.

Ecommerce Websites With a Difference

Tending your own ecommerce website can be a labor of love that also brings in big profits. In this post, I want to dwell upon HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ECOMMERCE WEBSITE from the point of personal indulgence.

You see, I figured that if an entrepreneur could not be totally and completely passionate about his or her ecommerce business, he or she could not expect to make much out of it. If you started a business to simply make some money and then stop worrying about it, chances are you will not be able make even as much.

This is a hunch, of course…let’s call it a calculated hunch. Notice how I used the word ‘tending’ in the very first sentence. Every offline or online business would require exactly that – asthough it were a garden with trees that promised the fruits and flowers of paradise.

When I was first introduced to the concepts of ecommerce websites; online stores; and the effort that goes into developing, maintaining, and optimizing them for online business success, I was – quite frankly – left astounded.

Sure, I had already heard of and used eBay.com and Amazon.com. The former I had used for ordering a mobile phone, CDs, and a few other gadgets. The latter I could use only to order some books. But I had never imagined what it might be like behind the scenes on these ecommerce giants or any other ecommerce sites I had seen.

eCommerce Store
eCommerce Store

However, I had always known that you couldn’t get much out of any pursuit you took up unless you did it with all your heart and soul in it. With an ecommerce business, it rings true all the more.

Some parts of it will likely involve plain hard work and drudgery, some others will be a pure joy to take up. Each labor of love, however, carries the potential to bring magnanimous reward.

The world of ecommerce is humongous, and the internet is even vaster. Both are growing to gargantuan proportions every minute. We would all be well-advised to think scale, with passion, when we go about our ecommerce business building and maintenance activities.

We, at Ydeveloper, are full of just such verve at our work and our clients’ businesses. If you would like to infuse just such energy into your own ecommerce store, we are just a phone call away!