eBay is on a roll these days, yet there are a lot of sellers out there who have never sold on eBay—but who could significantly benefit from doing so.
The thing is, eBay's been around for a very long time; founded in 1995, it was one of the first general e-commerce platforms and the only one from that period that continues today. For this reason, much that non-eBay sellers imagine about eBay is colored by coverage spanning decades, much of which no longer applies.
Here's what you might not know about eBay today—and why, if you're a seller who's looking to grow a budding business, eBay is a key next step.
eBay has a huge, diverse shopper base, with 170 million active shoppers across dozens of branded marketplaces around the world. As one of today's top two e-commerce giants, eBay has maintained its importance across nearly three decades of operation.
Today, eBay is one of a handful of companies driving mobile commerce, with nearly 400 million app downloads, and boasts engagement levels that are orders of magnitude higher than those on most other e-commerce platforms—including boutique marketplaces that are often cited as having committed clienteles.
Outdated coverage may lead some to thing that eBay serves an audience of collectors, thrift resellers, and yard-sellers, but in fact throughout its history eBay has been a key driver of top-line worldwide e-commerce growth.
Selling online but not on eBay is a like being a doctor that only sees patients on weekends or a mechanic that only works on two-seaters. Your business may or may not be fine, but you're leaving an awful lot of opportunity on the table.
While eBay may have started as an online auction platform, it has evolved with the rest of e-commerce—and has often been amongst the handful of companies driving this evolution.
Over 80 percent of the products sold on eBay are new, not used—though the fact that eBay is the single best place to sell used goods on the planet can overshadow this fact. Still, over 85 percent of eBay volume is driven by fixed-price (that is, non-auction) sales.
In combination with its leadership in mobile commerce, this makes eBay the kind of marketplace that today's online shoppers embrace. Like a retail store online, eBay offers new products at clear prices for immediate purchase that—more than two-thirds of the time—ship for free.
The image of eBay as an idiosyncratic auction house is rooted in the early history of e-commerce (a history that eBay is largely responsible for creating, but simply doesn't reflect the eBay of today.
eBay's status as a top marketplace ticking shoppers' most cherished boxes shouldn't obscure the fact that selling on eBay offers unique advantages.
For one thing, eBay is a highly search-driven marketplace, unusually adept at leading shoppers to just what they're looking for very quickly. This search-centricity is enabled by the flexibility that eBay offers to sellers. On eBay, you use your own product names and titles, your own descriptions, and your own images—all of which are prominently associated with you and your sales history and performance.
No other major marketplace enables sellers to brand and differentiate themselves so quickly, or to achieve such large gains with careful, original tweaks to search optimization and presentation.
eBay balances these capabilities well with carefully enforced guidelines for seller performance and shopper behavior, in combination with its legendary, first-of-breed feedback system, imitated by virtually all of today's online feedback tools. Today, the relative rewards for being a high-quality seller are larger on eBay than just about anywhere else.
Here's where the rubber really meets the road for many new sellers—two key points that make eBay a no-brainer for a start in e-commerce.
First, barriers to entry are very low. You'll pay no up-front fees, no subscription fee to get started, and you can list your products, new or used, even if they're custom-made, hand-made, or rare, using your own content, images, sales policies, and shipping methods—all in minutes. You can go from nothing to your first several sales today, without a cent of initial investment.
Second, and just as importantly, there is no equivalent to Terapeak for other online marketplaces. As a new eBay seller and Terapeak user, you can see up to three years of complete sales history—what sells, at what prices and sell-through rates, in what categories, using what shipping terms, by how many other sellers—and more.
The easy availability of hundreds of billions of dollars in actual sales data, in combination with everything else outlined above—makes eBay an obvious choice for anyone looking to start, or grow, in e-commerce.
If you're looking to do either, get off your chair and make it happen. Go register on eBay, then get access to Terapeak right now. You'll pay nothing up front, and it's probably the single best opportunity for your business that you haven't yet seized.
Research a full year of online sales in detail for any product or keyword—average prices, competition levels, top listings, and more. Try Terapeak Research today!