Why people think selling on eBay damages the brand

Most, but not all, ecommerce strategies that we develop at Thrive Digital include eBay. When we tell new clients that they should start selling their products on eBay (if they are not doing it already) they are very quick to tell us this is the wrong approach.

One of the major reasons companies give for not selling on eBay is that they do not want to be associated with fakes. It is true that once upon a time eBay was awash with dodgy Rolexes and second hand junk. However, eBay has taken steps to change this, and its reputation is good with consumers.

The association, with companies at least, lingers on.

Why companies change their mind

Simply, revenues are too large to ignore.

Take the Superdry store for example, in the last 12 months they sold approximately 257,000 products on their eBay store. If the average selling price is about £15, eBay generates about £4m in turn over for Superdry per year.

The cost of setting up and managing an eBay store (if done properly with automation and integration into a central system) is minimal. Superdry will be have all the photography, descriptions, etc. for their website. They are also likely to have feed from their website, to their eBay store, so this is populated automatically.

Superdry has added approximately £4m in extra revenue per annum, with almost no cost, through using eBay.

Why it can be more damaging not to sell on eBay

For some companies, the promise of revenue is not enough. They are concerned with making sure that they do not damage their brand.

If you feel this way, then you definitely SHOULD be on eBay.

Take the Superdry example once more, and imagine an eBay without a Superdry store. In this alternative reality, there is still a demand for Superdry products on eBay, however, there is no longer the supply. The result of this is that the excess demand is filled by someone else – knock offs!

Being present on eBay has two major benefits when it comes to fakes. Firstly, you are taking advantage of the demand, and are generating revenue from it. Secondly, you have more power when asking eBay to take down knock off products. If you are selling authentic products on the platform, eBay are far more likely to listen to you when you say that others are fake.

Further benefits of selling on eBay

There two more important benefits to selling on eBay that you should be aware of.

Firstly, it provides a fantastic avenue to international ecommerce markets. 38% of the top 1,000 eBay sellers are serious cross-border traders.

Secondly, it enables you to use it to develop pipeline for more expensive products. This is what Superdry does. You can read more here about how emarketplaces can drive sales on your own website.

For most companies, selling on eBay can be overwhelmingly positive. It can come with issues, and some companies dislike it. However, as with everything in ecommerce, test it out. Don’t just dismiss eBay because of some predetermined bias based on what you associate eBay with. It could generate a lot of revenue for your business.

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