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Naming and Branding Your eBay Business

February 3rd, 2007 by Skip McGrath

Building a brand can help you grow your eBay business and make more money from your eBay auctions, eBay store and your website.

If you don’t already have a name for your eBay business, you may want to take some time and care in coming up with one.
If you are serious about your eBay business, you’ll be putting that name on letterhead, business cards, and your business license, which are all necessary elements to running a successful business. Of course, you can run an eBay business without these things, but you may never break through to PowerSeller levels.

Choosing a Business Name

If you are in one line of business only, then a specific name gives you credibility as a specialist. Some examples might be: Janie’s Children’s Apparel, Jason’s Collectible Cards, Westwood Jewelry Sales, Nautical Antiques & Collectibles, Books and More, Import Motors Marketing, and so on.

If you are a general merchandiser or will be buying and selling different categories of products, you would do better with a more general business name. Some examples might be Southwest Marketing, Alley Trading, Auction Deals, Williams Associates, Northwest Marketing & Sales, and Summerdale House, Inc. These names could apply to almost any type of business and give you the freedom to describe your business as virtually anything you want.

Be careful of using the words “Inc.,” “Incorporated,” “Partners,” “Limited,” and “Ltd.”, as these terms all have specific legal meanings. For instance, it is illegal to call yourself a corporation if you are not incorporated. If you are going to become an eBay Trading Assistant (TA) or consignment seller, you might want a name such as Consign-On-line or SellForYou.
Besides a business name, you will have to choose a memorable eBay username. Whatever business name you choose, make sure that it can be easily worked into your username.

There are some great examples of successful sellers on eBay with specialized business names that have corresponding eBay usernames. The most famous is Jay Senese. His eBay user ID and his business name were the same: OneCentCDs. Jay became the largest seller on eBay offering used and closeout CDs by starting all his auctions at 1¢. So many people copied his success and cloned slight variations of his name that he finally gave up and changed it to JayAndMarie. (His wife Marie works in the business with him.) By that time Jay and Marie had become so famous, that they essentially branded their own names.
Having a clever and memorable name will pay dividends as you try to grow your business. It will enable you to brand your business across several platforms (eBay, eBay Store, Web Store, and offline store).

Branding Your Business

A brand consists of more than a name.  It is, or can be, a combination of your business name, your eBay username, a logo and the design look-and-feel of your auctions and web site.  The purpose of a brand is first to build credibility in the customer’s mind and second to create a memorable impression that people will recognize when they return to your auctions, your eBay store or your web site. A brand will help you gain recognition on eBay and the Web and it will help people remember you.
The whole point of having a logo and a memorable name is so that satisfied customers can find you again and recommend you to others. If people remember your business name, website, and/or eBay username they can go directly to your sales portal, thereby avoiding possible exposure to your competitors.

Creating an eBay Store Name

An eBay store is a place on eBay where you can sell merchandise at a fixed price and you can list items indefinitely as opposed to the one to ten-day auction format. The listing fees are much lower than for auctions although the final value fees are higher.

eBay gives you the freedom to create a name and a logo for your eBay store. You can create a banner at the top of your store or even design your whole store with your own unique look. As you are choosing a business name, think about how it will fit into a banner design.

Several web designers specialize in designing eBay store logos and banners. I use Anthony McMurray at Proimpulse Design. He can design an eBay store, About Me Page and Auction Templates that all work together with the same look and feel.

Web Store and URL Selection

Virtually all large eBay sellers also have a web store or their own website where they also sell the same or similar merchandise they sell on eBay. As well as your eBay username you will also want a memorable website name and URL. Long URLs are cumbersome, so think of something that is catchy and short. It might contain all or part of your business name or describe what you sell.

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