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Who Owns Your eBay Business?

October 6th, 2010 by Skip McGrath

Does eBay work for you or do you work for eBay?

Think about this a minute: What does eBay do? –and what do you, the eBay seller, do? eBay has no products, no warehouse and no shipping department.

Lets look at how the responsibilities are divided:


eBay provides a reliable platform, traffic and a place for you to sell your goods


  • You source the product
  • You warehouse the product
  • You package the product
  • You ship the product
  • You collect the money
  • You chase after non-paying bidders
  • You handle the complaints and support
  • You pay eBay a percentage of your sales to allow you to do all this

Don’t get me wrong –I love my eBay business and it makes me money.  I am not suggesting you quit, but maybe its time to expand your horizons.

There are lots of online selling venues –but most of them are too small and have too little traffic to make a living.  The three best alternatives are:

  • Etsy.com if you make your own products (handmade goods and art)
  • Amazon.com
  • Your own website

Etsy has been hugely successful and has siphoned off a huge segment of the eBay market for handmade goods and those who sell their own clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts.

Amazon is now bigger than eBay and they are very aggressively seeking more sellers.  I am working on an Amazon training manual of my own, but until then the best book on the market is by my friend Steve Lindhorst called Selling on The River.

And then there are websites.  Most people are afraid to set up a website for two big reasons:  They think it’s difficult and you need a lot of technical skills and they don’t know how they will get traffic.

That used to be the case, but there have been dozens of companies that sprung up over the years to address those issues.  One if the best is from a guy called Ken Envoy.  Several years ago he started a company called Site Build It, that has grown to the most respected company that helps small online sellers get started with a website business.

Site Build It includes everything you need to get started.  It’s a point and click system –no software or technical skills required. If you can type, point and click, you can build a website. Everything is included from picking and registering your domain name to hosting and showing you how to get traffic.

We have three websites that generate income in addition to our eBay business.  Once I capture a customer on eBay I can send them to my own website for future business.  The advantages of this are many –but the biggest one is the fees I save. When I sell something on eBay or Amazon I pay between $10% and 15% in eBay and PayPal fees.  But when I sell from my website all I pay is my monthly hosting fee of less than $10.

So if you sell on eBay and you would like to learn more about setting up your own website, Site Build It has a special page just for eBay sellers.

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