Marketplace sellers – profit from the mistakes of others

August 30, 2015

Whether eBay, Amazon or another marketplace platform, more and more businesses are taking the plunge and attempting to sell more through them. It seems so straight forward and the barriers to entry are very low. So why does it not always work as you planned? Read our list of common mistakes and oversights by marketplace sellers.

Know the policies inside-out

It might sound obvious, but spend some time reading the policies, your account can be banned if you break them and so familiarisation is well worth the effort. Be aware that the policies can change over time too.

Think quality not quantity

You could be mistaken for believing that the more you sell the more you will make. But your level of customer service and your reputation as an online seller is key to your long term success. It cannot just be about price. Think about your content, your speed of delivery and your returns policy for example. What is important to you when buying from an online marketplace?

Put profit before turnover

Many businesses have piled it high and sold it cheap on marketplaces, only to discover that it is not sustainable after a period of time. Are you covering all of your overheads such as finance fees, storage costs, software, packaging, payment for your time and tax? If not, your time will be limited in an online marketplace.

Automate your stock management

Here’s one that Patchworks can help you with. A badly managed inventory can cost you dearly and yet with multiple retail channels, it can be hard to manage manually. Consider integration to automate your processes, which will in fact leave you with much more time to run your business effectively.

Create your listings in bulk

Few businesses create their listings one by one these days – that is simply painful! Using spreadsheets, you can really streamline the process and be far more effective with your time.

Take a good photo

Too many businesses pay insufficient attention to their photos. Ideally these should be your own, taken at a good quality by someone who knows what they are doing. White backgrounds are best and it’s preferable to avoid using supplier pictures as you have no way of standing out from the competition.

Don’t take your eye off the ball

You cannot sit back and relax once your marketplace selling is up and running. Look at the trends, competitors and changing policies. There are more businesses coming in to every marketplace daily so make sure that your business leads the pack.

This list is not definitive but it does demonstrate that the market is constantly changing and your business should be too, in order to remain competitive and cope with the challenges presented. Keep focused and your marketplace selling can flourish and be a real asset to your business.

Luke Hodgson

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