I recently completed a website for an eBay seller who, once the project was complete, asked me how he could use the website to help his business. I thought the answer was worth sharing.

As an eBay seller you might wonder why the heck do I need a separate website? - Your eBay store might not be super customizable but people can still buy your products, follow you and even sign up for your newsletters, right?

It's all true. And here's what you don't need a separate website for: you don't need it as another place to sell your products.

People like buying through eBay. They are looked after and they know they can file a complaint with eBay if anything goes wrong. If they buy from a random website, they know that there's a risk. eBay is basically risk free and this encourages visitors to become customers.

But there are good reasons to have a website that supports your eBay store.

Professionalism

A well built website is like a crisp, clean business card. It immediately gives a sense of professionalism to you as a seller. It gives a potential customer a sense you are a legitimate business and that you can be relied on to still be around in the future.

Many shoppers are wary of buying from incompetent, unprofessional or even unscrupulous sellers. We've all heard horror stories of naive buyers bidding on a playstation and ending up with only a picture of one; or buying a rocking chair only to receive a doll house accessory.

There are many ways cheats use eBay and target shoppers. As legitimate businesses, a professional looking website is one way to distinguish yourself.

Harnessing Google

Most people start their shopping journey with google - even before they go to eBay or Amazon, they want to learn about what they are buying. Having a website can be a chance to catch their attention during this pre-shopping phase.

For example, I recently bought some bed sheets. I started by googling something like "What does thread count mean?"

After about an hour learning about types of cotton, thread type and count, and a little shopping around, I finally ended up making a purchase on eBay, quite confident I was buying a quality product.

If, as an eBay seller of quality cotton sheets, Google had directed me to your website where I could have read about the benefits of Egyptian cotton and then clicked a link to see the sheets you were selling on eBay made from 400 thread count Egyptian cotton, I might have ended up buying from you.

Promote Your Custom Products

If you sell customizable goods, a website can be a great place for you to better explain what you do or exactly what services you can provide.

Within eBay, you probably list a product and at the bottom of each product description you include a little note mentioning that you also do custom work and customers should contact you if they have any questions. This blurb is probably something generic you copy and paste into the bottom of every product description.

Instead, include a link and use your website to give a complete description of exactly what services you offer and what you can (or can't) do. This would be a great place to include common questions so people can get some answers that much quicker (and saving you time answering the same questions over and over).

Not only does this let potential customers get a better idea of what you can do (meaning more confident and thus more likely to contact you), it also provides original content more likely to show up when people search on google (rather than copy and pasted text you have on every product page).

Easy and Stable

If you sell on eBay, it's not easy to tell someone how to find your store.

Imagine trying to write the URL for your eBay store for someone you've been talking to about your great products. It's a heck of a lot easier if you can just give them a nice easy dot-com address to go to and from there they can see your products and easily navigate to your store.

Now imagine you want to leave eBay - perhaps there's a change of terms. If all your customers know you by your website; if all your newsletter signups were through your website rather than through eBay, you won't be starting from scratch.

You can easily change your website and direct your customers to your new Etsy store rather than your eBay store. Over the years, you can keep your domain name the same, even if eBay changes, the address you share with people (your dot-com) remains the same.

Real Life

If you'd like to see the website I designed and built for an eBay seller, you can check it out at anarchyjewelry.com - quality gold and silver handmade jewelry.

If you'd like to hire me to build you a website to compliment your eBay store, you can read about me or contact me to discuss.