How to start an eBay business

With 182 million users, eBay presents incredible opportunities to start a business and sell products to a huge audience. Starting an eBay business provides sellers of diverse products and markets with the opportunity to start and maintain a successful business. And you won’t have to worry about building and maintaining your own website.

What’s in this article? 

  • Steps to starting your own eBay business
  • The different types of eBay businesses
  • The benefits of starting an eBay business 
  • Keeping compliant with your eBay business

The beauty of eBay is that starting a business isn’t complicated and is within everyone’s reach. This article will help guide you through the process of how to start a business on eBay. 

How to start an eBay business 

1. Choose an eBay business name

Firstly, choose a name for your eBay business. Make the name unique and identifiable with what you’re selling. Having a recognisable name can help customers find and remember you. 

2. Register as a business

You have two account options when signing up to eBay — regular and business. The business account allows you to use your business name and branding in all communications and interactions with customers. 

When registering a new business on eBay, click ‘Create a business account’ at the top of the registration page. A UK postal address is required or a landline phone number. 

3. Consider the type of eBay business you want to run  

There are four types of eBay businesses to opt for, each of which comes with different features and privileges. They include:

No shop / standard seller 

Without a shop, you simply list items on eBay and pay as you sell. There are no monthly subscription fees or costs to pay, and the account is simple and free to set up. Being a standard seller is most suited to people selling second-hand items or selling goods as a hobby. 

Basic

With a Basic store, you can get your home-based operation up and running with reduced fees and tools to help grow and start making a profit on your eBay business. 

Featured

With a Featured store, sellers get a monthly credit on listing upgrades that optimise your listings for greater exposure and increase your chance of selling. They also benefit from eBay packaging supplies, as well as free international listings and other perks. 

Anchor

With an Anchor account, you can expand your eBay business by having access to inclusive fixed price listings and a number of exclusive benefits across the board. 

Basic, Featured and Anchor stores come with a monthly subscription and price. 

4. Consider opening an eBay store 

When you’re up and running with an eBay business, you may want to consider opening an eBay store. Having an eBay store makes it easier to operate an eBay business. Selling items can be easier with an eBay store compared to creating listings as a standard business seller. 

Benefits of starting an eBay store 

There are several benefits to setting up a business on eBay rather than just selling items as single listings. They include:

  • An eBay store allows sellers to showcase all their items in one location. 
  • These home-based businesses can benefit from the tools eBay provides to its business sellers. These easy-to-use tools include being able to customise a storefront, so it’s in-keeping with the seller’s brand or industry. 
  • Listings can be optimised via eBay’s exclusive and powerful optimisation tools. 
  • eBay store sellers get dedicated customer service support.
  • Traffic to your listings can be boosted to drive customers to your store and products. 
  • With an eBay store, you can relax with time away settings, as eBay can put your store and listings ‘on hold’ when you’re away. 

How to start your own business so you’re compliant with tax legislation 

eBay business sellers must follow and comply with government regulations. For the majority of eBay business sellers, this involves registering as a business with HMRC. 

If you sell items on eBay that you’ve bought specifically to resell, you make products to sell, or buy items for your business, you must register the business for tax self-assessment. 

As long as you’re considered a sole trader / self employed, you won’t need to register with Companies House. When you register as a sole trader, you get to keep all your business’s profits after tax. You are, however, personally responsible for any losses. You can set up as a sole trader and register for self-assessment with HMRC. Each year, you’ll need to file a tax return. You’ll then pay National Insurance and Income Tax, after HMRC works out how much you owe. Preparing your tax return is simple with an app like Countingup. The business current account comes with free built-in accounting software that provides you with live tax estimates throughout the year so that you know exactly how much money to set aside for your tax return.

If your annual turnover from your eBay business reaches and exceeds £85,000, you’ll need to register for VAT. 

Starting an eBay business can be rewarding, profitable and fun. With strategic planning, patience and perseverance, we hope that you’ll soon be reaping the rewards of your eBay business.

When you’re starting a new business, every penny counts and spending your time wisely is key. Countingup is the business current account that automates your financial admin. It means that you can you can gain time back to focus on making your eBay business a success. Learn more here