When you sell products on eBay, it involves a lot more than putting up a listing and shipping out a product. The most successful sellers will always have the products customers want in stock at the right time and at the ideal price to make a sale. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how to sell on eBay while implementing top-notch inventory management.
So what is inventory management? It refers to a specific process of ordering inventory, storing it properly, and selling it most efficiently. eBay inventory management is no different – but many special considerations determine whether you operate at the highest level on the platform.
eBay inventory management incorporates everything from acquiring products to safely storing them and ensuring they sell at the best prices to interested customers. People who sell items on eBay often have to take on many roles to be successful. Order fulfillment, overseeing stock, and making purchases are only a few of the tasks required to get the best results.
There are several benefits associated with having efficient inventory management for an eBay business. It can cut down on your costs, create a streamlined solution for order fulfillment, and enable you to offer superior customer service. When the right processes are in place, it can also help you reduce loss from returns, theft, and spoilage of goods.
However, when you break things down, inventory management also offers additional benefits that might not be immediately noticed. You’ll learn more about your customers and what their preferences are, get insight into how your finances are doing, be able to determine new business and product opportunities, and much more.
As we discussed, inventory management involves overseeing the inventory of a business from beginning to end. It incorporates all parts of the flow of a good from the moment of purchase through the end sale. With efficient eBay inventory management, a business will constantly have products available for customers while reducing operational costs to the lowest point possible. Access to a top supply chain is essential and the inventory management process is a huge part of that.
One of the most important things for business growth on eBay is adhering to best practices for inventory management. It can offer a huge range of benefits simply from being better able to monitor all aspects of your sales channels. This all boils down to having more money available while more easily growing the business.
The process for eBay inventory management can be largely broken down into five steps. Each is integral and important to be aware of. A breakdown in one step could cause an issue that creates problems across the full management flow. When you treat each step as just as important as the other four, a seller can increase operational efficiency while running an eBay business.
Before any eBay business can properly launch, sourcing products is essential. This is the first step in eBay inventory management. It involves finding a source of quality products that come at a cost that offers the seller a profit each time a sale is made. After a source is present, the seller will need to communicate with them to determine whether they meet their needs. Assuming they do, it’s an excellent idea to have a signed contract stating this to protect you in the future. If this isn’t possible, there’s likely a better supplier out there.
Sourcing involves finding and acquiring products from a supplier and then providing payment for them. This could be seen as the initial stage of creating a contract.
Step two for efficient eBay inventory management is all about storing and organizing items. This should be done practically to make the most of whatever space is available. Investing in equipment may be required at this stage to gain access to items like boxes, shelves, and other storage necessities. If proper storage isn’t implemented, organizing the available stock will be extremely challenging.
Part of the process of excelling in eBay inventory management is working with various types of technology. Using technology solutions like bar codes allows an eBay seller to fill their orders more quickly and improve the overall efficiency of the business.
Treating customers and their orders with care is essential. Even one negative experience might lead to a customer never coming back to your store. Delivery issues and payment problems are two of the most common reasons customers choose not to return to buy from you. The bad reviews that can be left in these situations may also discourage some buyers from purchasing from you the first time.
When only a few orders are going out, the management process is fairly simple. However, when sales speed up and come from various sources, things tend to get more complicated. During this stage of eBay inventory management, it’s a good time to get a shipping system in place whom you know is reliable and can get tracking up quickly. This will assist you in creating a quality eBay experience that helps your inventory management process lead you to success.
Another critical part of inventory management on eBay is ensuring orders make it to customers on time. This means having an inventory that is easily accessible to speed things up. When you know exactly what items you have, where they are, how many units are available, and how long it takes to ship them out, you can offer clarity to your customers. Making a mistake could cause you to lose a potential buyer.
When you use a barcode scanning solution, it helps you stay aware of where the products are, how many you have, and how close you are to running out of stock. When you get orders out on time, customers are more likely to order additional items from you.
The final step in eBay inventory management is making sure your customers are taken care of after purchasing an item. All businesses should focus on this, but it’s especially crucial for a small business with fewer customers. Adding special touches can make you stand out, even if it’s simply using unique packaging or sending out an email to make sure each customer is satisfied and leaves you a positive eBay review instead of a negative eBay review. It’s good for business and encourages buyers to make additional purchases.
Ready to learn more about the steps involved in eBay inventory management? Take a look at information about sourcing inventory or check the table of contents to find other information you need.