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eBay for business

Platform One

Date 28 Sep 2006
Platform One

With over 200,000,000 registered users worldwide, all potential buyers for your goods, you would need a good reason not to use eBay as a sales channel for your business.


According to eBay’s figures, the website is the largest single marketplace in both the UK and the world, outstripping Amazon, TV, radio and newspapers. Anyone can set up a store on eBay in less than a day and at zero cost, giving them automatic access to the ten million users that attracts each month. Indeed, according to research company, Nielsen, currently attracts a massive 47% of all monthly UK web traffic.

In terms of sales growth, eBay’s performance is phenomenal. In 2004 the value of all successfully closed listings on reached $3.7 billion, with year-on-year growth of 94%. While most of that that revenue was based around consumer-to-consumer sales, more and more businesses are now using eBay to sell goods online.

eBay UK estimates that there are thousands of businesses that currently use its site, of which over 4,500 have a dedicated store. Most of these are small single-operator concerns, although a growing number are medium to large businesses. However, big names do exist on eBay. IT companies Hewlett Packard and Canon, for example, both use the site to sell excess and old inventory and operate branded stores within eBay. Charity Oxfam, meanwhile, uses eBay to sell items from its high-street stores, while Vodafone and Thomson Holidays also have a presence.

Business opportunities

Recognising the opportunities for small businesses, eBay has created a dedicated business centre committed to attracting merchant businesses to use the site as a sales platform and providing a hub were they can gain advice and access to eBay’s Solutions Directory. A rapidly expanding number of businesses are now using eBay as an ecommerce platform to increase their client base and sell their products. With over 20 million registered users within the UK and over 200 million registered users worldwide, eBay provides a sales platform that allows merchants almost instant access to a rapidly expanding customer base, both nationally and globally.

The launch of eBay express, the eBay platform dedicated towards business sellers, is due to launch in the UK by the end of 2006 and will undoubtedly assist in enhancing the attractiveness of eBay as a sales channel. eBay express provides a more traditional ecommerce experience, is exclusively reserved for business sellers and allows the purchaser to shop with a trolley from multiple eBay stores and check out in one process. The online shopper is provided with the confidence of purchasing brand new goods from bona fide businesses, which are guaranteed and can be returned.

As a sales channel eBay and eBay express are rapidly expanding and present an attractive option to businesses. From the customers perspective eBay express represents a single point of call to carry out all of their online shopping. As an alternative to visiting the rapidly growing number of individual online shops, eBay express effectively provides one of the first successful online shopping malls. The benefit to online traders of having a presence within this infrastructure is undoubtedly strong.