This is the arguably the toughest part of selling on Ebay. After all, if anyone could just walk up to the Gucci store and say “hey, I’d like to sell your stuff on Ebay” and have them be cooperative, we’d all be filthy rich. That’s not the case though. Building contacts and approaching businesses isn’t as hard as it might seem. First off, you’re best sticking to the niche that you are most familiar with. This way, you’ll be familiar enough with the items that you can accurately describe them to potential buyers. If you’re a painter, approach a gallery and see if they would like to have you sell their items on consignment on Ebay. If you a group of people that sell handmade crafts, offer to sell their items in your store, with a commission that goes to you.

Intro image of storefront by Atelier Tee on flickr.

You can also approach other small businesses and let them know about your Ebay business. In this case, you’re going to want to make your store and business appearance as professional as possible. The word “Ebay” sometimes has a negative connotation to it that turns people away – so you’re going to have to do your best to make them realize selling on Ebay is a good thing.

The Top Five Things to Say to Reassure Businesses They’re in Good Hands with Your Ebay Business

The beauty of Ebay is that everything is set out on the table. Every single transaction that you have made can be seen by the buying (or selling) public. After 90 days, the item itself will not be visible, but the feedback the buyer has left for you will still be there (forever!). This is a good thing for honest, trustworthy sellers, and a bad thing for people that plan on ripping off the buying public. It’s ebay system of making sure you do the right thing, and it works well.
When you’re offering a storefront or presenting a new sales opportunity to businesses, the business is going to want to be reassured that you are trustworthy. So, go ahead, show them your feedback if they are by your computer (this is another reason why selling your own stuff is so important – it boosts up that feedback score!). Leave your business card with the URL of your Ebay user ID address (you can even purchase a forwarding domain to forward people to the page if you’d like to make it easier for them to type in).

So what should you say to a business to make them feel comfortable about you and Ebay?

Tell them how many transactions that you’ve had on Ebay. Don’t be shy about the number, just be honest with them. They’re going to find out anyway, but just be confident in the number (people can sense confidence!).

Tell them about your policies. Be clear and up front about how you handle returns, how you take pride in the accuracy of your listings, and how you take accurate, detailed photographs of the items.

Mention the benefits of having the extra exposure of their product on Ebay. Ebay.com is one of the biggest websites in existence today. Millions of people do their shopping on the biggest online auction site every day, making it the biggest marketplace on the planet. This could translate into better branding of their business, recognition of their products outside of their physical storefront, and potentially more traffic to their website if the customer decides to Google the products.

It’s one of the best proven ways to increase Ebay sales, especially in a tough economy. When sales from a suffering economy start to slide, it can be tough to maintain sales, let alone grow your business. The extra sales from Ebay can provide that much needed leverage over the soft market.

Tell them that you will have something in writing that will guarantee to the terms you agree to.

Stores are going to have a lot of reservations about using Ebay to further their sales, but if you can clearly spell out the many advantages of using you to leverage their business, you could wind up with a whole new line of inventory (and a happy client!).