Improve your eBay store today!

This article first appeared in issue 225 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

eBay has undergone a quiet revolution since my first feature about it for .net in 2007. Today eBay is a retail-savvy sales channel, its inventory replete with fixed price listings, with household superbrands jostling for attention next to smaller merchants, alongside a loyal legion of casual sellers keeping its auction origins alive and well.

The site offers potentially huge rewards. But as any decent seller will attest, there’s much more to building your eBay empire than a casual list-’em and sell-’em approach. The transparency and nature of the marketplace requires smarts to avoid potential pitfalls, and it takes time to sharpen your skills if you want to truly prosper beyond the margins.

Do it right and you tap into a huge market. On the UK site, there are around 40million live listings and 17m unique visitors per month. There are over 180,000 registered businesses and at least 100 well-known brands and retailers use to reach the UK’s largest online shopping audience – a figure rising weekly. As eBay’s retail director UK, Angus McCarey recently said: “Online SMEs are growing faster on eBay, with millionaire businesses developing at three times the rate of Germany.”

One such success story is Northampton-based Bodypower Sports Plc, the UK’s largest supplier of specialist fitness equipment, with a turnover of over £22million. Despite eight showrooms, including the largest in Europe, a popular website and a sizeable Amazon presence, eBay has become an increasingly important revenue stream. “We started on eBay in 2006, more as an experiment to drive extra traffic and brand awareness,” explains MD Paul Walker. “Six years later, it is now one of our fastest growing sales channels across the entire business.”

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.