There’s a simple way to automate your eBay store, and you really should do it.
When you run an eBay store, there are so many daily, weekly, and ongoing tasks to complete just to maintain the status quo. Without automation, it’s next to impossible to scale your business past your own personal capacity as a solopreneur.
You probably didn’t get into eCommerce to work 12-hour days with no weekend breaks. This is what you’re in for if you don’t automate your eBay store. And it will last for as long as you want to keep that store running so your business can stay afloat.
The most successful and scalable eBay stores use automation through outsourcing to take on the day-to-day management of certain tasks.
Do you want to join their ranks?
If yes, this list is for you:
7 Ways You Can Automate Your Ebay Store By Outsourcing To Freelancers
1. Product Sourcing
Finding products, manufacturers, and suppliers for your store is extremely time intensive. You can free up a lot of your product sourcing time by hiring a freelancer to research and vet potential products for your store. Once you document your desired product attributes and requirements, you can outsource research to a skilled freelancer.
2. Product Listing
To create a strong product listing on eBay, one that gets found by customers and entices them to purchase, requires a lot of time and specialized knowledge. You have to have optimized images, detailed product features, informative descriptions, and optimal prices. This is a perfect task to entrust a listing optimization freelancer with.
Be sure to look for these three disciplines in a freelancer to help you with the product listing.
3. Order Management
While there are a lot of tools to automate eBay order processing, there’s still an expectation that you’ll keep an eye on it consistently throughout the day and week. Having a freelancer — or several — in place to make sure orders and information get where they need to go, you have even further reassurance for your business.
4. Customer Service
Questions, returns, exchanges—you don’t want to spend your time dealing with customer requests as they come in. Without automation, customer service for your eBay store could be a full-time job. With skilled freelancers and a tool like Subivi, you can greatly streamline your customer service operations.
5. Product Photography
A compelling set of product images is key for converting eBay store sales. Customers want to see the product specs as well as the product in action. A freelancer can take photos of your products and edit them to highlight the key features and benefits.
6. Pay-per-click Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is an important tactic for driving eCommerce sales, and it requires consistent monitoring and attention. It also requires experience, creativity and a knowledge of bidding and optimization strategies. A PPC freelancer can help get your product in front of more potential customers.
With an eBay store, you likely have transactions happening daily—sales, inventory costs, subscriptions, fees, and more. It’s easy to fall behind on keeping proper track of every line item as it comes in—you have a lot going on. A freelance bookkeeper can help keep your records up to date so you always know your financial status.
Hiring to Automate your Ebay Store
Outsourcing can be daunting even for those who have experienced hiring online in the past. There are so many websites where you can hire for project-based, short-term and long-term work. It’s difficult to know whether or not you’re really hiring an experienced freelancer.
This is why FreeeUp has a tried and tested process developed by its founders Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan. And we’re sharing that process with you today:
1. Clearly Define Each Task You Need Done
When you’re hiring experienced freelancers, they will already know how to do their work. Your business is unique, however, and you as the owner may have a particular way of doing things. These preferences will change the way you’ll want tasks to be done.
Sit down and write out a clear definition of each of the tasks that you are outsourcing. Aim to effectively communicate the specific skills and level of experience that you need each potential hire to have. Make sure to provide clear direction so you can make sure that the person you choose knows exactly what you need done, when you need it done, and how you want it done.
This is how you find the best matches for your needs who will be organized and efficiently execute the tasks within your specified requirements.
Include details like:
- the different mental and manual aspects of the task (communicating with other people on the project, organizing and analyzing data, submitting information to different people and channels, etc.)
- how many hours you expect a freelancer to take on each task and how many days a week it should be done (2 hours one-off editing product images, 4 hours monthly updating listings, 1 hour weekly checking inventory levels and creating purchase orders, etc.)
- what tools will be used for different tasks and if the freelancer knows how to use them, or if they have better ideas
- Any soft and hard skills you prefer a candidate to have
Note: Freelancers that you hire on an hourly basis serve other clients, too. They also most likely do not live in the same time zone or work the same hours as you do. Consider how they will organize their time when you outline tasks and talk to them about your expectations for task delivery.
2. Write Out Your Expectations
Set clear expectations right from the start about the way you like work to be done. This will help you both see whether the work relationship is truly a good fit. It also helps candidates to understand how best to work in your business.
Start by sharing your general business goals and core values. Ask freelancers about theirs as well. Then go into your targets for the tasks they will be working on. This will motivate them and let them know that you respect the contributions that they will be making to your business.
Share the challenges that you face in your business. After all, you are hiring people to help you overcome them so you can reach your goals. This helps freelancers to feel like they are a part of the bigger picture, not just an off-hand hire to pick up the slack. Treating them as valuable members of your business encourages them to work harder. They will also respect you in return.
Discuss your personal preferences and pet peeves, and ask the freelancer about theirs as well. It may seem unprofessional, but it’s a great way to get on the same page to avoid uncomfortable and stressful interactions down the line. You will both better understand how you can work well together as a result. Share with each other what you appreciate and what disrupts your flow. Then you will both know what to focus on and what to avoid to make work go more smoothly.
3. Search for the Right Fit
It’s crucial to start your search on the right freelance marketplace. For instance, FreeeUp is a good place to look for experienced freelancers to help you automate your eBay store.
The FreeeUp Marketplace was designed, built and is continually developing based on the principle of providing pre-vetted freelancers and a fast-hire experience. This means you save a lot of time and effort, which is the main reason you need to automate your eBay store. You also have the option of hiring an agency so you get a project manager to coordinate several roles at the same time.
Always choose your hiring site based on its focus on eCommerce business — eBay in particular if you can — and the key factors that you need to make the hiring process smooth, like payment. For instance, Upwork provides an escrow system where you pay for a project upfront and the money is released to freelancers once you confirm that each milestone is complete.
4. Interview and Hire
Never forego the interview, and make sure that you’re prepared to ask all the right questions. Go over your task description and expectations before talking to a candidate so you can spot the items you need to get clarified before making the hire. Fill in the blanks, so to speak, and allow each candidate time to ask you questions, too. This will clear up a lot and help you avoid making a bad hiring decision.
Note: A freelancer who isn’t excited is most likely either nervous or not happy with the work. Either way, this is a sign that it’s probably not a good fit. A nervous freelancer is an inexperienced one. An unhappy freelancer is an unmotivated one. Go for someone who talks like they are invested in your business.
Once you find the best candidate, make sure that you set things up so that you can stay in close communication. Talk about the channels you will use and when you will meet — a set day and time each week is best. Make sure you get daily progress reports as well, even if it’s just a few lines to tell you what they did, any challenges they faced, and any suggestions or feedback they have for you.This keeps everything organized.
You can painlessly automate your eBay store by hiring these 7 key freelancers using the hiring process mentioned above. You can start with one hire if you need some time to get the hang of it, hiring the person you most need to free up your time to get to more value-adding tasks. As you proceed, you can add your own twists to the process to better suits your personal preferences and needs.
If you’re new to outsourcing, but want to use freelancers to automate your eBay store, check out our 10 Most Common Mistakes of Outsourcing so you can avoid them.