Questions about eBay shops crop up quite often and that’s mainly because there is some confusion about the actual benefits of opening one!

Should you open an eBay shop if you only have one or two products? Or, should you wait until you have a fully-fledged inventory?

Well, I know that some people go all round the houses and make calculations based on the profitability of opening an eBay shop when they only have one product or start working out that you actually need x number of products in your shop to make it worthwhile… and so on, but (and this may come as a shock) in my opinion, it really doesn’t matter if you have one product, 10 products or 100 products…!

Why? Because…

Your eBay shop can boost your online profits exponentially…

If you want to successfully drive traffic from elsewhere on the web to your goods then the only way you can continuously do that without constantly having to replace out of date links as they end on eBay and are relisted, is via a permanent link to an eBay shop.

It’s quite simple really – here’s how it works:

You add links to your eBay shop on Facebook, on Twitter, in articles you have written and submitted online (or have got someone else to write), in forums etc…

All these places get viewed by multiple people (read potential customers), so you are constantly promoting your products – and that’s all your products – not just one product!

The reason?

Well, instead of directing people to just one product via one link, you are directing them to your entire shop! Entice them in with the product they are looking for and then once they are in, grab their attention with other products. This is why it’s always a bonus if your products are related to one another or at least have some relevance!

Okay, so that’s the first thing. Now here’s a more advanced strategy which you can use right away if you already have an eBay shop, or you can file away ready for when you have opened your eBay shop.

What is important to remember is that eBay shops can be a great advantage to your business – if you use them in the right way. And, by making just a few small amendments to your shop categories, you can dramatically increase traffic to your eBay listings.

If you have ever had a look at some of the top PowerSellers’ eBay shops you might have noticed that those with large inventories set up their shop categories a little differently to the average seller.

Never noticed? Take a look and pay particular attention to the names of the categories and sub-categories used in their shops.

You’ll see that they are all very specific and there are usually lots of categories and even more sub-categories! Everything is split into its own area and there is a reason for this. It’s all to do with driving potential buyers to your products…

If you want to maximise your SEO (search engine optimisation), which I am sure you do because, ultimately, more traffic means more sales, then take note of this. It will literally take you a few minutes to set up and will make all the difference.

Here we go.

You need to set up your shop preferences so that the optional navigation bar showing all of your shop categories appears on all of your listings.

This is very easy to do. Go to your eBay shop (just click on your red door) and then follow the 3 steps below:

1. Click on ‘Seller, Manage Shop’ which is located at the bottom of your main shop page.

2. Click on ‘Listing Frame’ which is located on the left hand side of the page within the ‘Shop Marketing’ section.

3. Select the radio button that says ‘Shop header and left-navigation category list (first 30 categories that contain items)’ and then click ‘Apply’ at the bottom of the page.

That’s all you have to do. This will ensure that all of your shop categories now show up on every listing you have. Brilliant – but that’s not all…

How is this going to increase traffic to your listings?

Well, firstly you will need to add some sub-categories to each of your main shop categories. And this is where (hopefully) it will all become clear to you.

You must make sure that you use the keywords that buyers are likely to use when they are searching for your products – and you should already have a good idea of what these are as your listing titles should contain relevant keywords too (but that’s another story). Take care to use the product brand names – especially if you are selling well known branded items.

The key to maximising traffic to your shop is to make sure that your important keywords and/or brand names show up on your left hand category bar so that the search engines such as Google and Yahoo can find them easily. Once found, when a potential customer does a search for an item that contains your keywords, the search engines will show your link and ultimately you will get click-throughs to your eBay listings.

Here’s an example, just to make it crystal clear for you:

Let’s say that you are selling sportswear. You stock T-Shirts, Running Shoes and Baseball Caps amongst other things in your eBay shop. So, you set up your categories as such:

Category: T-Shirts
Category: Running Shoes
Category: Baseball Caps

Then, you set up your sub-categories. So, as sub-categories under T-Shirts you would list the brand names, for example ‘Nike T-Shirt’, ‘Adidas T-Shirt’, ‘Puma T-Shirt’ and so on. So it then looks like this:


  • Adidas T-Shirts
  • Nike T-Shirts
  • Puma T-Shirts

T-Shirts is the top category and the other T-Shirts are sub-categories within that main category. Simply create keyword rich sub-categories for all of your main categories so that the names of all your products are easily available to the search engines at all times.

What this ultimately means is that now rather than having just a few pages with each of your important keywords on them – i.e. the actual product listing pages for individual items, instead, every single page in your eBay shop has all of these keywords on them all of the time because the category menu appears on every page!

You have now potentially increased your eBay traffic because the search engines will find your relevant keywords plus you have created brand recognition so that all your customers can easily see exactly what you are selling and find it extremely quickly. This in turn means that they are less likely to navigate away from your shop and go looking elsewhere.

Make sure you use your shop categories carefully and strategically to get the best results, but don’t worry, you will have plenty of scope because eBay will let you create about 300 product categories in total. You can test what works for you in your own time until you get your sub-category keywords exactly right.

If you use this tactic, and I recommend that you do, you will increase the probability that your eBay shop will be indexed by all the major search engines and this means more traffic. Just what you want for increased sales – try it and see for yourself!