Shopster vs. E-Bay Stores
By Sam Mancuso
E-Bay has been around since 1995 and began offering "Stores" a few years ago. For a small, part-time eBay seller, an eBay store could be helpful. Many have build a substantial, profitable business selling on eBay using a store as a tool. Shopster is a complete store solution without links to your competitors pulling potential buyers away from your pages. Both are easy to start and setup but there are many differences to consider.
Shopster is relatively new to the scene, just coming out of beta operation in May 2006. It provides users with a selectable inventory from over 70,000 products but does not allow you to sell your own products. Instead, your store sells items from their inventory where you set the price and ultimately your profit. Shopster also has a monthly fee for your store which includes hosting of your store (at a web address you choose), support for your customers, a check-out system, a complete payment system (accepting PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), shipping of purchases and a good set of store templates and customization tools.
The process of opening an eBay store is almost as simple as setting up your initial User ID. The only requirements are that you be a registered eBay seller and have a feedback of 20 or higher, or be ID verified, or have a PayPal account in good standing. There is no setup fee for an EBay store. Setting up a store with Shopster requires a quick application and payment of a one-time $99 set-up fee (waived through a special offer). Like EBay, if you desire a registered domain name you will need to register this on your own and pay any fee associated with it to the registrar but EBay and Shopster do not charge any extra for using or setting up with your own domain name.
Shopster has a standard $29.95 monthly maintenance fee. The cost of an eBay store ranges from nominal to substantial, depending on the level you choose. There are 3 packages to select from and the current monthly rates range from $$15.95-499.95. All have a 300-category limit, 1MB of space for picture hosting and a variety of tools for managing your auctions and store inventory. Promotional tool such as customer emails, cross-promotions on other EBay pages and advertising credits increase in size and scope as the package increase.
Shopster provides a number of upgrade services if you wish. You may add a completely different store to your account for an additional $9.99 a month. You can also increase you number of products carried in your store by another 1000 for $9.99 each month. You can also add an live help as an additional customer service feature to your site for $9.99 a month.
Both stores charge you a fee for each sale. The structure for figuring each fee is quite different. Shopster charges 3.5% of all sales profit. That needs repeating- 4.5% of sales profit. They do not charge the fee based on the sale total or shipping. This means more profit stays in your pocket. Shopster also does not charge for its payment system. With Ebay you pay a final value fee that varies depending on the sales price. The Ebay fee is on the total sale price. If you use PayPal for payment processing you will also pay a fee for this service.
Hands down, Shopster provides a better profit generating, brand creating, hands-off operation. EBay Stores require you to have your own inventory, create product information and collect payment for your sales. You will also have to provide customer service and shipping services with EBay. EBay provides great exposure but Shopster gives you a store that is all your own. It may take a bit longer to get the word out on your Shopster store but the effort is well worth it.
To find out more on opening your very own Shopster store visit:
Use this referral and have the $99 setup fee waived.
About the Author
Sam Mancuso is the President of RuzzMan LLC. RuzzMan LLC operates a collection of succesful websites including www.amazinggamedeals,com and www.amazingpetdeals.com
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