Online Marketing Strategy Branding Commerce Advertising

The following guest blog post is from our partner, Endicia.

So you started your own business, and you can’t think of a better place to sell your products than on a popular online marketplace like eBay and Amazon. You’ve set up your page and product listings, but a couple of weeks go by and you aren’t seeing many orders.

Don’t let this discourage you. Learning how to sell on eBay or Amazon is not a walk in the park – it often takes trial and error. Nevertheless, we’d like to help you bypass some of the most common mistakes folks make so you can see the fruits of your labor sooner.

Below, four successful online businesses have shared with us some of the common mistakes they made when they started selling on eBay or Amazon, and their lessons learned.

Common Mistakes When Selling on eBay:

Featuring a Generic Photo for All Listings

“ sells ink and toner cartridges. A lesson we learned from selling on eBay is that no one reads these days. The photo shown on your listing must match the item offered, even if the title is clear. We had several mismatched cartridges from different printers to sell on eBay, so we took one photo and posted it for several auctions. Each post had a unique title, such as ‘Magenta T069 cartridge,’ yet some of the winners thought they were bidding on all of them, and as you can imagine it caused some issues with customers. Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Now I make sure the photo we post is of the exact item being offered.”

– Izzy Goodman,


Neglecting to Promote Your Own Site

“I sell vintage clothing on eBay, and for many years I made the mistake of putting all my eggs in one basket by having my inventory only loaded on eBay. I realized I was passing up a secondary revenue stream on my own ecommerce website. So for each eBay purchase, I started to include in the package an introduction to my own website and a discount code of 25 percent,   encouraging future transactions to be made via my website. The results were great! In the last year, about 15 percent of purchases on our website used the code given in these packages.”

-James Applegath, eBay Canada entrepreneur of the year and owner of DeFunkd

Common Mistakes When Selling on Amazon

Leaving Product Listings Active When You Go Away

“When I first started selling on Amazon the biggest mistake I made was going out of town for a few days and not taking the product offline. Here is the deal –  what Amazon cares about the most is how you treat their customers and if you are quick! They give you about 2-3 days to get the item shipped out. If you are out of town and can’t ship the item, your account will be seriously dinged! I learned this the hard way. Now, as soon as I ship the item, I enter the tracking number into my account. This informs the buyer and Amazon that the item has shipped.”

Anita Fowler, author of “Living a Rich Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Not Including Relevant Keywords in Your Product Listings

“My company LiftHeavies makes fabric wrist wraps for CrossFit and weightlifting athletes in the USA. When we first started selling on Amazon, it took more than 3 months to get our first sale. I didn’t know that I had to optimize the title and description of my listings with the right keywords, so my products were pretty much ‘invisible’ to Amazon customers during that time. Now, I use Google Keyword Planner to find the right keywords. I also started using Amazon’s Sponsored Products service and I saw an increase in sale with just ten dollars per day.”

– Kadir Suleymanoglu, LiftHeavies          


About Endicia

Endicia offers online postage, mailing and shipping solutions for online sellers, warehouse shippers, home and office mailers. With over 25 years in the industry, Endicia has provided thousands of businesses with more manageable and affordable electronic postage solutions. Endicia also has a blog to help businesses learn more about online shipping and stay current on the latest eCommerce trends. To read more you can visit Endicia’s blog, The Savvy Shipper.