eBay and The Guardian Are Giving Entrepreneurs a Leg Up in Ecommerce

brought to you by WBR Insights

Getting started in ecommerce can be a daunting prospect for any new entrepreneur. There are just so many things to consider and get right before you've even made a single sale.

To begin with, you need to build a high-functioning and secure website and make sure it's optimized for SEO. Then you need to photograph and upload your entire product catalog, organize your social media marketing strategy, arrange payment facilities and shipping options, and a million other things besides.

However, a great deal of the heavy lifting can be avoided by opening a store on eBay. For a price, you can start selling almost immediately on a ready-made website, which is already the second most popular online shopping platform in the US, complete with easy-to-set-up listings, shipping options, payment facilities, and frequented by a global pool of eager shoppers already browsing the site looking to spend their money. It's obvious why many first-time ecommerce entrepreneurs choose eBay to host their first online store.

However, not content with offering all this assistance to its business users, eBay is also teaming up with UK newspaper The Guardian to provide even more help to entrepreneurs.

Guardian Labs

Guardian Labs is a section of The Guardian which features paid content designed to advise and inform readers on all manner of topics from cooking to fashion. A combination of advertising and original content, Guardian Labs provides a great way for brands to reach a larger audience.

(Image source: theguardian.com)

One of the biggest sections on the Guardian Labs mini-site is paid for by eBay and is packed with content designed to advise entrepreneurs on everything from building a business on the platform, to juggling work/life balance. The content takes the form of a mixture of written articles and videos, and there is something for everyone in there, whether you are a refugee looking to start a new life or a hobbyist looking to go pro for the first time.

"[Catherine] Ross's business came out of her hunt for a lifestyle change," writes Guardian Labs. "Leaving her job as a solicitor, she spent her days making candles as presents for friends as she tried out various new careers. None of them stuck, but her candles got better and better, and the friends who received them became more and more enthusiastic. Eventually, one friend nudged her towards a eureka moment: 'These are lovely,' she said, 'Why don't you sell them? Why don't you try?'"

The section is named "Do Your Thing", and is a must-visit for anyone looking to start out in ecommerce.

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eBay Doers

However, the Do Your Thing concept doesn't end with simple content marketing. In June 2018, eBay and The Guardian announced a brand-new initiative designed to lend fledgling entrepreneurs even more of a hand.

Named "eBay Doers", the initiative invites applicants to share their business ideas, with the best 15 being selected to take part in the scheme. The application process was only open to individuals or pairs with either an exciting new idea, one already in development, or an existing business which earns less than PS20,000 net profit. Added to this, eBay and The Guardian were looking for passion and a good reason why their help was required.

The winning 15 entrepreneurs will receive:

Membership to a 10-week mentoring program, including access to a specially-selected relevant industry expert to provide advice and guidance during weekly check-ins, and an invitation to a special event at The Guardian offices, featuring one-to-one time with their mentor, guest business speakers, workshops, and expert feedback on their business idea.

They will also receive a PS500 PayPal credit to help build their business, a PS300 photoshoot of their product/s, a six-month eBay shop subscription, additional promotional support on eBay, and seven days a week premium customer service support from eBay.

Finally, each Doer will have a specially-written article featuring their business, which will be printed in the Guardian Weekend Magazine, and on the newspaper's website.

"We're looking for passionate entrepreneurs-in-waiting, people with a brilliant product idea they'd love to bring to life, or those who are already selling but earn less than PS20,000 net profit per annum from their business," writes The Guardian. "Our panel of judges will choose a final line up of 15 eBay Doers (or Doer pairs) to enter the scheme."

Final Thoughts

Applications are now closed, and it will remain to be seen who the lucky 15 are. Whatever the results, Do Your Thing and eBay Doers are two great initiatives which not only help spread the eBay brand but make sure budding entrepreneurs are armed with everything they need to succeed online.

Different methods of starting out in ecommerce will be a hot topic at eTail West 2019, taking place this coming February at the JW Marriott, Palm Springs, CA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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