eBay moved nearly $90 billion in merchandise volume in 2017, and will probably move even more than that in 2018. There are a lot of sellers on eBay and a lot of new sellers joining every day.

Things are always changing in eBay's giant universe, and you may be due for an audit. What's an eBay audit? Read on to find out.

What this means is that eBay's inventory levels and competition levels are always in flux. Whatever you sell, there are either more or fewer of them on eBay today than there were when you began, being sold by either more or fewer sellers.

Why does this matter? Because you're in this to make as much money as you can, and you won't if your business isn't aligned with current marketplace conditions, shopper expectations, and eBay practices.

In short, when's the last time you did an audit of your eBay business?

What's an eBay audit?

In an eBay audit, you examine every part of your eBay business to see how well you're leveraging the opportunities that exist now—and avoiding the risks and threats that exist now—as opposed to those that were in evidence when you began.

In an eBay audit, you'll go over your eBay listings, account, and activity to evaluate your:

You're making sales—but could you be making more of them? Charging more for them? Are you at risk of being blindsided by declines over the coming year? Better find out.
  • Inventory. Are you offering products in oversaturated areas with no hope of being seen? Are you failing to offer products for which unmet demand exists? Are you pricing yourself out of the market or leaving money on the table?

  • Strategy. Do you stand apart from your competitors or blend in invisibly? What strategies are you using to differentiate yourself? Are they effective? Are there others you could or should adopt?

  • Listings. Are your listings up to current quality standards, or are you falling behind? Are you using best practices for product images, item descriptions, and other things that affect both search placement and the ability to convert sales?

  • Compliance. Are you in compliance with recent eBay policy changes, or are you at risk for being dinged by eBay, either in search or in your ability to sell, for violations of policies that you don't even know about?

  • Workflow. Are you making use of the best tools available to you, or are you missing out on tools that could significantly reduce your labor investment or enhance your sales and productivity over time?

In the eBay universe products, competitors, policies, strategies, and tools enter and exit every day. You could be missing something. The last time most sellers sat down and looked at these things holistically was when they first started selling. How long has it been for you?

How do you do an eBay audit?

The most effective sellers know better than to let their business run for years on autopilot; they periodically stop to consider all of the items above, making a careful SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) list:

The SWOT analysis is a classic business tool—that can help your eBay business to thrive if properly done. (Image: Xhienne / CC-by-SA-2.5)
  • Strengths. What are you and your business best at, most effective with right now, or able to offer that others can't? These are your foundations—the things that you can double-down on and build upon.

  • Weaknesses. What are you not keeping up with that you already know you should? These are your areas for improvement—the things that you can do to raise the ceiling on your growth and revenue.

  • Threats. What forces and realities are emerging now that could affect the way that you do business or your ability to do business at all, and how will you monitor them and adapt?

  • Opportunities. What new things can you start doing, or what new products or niches can you adopt, to add a new dimension, a new level of effectiveness, new customers, or new revenue to your business?

Practically speaking, making this list takes time and attention. Get out your favorite note-taking program, personal database, word processor, or even just a spiral notebook, make sections for each of the items above, and then begin, one step at a time.

Make notes—things that need to be updated, changed, ended, or adopted. Keep your eyes on the categories outlined earlier as you do this and stay organized so that you'll be able to read through and make sense of these notes later on.

Once you're done, read through the notes—a couple of times—and put together a mission statement for the year and lists of urgent tasks, things to stop doing, investments to make, inventory to add or discontinue, unsolved problems to solve, and new things to try.

Professionals like Day to Day eBay audit your eBay business for you, providing an in-depth, objective SWOT analysis—so that you can focus on running and improving your business.

Um, isn't there an easier way?

Of course, eBay sellers are busy people (we don't have to tell you this), so all of this may sound just a bit pie-in-the-sky, as in:

"Yeah, sure, just as soon as I catch up on my fulfillment backlog, get my latest 200 products listed so they're not sitting there depreciating, manage to reconcile my bookkeeping, and get my one hour a day of sleep."

Happily, you can also pay someone else to do an audit of your eBay business for you. eBay specialists and coaches abound online and are often happy to consult. Even better, consider using an eBay audit specialist.

Specialists like Day to Day eBay go over your business in detail, then provide you with a professional SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and matching consultation via Skype to understand what your next steps ought to be.

Just as importantly, as an objective third party that specializes in understanding eBay businesses, a team of auditors like those at Day to Day eBay can often spot things that even highly detail-oriented sellers miss about their businesses.

For this reason, an external auditor is often a sound investment for any eBay seller looking to continue to grow and thrive in the massive eBay universe.

Get auditing!

Whether you do it yourself or invest in the help of a seasoned professional, take the time today to ask yourself two important questions:

When's the last time I really understood my eBay business?


How much more success could I achieve this year by coming to understand it once again?

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