Just about everyone who sells online started off the same way: in baby steps, putting up a few products and finding success — and then leveraging that into their own store. But SellerExpress knows that as simple as that sounds, there’s actually a pretty big leap between the two and much of your success will depend on your timing in opening your own eBay store.

The First Rule: You Need to be Selling Enough

As soon as you’ve put up one item on eBay, you know that it costs money to do so. And opening your own store means entering in a new world of differing store fees and subscriptions. So, it’s pretty easy to see that the first rule of opening your own eBay store is to actually be selling enough items. But how do you actually know you’ve reached that point?

Well, give yourself about a three-month time-frame. And within that time-frame, set — and meet — a goal of selling enough that it constitutes a part-time job. It’s highly, highly unlikely that you’ll be pulling in enough profits from selling in small volumes that opening a store will make sense. And if you really want to succeed, work towards making selling a full-time occupation.

Be Able to Cover the Store Fees and Subscriptions

As we briefly mentioned above, there are different tiers of eBay stores and associated fees/subscriptions that go along with each, and they are:

Basic: This is your least expensive option at $15.95 USD a month, and is essentially a bare-bones model to get you up and working. Some sellers will sneer at this option as not having enough tools, but it’s perfect for mastering the basics of selling on eBay. Remember, you’ll want to build a solid foundation and become an expert at the fundamentals before taking on fancier skills.

Premium: Once you’ve established yourself as a solid option in the small-to-medium-sized business category, you’re ready to open up a premium store at $49.95 USD a month. It’s a big jump in subscription costs, but opens you up to things like free traffic reports and customer support available at any hour of the day or night.

Anchor This third type of store is sort of a cross between a necessity and a nice extra. It costs quite a bit more at $299.95 USD a month, so like platinum credit cards, the only people for whom this option will be worthwhile are those who do serious traffic each month. However, if this is you, you’ll get perks like up to 10,000 newsletters to email out each month, no fees for owning a Selling Manager Pro account, getting some solo time in the ‘Shop eBay Stores’ section of the site, and more.

You’ve Got a Brand You Want to Show Off to the World

Although there are many types of sellers, let’s simplify them into one of two kinds: those who just want to sell products and make money, and those who want to imprint their own personality on the selling process. For the latter category of sellers, owning your own eBay store lets you fiddle around with things like logos, fonts and templates.

The downside is a bit of a learning curve as you step away from the comfy confines of eBay’s proven product, and move into the territory of attracting greater visibility with your own style. The best sellers in the world (and we’re not talking about just those who sell online) are the ones who have come up with their own brands — the Apples, Beats headphones and Lexuses of the world. And really, the vast majority of eBay store owners are the ones who fall into this category, otherwise they’d probably just choose the easier option of having the design already laid out for them.