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Frequently Asked Questions

We’re delighted that you’re considering joining Retail Revival. We hope the below questions and answers will help you determine whether or not this program is right for you and your business. For more information, please review the Retail Revival Program Overview, or reach out to Lansing@ebay.com.

What is Retail Revival?

Retail Revival is eBay’s comprehensive training and support program that empowers “Main Street” retailers to thrive locally by taking full advantage of the digital marketplace and accessing new customers around the world. The program first launched in Akron, Ohio, in March 2018 and has now expanded to Lansing. More US cities to come!

Why did eBay choose Lansing?

After a comprehensive national search, Lansing was selected because of the strength, creativity and diversity of its small business community. We were also inspired by the City of Lansing’s commitment to small business and its vision for local economic growth overall.

Additionally, a thriving community of eBay sellers already exists in Michigan and awaits new members. In 2016 alone, Michigan sellers generated $939M in revenue and sold to 190 international markets. Lansing-based eBay sellers contributed over $10M in revenue to that total, and sold to customers in 157 markets around the world.

What are the results from the Akron program?

The Akron Retail Revival program kicked off in March 2018, so participating businesses are just beginning to hit their eBay stride. To date, the ~70 most active businesses in the program have collectively made over 6,000 sales to customers in all 50 states and 51 countries.

What’s in it for eBay?

At eBay, our driving purpose is to create opportunity for all. Supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in communities around the world is central to this mission – it’s why we come to work each day, and it’s why we’re here in Lansing.

There is no fine print and no cost whatsoever to the City of Lansing or the small businesses to participate in Retail Revival. And as a pure marketplace, eBay “wins” only when Lansing sellers bring their unique inventory onto our platform and into the carts and lives of our 175M buyers around the world.

What does the program entail?

Retail Revival offers a variety of valuable opportunities and perks, including:

  • A comprehensive training program that will teach the eBay selling basics, as well as strategies to best utilize eBay’s platform and tools to boost business

  • Ongoing one-on-one coaching from a dedicated customer service support team

  • Access to our Concierge customer service team

  • A complimentary eBay store subscription

  • Supplementary business training provided in partnership with local entrepreneurship support organizations

Ongoing promotional and PR efforts, including a dedicated Lansing page on eBay.com (see ebay.com/Akron for examples - a more robust Retail Revival site is coming soon).

What time commitment will be required of me if I join the program?

Retail Revival is a 12-month program. Participants need to be prepared to commit an average of 10 hours/week minimum for the duration of the program, either directly or via a dedicated staff person. The most rigid and intensive expectations of your time and effort are concentrated in the first two to three months of the program. This is when the introductory training takes place and has been timed to enable participating sellers to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season. From there, it’s more about managing your growth on a schedule that works best for you. See the program timeline in the Retail Revival Program Overview for more details.

I read in the Retail Revival Program Overview that there will be a full-day kick-off event in Lansing on September 12. I am not available that day, can I still apply?

Technically, yes. But we highly recommend that you adjust your schedule to be able to attend.  We are planning a very full and informative day, and you will begin the program at a disadvantage if you are not present. If you absolutely cannot attend, you may designate a representative from your business to participate in your place. Otherwise, this event is open to business owners only.

What is the benefit of participating in Retail Revival as opposed to opening an eBay store on my own?

You can certainly open an eBay store on your own, but why do it alone? Retail Revival offers much more than just training: it also creates a community of sellers like you looking to grow their sales online. Our Akron Retail Revival sellers have hosted listing parties, shared shipping supplies, swapped tips and even met with groups of other local eBay sellers. Being part of the Retail Revival community has helped accelerate their growth and made selling online more fun.

In addition, we help drive traffic to participants’ eBay stores through promotions across eBay.com, a dedicated landing page highlighting Lansing sellers, social media storytelling and extensive PR.

How much does it cost to participate?

$0. There is absolutely no cost to any seller (or the City of Lansing) to participate in the program.

What criteria will you use to select the businesses?

It’s important to note first that when we review the applicants, we are not evaluating the strength of their businesses overall. Rather, we’re only trying to determine if the nature, scale and growth strategies of their businesses are compatible with the benefits offered through Retail Revival and on eBay more generally. We want to be sensitive to the demands on your time and resources and avoid setting you up for something that isn’t likely to generate a solid return for your business.

With that said, among the businesses with the strengths, challenges and strategies that align with the offerings of the program, we will be looking most closely at/for:

  • Potential of ecommerce in your growth strategy

  • Type, range and depth of your inventory

  • Diversity and quality of products and stories across full cohort of participants

  • Passion, creativity and commitment

  • An apparent readiness to invest the requisite “sweat equity” in the program

How many businesses will be selected?

The number of businesses selected will depend on the number of applicants and the compatibility of their businesses with the program. We are committed to accepting as many as are qualified, within the limits of our ability to provide proper, personalized service and support to each participant.

Can any business apply to Retail Revival?

Any and all Lansing-area businesses are invited to apply to Retail Revival as long as:

  1. They sell a product (not a service) that aligns with one of our product categories

  2. The products they intend to sell on eBay do not violate any eBay policy. Some categories of products are restricted, or completely banned from being listed. These include firearms, ivory and hazardous materials. Click here for more information on these products and policies.

Ecommerce has really hurt my business. Why would I join this program??

The data is pretty clear: ecommerce is here to stay. 79% of Americans shop online, and 51% regularly use their mobile phones to make purchases. Having a digital business presence is therefore KEY to maintaining your long-term viability and success.

Through Retail Revival, we are stepping off our platform and into American communities on a very simple mission: to help small businesses thrive locally by selling globally. Our hope – and our intent – is that you keep your doors open, hire from your communities, live where you work and continue to enliven your local economy, and our belief is that expanding your business on eBay can help.

One last important note: eBay is a pure marketplace, meaning we carry no inventory of our own. We connect our sellers to buyers – we do not compete with them. So our success is intertwined with yours, incenting us to support you along each step of your business journey.

Do I need ecommerce experience to apply?

No. All Retail Revival participants are assigned a dedicated support specialist who will walk them through the basics of setting up their store on eBay and beyond. As they get more comfortable on the platform, participants receive personalized tips and feedback to use eBay in ways that work for their unique store, inventory and personal goals.

I already sell online. Will I have to give up my other online stores to participate in Retail Revival?

Not at all! We feel eBay offers the best ecommerce value for small retailers (others do, too), but many eBay sellers operate their businesses across multiple retail channels, both digital and physical. We encourage all sellers to utilize all sales outlets that will help them grow. To make things as easy as possible for our sellers, we even offer integrations with services like Shopify and can offer helpful suggestions in managing your inventory and operations across numerous channels.

I already sell on eBay. How would I benefit from participating in Retail Revival?

Several of our Akron Retail Revival participants had sold on eBay before joining the program and were looking to fine-tune their eBay expertise. While we aim to help sellers build their eBay stores regardless of experience, we also offer one-on-one attention that will cater to your unique needs and experience level and help you bring your eBay business to the next level.

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