Get financing from a trusted lender to grow your eBay business.
Financing works a little differently for eBay sellers. Bank loans can be tough to come by, but you have a range of nontraditional financing to pick from that might actually work better for your business model.
This guide illustrates your options and helps you assess which kind of financing could fit your needs — or if you need a loan at all. We take you through the kinds of loans that are available for eBay sellers, what you need to apply and more.
How can I finance my eBay store?
Lucky for you, there are lots of financing options for small businesses like eBay stores. These include:
- Lines of credit. If you always need money to maintain your inventory but don’t have consistent sales, consider opening a business line of credit.
- Peer-to-peer business loans. Rather than provide funding themselves, online marketplaces like Bitbond help connect you with individual investors willing to take on your loan. In fact, Bitbond specializes in peer-to-peer business loans for eBay sellers.
- Merchant cash advances. Merchant cash advances like PayPal Working Capital can help seasoned sellers get ready for a busy season. They’ll deposit a cash advance directly into your account and then take a specific percentage of your sales. Some will charge interest — which can be high — while others ask for a fixed fee.
- Microloans. These small-dollar loans are particularly useful to eBay sellers just getting off the ground and need a few hundred or thousand dollars to purchase a key piece of equipment or build up inventory.
- SBA loans. SBA loans are government-guaranteed small business loans that offer low interest rates and longer repayment terms than most lenders. SmartBiz offers SBA loans and streamlines applications for faster funding.
- Startup loans. Loans for new businesses could be particularly useful to eBay sellers that are new to the game. They tend to have less strict eligibility requirements and can come in smaller amounts and terms. Be prepared to submit a business plan.
- Fixed-term business loans. These are more traditional business loans that are funded in one lump sum and repaid over a set period of time. They’re better suited for heavy weight sellers: You’ll usually need to have been in business for at least one year and have monthly revenue of $10,000 or more to qualify.
- Personal loans. Personal loans may be the way to go if you have a small one-time business expenses like launching a new website, buying new equipment or advertising. These loans could have lower interest rates than business loans, especially if you have an excellent credit score.
- Crowdfunding. Got a small following? Or a social network? Set up a campaign on a crowdfunding platform and ask your friends and fans to make small contributions.
- Friends and family. Borrowing from friends or relatives is a financing option that gives you a little more leeway than a professional lender will allow. Just make sure they know what they’re getting into so you don’t damage your relationship.
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Is there financing specifically for eBay sellers?
Yes. Some lenders offer loans tailored for online businesses like your eBay store, including:
- Bitbond. Bitbond is a peer-to-peer platform that connects you with investors and provides resources to improve your eBay business. Its interest rates and fees tend to be low because it uses bitcoin to avoid transfer and exchange fees. A bonus: You don’t need a credit score or bank account to apply.
- LendingClub. LendingClub is another peer-to-peer lender that provides a client adviser to help you navigate your options. You could get a loan within days, but your business must be at least two years old and you must own at least 20% of it.
- Kabbage. Kabbage is a popular choice among eBay sellers who want a line of credit, rather than a traditional loan. But it’s best for established sellers with steady sales — missing a payment can lead to mounting fees and could ultimately hurt your business.
- Dealstruck. Dealstruck offers inventory lines of credit and loans tailored for online retailers. You’ll have an easy time signing up to get decent interest rates.
What should I look for in an eBay loan?
When trying to find the right loan for your eBay store, rates and terms are important. But they’re not the only thing you should consider. Pay attention to these aspects when
- Loan amounts. Do you need a bit of money to set up a website, or are you looking for a chunk of cash to finance your inventory? Narrow down your options by looking at loans that will give you just enough — and try not to borrow more than that. Otherwise you’ll have to pay more in interest.
- Loan terms. Can you pay your loan back right away, or would you like something open-ended, like a line of credit? Find a lender that offers a repayment term that fits your budget.
- Your eligibility. The vast majority of business lenders have minimum revenue requirements, which will usually be around $10,000 monthly or $100,000 annually. Some lenders require that you to own a specified percentage of your business, while others might not give you money if your business hasn’t been around for more than a year. Make sure you meet the lender’s requirements before choosing a loan.
- Interest rates. Interest rates vary across lenders.The amount you want to borrow, your lender, loan term and type and even your credit score can factor into the rate you’re ultimately offered.
- Fees . Read the fine print and know the costs when you apply for a loan — some come with hidden origination, application and prepayment fees.
- Repayment costs. Avoid applying for a loan with repayments that you can’t afford — and make sure you’re clear on when they’re due before you sign your loan documents. Repayments can be monthly, weekly or even come out of your sales each day, depending on what type of financing you choose.
What do I need to apply?
The documentation you’ll need to assemble before applying for a loan will differ by lender and loan type — especially when it comes to loans for e-commerce businesses like eBay stores. Generally, you’ll need to have financial records for yourself or your business, a business plan and your personal information. You may also need to provide your personal credit score.
Three quick tips for smart financing
- Understand the terms. So many eBay sellers run their businesses into the ground because they didn’t understand the terms of their loans. Unless you’re applying for an SBA loan, you won’t benefit from regulated terms — which can result in high hidden fees or interest rates. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Only borrow what you need. Taking out more than you need is a recipe for debt — remember, you’re paying interest on the full amount of your loan.
- Don’t use a loan to make up for losses. It’s usually not a good idea to take out a loan when you’re already in the red. Defaulting on a loan can land you in a worse financial position.
Is a business loan the right choice for you?
|When should you take out a loan?||When should you think twice?|
Taking out a loan can be a solid way to boost your eBay presence and better compete in the e-commerce world. Comparing your options and choosing the financing that best fits your needs is the best way to ensure your long-term success.