Should I sell from my own account or the client’s? Who will be doing the actual selling?

Most Selling Assistant’s will want to sell from their own selling accounts whenever possible. This gives you full control over the money, both ingoing and outgoing, and makes it easier for you to manage the post-sale elements like shipping, returns and payment processing. It also means all selling benefits and cross-marketing opportunities go directly back to your accounts.

But while most of this book assumes that you’re selling the client’s items from your own selling account, there are many reasons why you may opt to sell from the client’s account instead. When dealing with a client that’s a business or otherwise has a brand of their own to protect, they may prefer you sell their items from a designated storefront themed to their business. Selling from the client’s account also lets you avoid some of the annoyances of online selling. Of course, this assumes the client either already has a selling account, that you would create one for them or otherwise require they set one up for this purpose.

How would this even work? Well, first the client would need to give you access to their selling account, and you’d do all the selling for them from there. Or you could just undertake the listing process through their account, then let the client take over and handle all the actual final sale details and shipping themselves. The client would be paying all the selling, payment and shipping costs, as it’s their account, but they’d also be getting all the income so you’d need to either bill them for your fee or commission after the fact or just charge a flat fee upfront. While a large corporate client may require this to ensure that that the items are sold under their brand, it can put the SA in a couple of bad situations.

Firstly, because the profits are going directly into the client’s account, they’ll have to pay you instead of your having all the money and giving them their share after the fact. You’ll need to bill your clients for the payment for your service, unless you get that upfront, and, while some small businesses are exemplary, many are slow to pay invoices, often paying late and only after many reminders. While you can probably trust a big company to eventually follow up on an invoice or bill, individuals can be worse. You’ll need to make sure you’ve protected yourself if it goes to small claims court so that you’ll get your payment. Chasing up payments isn’t just annoying and a time waster, it can really mess up your business when you’ve got your own bills to pay and can’t because your client invoices are still outstanding.

Secondly, it will be the client’s account that reaps the benefits of the sales, be that feedback, volume sales discounts, benefits program (such as eBay’s Top Rated or PowerSeller) or boosting the sales of your other items. Because the SA isn’t getting credit for listing and selling the items, there’s less (or no) opportunity to promote your SA service or store while selling. Lastly, if your client isn’t selling savvy, it can mean that you’ll need to set all or part of their selling account up for them, which can be time-consuming. Just make sure you’ve set things so that you’ll be compensated for any additional work.

There are some advantages to performing your SA service this way if you can put up with the rest. For starters, while their account will get all the benefits, they’ll also get any bad feedback, buyer complaints or other negative selling activities that can result, keeping your account untarnished. You also may not want your other items or your business name associated with a particular client or their items, so this extra layer of distance may be more to your preference. If you’re just doing the listing and letting the client handle all the details of the final sale, you get yourself out of packing, shipping, returns and dealing with buyers, all of which are some of the most difficult parts of selling.