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Use What You've Got: Capitalizing On Ebay's Extensive Resources

Nov 12, 2007
An eBay store is a tremendous sales channel for any Internet retailer. The traffic alone makes it more than worth the small price tag. But many eBay sellers don't avail themselves of the impressive line-up of marketing tools eBay supplies, and miss the chance to increase their exposure and improve their sales. States Rebecca Shapiro, co-founder of eBay store consulting service, http://OasisConnect.com, "I see very few sellers tapping into all the resources they have at their disposal. If you choose to use them, eBay gives you all the tools you need to brand, optimize, and market your business."

Room for Improvement

Even if your eBay business is already doing well, you can affect a big difference in your bottom line with just a few small adjustments:

* Use your eBay store to advance your brand.

A big part of branding is creating a recognizable image; so when you set up your store, you want it to make sure it reflects your off-eBay web site. Besides choosing your colors and adding your logo, you can put in your own HTML code to create a very branded store that effectively identifies your product and your business.

* Make the most of eBay's free SEO tools.

EBay makes it easy for you to rank in the search engines. Their stores are already optimized - all you have to do is enter the keywords you want to rank for. By strategically employing those keywords in your descriptions, and your category and store listing titles, you can show up in Google keyword searches and market yourself to the entire online world. Posting eBay reviews, guides, and blogs also lets you create content-rich, optimized copy, which further drives your visibility in the search engines.

* Keep yourself in front of your customers.

It's important to remind your customers that you're there. That's why eBay gives you the ability to create newsletters, and to send out five thousand emails each month, at no extra cost. But many eBay sellers with sizable customer lists don't understand how powerful these customer retention tools are, and miss out on a prime marketing opportunity.

* Use the power of the discount.

Markdown Manager is a sales tool that allows you to mark items in your store from five to seventy-five percent off, for one to forty-five days. Sellers have collectively reported that the sales icon has been a valuable vehicle for driving traffic and boosting sales.

* Get smart about your listing strategy.

The most common marketing tools on eBay are auctions and fixed price listings. Your store acts as your warehouse or web site; your auctions and fixed price listings are there to make it easy for people to find you. At ten cents a listing, you can carry items in your store for thirty days, and there's no limit to the product quantity you can put under each listing. By using auctions primarily to drive traffic to your store, you can place more inventory for less and, in the long run, save money on eBay fees.

Even huge companies like Sears, IBM, and Best Buy are seeing the potential of eBay as a sales channel. If it's important for such large retail chains, it's certainly important for your home-based E-Biz. Says Shapiro, "EBay has so much to offer, and if you're willing to put in that effort and utilize the tools they give you, you're really going to experience the benefits. It's a great way to learn and a great way to start."
About the Author
Product Sourcing Radio is Created and Hosted by Chris Malta and Rob Cowie of WorldwideBrands.com, Home of OneSource: The Internet's Largest Source of Genuine, Factory-Direct Wholesalers for online sellers. Click Here for FREE E-Biz & Product Sourcing info!
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