Maybe I should have named this post, “How a Man Whose Name No One Can Pronounce Grew His eCommerce Business 340% With eBay”. If you have been reading our blog at all you will know that my name is Yuan (pronounced Yawn) like the Chinese word for money. You wouldn’t be able to tell from just looking at my name but I grew up in Minnesota. My name might be Asian but I have lived in the USA my entire life and have been running my own eCommerce business for years. Once I got on eBay, my business exploded.
Here is a list of the reasons why you should work on developing your listings more to take advantage of all the things eBay does for you.
How I Visualize What eBay Is To My eCommerce Business
eCommerce business owners have an overwhelming number of marketing channels available to them. They say that in this era we live in, it has never been easier to start and run your own business. This may be true but what they don’t tell you is that we live in an era full of abundance and distractions. People are constantly looking for the holy grail of marketing. I can tell you that no matter what marketing channel you pick, it works. They all work if you put in the time and focus your energy on one. My eBay business grew by 340% when I cut out the distractions and focused strictly on getting everything I could out of eBay. To put things in perspective, I like to think of the following channels as an analogy for the real world.
- eBay is like having retail shelf space at Target or Wal-Mart. Millions of people go there to these places to do one thing, BUY STUFF! eBay has 160 million active users and you should be kicking, clawing, and mowing over your competitors to be in front of them. 160 million! That is almost half the population of the United States!
- Search Engine Advertising is like having shelf space at the local library (in every city in the country). When people walk into a library they tend to go there looking for information. They want to learn about something. If I am paying money out of my pocket per click on my ads, I would rather have buyers clicking NOT information seekers. Pay per click advertising is for educating not selling but that is an entirely different topic all together that I won’t go into in this post. Maybe in a future post.
- Social Media Advertising is like having your business mentioned in a magazine. When people read magazines, they are looking to be entertained. They want a story. They want to laugh. They want to cry. They want to be inspired. If you are going to be spending time promoting your business on social media you need to become a media company and start entertaining people. When you entertain them, they build up good feelings about your brand. But again, this is an entirely different topic. What I want right now is BUYERS.
- Blogging is like having a meet up with like minded individuals where you spend your time together discussing topics that interest you. Other people at the meetup are their to learn from you and (if they have an opinion or blog) can teach you some things as well. A blog is not a business. A blog is a doorway to a business. Blogging also requires a bit of technical skill. You have to setup your blog, design it, create graphics, and build a whole business plan around it. It’s very time consuming and probably not the best option for selling stuff on eBay. We do it here at Rival Ripper because we offer our services online so it’s a good fit for our business but for my eBay business I don’t need a party to go to. I need BUYERS. I need people that are in the mood to exchange money for goods.
These forms of advertising are all very effective but you have to know the rules of the game to play them. If I had to choose one to focus on first. It would be eBay. The reason for this is eBay is in the business of finding buyers. They are not in the business of educating you or entertaining you or hosting discussion groups. They are in the business of connecting buyers to sellers and that is where I want to put my efforts. You should too!
How My Business Grew 340% By Expanding My Business On eBay
There are many benefits to listing on eBay. With the right tools and tactics, you can get your eBay listing ranked very high on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and a plethora of other Internet search engines and shopping portals. Here is an example. If you properly do your research and work hard putting the correct keywords in your titles and descriptions you can show up #1 in Google without having to hire any SEO gurus. This is free traffic that many eBay sellers overlook.
Benefit #2: You Are Listed on Shopping Portals Like Google Shopping
eBay advertises your listings on shopping portals for you and you don’t even have to do any leg work to make this happen. They do it all for you at no additional cost to you.
Benefit #3: eBay Spends Millions of Dollars on Sponsored Advertising Campaigns
eBay spends a ton of money promoting listings on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others at no cost to you.
My business sells bearings for bikes like these and after visiting an eBay page for one of these bikes, I was followed around the Internet for hours. I kept seeing the same ad show up on multiple websites I visited. It’s called cookie tracking and it is done through large advertising agencies. They know the moment when a user clicks on an ad and they will relentlessly follow that person across their network trying to get them to revisit the listing to buy it. Now there are no guarantees that they will promote your item but this is a hige market that they tap into at no cost to you. I have seen my own listings show up on my Facebook feed after visiting them on eBay. People commonly complain about the 10%+ fees eBay charges to sell on their site. Yet, they fail to see all the marketing going on behind the scenes.
eBay Listings are a Ten Cent Billboard
Think of each eBay listing as a physical billboard and you can have thousands of these billboards up for as little as a ten cents per month in (eBay listing fees). Whether you know it or not, it’s a race between you and your competitors to fill up the side of the roads with these billboards. The top sellers aren’t worried about eBay seller fees because they know their profit margins, and they just keep adding more and more billboards (listings).
The savvy business owners are plastering as many of these billboards on eBay as they can get away with. In fact, some of the shadier or cut throat businesses are going underground and creating multiple accounts (This practice can get you blacklisted by eBay and we DO NOT recommend it).
The issue with having a lot of listings is; they become hard to manage and keep competitively priced. For a more in depth strategy on listing management check out our post 7 eBay Seller Strategies That Could Make You Wealthy!
How much money are you missing out on?
Using proprietary tools similar to Terapeak I could tell how much money my competitors where making on eBay and that’s when I got inspired and really serious about focusing strictly on my eBay listings.
Most eBay businesses are missing out on millions of dollars worth of market share. The higher ranked players are often bringing in $5,000+ a day in revenue. This is revenue you’re missing out on and that is just from one competitor.
To start claiming market share, all I had to do was get my listings, inventory, and pricing organized. Then I was able to focus on adding a lot more high performing listings. I weeded out my poor performers and scaled up my top sellers. There was no way I was going to be able to grow my business with the current eBay software available. eBay tools like auctiva, inkfrog, and turbo lister we’re not going to cut it. All they did was list my items. I needed to know what items were making me money. I learned how to code a few years ago and started writing my own tools. After rewriting these scripts over and over again, I finally had something that was working for me. I knew these tools needed to be created and shared with other eBay businesses.
I understand as a small business owner we are many times just trying to keep up with the workload or do what we think is best. But, things get easier with more profits, and those profits come from focusing on sales, profit, and ROI. A little bit of focus in these areas can go a long way. If you are interested in running your business based on real data and want to maximize profit and return on investment then you need the proper tools to do so.
"For our new friends, Rival Ripper is an eBay listing management platform that combines template building, message tracking, order management, and pricing all into one powerful tool. To learn more about Rival Ripper and get insider access, sign up for our 100% free newsletter."