Should you be using eBay to grow your sales?

eBay is often thought of as a way to sell off old junk or a small home business opportunity, but a growing number of established businesses are now using eBay to grow their sales.

There is one main reason why you should consider using eBay as a platform to grow your sales …. size. According to some estimates, eBay has around 155 million active customers and 11 million searches are conducted per hour on the site (on a worldwide basis). By selling on eBay you can lock into a ready made market which is virtually unparalleled in scale.

Think of it this way: Potential customers are probably searching for your product online right now, and probably using eBay to do it. Getting your business and product to appear in Google (or whatever) search listings takes time and effort. By listing your products on eBay you are guaranteeing yourself immediate exposure to potential customers. (That doesn’t mean your product will sell, but it’s a start.)

You should seriously think about using eBay to grow your sales if:

* You have a consumer product or products to sell. It’s possible to sell B2B products or services on eBay, but the marketplace for these is still fairly small.

* Your product is something that is already widely sold on eBay, ie. there is already a ready market for it.

* You can supply and deliver your product outside your local area in a timely and cost effective way. (This is not to say that you cannot sell locally on eBay, but the main prize is expanding your sales nationwide.)

Here are a few strategies for getting started selling on eBay:

* Think of eBay as part of your marketing mix, rather than being a replacement for it. Offline marketing methods can still be used and some online marketing methods integrate well with eBay.

* Check what competition you have/will have on eBay. Develop a USP or unique sales proposition – something that will make your offer stand out from amongst the many other sellers.

* Cost everything first to make sure that you can sell successfully on eBay within your profit margin structure. Use the eBay fees calculator to do this.

* Don’t start or get involved in a price war. It is not necessary to be the cheapest to sell successfully on eBay. eBay buyers are also attracted by benefits such as delivery, service, quality, uniqueness and well presented listings. The highest priced sellers are frequently the most successful on eBay.

Strategies you can use to sell successfully at higher prices include branding and bundling.

* Create and use high quality listings with high quality written descriptions and high quality images.

* Have a strategy and a system for building customer loyalty, capturing customer details and encouraging repeat sales. Although many (if not most) sellers on eBay don’t realise it, successful selling on eBay – as with most other methods of advertising and selling – is really all about the backend.

Mark Hempshell is a copywriting and content marketing expert and online marketing consultant. If you’d like some help with using eBay to grow your sales you can contact Mark directly using the details on our Contact page.