Archive for December, 2008

Selling on eBay – Why Bother With Guides?

Many buyers read guides or reviews of a product before buying on eBay.  They are useful sources of information for buyers, especially when buying unusual or niche products. For sellers they are also useful.

You probably sell in one or more niches.  While you may not realize it but by specializing in one area you become an expert.  You deal with the same product a lot, unlike a buyer who may only by one now and then.  The buyer may have questions that you have come across many times.  By writing a guide covering common questions you can answer those questions for many people.  But selling on eBay is not an altruistic activity.  What is the benefit to you the seller?

Firstly, you are showing your buyers that you are an expert, you have answered their question. Would you be more willing to buy from an expert or someone else?  Especially as the seller will have a link to his shop in the guide (won’t you?).

Secondly, you are part of the eBay community and engage in it.  You read the forum, some people are more involved than others, they have lots of posts.  How do you feel about them?  They seem ‘part’ of eBay, more solid, more reliable because they spend time on the forum.  They are credible, as is the writer of a well written guide.

Thirdly, to the right of the guide some of your listings will be displayed.

The same applies to honest reviews of products.  If I am thinking of buying something and I read an honest review am I going to be more or less likely to buy from the person giving me good information?

Be creative when thinking about the guides and reviews that you write.  If there is a new product then that is an obvious subject for a review.  Also, with a new product in an existing line there will be changes from the previous model.  Is there scope for a guide helping with the changes?  If you sell wild bird seed, someone has to, can you write a guide about attracting more birds into the garden?  If you sell compost bins can you write a guide about the best uses of the compost they make?  If you sell baby items or clothes how about a guide about how quickly babies grow, how parents can survive the first six months of broken sleep etc. what to expect when they (the babies not the parents) start teething. You get the idea.

Writing guides and reviews is a good way to build your credibility and bring more sales.  It is a one time effort for a long term gain.

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Einstein’s Brain

I was working at the PC the other day when someone on the radio said that Einstein’s brain had been preserved.  I have no idea what the context of the conversation on the radio was as I was not really listening.  Anyway, that snippet of information caught my attention and the other radio presenter said that she wondered how much the brain would fetch on eBay.

A good question, a lot of research would be needed.

If you were selling Albert’s brain you would need to research your item well.  Are you selling it by weight or concentrating on the scarcity value?  Is there a sentimental or research value?  As it was cut up into 3 parts which part are you selling? What other aspects are there to research?

This is the point of this post, whether selling Einstein’s preserved brain, or anything else, your research has to be thorough, and detailed.

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Free Traffic Idea

The one thing that site and blog owners always want to increase is their traffic.  (Tell me about it).

There is a folk myth that the Adobe reader’s download page is the most back-linked in the world.  I am not sure about that but I know that Google ranks it as 10/10 for importance. Google’s algorithm is a mystery, probably including to those that work with it.  It is no secret that a good number and quality of of back links helps a site’s page rank.

The problem is to get people to back to you to create those juicy back-links without having to give out reciprocal links which are worth less in Google’s view. Here is an idea to increase back-links and so page ranking on search engines like Google.

Write a template, any template, and include your link at the bottom and then give it away.

Let me be more specific.  I can not write a decent advert template from scratch and so for my classified ads I use free templates that I got from Tracey Edwards when I bought her Auction Classified Cash book.  I am very happy with them.  At the bottom of them there is a link to Tracey’s site, and why not?  She may get people clicking on the link to see if they can use them as well.  More importantly, each classified ad that I run creates a back-link to Tracey’s site.  True that link only lasts 30 days but it is alweays replaced with another and will be as long as I sell on ebay.

Think about it.  Tracey has written a great book about selling on eBay using classified ads.  Say she has sold 1,000 copies (It will be many more but I am just illustrating a point).  Of those 1,000 people 75% are going to write at least 1 advert.  Are they going to struggle putting a nice advert together or use the convenient and attractive templates?  Instant 750 back links.  Say half of those 750 keep writing classified ads most will keep with the templates, human beings are lazy by nature.

Tracey has at least 300 back-links but as most people will run 2 or 3 ads at a time she probably has 600 – 900 back-links.  That increases her page rank so that more people find her site via Google’s organic search, she makes more sales, gives away more templates, more people use the templates, that gives her more back-links, which increases her page rank……….. Well you get the idea.

But YOU could do something similar.  Create a template for adverts, squeeze pages, web pages, create a free WP theme, whatever there are many possibilities.  Then give them away. Your site gets publicity, you are seen gain credibility and you build back-links. Neat huh? If only I could do it myself……………

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