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Increase Traffic to eBay Store and Listings

pats21wju1
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Just like any eBayer serious about trying to start their own business, we too have struggled with the dilemma often faced by new Ebay stores - how do you increase traffic to your eBay store and product listings?  The answer, albeit a simple one, is hard work.  Views and traffic do not come easy on eBay, especially given the sheer size of the eBay universe and the vast number of listings, eBay stores and products.  So then, how does one possibly increase traffic to their eBay store?  Or, is eBay too competitive of a landscape for a small seller to succeed?  Small sellers or sellers with a new eBay store can succeed and slowly but surely increase traffic to their store and listings.  Below are several tips / ideas on how to do this.

  • Focus on a niche market - DO NOT try to be everything to everyone
    • It is very easy to want to sell anything and everything on eBay.  However, that approach will likely be met with failure as there are too many large eBay sellers (some of which are large organizations) that have the scale, pricing power, man power and product mix that a new eBayer does not have.  The secret rests in focusing on a niche market, where you can sells items for more than you purchase them.  When trying to determine this niche market, please be aware of all the "costs" associated with selling on eBay, including the listing fee, final value fee, paypal fee, shipping fee, packaging fee and cost to purchase the products to sell.  Be an expert in a niche and offer a very deep and diverse line of products in that niche and this will increase your chances of success.
  • Use all of eBay's free marketing
    • It might seem cheesy, but certainly take advantage of eBay free marketing.  Cross market your products, use HTML to spruce up your listings and link to other items, create a profile page, set-up a newsletter and create very relevant and appropriate tages for your items.  It may not seem like doing these things make a difference, but over time it definitely will.
  • List items regularly in auctions
    • It is easy to think that once your store is set-up that the hard work ends.  In reality, this is when the hard work begins.  Just having items in a store will not guarantee sales.  In fact, items in auctions generally get preferential treatment on where they are viewed - auctions are generally listed at the top of pages, buy-it-nows are generally listed in the middle or near the bottom (except for popular items being sold by very successful sellers with high ratings).  A tip is to offer auctions of your products to get people to "enter" your store.  These items can be different from those in your store or can even be items from your store, just with a lower starting bid.  The key here is that auctions get the most views and people look for "bargains," so include auctions regularly and the total views of your items will likely increase.
  • Utilize bump auction sites
    • Some people swear by these sites.  Me, personally, I am still slightly skeptical, although I utilize them.  These sites are free advertising for your eBay store items.  Just copy and paste in the item number and your listing appears on the webpage.  The catch here, though, is that you need people to be viewing these pages in order for them to possibly see your item.  Bump auction sites certainly don't hurt, but I do not know how much they really add either.  Nonetheless, several of my personal favorites are MagiesPlace, AuctionBump, Deja Creations, MysteryAuctionBump and Power Selling Mom.
  • Create a customer database
    • This tip requires old fashion work.  Create a database of all your customers (those that have purchased a product from you).  Send them monthly or quarterly emails to tell them about new products to your store.  Follow-up to make sure they were satisfied with their purchase.  The key here is that you do not want to overflow these folks with too frequent emails; rather, send them an email every now and then to remind them of your products.
  • Respond quickly to customer questions / inquiries
    • This might seem assumed, but it is incredibly important to promptly respond to customer questions or inquiries.  Sometimes this can make the difference between a sizeable sale and no sale.
  • Write eBay guides and reviews
    • Writing eBay guides and reviews is a terrific way to increase exposure for your store and products.  Guides and reviews are accessed by millions of people and are a great opportunity for you to share something meaningful with them.  It can be beneficial to write a review or guide about your niche products or the niche market in which you sell.  Inform them about the products, industry, etc. and give them an opportunity to come visit your store.  It is okay to self promote, to an extent, but don't overdue it.  And make sure that you include something of substance in your guide, not just fluff.
  • Utilize the world wide web
    • In an age with some many folks using the internet, social networking sites, blogs and other websites are a great opportunity to increase expsoure to your eBay store and traffic.  Be warned though, this is also hard work and takes time.  Websites that take little time to start will likely have very minimal return on investment.  Instead, focus your efforts on meaningful sites.  Put time into your website.  The more places your store and products are on the internet, the better chance someone will stumble across them and visit your store.
  • Offer many different products
    • Sounds silly, but someone only selling a couple of products will likely fail or at least have a challenging time succeeding.  Diversity, in a niche market, can really help items gain traction and exposure.  The more items you have for sale, the more possible ways customers have to find your store. 
  • Makes sales transactional
    • What is meant by this is that once your eBay store is set up, have a process in place that minimizes disruption once you sell an item and allows you to continue to focus significant attention to marketing your eBay store.  At the end of the day, an eBay seller will be made or broken by the quality of the transactions.  Ship quickly, follow-up with the buyer, make it a very positive experience for them.
  • Utilize traffic reports
    • One of the beautiful things about signing up for an eBay store is that you get free access to traffic reports, which essentially reveal very meaningful information about your store, specifically how many views, visitors, search words and where people are clicking over from.  These reports are your friends - read them often.
  • Keep working hard and do not get frustrated
    • It is easy to get frustrated once you store is set up, looking nice and your products are hardly getting any views.  This happens to all of us.  And remember, views on eBay in general can be cyclical.  Some days traffic will be very heavy, other days not so much.  Do not get frustrated and keep taking small steps to position your products and store for success.  If you stick with it, offer products that people are willing to buy where you can make money, market your store and keep having fun, you can succeed on eBay and increase traffic to your eBay store and listings!
 
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