eBay Strategy: What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?

What is a Unique Selling Proposition? 

A unique selling proposition (USP), in short, is some offer or feature that sets your product apart from all others on the market. This is a critical point for every business type. 

It does not matter if you are selling offline or selling online. You must have a USP for your business, something that sets you apart from the competition.

Why is this so important to have a USP on eBay when you're using a straight-forward, simple business model? 

The answer is simple: no matter how good your sources are, someone is going to have better prices than you do. 

If you do not have some feature, bonus, or offer that adds tangible – yet incalculable – value to your product, then potential buyers will go to someone else who has a lower price instead. Make your product more attractive, such as having freebies thrown in.

Possible USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) Used


No one wants to wait a week before their product arrives. 

Online eBay shoppers are an impatient bunch, they shop online because they like the speed, the vast choices and the time saved. Therefore, you can also expect them to want their item to arrive as soon as possible. 

One of the oft-employed USPs is shipping within 24 business hours. 

Large businesses and liquidators, which usually have the lowest prices, are generally too big to offer shipping within 24 business hours. 

Instead, they usually designate two days per week to ship. 

If you use the fast shipping USP, you can outcompete them, even if your prices are higher for similar products. 

Make sure you put a clear statement on your eBay store that their product will be shipped within 12 or 24 hours after payment received.


Another oft-employed USP in eBay is the bonus. 

This can be a pretty powerful incentive to buy; however, it must be employed correctly. 

For instance, if you're selling an ipod, you might offer all buyers a one-time, 50% offer on an ipod add-on or case. 

And if you're selling a grand piano, you might throw in a piano stool completely free of charge. These small items can heavily lean the potential buyer in your favor.


Yet another USP you can employ is free shipping. 

This is generally a better idea for light items, as you will only eat a loss of around $3 on the free shipping (unless, of course, you simply add it to the price). 

Most sellers sell their product below their cost price and them make them back on the shipping cost. 

All you do is check out your competition, is he doing the same thing? 

Do some basic maths. 

Your competitors total price would be the product price plus the shipping cost. 

Is he making much more than the item cost? 

You can have a slightly higher product selling price (above cost) , but give free shipping. 

eBay buyers are smart, they always look at these two things first, which is the Item price plus the shipping cost. 

If yours adds up to less than your competitors, then it is highly likely you will get that sale. 

No doubt you profit less, but remember, on eBay, big money is earned from mass product sales, not from the selling of highly priced individual items.


But whatever option you choose, it is imperative that you do not give a USP that has a clearly defined value in dollar terms (i.e. a gift certificate for $10, or a free item that cost $49.90). 

If you do this, customers will easily be able to compare the value you added to other auctions, which makes it easy to turn down your deal if they can get a lower price elsewhere.

This brings us to the last important part of building a conventional, straight-forward eBay business: getting traffic to actually visit your auction.

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