Your price competitors – or businesses that have low enough prices to compete with you – more than likely will neglect many of the avenues through which they can generate traffic on eBay.
You should use this to your advantage by exploiting these same overlooked avenues, ensuring you receive more traffic – and subsequently end up receiving higher closing prices for your auctions. Remember, traffic is key.
Use Keywords In Your Auction Titles
Much like any search engine, eBay's search function pulls up results according to keywords it associates with each auction; however, the difference between eBay and Google is that with eBay, you can determine whether or not your auction shows up simply by inserting one keyword into your title.
A good way to determine what keywords people are actually searching for is to use eBay Pulse and the eBay “Top Ten Lists” to find a number descriptive keywords you can use for your products that buyers are actually searching for on eBay.
Going through this list will give you a clear idea on what keyword people are searching for.
Choose the best keyword that best describe your item and use them in your title.
If possible, you will want to insert several of these keywords into your eBay title; however, you will also want to make sure that your title is still reasonably descriptive of your product – and also attractive to readers. It doesn't matter if your auction is pulled by the eBay search engine 10 times as much if the amount of people who actually click on the title is reduced 20-fold.
Use Keywords In Your Auction Descriptions
Many people do not realize this, but a lot of eBay buyers use the search by ‘Titles & Descriptions’ function.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to take advantage of those buyers by packing your description with keywords people actually search for to find items similar to yours.
This is part of the reason why some sellers insert lengthy descriptions; this allows them to optimize auctions to a high degree to ensure that they are always pulled for related searches.
Put in keywords which are as descriptive as possible in your auction description for a better search ability.
Use eBay's In-House Advertising System to Generate Traffic
Several years ago, eBay implemented their own in-house rotating advertisement system.
Similar to the Google Adwords advertising system, it allowed users to create advertisements with a short headline and two short body lines.
Additionally, these advertisements were contextually matched to searches.
For instance, if you searched for “coffee maker,” you'd receive all advertisements for stores that sold coffee makers.
Over the past two months, eBay has shifted this advertising system from in-house management to management at Yahoo's Publisher Network; however, it still functions very much the same as the old system.
This is an excellent way to promote your themed items on eBay amid still competitions.
ADVANTAGES OF EBAY ADVERTISING
What is the key to using this advertising system effectively?
Unlike Adwords, you wont want to get a high click-thru rate.
Instead, you will want only those who are interested in your products to click through.
This means you must have a compelling advertisement – but must also use a clear description of what you do sell to ensure interested buyers are looking, rather than tire kickers or people who are confused altogether.
Another important part of using the system effectively is to determine how much you can expect to earn from your advertising efforts – and then use this in determining how much you should actually spend.
Your goal should be to sell the amount which yields the highest level of profit, even if the amount you earn per unit diminishes.
Additionally, you will want to test your advertisements with different layouts to determine which ones pull the best.
For instance, you can try using different colors, borders, no borders, or no colors. You can also try using different copy tactics, such as using psychological triggers or calls to action in lieu of additional item descriptions.
If you do not test, you will not know how effective your advertisements actually are. So go ahead, test them out to see which type of advertisement works for your products.
Using a Thumbnail Image to Generate Traffic
This is one item which most eBayers forget. Remember the saying, a picture speaks a thousand words.
People are very visual beings, people are generally attracted to attractive pictures instead of a bunch of words.
So, use a thumbnail picture to promote your product!
Listings that do not use thumbnail images also usually do not generate traffic.
There may be some exceptions to this rule, but in most cases, the extra few cents you'd have to pay to generate traffic generally pays off considerably in the form of a higher closing price.
Imagine if you are selling coffee makers, do a search on eBay for coffee maker and you will get an entire list of products, now look, which ones of these listings stands out?
The ones with the thumbnail picture!
Those are the listings which are most likely to be clicked.
Bolding Your Auction Listings to Generate Traffic
Yes, bolding will cost you a bit more to list, but think of it as advertisement cost.
Using the bold option on your listing titles is inexpensive; and is almost always worth purchasing, unless the item for auction is inexpensive, too – in which case, it is not.
So, the rule of thumb is that, if your profit is anything above $5, then go for the bolded listings. Paying that little extra is nothing compared to the sales generated.
If you have a mixed inventory, you may want to bold expensive items and use the absolute minimum amount of upgrades on cheaper items.
If items are complements, traffic will spill over from your high-traffic, bolded items to your smaller items.
One great way of creating spill over traffic to your other inexpensive items is to also list your inexpensive items within the same page of your expensive items. List them right at the bottom as ‘other products in my store’.
Highlighting Your Auction Listings to Generate Traffic
Highlighting is yet another feature you can use to draw more attention to your listings.
While I've heard mixed results about highlighting – as it is more expensive than bolding – I would personally suggest testing your inventory to determine your own results. In order to derive accurate data, you will want to use the same items or at least similar items for testing.
Most eBay Power sellers do highlight their items.
If you do plan to go with this option, make it for the more expensive items, and also do make sure you have a professional picture of your item (more pictures the better) and a very good description of your item. You want to make it worthwhile for the extra advertisement cost!
eaturing Your Auction Listings to Generate Traffic
Featuring auctions is optimal for three situations only: when you are selling high-priced items (in which case, it is a must), when you are running dutch auctions, and when you own an eBay store.
Featured items would usually be your most unique item in your store. Whether it is of the latest arrival, or of the latest trend.
If you're selling a high-priced item, the price to feature will be a negligible portion of your profit margin, which means.
This is also true for your competitors, which is why, as you will notice, the majority of high-priced auction items are featured. Not featuring your item is a good way to guarantee that it doesn't get seen.
Featured auction listing are good for high priced items such as machinery and automation parts.
With these machines, your profit margin is going to be very high if you have followed the method outlined above in the ‘eBay business model: Dropshipping’ Section.
Now, if you're running a dutch auction – or an auction that sells multiple, uniform items – using the featured listing upgrade can also be an excellent way sell more of the items you've listed.
Additionally, the more items you have for sale in that dutch auction, the more it makes sense to use a featured listing to generate traffic.
If you own an eBay store, you will also want to use at least a few featured listings simultaneously.
While it may not pay off directly in terms of a higher closing price on those specific auctions, it will get traffic to view your cross promotions and your other, non-featured, non-auction listings.
Again, it is a great idea to own an eBaystore that sells machinery and parts.
Get the item list and pictures from the manufacturer, list them in your store, if there are any potential buyers, refer them to your manufacturer as your technical support.
And once the buyer buys through your store, simply place the order with the machine manufacturer and keep the difference in price as your profit!
Featuring Your Auction Listings on the eBay Home Page
While this is quite expensive, it may be worth it for high-ticket items, such as cars and houses.
If you're selling paper clip singles, it might not be the greatest idea, even though you would receive some spill over traffic into all of your other auctions.
If you plan to do this, you could contact other sellers in your given theme/niche and ask them if they've used this feature – and, if so, how much traffic they received. Again, do this only if your items are expensive items.
Recycling Buyers Into Regular Customers
Many eBay sellers make the mistake of not following up with customers.
After the sale is closed, the item is paid for and shipped, they leave feedback and that is it: if the buyer doesn't decide to come back, they'll never receive another purchase from him or her again, and that is one big mistake.
This is why following up with your customers is important.
It allows you to recycle all of your buyers into regular, paying customers. Customers who has bought items from you once will very likely buy from you again should you be selling another items similar to your competitors.
How can you do this?
It's simple: whenever someone makes a purchase from your store, ask them if they are interested in receiving bi-monthly emails that include special offers available to those who are on your list.
Not everyone will be interested, but those who are will be easier to contact and easier to upsell in the future.
If you do decide to make this list, do not go with a “milk it until it's dry” strategy.
Instead, send out a reasonable amount of emails at pre-set intervals – and actually offer good deals for your customers.
If you treat your list well, they will continue to buy from you; and they will actually open your emails when you send them. Send them discount coupons, free information or updates on newer versions of the product that they have bought.
Such incentives will go a long way.