Last week we launched a new blog about our journey to $100K in eBay monthly sales. Now let’s discuss how you can implement the eBay hacks we’ve learned…
Laying the groundwork
eBay listings should be a process, not a “one time creation”
The vast majority of eBay sellers treat listings as a “one time creation” rather than an on-going optimization and improvement process.
I’m not saying you should revise all of your listings on a daily basis, but you definitely need to learn and improve over time, there are so many ways in which you can improve your eBay search result positions, and boost your sales (I’ll be talking about these in the upcoming posts). Treating your eBay listings as a process will ensure you’re always one step ahead of the competition. Sounds like a lot of work? Yes, definitely! But hey, if you are investing the time into reading this blog, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to get an edge over the competition and succeed on eBay.
Let’s dive in…
7 eBay Hacks we used to Grow eBay Sales to over $100K
1. Listen to your customers
We carefully analyzed each and every eBay message we got from existing and potential customers. You might think that this is an obvious ebay hack, but my experience shows that many sellers miss out of this. I can’t stress enough the importance of this stream of information – any potential customer who invests the time to write you a message prior to clicking on “Buy it Now” is essentially giving you free advice on how you can improve your eBay listing.
Here is a sample of how we implemented this:
One of the first products we sold on eBay was a “Car GPS device”.
We were listing on international eBay sites, and were constantly getting asked whether the GPS came with a map specific to the customer’s country, e.g. “does this include a map of Australia?” (From eBay AU customers). Naturally we did have a text listing all the included maps; however the repeated question made us realize that we have to make this info much more prominent on the eBay listing, so we added images showcasing the included maps:
*pardon my Photoshop skills, there was no CrazyLister back in 2008 🙂
and guess what?
Questions about maps stopped altogether, sales went up! This was one of our earliest ebay hacks.
Several years later, we helped a fellow eBay seller increase his sales by 37%, by adding 1 small icon to his eBay template, can you see it?
Going through his messages, we saw numerous questions like: “is this original?” or- “is this genuine?” Adding the “100% Authentic” icon, reassured the customers that this is indeed a genuine item, and increased our fella’s sales by 37%.
We implement the same tactic with CrazyLister users, listening carefully to feedback, complaints and ideas. I truly believe that this is the #1 rule for success – LISTEN to your customers and execute their feedback to make them happy.
Takeaway: eBay messages are a fountain of priceless advice from customers on how to increase your sales. Listen carefully and start implementing today!
2. You have 6 seconds to grab the customer’s attention
“Average web site user attention span is now only 6 seconds” Gael Breton & Mark Webster, Authorityhacker
You may be investing your heart and soul, spending hours on creating awesome eBay templates, but the average customer will give you no more than 6 seconds of attention before moving on to your competitors listing.
Use this precious time to grab their attention!
Realizing this, we began adding headlines like –
“You can stop searching! This is the best GPS deal on eBay.
guaranteed by 1000’s of customer’s feedback”
Here is another sample of a headline we used – By proudly bragging about our stellar feedback, we bring the customers attention to the fact that he is in good hands.
Takeaway: Test different headlines, images, icons, videos, use humor, shock, whatever you can to grab the customers attention and get him to continue checking your listing.
3. Focus, focus, focus!
There are currently more than 25 million sellers on eBay, the competition is fierce. Why would anybody choose to buy from you?
You can’t be the: lowest priced, best service, best quality, fastest shipper, king of eBay in every possible aspect. Choose ONE and concentrate all your energy in conveying that to the customers. You can’t win them all, but if you concentrate on one strength, you will win customers to whom this aspect is most important.
If you are the fastest shipper on eBay for this product – celebrate it in every possible way, on your listings, in your communications, inside the packages.
Customers who can’t wait will come back to you for your fast shipping, even if your price is higher.
For us it’s always “best customer support” (we are based in Israel, so can’t really compete on price / logistics / wide selection etc..).
We were actually sourcing the GPS devices from another eBay seller, and selling them on eBay for 20% more.
We did everything possible to surround our customers with love and affection, from refunding worried customers when the packages arrived later than expected, to investing $5000 in a (retrospectively badly done) video about our customer support.
Here it is –
Even today i am still trying to convince myself and my good friend Niv (the presenter in the video) that the lip gloss is not so bad 😉 Niv, I’m sorry buddy, it’s bad…
Nevertheless, how many eBay sellers do you know that have a video explaining their strength? It did the job for us, it conveyed authenticity and trust, our customers got the feeling that they are in good hands.
You don’t have to be the cheapest on eBay, there are plenty of customers who are not only “dollar driven.” Personally – I’m always willing to pay a little extra if it buys me peace of mind.
In his brilliant Ted lecture – “The importance of focus“, Richard St. John explains why focus is one of eight traits common in successful people.
Takeaway: Choose ONE aspect that you excel at, make it clear to the customers that this is your strength – Present it on your eBay listings, mention it in your correspondence, remind people about it in your feedback replies (yes, reply to eBay feedback), print it on your package slips.
There is no magic shortcut, building a sustainable eBay business (or any business for that matter) requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
Looking retrospectively – It’s the accumulation of all the tactics together that creates the synergistic effect and raises the business above the competition.
Listen to your customers, create interesting / appealing / attention grabbing eBay templates, be laser focused on your competitive advantage.
Next week I’ll be describing 4 more detailed tactics to add to your arsenal –
- Selling on international eBay sites (for higher prices)
- Shortening the gap between the product and the customer
- Conveying trust and authenticity