Thursday, June 05, 2008
The following is an update to my previous post: "How i profit on Ebay"
1. Ebay's new rules don't seem to prevent you from bundling an ebook in with a 'hard' product. Offering a free ebook on a related subject helps differentiate you and can be the difference between winning the sale and losing it to a competitor. This is especially true when prices are identical and margins are tight.
2. The upsell is in the niche. Setting up niche stores is THE way to profit in a competitive market. Buyers will always prefer to buy from a niche store that looks well populated and run by experts or enthusiasts in their field. In fact many customers will pay more for the same product for the same reasons. Both the store and the listings have to look professional. Spends some time on this - look at what others are doing and emulate the best ones. Good design, graphics and detail are the biggest persuaders in a crowded market.
3. Once you have their first order it's imperative you get them to opt-in to a list. Don't rely on Ebay's newsletter system. It just doesn't work. You need to send a request with the confirmation with a strong incentive for them to opt-in (another free ebook perhaps?) and use an external autoresponder, or make use of one of the ebay orderprocessing services like MarketWorks to handle this for you.
4. Once you have qualified prospects in an enthusiastic niche, who have purchased before and opted in then you have a basis for a long term, high profit business. Here are some ideas:
ALWAYS offer free or discounted shipping for multiple purchases. ALWAYS. I can't stress that enough. ALWAYS. Got it?
Regular, information rich newsletter - give as much info away as you can. The more they value your emails the more often they'll read them
Discount vouchers/coupons - always good to make former customers feel they are getting something for nothing
Loss-leaders - monthly low cost 'offers' to build repeat business and get people back to your store. A good loss-leader should undercut your competitors but still cover your costs. A reasonable loss leader will make a small loss but have a natural sell-up product that many customers will be tempted by.
"We'll Find It For You" service - offer to find specialist products for customers by request. Even when you can't source the product they want, you can offer them alternatives - it works, trust me on this! Keep an eye on Ebay's Want It Now service - it can be a good source of ideas for products, and you may even pick up the occasional order - http://pages.ebay.co.uk/wantitnow/
5. Support your niche store with a website as soon as you are ready and can afford it. It gives you credentials and the opportunity to upsell/cross-sell and bundle in ways that just aren't feasible on ebay. Plus you can sell ebooks!
6. Get up to Powerseller as quickly as you can. If you're serious about using ebay as a long term business then PowerSeller status is a must. The FVF discounts can make a big difference to profits and the extra support is handy too. As you'd expect many buyers will choose a PowerSeller over an ordinary business in a competitive decision.