Traditional Marketing Techniques for eBay Auction Ads

Ya know, I sort of giggle when I look at an ad on eBay that's just a black and white description of the item or product that's up for bid. It wasn't long ago at all that I would have done the exact same thing, but once I understood some traditional marketing techniques, not just been exposed to them; everything looked totally different.

It's been a few years now and I can't imagine how I got by in a "sales" career beforehand. I had been a fairly successful salesman in the mortgage business, or the term the public uses; Mortgage Broker. A commission only job with no promised monthly salary. My income was totally based upon my sales success or "lack of", each month. How was I able to eat without knowing how to write ad copy or how to use the "hook", or how to effectively use a "take away" move..?

Simple answer: Born for it.

If you're like me, in that you enjoy selling something that you, yourself are sold on, then eBay is where you need to be and learning traditional marketing techniques is the way to have any type of success. There is no other way for, us po folk(not millionaires), to reach such a huge amount of potential buyers for ANY type of item at all. One hundred twenty five million users! Whoa. At this point, they have daily new user sign ups in excess of one hundred thousand people...100,000 each day!


Things are much more technical than that. Here's a short list of the different focuses:

  • Gallery picture is to grab attention only. It's not about looking nice and neat or pretty or professional; it's about human instinct, the power of basic colors, and their contrast with each other. It's about getting noticed on a page of 25 items in a list! We all just browse lists...there is no reading lists word for word! Of course I know that there are exceptions, but the majority are predictable.

  • The title is not for describing the item! Don't think for a minute that you will get noticed by enough people to make real money if they don't see you when they search. The bottom line is that most purchases are the result of a search at the top of the ebay page. Knowing this, you'd think that the search would be checking the entire ad text for matches, ...not! There is a specific checkbox to choose this option right next to the search area, but most don't "check" it, so normally the search is only checking the title. Think about that. Now do you understand why some of those auction titles sounded so stupid..? You got it! They are the smart ones. There's a real art to creating a title that sounds somewhat normal while being keyword rich.
  • Feedback must remain clean, if not perfect! It's an opinion and mine will not sway. There's an inherent communication problem on the internet already. Why would you do anything at all to place more doubt in a prospective buyer's head..? Well, one bad comment can ruin the whole record for, at least 10 more sales because they're structured like this blog, backwards! The bad comment will be there until you fill the page again with positive comments! Just keep it perfect at all costs or don't get upset when they bypass your item for someone else's.
  • Pricing. Again, more of a marketing or psychological factor than most think it is. Information products are even more suited to this because their value is based, partly, on perception or what people think it should cost. That literally means that a new product can sell more units priced higher than comperable products just because it's more expensive! Now, what I just said was not that they sell for more so they make more. I said "units". It's possible to sell 10 for one price and 10 for a higher price, quicker. If the whole dynamic, or feel of the ad, gives the item a higher perceived value, rather than a "ripp off", they may even move faster because of being more expensive. I'm beating this horse because most people are trained the opposite of this, that cheaper is better... Pricing is a tool, just a really important one to get right.
  • Traditional ad copy is usually a sales letter that is absolutley focused on purchasing your interest with well placed, and sometimes viosually appealling, words. Just as the title was only to get you to click the ad, the headline or first words in the desciption should be focused on getting you to read it and go to the next line. That's where the hand off takes place and now it's the second area or headline's job to kepp you and send you to the next. Just that methodical. The only way I can see to do this effectively is being obsessive about it. Invest some time in this because it directly effects your income, period. Sometimes I like to write most of the ad, right off the top of my head, then go over it with a fine tooth comb, making adjustments, over and over and over and over... Till it works and flows properly. Every great marketer has seemingly strict opinions as to which words to use or not and which colors to use or not. The funny thing is that a huge part of a marketer's job is to test new things and question there skills to hone them. I'm caught up in this circle all the time...
  • Your "store" policies. The only way to really get the idea of why you need to be particular about things such as this is to look around at the other auctions. You will definately run into some cheesy ones and some really well done policies. Now pick which seller you feel more comfortable paying money to "up front" for a purchase... Get my point..? Be a pro at all times, trust me; everyone is watching. Make your store policies more fair than most and make them easy to read and understand. Don't write them exactly the way you want to see them, smarter people than you will read them AND dumber people than you will read them. You need to make each of us feel good about you here.

    Once you grasp these as the truth that they are, you'll see the potential of eBay just because you will simply be in the minority! These are the first steps of becoming an extremely over paid telecommuter or PJExec.

    I've sold almost a half million dollars worth of products this year, from my bedroom, without employees, and in my PAJAMAS! Not one of my sales were drop shipped and almost every one of them was an Information Product.

    I'm a High Level Powerseller on eBay, AND, I'm a Certified eBay Education Specialist, trained by eBay. When I took the acceptance exam to be an Education Specialist, in September 2004, my exam ranking was number 1! There were 582 other trainers at that point.

    I have gross eBay sales of more than $300,000 this year.

    I also have gross website sales of more than $140,000 this year.

    I have 100% Positive Customer Feedback!!!!

    I have Zero Employees.

    I work, at home, in my PAJAMAS!

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