eBay is now the 8th most visited site on the internet and it has just one purpose - sales. With 40 million visitors per month most eBay sellers are missing a golden opportunity. They are missing the opportunity to cultivate long term clients.
It is a proven fact in marketing that you will continue to buy over and over again from people and companies that you know, like and trust. Yet 95% of all internet marketers fail when it comes to eBay. Most are looking for the fast buck. They have completely miss the opportunity to use eBay as a lead generation tool. They miss the opportunity to create a list of people that will be willing to consume your products over and over again.
Lead generation on eBay can be accomplished in several ways. The most popular way is by using the self liquidating ad. A self liquidating ad is one that pays for itself. In other words your customer directly pays your advertising costs. They purchase from you, some form of advertising.
Let me give you an example of a self liquidating advertisement. Recently I saw in a magazine an ad for a pair of sunglasses. The ad claimed that the sunglasses were free you just had to pay the shipping and handling costs. My guess is that the advertiser probably wasn't making much if any money on the sunglasses. But they also weren't losing any money. The shipping and handling most likely covered their actual costs. What they really wanted was something far more valuable ? your contact information and your "permission" to market to you. In other words they are looking for qualified prospects - prospects that are interested in the products and services they are selling.
Once a company has your contact information and "permission" to market to you, they will begin to establish a relationship. They will do this in a variety of ways including sending you ads for other product and services you may be interested in. Over time most customers will be worth many times more than their initial purchase.
Since eBay is purely commerce site it is a perfect place to do a self liquidating ad. Let's look at an extreme example. Let's pretend that you own a car dealership that only sells high end cars. We will assume that your average car sells for $65,000. One way you could use a lead generation self liquidating ad would be by "selling" a special report. For example you could sell a report on eBay entitled "18 Ways to Drive the Car of Your Dreams for Less Than the Cost of a Yugo".
Do you think a report like that would get some attention? You bet it would. The report is really nothing more than an advertisement for you. Of course you would have to write a report that had real content and offered up ways for the consumer to really do as the title suggests. A report like this however, would cost you literally nothing to produce ? except your time ? and there would be no overhead, no inventory, and no headaches.
Since this report would be nearly all profit you could set a low "Buy It Now" price ($4.97) to attract a huge number of prospects. The revenue generated would easily offset the eBay's seller fees.
In the report you could suggest several real ways for people to drive a luxury car for little money. You could also list in the report a resource for them to research. The resource you suggest would of course be your car dealership.
The report did not cost you anything to produce or sell and it fully paid for itself with each person that ordered. The person buying the report is more likely interested in what you have to offer and are therefore partially qualified. Anybody that contacts you after reading the report is a fully qualified prospect and should be marketed to aggressively.
Once you have their name and contact information you could send them a weekly "hot sheet" of cars that you are trying to sell. Once they purchase you could then sell them accessories and branded clothing. If they were close to your shop you could sell them on servicing. And the list goes on and on.
If you study eBay there very few people using it as a lead generation tool. Yet lead generation and specifically self-liquidating advertising is a proven winner. Almost every type of business can benefit from lead generation advertising. If done correctly lead generation advertising can actually become another source of revenue for your company. Special reports are one excellent low cost lead generation tool that you can use. Look at eBay as more than just a fast buck. Look to eBay as a way to create long term clients. eBay if worked properly can be your best source of fresh leads and can really explode your sales.
Todd Reese is an information marketer, eBay seller consultant, and author of http://www.AutoDigitalDelivery.com. His specialty is turning struggling eBayers into Power Sellers.