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Readers Comment On Effectiveness Of Ebay Stores

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-09-20

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Many readers have submitted some advice of their own in response to an article we published Friday, 9/17 on the effectiveness of Ebay stores. Below are some of their comments.

Comments in response to article: Ebay Marketing: Pros And Cons

angpogiko: (Philippines): "At any given time someone is devising a way to perpetuate fraud. Be it with eBay or other ecommerce outfits. Nothing is perfect. Bearing this in mind, one must therefore compare the benefits against the risks. I have benefited so much for Ebay. The fraudulent transactions resulting from my Ebay transactions are so small that I just write it of."

Genia: (Wisconsin): "This article was very informative, although there are a few places in your sources' information that was a bit confusing. I read it a couple of times.

The one thing about eBay stores that's really advantageous is the fact that eBay really wants the stores to succeed. I noticed that my eBay store was getting listed off to the left in a box that prompted buyers to look at my store, even though I hadn't subscribed to be a featured store. I remembered eBay saying that stores would pop up in the corner if searches came back with 10 or less results (I think that was the magical number). I've performed searches just to see who my competition was. 500 results returned and there was my store listed in th left sidebar.

How I used my store, since I never listed hundreds of items:

I post a featured auction (or two), making sure there are at least 30 or so really enticing listings in my store (I sell ad space). I always say something like this in my auction: "If you don't like this auction, please view my store items!" It's usually posted somewhere in the middle of the auction ad, right before the rules and guidelines stuff. It usually worked very well and I sold more store items when I ran a featured auction than I did when I had no auctions running at all.

I've since closed my store and account and I have an assistant handling those things. She has a different system.

Thanks again for the article."

Cigars (Miami, Florida): "Question... I read that if you have outbound links from the about me page it hurts your PR ranking. Is that correct? If I include outbound links in my about me page that go to my outside ebay website, Does that hurt the About Me page or my outside ebay website in reference to ranking? Also, if I post auctions and include links to my website outside of ebay, does that hurt my PR ranking to my website or help it as an inbound link? Thanks for your help!"

asimegusta (Spain): "I have used eBay as a seller, auctioning and having a eBay store. I found that eBay generated alot of links on yahoo search engine results for my items. I have not seen many visits to my webstore coming from ebay personal page links however.

Maximum-Beauty.com (Las Vegas, NV): As far as sales volume and profit, it depends on your products category, prices and the uniqueness of the item for auction. Also, the lack of a correct category for certain items, makes it a shot in the dark to get buyers. From the ebayer enqueries I have received, I came to the conclusion that, at least for the products I sell, people are looking for flea market bargains, what they could get at the local outdoor market.

I found eBay most useful for getting started in e-commerce. I also find the eBay user forums quite a wealth of pratical information on selling online.

I have left off selling on ebay at present and am re-evaluating it's marketing and sales effectiveness for my category of products."

Ebay sellers should keep in mind that, although one should categorize their eBay item properly, due to the huge amount of listings, buyers shop eBay via the search engine to quickly mine exactly the items they wish to browse or bid on.

This makes clearly evident that the most important aspect of maximum customer draw to your eBay auction offerings are the keywords placed within your title. Since you only have less than 50 free characters allowed in your auction title, one should eliminate any keywords a potential customer/bidder would not use to locate your item. For instance, if the name brand of the item is not universally known do not mention it - color, size & generic type of item would be better keywords.

Weekend (mornings & evenings) & weekday evenings between the hours of 7 & 10 offering the most "eyes" or bidders searching on eBay. Therefore, it is wise to schedule your auction items to end during those peak traffic hours.

Secret tip: If you have a web store outside the realm of eBay, you may wish to simply add your store logo to the top of your listing, embedded with a hidden link to your website. This not only makes your listing look more professional & trustworthy it provides your non-eBay web store with a valuable inbound link."

clambam (Massachusetts): "I've been attending nude figure drawing sessions since I was 13, some 35 years. To tell you the truth, I'm pretty good at it. I have a stack of sketchbooks lying around that reaches up to my armpit (on the other hand, I'm not very tall...). So it occurred to me I might be able to sell my drawings on eBay. I did my research, though. First I searched for "female nude" and came up with 400 hits. Then I typed in "male nude" -- 800 hits! So I guess I'm in the gay erotica business now. I went through some of my sketchbooks looking for buff bods and nice tushes and have been selling the drawings at $10 a pop. People seem very appreciative. I tried posting some female nudes (male, female, young, old, I don't care, I'll draw anyone) at the same price -- no takers. I guess there's just more disposable income in the gay community. It's gotten so bad that when I went to figure drawing the other night, I was disappointed to see the model was "only" an extremely attractive young woman.

I make a point of including a link to my web site on all my offerings. I've sold several drawings and a painting that way. The down side is that people really are looking for a bargain. I've yet to experience a bidding war, the drawings go for the base price. I'm thinking about putting some of my landscapes on eBay too but for the price I'd need to get for them, I don't forsee much profit in the venture. Every little bit helps though..."

urknighterrent (Vermont): "Maybe a little off-topic, but here's a free and easy cheap trick to use Ebay to increase traffic to any site selling middle to high end items.

As an example: Timeshares.

You have 100 units availbale for $10,000 each. Put one of them up for auction on ebay at a ridiculosly low starting price. Say $3000 (yeah yeah yeah... just eat the loss). Include a link to your website in the item descrption.

This is one of the best "free ad" techniques you could ever ask for. An associate of mine used it once and, while the site owners !bleep!ed and moaned the whole way through, they got almost full value on the auction AND their site visits went up 3 fold (x8) in a week. After the auction their traffic only dropped about half. Most importantly the stock moved."

ehcraig (San Diego, CA): "I started my Internet Store, The Tribal Mall at http://www.Tribalmall.com a couple of years ago to sell my Jewelry. (I am a Navajo Silversmith) After I setup PayPal payments & then a shopping cart to compliment it, I eventually started recruiting other Native Artists to sell there also. I now have about 10 Native Artists, 13+ Indian-owned businesses, and 200+ Tribes, with 3 Tribes from Central America. All of this and me, doing lots of SEOing, gave us 1000's of hits, (shoppers?) but no buyers.

Last month I started my eBay store at http://stores.ebay.com/The-Tribal-Mall. I sell dozens of items every week. I have yet to add all my inventory, but I will now. I have added my website to my 'about me' page, but my greatest resource is getting new customers from all over the world. Ever since I have been selling and sending out my cards and giving away handouts with the orders (little gifts with my card attached for the customer to hand out to friends), my internet site has started to sell items every week now.

I even sold a Turquoise Choker to a soldier deployed in Iraq, last week. An ebayer told him about the Tribal Mall, he searched on it and ended up at our Internet site.

I may only be getting the residuals of 'eBayers' at my site, but that is more than before and I will continue to use this resource for my clients, other Artists, and for my customers."

DrTandem1 (Encinitas, CA): "I have been both a seller and a buyer on eBay. There was only one time, as a buyer, that someone attempted to defraud me. I had not received the merchandise after paying via PayPal. I complained to both eBay and PayPal (both one and the same now). They said they would launch an investigation.

I figured that I finally had been taken. Within a few days the money, to my surprise, was returned to my account. I had attempted to contact the seller several times without a response before I launched my complaint.

A couple of months later, I received the merchandise. The sender's name and address was completely different from the original transaction. I did not open the package. After about two weeks, I received a threatening e-mail for payment. I ignored it.

Here's how I think the scam worked: The seller took my payment and did not send the merchandise. They hoped that I would not complain in time. I did. My Purchase price was refunded and taken from the seller's account. They then sent the merchandise in hopes of payment, but used a different name to absolve them from the scam. They then threatened me for payment, which I ignored. They were then trying to collect from PayPal via insurance and collect from me. Scammers:0 Victims:1"

NWCamera (Portland, Oregon): "I make my full time living operating NWCamera, and a large percentage of my sales comes from eBay auctions. A decent percentage of my sales comes from my website, nwcamera.com but very few Internet-Only camera businesses can survive on website sales alone...most of my competitors also sell on eBay. Nonpaying bidders are a fact of life, and except for the hassle, they don't really generate a lot of losses...I've had NPB's actually make me money by failing to pay, because the item went for way more the next time! The most common fraud scheme you generally run into is the Infamous "Can You Take My Credit Card from Indonesia and ship the item by FedEx Air?" Scam...you never, ever say yes to that one.
The eBay stores don't generate nearly the sales that auctions do, but they are a part of the food chain...I have sold items through my eBay store that failed to sell at auction.
eBay selling is not for everybody...making a full time living requires a lot of effort, and you have to constantly be vigilant, but the rewards are out there for the Motivated."

malcolm (Cheltenham, English Cotswolds): "Well it's very scary but I'm about to embark on making my living full time on eBay. It's a 3 way strategy. I have two identities on eBay, one specialising in fine jewellery, the other in collectibles and oddments (I don't believe I can sell old toys next to diamond rings). The jewellery business already has an eBay store and the collectibles will have one soon. The jewellery business also has a dedicated web site at www.ampalian.com that uses the eBay store as its e-commerce solution.

It's very early days and I have a lot of work to do to bring it all together. If anyone has any tips I'd really appreciate hearing them. "

moonshadow (Taylor Texas, USA): "I had a store at EBay for only a few months. Yes it helped launch my business. But it is a catch 22 being that there is really no re-course for the seller nor the buyer. The feedback system is used more as a loaded gun to bully the seller and buyer than anything. It has gotten to the point to where the feedback system is more of a joke than a valuable tool to base your bidding or purchasing with the seller. I wondered into a feedback discussion board for advise and help, posted and by the end of the day found myself beaten up by people that are so called EBay fanatics. They automatically did not like me because I was a newbie, not taking in account of anything that I was saying was true and seeking advise on how to handle a situation I was in with a buyer in which himslef was new to EBay and Paypal. He was going to leave negative feedback if I did not refund his Paypal fees. Although I could have fought it with squaretrade but then it would have cost me $20.00.

It was then that I figured out this was not the place for my business to reside anymore. As it is only an open flea market really ran by everybody. Even though there are set rules I really never saw anything being enforced. Now I have a website and online store that is doing very well.

I personally have no regrets leaving EBay. Now I have full control over my store it was not worth paying per month for the store on EBay and listing fees on top of that."

ajordan (Wisconsin): "I have just recently been thinking about opening a store on eBay to promote my online store products because I'm not getting enough sales directly to my store. I've heard a few people say that some of the "regulars" there have a knack for running off newbies by giving them bad feedback. Has anyone here had that problem and left eBay because of it?"

EbayDoug (Atlanta, GA): "I am a long time user of eBay, 10K+ transactions in high fraud categoies, Computers Electronics and software. Purchase Fraud runs well under .5% of Goods Sold. I ship worldwide."

kensplace (United Kingdom): "Nearly fell of my chair when I saw my name in the webpronews email! Thanks for the mention!

I use ebay a lot, and find very little fraud - touch wood ;)"

satcure (United Kingdom): "I find Ebay too much like hard work. My web sites are well established (I started back in 1995) so I soon got as many visitors as I could handle. I had to hand my business over to a fulfilment company, so now I do no work (other than looking for new products, looking after the web sites and answering questions!)

I auction items occasionally to feed a few more customers to my web site store.

The nice thing about the web site is that everything is automated - even replies to customers. "

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