Copyright 2005 Auction Resource Network
eBay is a one-stop solution to any one who wants to make money online. Whether you just selling a few unwanted items from around your house or your want to develop a work from home business, eBay removes many of the obstacles for you. Not many other websites can help you drive targeted traffic towards your sales, process the order on your behalf and accept payment though paypal. All you need to do then is dispatch the item to your winning bidder.
And let's not forget the biggest advantage over selling on eBay. The majority of users have money in their hand just waiting to find the right item.
So if eBays so great why would you want to drive traffic AWAY from your auctions?
Well there are a few reasons why you'd be better off selling from your own website, rather than though eBay. Firstly & most importantly, think of all the listing fees & final value fees you could save if everything you sold on eBay you could sell on your own website. Personally it would save me thousands of dollars per year alone in listing fees.
Secondly, you'll be protecting yourself from eBay policy change. Imagine you were selling thousands of ebooks weekly and then suddenly eBay policy changed to prevent any ebook listings.
Overnight your business would simply disappear & your income would vanish. It's the same with listing fees - A sudden hike in fees could wipe out your business & profit overnight.
With any business, especially an online one you need to safeguard yourself against measures that are out of your control. So by driving traffic away from your auctions to your own website you'll slowly start building up an alternative source of revenue. The following methods can be used on eBay. Some are on the borderline of eBay policy & you should check out any policy violation before using them. Saying that, a huge proportion of sellers use these on a daily basis.
1) Image Hosting
All the best sellers have auction templates developed to maintain a professional listing. And of course those sellers ALWAYS use images or graphics to accurately show the condition of the items their offering.
eBay itself allows you to upload the images to their servers, other commercial & free services are available. However really you want to store any images on your own server. Not only will search engine robots follow the links from your listings to your site (helping in improved visibility in any search engines), but many browsers will show the address of where the images are loading from in the status bar - For instance "Loading Image From http://www.visitmyshop.com" or "Waiting For http://www.visitmyshop.com". This is a great way for your visitors to see to become familiar with your site.
Many sellers include their own website in the feedback comments they use. Strictly it is against eBay policy but many Powersellers use comments like "Thanks for your custom from http://www.Visitmyshop.com" as standard. This is perhaps one of the widely violated policies on eBay. I've never known of anyone receive a warning for this policy, but use it with caution as you could be the first.
3) Email Address.
eBay allows your listings to contain one email link address, in addition to the "Ask The Seller A Question Link" they already provide. Use the opportunity to show the an email account associated with your domain name for example email@example.com. The only condition about showing your email address is the one shown must also be your registered email account with eBay. Before you list it, make sure they match up.
4) About Me Page
eBay actually allows you to link to your own website from your About Me page, as long as the actual page does not directly offer to sell items. Therefore make it an information or about us page that you link to, BUT one where visitors can easily navigate to your catalog of items for sale. Additionally drive traffic to your About Me Page by including a link on every listings, for example "Click here to learn about me". An average basic shop on eBay will get over 1500 item views within a month. If you can drive just a small proportion of these to your about me page & then to your site you'll certainly see a difference in your non-eBay sales.
5) User Id
While eBay does not allow your user id to be that of an website, you should have it as closely to resembling your site name as possible. You CAN NOT attach .com, -com or *com to the end of your user id - this is strictly against eBay policy. However nothing would stop your id being VisitMyShop. The idea is to get your eBay visitors comfortable with dealing with you away from eBay.
I hope these tips help you drive traffic away from your auctions towards your site & lessens eBays grip on your business. Remember, Ignorance is not an excuse eBay accept if you do violate their policy. While you initially get a warning for policy violation continuous offences may result in your account being suspended. Having said that, eBay mostly rely on policing from other users to enforce their policy so as long as no reports you should be in the clear.
Good luck with your eBay activity.
About the author:
Jason James is a 10 year Internet marketing veteran and an eBay Power Seller of 4 years. His website "The Auction Resource Network" reveals his inside secrets and sources that help him pocket over $10,000 a month on eBay.
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