How to use eBay to promote a
“regular” Internet business
By Jim Kobialko
A lot of you wrote in with questions about eBay after the article I wrote in last week’s newsletter (titled “eBay or a ‘regular’ business — which is better?”)
For example, a reader named Pearl asked, “How do you introduce your products to whole new audiences on eBay? Do you actually talk about your other site?”
That’s a great question, Pearl. Few people realize what an incredibly useful tool eBay can be for promoting a “regular” Internet business.
However, there is a right way to use eBay for promoting an off-eBay website — and there is a wrong way.
The right way can drive huge waves of qualified visitors to your business… but the wrong way can get you banned from ever doing business on eBay again!
So before I tell you about what you can do, I think it’s important you understand what eBay’s stringent regulations say you can’t do. That way, you can make sure you never get on eBay’s bad side, and can continue to tap into its enormous pool of 244,000,000 registered users!
- DON’T include any links to your off-eBay website in your auction listings
- DON’T include any links to your website in your eBay store or custom pages
- DON’T include an opt-in offer in your auction listings
- DON’T include an opt-in offer in your eBay store
- DON’T automatically add your customers or visitors to your auctions to your opt-in list
… In short, don’t overtly try to send people off eBay or collect their information for marketing purposes on your auction listings, your eBay store, or any of your custom pages without their expressed consent.
“But wait a minute,” you’re probably thinking, “then how on earth can I use eBay to drive new visitors to my website?
Well, there is one place you can include a link to your off-eBay website. AND you can put an opt-in form there to collect people’s email addresses, so you can build a relationship with them and promote your products to them in the future.
What is this place?
It’s your “About Me” page. And it’s the most important weapon in your eBay marketing arsenal!
Here’s how you use it…
- DO include a link to your off-eBay website on your “About Me” page, and encourage visitors to see what other products you have to offer
- DO include an opt-in form on your “About Me” page, with a compelling offer — an interesting newsletter or valuable free report — that encourages people to sign up
- DO use every possible opportunity in your auction listings and your eBay Store to encourage people to check out your “About Me” page
- Tell them to go to your “About Me” page to learn more about important information such as your shipping policies
- Tell them to read your FAQs on your “About Me” page
- Tell them to learn more about the products you sell on your “About Me” page
- When people buy something from you, send them ONE follow-up email to thank them for their purchase and invite them to sign up for your newsletter or free report, so you can get them on your opt-in list.
- BUT: They HAVE to opt in for you to be able to mail to them! (If you just start mailing them out of the blue and they complain to eBay, you WILL get kicked off the auction site for good.)
And that’s basically it! You create as many reasons as possible for people to visit your “About Me” page, and then you give them a compelling reason to…
1. Sign up for your newsletter, and
2. Check out your off-eBay store to see what you offer there
If you do it right, you’ll discover that eBay is an excellent customer acquisition tool for your business.
In fact, you might find it more effective NOT to sell your main product on eBay, but to sell related products for minimal profit, simply to grow your customer base so you can back-end sell your main products to them in the future.
Here’s an example of what I mean… Say you sell an eBook teaching people how to cure their tennis elbow. eBooks are great products in the off-eBay world because you get to keep 100% of the profits from each sale.
But on eBay, eBooks tend to sell for relatively cheap. So don’t sell your eBook there, where you’ll take a loss in profits!
Instead, sell tennis-related dropshipping products on eBay for very little profit. You won’t make a huge amount of money on the front end… but you WILL be able to grow a huge customer base of people who are obviously interested in tennis.
Then, once you’ve persuaded them to sign up for your opt-in list, you can promote your “tennis elbow” eBook to them down the road — as well as scores of other tennis-related products.
And THAT’s when the money will really start pouring in.
Finally, I’d just like to point out that eBay does regularly change their policies, so it’s important you regularly check to make sure you’re following eBay’s official seller regulations, so you can stay on their good side.
You can find everything you need to know about selling on eBay here:
I hope that answers your question, Pearl. Good luck with your business. And if anyone else has any questions about eBay, please feel free to fire them my way!
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