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Unorthodox Marketing: Using eBay to Increase Site Traffic & Sales

By Edited Feb 1, 2014 0 0

Last year, I found out first-hand that increased site traffic equals more sales.  It's simple common sense, but difficult to implement online - Google is the #1 way to reach people, and being on the 1st page of your niche's search results is key.  You can struggle and SEO and update your blogs daily and pay for Adwords and  put your site's link on forums... or you can try a different approach.

I occasionally work as a contractor for a small business that manufactures and sells electronics kits for DIYers. The business is fairly new, but the web site averaged about 100-300 hits a day.  While we had sales almost daily, the owner found it difficult to expand the business without a significant amount of capital to play with. 

Many small businesses operate (and survive) by having several different streams of income, and this one was no different.  In fact, there were about 5 or 6 different businesses running from this small space.  The most profitable was an eBay seller account that had about 3k feedback rating.   eBay accounts of this magnitude are offered premium exposure in eBay search results and (hopefully) have a dedicated infrastructure to handle the volume of sales, shipping, customer service, and listings. It is quite a sight to see and experience, and it gave me an idea.

I suggested that we list our products on this eBay account.  In about 2 months, our sales had doubled!  It was absolutely amazing to see this idea succeed, and the business steadily expanded as more money came in. 

What was most amazing was the amount of increased traffic to the website. Our site traffic increased from 100-300 hits daily (with 300 occurring during holidays or when we had blog posts).  We ranked #1 for a very popular product in our line (a product with many competitors, I might add). 

In our listings, we made sure to include our company's name in the listing title to get the brand name out there and the listing description had links to the blog site.  We were careful to avoid violating eBay's policy on not having links to a site that sells products by starting our blog, which indirectly linked to our site where our sales are made.  Everything was working out great...

The only problem was that we were selling on eBay.  eBay can be a boon or another headache to add to the list.  We found that a lot of customers were fairly eBay savvy and took advantage of eBay's rather strict selling practices and customer satisfaction.  Returns, endless questions from people who were in over their head, vindictive negative feedback for reasons beyond our control - eBay can take a toll on your business (and mental health) if you're not careful! The increase in sales was great, but we realized that many people came to our products with a lot of expectations and a lack of experience.  We did also not want to endanger the account, as too many negative feedbacks can shut down your store quick (I've seen this happen & it's not pretty at all). 

So, we decided to try another strategy.  By bumping the prices of the products up significantly (about 15-25% higher on eBay than on our site), customers were less inclined to buy our products on eBay.  If we made a sale, this extra amount helped pay for the eBay/Paypal fees and offered a little consolation for extra work involved.

I'd have to assume that many people decided to come to the blog site through the listing or a Google search for the rather unique business name and then moved onto our sales site.  Great!  For about $0.10 a month, we were getting a huge return on the investment. 

To summarize: if you want to increase traffic to your site and sell more product, put your business name in your eBay listings, link to a blog that links to your sales site, bump the price up to avoid actually selling anything on eBay, and enjoy the success!

Before implementing this strategy, be sure to read this eBay page to acquaint yourself with their policy regarding what you can and can't do with listings:


* I accept no responsibility for any trouble you may get in for implementing this strategy in your business. eBay policy changes all the time and you should always stay aware of any arbitrary changes that they make.  We have been using this method for about 2 years and we have not had one complaint or warning from eBay.  *



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