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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    How to Use EBay to promote your Drop shipping business

    Hello all! I am running a drop shipping business (just cell phones really) and Iím trying to expand my customer base considerably. I was thinking ebay would be a good option since so many people buy from there already. I know the general layout of the site and how other peopleís items are listed there, but what would be the best way to use ebay to promote my business?

  2. #2
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    Feb 2011
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    There are many advantages of using ebay as a marketing tool for your business, particularly a drop ship business. There’s a long list of what to do and what not to do to make this angle work to your advantage:

    Do:

     List a link to your personal website (assuming you have one) on your About Me page. List additional options through this section to steer your ebay customers to find this information. An example would be offering an option to track their package that can be found on your About Me page.

     Include useful information in the package that is sent. For drop shipping purposes, make sure your wholesaler has your website and email information included in the label and invoice they create for your products. In the case where you send directly from your home you could feasibly include a brochure outlining your other products.

     Offer related products on your ebay site and your personal website. Notify customers of this via the packaging or the link from your About Me page. In effect, you’ve transferred a customer from your ebay site to your personal website (using ebay to market for you) and hopefully the customer will use your website in the future, thus cutting down on ebay fees for you.

    Don’t:

     You cannot include links on the auction itself. This will get you in trouble with ebay (they can’t make money if you are redirecting people to your site before they purchase anything on ebay) and it will cause a breakdown in the your credibility if ebay does give you a slap on the wrist, as it reflects on your site in a variety of ways, up to the point of shutting down your ebay store.

     You cannot include links on your ebay store either, for the same basic reasons listed above. Absolutely make certain there are no links anywhere except the About Me page that redirect customers to your personal website.

     Don’t offer unrealistic expectations, as in prices you are incapable of maintaining. If you offer prices that are too low you’ll only bring in the kind of customer that will quit buying from you when you are forced to increase your pricing in order to at least break even.

     Don’t break any new ebay rules inadvertently. Make sure to sign up for a valid newsletter that gives all the info you might need about updated ebay rules and changes. This is integral in maintaining your reputation and credibility on ebay.

    Ebay is a useful marketing tool so long as you abide by their rules. They have a huge, pre-existing customer base, which makes it a lot easier for new businesses to create a solid backing of customers over a reasonable period.

  3. #3
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    Borisnoone, so what is the upside to selling on Ebay, besides the obvious (customers and world renowned)? To be specific, what is the upside cost-wise?

  4. #4
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    Yes, I’d like to know the answer to that question as well. Is ebay cost efficient at all? From what I’ve dug up, ebay has their own fees; so I’m curious if the fees offset what it’d cost to run my own website right off the bat.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windowslite View Post
    Yes, I’d like to know the answer to that question as well. Is ebay cost efficient at all? From what I’ve dug up, ebay has their own fees; so I’m curious if the fees offset what it’d cost to run my own website right off the bat.
    Yes, Ebay does have their own fees associated with selling on their site, however they are minimal compared to the cost of maintaining your own website.

    Quote Originally Posted by gamerfan View Post
    So what is the upside to selling on Ebay, besides the obvious (customers and world renowned)? To be specific, what is the upside cost-wise?
    Basically, if you are a small business it makes more sense to sell through Ebay, where the costs/fees will only be applied if you place a listing and/or sell a product through them. If you were to have your own website you would have that monthly cost of maintaining it regardless of whether or not you make even a single sale. Obviously, if you are a large retailer with the customer base to make a personal website worthwhile than the cost of maintaining the website will be minimal compared to the profit you are pulling in. Not to mention, the more products you list and sell on Ebay, the more you pay out in fees.

  6. #6
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    Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to increase and maintain a good customer base? Beyond just using Ebay for marketing I know there are things that are just good business practice across the board.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamerfan View Post
    Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to increase and maintain a good customer base? Beyond just using Ebay for marketing I know there are things that are just good business practice across the board.
    I do, I have a few odds and ends of advice that have done me well in the short time I’ve been a retailer.

    1.) I keep a database of all the people who have purchased from me. Real basic excel spreadsheet and you have to make sure to keep up with it. It makes for a good way to see what is selling best and who my highest or most often purchasing customers are.

    2.) Ask first, but you can use that same database to keep track of customer emails and send out promotions or coupons. If you have a few bits of unsold inventory you can send a mass email letting your existing customers know you’ve dropped the price temporarily. Make them feel special by offering them first dibs.

    3.) Again, you can use database to keep track of points toward a loyalty type program. Give them some kind of reward, coupon, and money back, whatever floats your boat, once they’ve spent so much money with you and reached so many points. This helps keep people coming back to you rather than buying their product from a similar retailer. Along the same lines, you could offer an affiliate program where you give discounts for customers that refer friends and family to you.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Yes, Auction web sites like eBay do have their own charges associated with promoting on their website, however they are low cost as opposed to price of having your own website.
    Business Marketing