Thursday, January 26, 2012

Using Ebay as a Marketing Tool

Using Ebay as a Marketing Tool

Okay sometimes I am not the smartest person in the world..LOL!  I try to do things the hardest way and expect great outcomes.  And that includes how I have been working eBay.

For the last few months I have been getting decent sales on Ebay auctions.  But my biggest problem was I was trying to use as the big picture.  In the world of crafts, it really can't be done without a learning curve.  Let me preach on it.....


Like many others, I was looking to Ebay as a financial savior.  I would sit for hours trying to do the figures on how many items I would have to sell in order to reach certain goals.  (Usually an impending bill).  Then I would work myself into a stressful frenzy trying to create the number of items, trying to figure out what the lowest price was I could take, then trying to write the best description possible, get the perfect photos, and then get them listed.

By the time I did all of this, not only did I NOT have the amount to items I needed, but I would be so stressed that looking at beads was not even an option for a bit.  That ended up starting a vicious circle of non-creativity.  Plus many items did not sell leaving me with a good size eBay bill at the end of the month.  Luckily I was/am smart enough not to go totally crazy.  I think my largest bill so far was $55 or so.

Plus I was also neglecting my Zibbet shop.  And this is where I sell my items at the regular retail price ~ DUH-HUH!!  Apparently not my brightest moments for sure.

But I did wise up and here is how I did it.

How I Am Now Using eBay in the Smart Way...
My Learning Curve

At the time of this writing, Ebay offers registered sellers 50 FREE auction listings per month.  You only have to pay for the little extras such as scheduled listing times, gallery enhancements, etc.  I personally only use the 'visible to eBay UK' extra which costs me $.10 per listing plus your final value fee if the item(s) sell.  I am now going to take those listings and split them up by 4 or 5 Sundays, depending on the month. 

PLUS I have seen several times that Ebay has offered FREE LISTINGS for 1 or 2 days a month.  Before I never was able to take advantage of these because I had spread out my items so thin.  It is during these times that I am going to re-list unsold items, add new items or both.  So by taking advantage of these offers, you can save a fortune in listing fees. 

 And, if you don't want to spend hours at a time setting up your listings, I have figured out a cheaters' system that you can do at the same time that you add your crafts to Zibbet, Etsy or any other craft sales site that you use if you make multiples of items.  But I will save this for another day.

Drawing Traffic from Ebay Sales to Your Web Crafts Site

Now that you have 50+ items that you can list for next to nothing, the next thing to do is let the potential winners know that, if they win, you will have a special offer to add to order on your craft site.  I will be dealing with my Zibbet Shop for this, but I believe that Etsy and many of the other craft sites offer similar ways.  If you have a stand alone web-site, you may have your own way of doing this.  So you can implement what works best for you.

  1. Don't be afraid to add a link to your on-line store to your description.  Get it out there as much as you can.  If you a workable knowledge of HTML, include your shop banner (resized of course) as a clickable new window link.
  2. I print my own business cards, so on the back (see photo above ) I have included a space to write in coupon codes.  I include a picture of the card with that area circled in my listings now. 
  3. Don't add the code to your listings.  i usually don't create the codes until I am ready to ship the order out.  I only include 1 code per shipment, so even if they bought several items, they only have 1 coupon.  I also make sure that it only has a one use limit.
I personally use a 15% off code of a purchase of $25 or more.  This should give Ebayers incentive to check out your on-line store.

Final Thoughts on This

I will admit that in the past I used to just hate Ebay ( also known by many as Fee-Bay ).  But I was thinking/working harder, not smarter.  Now I know how to use the offers that they have available, I can concentrate more on my shop at and let my listings on Ebay be a form of marketing tool instead of an income generating headache.  I hope this blog post will help others.

If you are making a great craft living off of Ebay that is AWESOME!  But if your are like myself and many others, this is a great forum to get your business name out there.  If you can think that way you can reduce the stress that I used to put myself thru and go back to enjoying your creativity.

May the Creator continue to bless you.