AuctionBytes Contest: FREE Ways to Market Your Online Auction Business
By Ina Steiner
The AuctionBytes Marketing Contest - Win "The Perfect Store"! In the last issue we announced a contest and asked people to send ideas on FREE ways for auction sellers to market themselves. Thanks to everyone who sent in their ideas, there were some excellent suggestions, well worth reading. I've summarized the entries, and I've included three of the letters.
What I did to promote my auctions of Antique and Vintage Buttons is to join a collectors newsgroup. Every Wednesday is "Wild Wednesday" and we can all promote our wares on that day.
Since I joined, my closing bids have been much higher! Also, I have learned more about what I am selling and have been able to create better looking and more well described auctions! Thanks!
USER ID: portbuttons
It's hardly a secret that one of the most effective and affordable (free!) ways of promoting your eBay business is through the About Me page, yet I notice that many, if not most, sellers either don't bother with it at all or toss in a perfunctory slapdash effort.
People like doing business with other people, and personalizing your About Me page is one of the best time expenditures available to us. Including pictures and personal information are useful in establishing a human identity and raising your customers' comfort levels. Cross-promoting, when allowable, is a free plus.
As an example of how I'm using this, take a look at http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/charlieabq
You ask for ways to get publicity on auctions, well here's some suggestions:
- Sell a million dollar item for $10.
- Buy a big auction house.
- Buy your own newspaper.
- Catch a thief in the act (at least you'll get a mention in the police activity column).
- Get married, and make sure that the announcement includes your business.
- Get divorced and make sure the announcement indicates that you retained the business.
I thought you might appreciate my sense of humor.
Some of the FREE marketing ideas submitted by readers:
1) Create an About Me page. (Learn how to do this on eBay at http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abu/y200/m03/abu0010/s05.
2) Include your auction user ID on your business cards and stationery
3) Join a community where everyone exchanges links
4) List a really nice item at a relatively low price on eBay with a link to your site showing more photos. (eBay does not allow links to commercial sites. See eBay's linking policy: http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/png-links.html.)
5) Create a signature line in your email containing your Web site address.
6) Participate in online chat rooms; offer valuable advice and do not "advertise" (but you can include a signature file).
7) Write helpful articles for online ezines and newsletters; at the bottom of your article, include your contact information.
8) Add a FREE Chat button to your auctions so you can answer questions as soon as a customer asks. (See Humanclick at Bravenet.com.)
9) Teach a community education class on how to purchase over the Internet (not only is this free, you'll get paid).
These ideas were submitted by AuctionBytes readers:
http://www.imageevent.com/jewelsbysherri USER ID: lynn20101
USER ID: teres57
USER ID: madorman
USER ID: SimplyChris
We've chosen a winner (it wasn't easy to pick just one): Bari (USER ID: portbuttons) will receive an autographed copy of Adam Cohen's book, "The Perfect Store: Inside eBay."
Thanks to Adam Cohen and his publisher, Little Brown and Company, for providing the autographed book to AuctionBytes. If you want to read this "inside look" at eBay, you can purchase the book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316150487/auctionbytescom.
Thanks again to everyone who wrote in with suggestions. For more ideas on marketing, please visit the Marketing Forum moderated by Jim Crawford at: http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewforum.php?forum=15&332.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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