EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 126 - September 12, 2004 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 7

Getting Your Buyers to Buy a Little Bit More: eBay Stores Cross Promotion

By Mark O'Neill

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As any good salesman driving a BMW and wearing a Rolex will tell you, the secret to great riches is not just getting your customer to buy your main item, but to get them to buy extra items as well. If someone buys a car, sell them a set of car seat covers too. It's this type of situation that makes the husband go into convulsive spasms when the credit card bills come in for his wife. But for eBay sellers, it can make all the difference in monthly sales if you can dangle enticing little extras in front of your customers' faces. Enter eBay's Cross-Promotions.

Opening my own eBay Store a couple of months back has been an experience with a steep learning curve. I've had to think about things that were previously taken care of for me by eBay, including placing my listings in the search engine. Now I have had to really work to bring the customers to my shop and for a while, sales seriously dipped. But recently things have been picking up again. Not enough for a down payment on a Porsche, but good enough for me not to give up all hope.

As well as advertising my store locally, I'm convinced that Cross-Promotions was integral to bringing my sales back up. The key to having a successful eBay Store is to follow the maxim "when you get a customer, don't let them leave. Make them a customer for life."

Before I continue, let me explain what Cross-Promotions is. Basically, eBay Store owners have the opportunity to place a small box at the bottom of their item page, near the bidding box (http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/cp-faq.html). This small box shows other items the seller has in their store at that time. The box also appears on the bid confirm screen when you have successfully placed a bid.

What is shown in the box is related to the item in the auction currently being viewed, so if the prospective customer is looking at your very fine camera for sale, then the cross-promotions box will show things like batteries, bags, camera films and so on. If someone is interested in a particular product, then you can show them related items that they may also consider buying. You can set preferences for how your cross-promotions box is managed and specify that specific items appear in the Cross-promotions box in certain auctions.

In the face of increasing rivalry and "dog eat dog" on eBay these days, it always helps to put a little enticement in the way of your customers. Just don't be surprised when the divorce rate goes up because you persuaded a woman to buy all your "little extras." The husband might be round to pay you a visit!

Some links with information about eBay Stores cross-promotions
http://pages.ebay.com/merchandisingmanager
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/cp-faq.html
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/cp-intro.html


About the author:

Mark O'Neill is Managing Editor of the popular tech blog, MakeUseOf.com. He is a Scotsman, now living the ex-pat life in Wurzburg, Germany. You can also find him on MarkO'Neill.org.


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