EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 263 - May 16, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     3 of 7

Page Mage Helps eBay Sellers with Listing Design and Merchandising

By Lissa McGrath

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Page Mage offers eBay sellers merchandising tools to help design listings that stand out and increase sales. The web-based application lets anyone easily create customized listings with photo and video elements that can also be integrated with social networking sites for greater exposure.

Page Mage isn't a cookie cutter auction-management company. As well as being one of the first to bridge the eBay-Facebook gap, its listing tools are innovative too. Unlike many other companies that give you pre-made templates that many other sellers are using, Page Mage gives you templates as your starting point. You can use it as-is, or you can use its easy customization tools to make your own custom template.

It's all drag and drop - just like designing a page in Publisher or other simple design programs - so you don't need to know any coding or HTML. It's easy to go over-board when you have that level of customization available, so remember that less is often more. Still, it really can help your pocketbook if you don't need a designer to match your eBay listings to your website brand - just work from a similar template and customize it yourself.

Page Mage has also brought the slideshow feature back, but in a much more effective location. You can turn any of the photos in the body of your listing into a slideshow. The images fading in and out draw the eye and can keep potential buyers on your listing page longer. Plus, you can showcase a lot more photos in a smaller space so you don't sacrifice the design of your listing.

Page Mage makes it very easy to embed video clips (far easier than doing it yourself using the eBay Sell Your Item form). Moving text is another option. Personally, I'm not a fan of moving text in general because it can look tacky, but it is certainly eye-catching and done properly can be very effective.

Once you have designed your page and uploaded the listing to eBay, you have the option to post it to Facebook.

"People like buying and selling with people they know," explains Chris Taylor, Page Mage VP of Marketing.

You select each individual listing that you want to showcase on Facebook, so you don't inadvertently get 50 status updates in quick succession showing that week's inventory. "When the listing is posted to Facebook, it is displayed as a thumbnail in the status update area, clicking on the thumbnail enlarges the design and makes it a full interactive listing, right on your wall with moving text, slideshow, or play a video if you have it in your listing," Taylor says.

The reader doesn't leave your Facebook page until they are ready to buy (when they press the "Click to Buy on eBay" button and are taken straight to your listing on eBay). They can also share your listing on their own Facebook wall.

As far as pricing is concerned, your first 24 listings per month are free. That includes unlimited photos, scheduled listing, customizable templates, and all of the other features available through Page Mage. If you need more than 24 listings, its unlimited plan is $9.95 a month and includes everything. There are no additional add-on fees for any Page Mage service or feature.

You do need to have a Page Mage design in your listing to use its Facebook integration tool, but you do not have to use Page Mage for all of the auction management functions. If you prefer Turbolister or another auction management program, you can still use Page Mage as well.

Page Mage is continuing to develop new features that set it apart from other services. One that is coming soon is the Design Center that will have information, tips, research, and articles on how to design great listings that sell. In addition, Page Mage is working on a scrolling gallery type feature to showcase all of your active listings, and a way to post your listings to a Facebook "fan" page as well as your personal wall.

About the author:

Lissa McGrath is the author of three eBay books, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to eBay" 2nd Edition (Alpha, 2010); "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to eBay Motors" (Alpha, 2008); and "20 Questions To Ask Before Selling On eBay" (Career Press, 2006). She is also the editor of eight other eBay books.

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